The invention of the DVR has really screwed up television.
Not to be an old man here, but back in the day, the way I discovered new shows was usually through, what people in the business call, a “lead-in.” See a lead-in is when a popular show that draws millions of viewers leads into a show that the network would like the masses to get behind. The lead-in boosts ratings of everything around it. It’s like the cleanup hitter of television.
But, with the invention of the DVR, lead-ins are meaningless. I rarely ever watch a show at its regularly scheduled time. I record and then watch at my own convenience. The show I’m watching never leads me into anything because it’s recorded and when the shows over, I move onto something else.
Because of this, I miss out on a lot of great shows.
Like a little sitcom on ABC called Happy Endings.
I’ve recently picked up on the show through hearing about it on the blogosphere. I’m sure Happy Endings has a great lead-in on whatever night of the week it’s on TV, but I would never know.
You know why I would never know? Because I DVR everything and I never watch commercials. If networks are promoting their shows, I’m not aware of it. I find out about new shows or season premiers through the internet, not the lead-ins or the promos.
It’s time TV executives change their mindset. TV is not the same as it used to be. There is no such thing as appointment viewing. Time slots, lead-ins and promos are a waste of time and energy. Time and energy that could be spent on promoting a show like Happy Endings properly.
How about banner ads online telling me to set a season record for Happy Endings? Why is no one doing that?
How about streaming the shows live online in real-time? So, if Happy Endings is on TV at 9 o’clock on Wednesdays, why not air it live online at the exact same time? That way, the ABC social media people can spam the internet with links to the show allowing viewers to tune in without…ya know, tuning in.
These are just a couple of ideas. I’m sure the people paid to come up with these things can come up with something better.
Until then, you can catch Eric Rothman, watching Happy Endings, at midnight, only on DVR.