Here’s what the Academy recognized yesterday: The major broadcast networks have gotten out of the ambitious TV-drama business. And since drama is the creatively dominant genre in TV right now, that means the major networks have gotten out of the ambitious-TV business, period.
[W]hile cable takes chances and breaks ground with shows like Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica, broadcast TV is in a holding action, filling its hours with competent, just-good-enough-to-be-safe dramas like Eli Stone and Life. Its few truly ambitious dramas are legacies. If this fall season is any indication — and hoo boy, just wait for Knight Rider — the major networks are no longer interested even in making the next Lost, let alone the next Sopranos.
Renae and I made the mistake of watching the Emmys last night, and it was a horrid experience. The hosts — the five nominees for “Outstanding Host for a Reality Show or Reality Competition” — were completely vapid and pitiful (which, based on their comments, I think pissed off some of the other attendees) and the highlights (Ricky Gervais, anyone?) were few and far between. Even with fast-forwarding through most of it — thank God for DVR — I found myself wanting to scrape out my eyeballs when it was all over.