With so much shows to watch on broadcast and cable, on demand, DVR, and streaming, its a wonder we get any sleep at all. In the golden age of TV, choice was limited to broadcast and every show was special. But today we go through TV shows quickly and if they don't show any chance for audience share, they are thrown away and replaced with the next show. Just look at the list of cancelled shows that are quickly buried.
To adjust to a very competitive landscape of content choice, networks have embraced live programming. From baseball and football to Olympics, sports promises good audiences and linear viewing. NBC has bought all three of the Triple Crown horse races and audiences are tuning in. Reality shows with live voting and results from shows like American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, and The Voice have helped as well. Saturday Night Live has been live for years, although not in prime time. And NBC with its Broadway push through Sound Of Music last year and Music Man this year are meant to excite audiences to tune in. Fox is copying this strategy with their production of Grease. The term for all these big live events, eventize, which could arguably be both a noun and a verb.
I expect that we will see all the networks eventize their programming schedule. Perhaps one day, one sitcom will be programmed live every week and not as a special event, as was done a couple times by 30 Rock. Unfortunately, like all good things, the notion of live programming will get so overdone by all the networks that the viewer will grow tired of this too and move on to the next new thing.