Networks Are Scared That Cable and Netflix Are Stealing All the Good Dramas

Making better shows is probably just too obvious an answer for them.

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Complex Original

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It's no secret that cable and Netflix are killing it when it comes to television dramas—in both quality and ratings—and it seems that networks are finally beginning to get nervous. A new article in The Hollywood Reporterdelves into the subject, and it's a fascinating read for those who find themselves more prone to turn to AMC, HBO, and Netflix rather than the big five networks for quality drama series. From the article:


Part of this, the article explains, has to do with the amount of shows being pitched to cable vs. networks—no one wants a network show anymore, because cable/Netflix is just considered better.


Interestingly enough, comedy shows are thriving at the big five networks—in that market, bidding wars are frequent because cable networks don't tend to pick up comedies over dramas. "Comedies [on cable] are very hard to make sense of financially from the standpoint of a participant or a content owner...and it's still a form of storytelling that broadcast networks are thriving and succeeding with," 20th Century Fox TV chairman Dana Walden explained.

Truthfully, I have little sympathy for the networks who are finally beginning to freak out because The Walking Dead is pulling in more ratings than their wooden, formulaic dramas. There's only one solution to their predicament, and it's literally as simple as make better shows. Obviously, the ideas are out there—cable channels and Netflix are proof of that, they were just more willing to give riskier ideas a chance and they ended up making bank. The Walking Dead, for instance, was turned down by NBC back in the day, and that went on to be cable's biggest series in a long time. Instead of calling cable's ratings success an "anomaly," networks need to veer from the standard and take some risks with their programming; if the product is good, people will eventually flock.

After all, don't forgetit took a while for Breaking Bad to be considered one of the best shows on television, but it happened when people eventually realized how good it is.

You can read the fascinating article in full over at THR.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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