Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We don't need no stinking closure

The flood of serialized dramas hitting television has created a quandary for viewers when shows fail in the ratings and are canceled, leaving key plot points eternally unresolved.

It's a problem that throws networks, too, at least based on CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler's response when queried about it Saturday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

She was pounded on the issue over and over when her answers left reporters unsatisfied, with the result being a sort of impromptu serialized drama of its own.

If CBS' new fall drama "Jericho," about a town plunged into chaos by the possibility it's the only U.S. city to survive a nuclear disaster, failed, would CBS provide a wrap-up for those who did watch?

"Well, hopefully, the show will get to the end of the season," Tassler replied.

Asked if viewers might start to sour on such programs if they're repeatedly disappointed by cancelations, Tassler dismissed it as irrelevant, saying she didn't think audiences made viewing choices that way.

Reporters then asked if Tassler was saying the viewers didn't care about being left in the plot lurch. After taking a couple of stabs at the question, the network executive said she recognized that viewers do care.

But in relation to CBS' own series, she said, "in success, those questions will be answered."

Her assertion that viewers don't weigh the possibility a serialized drama could be yanked in deciding whether to watch prompted a disbelieving question from one reporter: "Are you serious?"


Silly reporters - they've lost the thread of the story. The networks' job is NOT to deliver good shows to us, it's to deliver US to the commercials...


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