Someone is doing something right at a number of the cable TV channels like USA, TNT, FX and TBS. These networks, USA in particular, are airing solid shows. By year end, the USA network will be airing seven original episodes. Many of them favorites on the GorTivo and sometimes many of the Gormogons gather around the 70-inch ultra-plasma TV in the Castle’s theater to watch a show together. With shows like Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, In Plain Sight and a newcomer starting this summer, Covert Affairs*, the network has a solid lineup that rivals and surpasses much of the tripe on traditional broadcast networks.
This is probably not new news to many of our readers. But I want to throw out two ideas to ponder.
First, are the parent companies (like NBC, FOX, etc.) savvy enough that they are distributing shows between the cable and “broadcast” channels they own in an attempt to maintain viewers and possibly reduce the impact of video-on-demand services, Netflix, and other sources of televised entertainment? Maybe. Although, one would wonder why the more appealing shows (at least in my opinion) air on the cable networks. Sure, there’s a number of amusing and intriguing shows on broadcast TV but I don’t think it’s proportionally distributed. Maybe the thought is that the broadcast channels have broader viewership and American, in general, enjoys tripe (Temptation Island, The Bachelor, etc.) more than these smarter shows? Ok, onto number two.
Second, a friend suggested that he wouldn’t be surprised if there were back-channel encouragements by elements within the United States’ Intelligence Community for some of these shows. In particular Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, and White Collar – in part to help with recruiting by putting an amusing, light or positive spin on these agencies and in part, to more generally spin a positive feeling about the groups and the work they do. This has been done in the past: Top Gun resulted in an increase in naval aviator applications, Backdraft for firefighters, etc. So maybe he’s onto something. I’m not sure I fully buy into it. But it is food for thought.
* Note that Covert Affairs co-stars Christopher Gorham who starred in the interesting, but faulted, Harper’s Island – hopefully, he’ll do a better job here. I don’t watch Uncle Betty so I’m not sure of his performance on that show.
Note that the tag is an inside joke among a number of us – again, if you don’t get it, get over it. I’ll try to avoid more than two inside jokes in a week in the future.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.