Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TV Land Not Classic TV Anymore

The transformation may be complete, the plastic surgery done.  With a new logo and brand identity, TV Land now looks like every other cable network.  As cable networks keep trying to chase after the key demographic of 18 - 34, they create a glut of sameness that has changed the cable landscape greatly. 

There once was a time where cable networks each tried to find their niche genre and core audience.  From classic TV sitcom channel like the original TV Land where shows like Dick Van Dyke and I Love Lucy and others were staples to Game Show Network (today GSN) that showed old black and white and early color game shows like I've Got A Secret and Match Game.  We had niches too for high culture television (Bravo), classic B&W movies (American Movie Classics), art oriented programming (Arts & Entertainment) and more.  And the message that the cable industry brought to the masses was that it was a sum of the parts that brought something for everyone across its slew of programming choices.  Today, all these networks look more and more alike.  By going for ratings and the same audience, the differentiation has disappeared.  Yes, they may find original series that strike interest in a large fan base but by and large those shows could be identified with any number of cable networks today. 

As for TV Land, the notion that classic TV deserves a channel is over.  Its next likely location is streaming.  Already classic series like Friends can be found on Netflix or Seinfeld on Hulu.  As for linear television, its now focused on finding younger skewing original shows.  The past is the past, all focus on building meaningful audience share.

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