Posts tagged “barrier to entry”

Show Busy-ness

The critics seem to have grasped the limited resource of attention that is impacting (and yet driving) the exploding volume of media we are faced with.

From two different reviews of The Nine

The SF Chronicle

What the TV industry has wrought this year, making us choose among “Brothers & Sisters,” “Men in Trees,” “Six Degrees,” “Ugly Betty,” etc. — puts a burden on viewers to make a bevy of decisions quickly.

The New York Times

Not many people have time and energy to commit themselves to yet another series that requires weekly loyalty and close attention.

There’s obviously some problems with the models here; as everything gets more narrowcast, we can’t – and aren’t expected to – consume it all, indeed we’ll need to just ignore most of it. So why are there more products that demand even greater loyalty? Dick Wolf, in an extensive New York Times Magazine profile a year or so ago, pointed out some of the elements designed into Law and Order that made them re-watchable and timeless, making for huge wins in syndication. These other shows – cliffhanging serials – may or may not do as well in syndication, but I imagine they’ll do better on DVD. The barrier to entry is high, the barrier to late entry is impossibly high. This can breed high loyalty, doubtless, for those that do join the exclusive viewer club, but the critics are right to question the wisdom of Lost-followers trying to repeat that trick.


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