Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Demise of Quality Programming on Network TV

I saw this new show title on the CTV website:  Emily Owens, M.D.  "Oh brother," I thought, "another dumb show about a cute, white, female doctor looking for love."

Then I read the show description:

The Internship Begins...
Emily Owens is as a sweet medical school graduate who can’t escape her high school woes. As a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, Emily has the chance to work with world-famous cardiologist Dr. Gina Beckett and not-so-coincidentally alongside her med school crush and fellow intern Will Rider.

So why does everyone keep warning her that the hospital is just like high school? Emily soon finds out the hard way - her high school nemesis, the gorgeous, popular Cassandra Kopelson, is also just starting out at Denver Memorial, and it seems like they're rivals all over again - not only as surgical interns, but for Will's attention.

Emily's the new kid again, and it's just as awkward as high school. Only this time around, Emily has to balance the personal and emotional turmoil of social politics with the high-stakes world of life-and-death medical decisions. At least she has fellow intern Tyra and nerdy-but-cute resident Micah to count on as friends.

Emily is going to realize that although she may be a geek, she may also grow to be a great doctor. 

If I'd spent the time, I think I probably could have come up with a similar show description out of my imagination... because TV IS SO BAD AND PREDICTABLE these days.  I know how this show is going to go.  Eventually Emily and Will will get together BUT THEN she will realize he's not all that great after all and then will realize she actually likes nerdy-but-cute Micah who has been carrying a torch for this clumsy but adorable geek all along (it doesn't say she's clumsy but YOU KNOW IT WILL BE TRUE).  Whaaaat yup that's what will happen.

I read an article a while ago about how NBC is planning to only make "broad comedy" sitcoms from now on (i.e. shows with 95% sexual humour with a stupid laugh track).  Which means, a couple of my not-cancelled-yet favourites, Community and Parks and Recreation, are pretty much doomed, and with 30 Rock and The Office (not that good anymore anyway, last I saw) in their last seasons, the decent comedies on network TV are getting fewer and fewer.

If any good comes out of this, it's that 30 Rock has decided to create a storyline around how NBC is now committed to only putting garbage on TV, which is going to make for a hilarious final season.

Is this the last year there will be quality programming on network TV?  It looks that way.  Let's just hope NBC lets these amazing shows end properly and doesn't cancel them midseason to be replaced with Emily Owens: The Sitcom.

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