Overtaken by events
Not too long ago, show biz-oriented talk-magazine TV shows were the rage, with popular programs like “The Buzz” and “Startalk” scorching the small screen with hot scoops and stellar sizzlers that elicited avid viewership.
Then, “The Buzz” stopped buzzing, and “Startalk” eventually followed suit and stopped talking, leaving the stellar news and gossip field to fewer and smaller shows. What happened?
Observers of the local entertainment scene have brought up a number of reasons for the unexpected fall from grace of show biz talk-magazine programs, like increasing production costs and talent fees.
Other factors advanced include overly strict and limiting studio control of scoops harmful to contract stars’ image, thus resulting in tepid coverage.
But one of the most valid explanations we’ve heard is the view that local TV gossip shows have been “overtaken by events”—specifically, the rise of the social and new media has preempted the “service” that the gossip programs used to provide—at a much faster speed. What do you think?
Several show biz-oriented shows continue to be telecast—so, what do they have to do, given the TV scene’s new parameters, to not just survive but also prosper?
First, we should realistically observe that some so-called gossip shows don’t come up with really hot stuff anymore.
Recently, for instance, we watched a program that frittered many minutes away with birthday greetings galore, plugs for sundry products and services and other similarly self-serving fuss and bother.
And, when the apple-polishing hosts did get to the “gossip” part, it turned out to consist of only a few “blind” items that were so safe and “veiled” that they weren’t hot at all!
As we watched the show, we realized that it was not living up to its promise to regale and even shock viewers with sizzling show biz scoops.
Its hosts and production staffers had become too lazy or cautious to come up with really interesting and eyebrow-raising stuff.
They were making their friends and sponsors happy with all of the birthday greetings and product plugs that they were extravagantly dispensing—but their viewers were being left out in the cold, and left holding the bag—of boredom!
In this show’s case, its demise or suicide is not a matter of “if,” but when.
Other surviving shows would do well to get off their own slothful posteriors and deliver the hot goods—no more “blind” items, please—so that their own viewers won’t have any reason to stray, or grumpily complain that they’re being taken for granted.
TV producers and cohosts should also keep reminding themselves that viewers are less easily duped and have the power to hold them to their promises.
With so many more viewing options these days, TV has become a buyers’ market—and if enough viewers get ticked off and stop “buying” your show, it’s time to pack up your empty plugs and promises, and bid the TV talk-magazine scene—bye-bye, adieu!
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