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[OPINION] - Why the renewals of Lucifer and Brooklyn Nine-Nine should be a wake-up call for TV Networks

Disclaimer Please note that the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpoilerTV.

I always say this at the start of my articles, because its true. I’m not a writer, I’m just someone who has a passion for TV and every so often I like to express a thought or an idea in my head. In no way is this idea/article perfect and it is not a perfect solution. It’s simply an opinion open for discussion and a discussion that needs to happen. It comes down to one statement:

TV is flawed

Or what I should say is, a major aspect of TV is flawed. The Ratings. Everything seems to come down to those stupid Nielsen boxes, which are only in certain homes and these people decide what is popular and what is not. These boxes do their job, don’t get me wrong, but we are no longer back in the 90’s. The way we live and interact has changed, and its time for TV networks to do the same. There is a reason why streaming services pick up cancelled shows, they know their audience. Which brings me to this:

1 - Technology has changed, it’s time rating systems followed

We still rely on a box connected to a % of TV’s across the US to tell us what WE are watching. We trust those people to represent us, but I would rather represent myself. Why can’t we use the technology we have in our hands, Mobile phones. A simple app can fix so many problems. We log in, we register what we are watching, and we interact with the app as we are watching. It means we can easily see who is watching and reach more homes without the need for a “box”. You can reach a greater percentage of people for less cost of installing Nielsen boxes. We can get more relevant and up to date data from a click of a button on an app than a box in your living room. It means that online viewers can finally be taken into account.

2 - Does social media matter?

Well ask any Lucifer and B99 fan and they will happily tell you. It’s time that TV networks sit up and realise not all ratings can be accounted for from Nielsen boxes. There is an audience out there that is not being seen or heard. There is a new generation of online media,  people are watching via mobiles, tablets and computers. Are these people being factored into their decision? Networks make money from adverts and demographics impact on this. If companies feel they aren’t making money they won’t pay for adverts. So, we need to adapt. Get the fans to tweet the companies/hashtags to show their support. Fans will do this to keep their show alive because we all know how easy it is to lose a loved show.  Audience want to be involved in the show, they want to interact with the cast and crew. Building this relationship helps shows to become successful, because fans feel like they are part of it.

3 - Online streaming for international viewers

Shows have strong followings from an international audience. Networks don’t take this into account. So why not make the shows available to international audiences online. Play a few adverts before the episode, have adverts through the episode just like it was on TV. You reach a wider market, advertisers will be happy and international fans will be happy. It would also help cut out piracy. Audiences want to support their shows and give them an option to do so.

4 - Shorter seasons / Cancellation clauses

Ok, hear me out on this one. Yes we all want as many episodes of a show that we love as possible. But sometimes this can be a nail in a shows coffin because we get those dreaded filler episodes. Shorter seasons for dramas tend to create great seasons and more viewers. Sitcoms can afford to have longer seasons (they only have 20 minutes). But with a shorter season, give TV shows some wiggle room. Pick up a show for 12 episodes but budget them for 14. So, if there is a cancellation you have 2 episodes (1 hour special) to finish the story. Fans will respect networks that respect them. For example, iZombie was given a final season, I’m sad but I’m happy we can get a conclusion.

5 - Final Thoughts

All the above has positive and negatives and all of it can be developed. But networks need to start looking at ways to see who is exactly watching their shows and the audience they are not catering for. You must start asking yourself a simple question, is my show next to be cancelled? Am I being noticed by the networks who run my show?

What do you think should be done to fix the problem and avoid unnecessary cancellations? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a tweet @cjthegeek.

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