There is lots of things happening in the television world this week. Besides being the middle of May sweeps (I’ve watched about half a dozen season finales so far), it’s also the week of Upfronts, the party presentations where the major networks announce their new and returning programming for the fall.
Networks make money through advertising revenue (as we talked about last week) and they use Upfronts presentations to persuade companies to buy ad time for their shows. Along with programming announcements everyone is trying to brand themselves. Weather through showing numbers that prove they are still popular with the young-ins (Fox on Monday) or announcing plans for a live stream service (ABC on Tuesday). Everyone wants a piece of the action.
For fans, Upfronts means that we finally get a chance to see bits of the shows we’ve been craving. Once Upon A Time in Wonderland? Don’t mind if I do. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Don’t touch Lola, I’ll handle it. There is also finally definitive word on continuing shows, Community for season 5? Yes!
While upfronts have traditionally been a celebration, in recent years they’ve had to dial down the party. Between the recession and competition from cable, online streaming, and web content, what is traditional is slowly dying out. And then comes Aereo.
Aereo is a new online service that picks up network TV signal from the airwaves and then puts it online, also allowing for recording for later on. Right now it’s still being tested, but the website claims that it will be available in select cities this summer. Networks are furious claiming that the service violates their rights, but so far courts have been siding with Aereo.
It’s not that what Aereo is doing is illegal, it just making the networks mad. They haven’t quite figured out how to count online viewers thought Hulu, Netflix, and their own video players, and they certainly wont be able to track viewers that watch through Aereo. And if they can’t count them, they can’t make money off of them.
As Upfronts wind down today (CBS is the last presentation slated for later today), I can’t help but wonder how many of the shows we see presented this week will make it through the whole season to next year. Which ones will we fall in love with? Which ones will break our hearts? I don’t know yet (though I may have some guesses), but I do know that I can’t wait to find out.
What new fall shows are you excited about? Any guesses as to which ones will do well and which will fail?