TV Surf Report: The Trends They Are Not A’Changin’, But Appointment Television is Dead (#RIP)!

Santa Monica, CA —  The Year is 2020.  It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new lifefor me. So much good Television to watch, so little Time to do so. (And yes, I am listening to both Bob Dylan and Nina Simone!)

Perhaps, the biggest Trend of 2020 is Not Watching TV. There’s just too damn much to watch. I can’t keep up, and most interestingly, I’m not sure I want to keep up anymore. Take that, Peak TV!

Sorry, S3 of The Crown, S2 of The New Pope, S2 of A Discovery of Witches, and S5 of Outlander! I will get to you when I can, so cool your heels. That goes for you, too, Watchmen, The Witcher, The Mandalorian, and Dracula.

With the flood of Good TV, there is simply no urgency to watch anymore.  Appointment TV is dead, and Streaming killed it.  One day, I will get around to catching up on shows like The Morning Show, Good Omens, After Life, and Yellowstone.

Just not right now. I’m busy. Surfing. Swimming. Reading! Catching up on so many Podcasts (Dolly Parton’s America, Fresh Air, The Business, The Daily, Joy Hunting, Catch and Kill, Good Food).

Meanwhile, the Trends in TV development have remained the same for the last several years which is bad news (but not a Death Knell) for Original Ideas, however, Intellectual Properties are hotter than ever:

  • Reboots and Spinoffs (and Sequels) Thirtysomething-else, anyone? A Latinx reboot of Revenge, perhaps? CBS All Access premieres Star Trek: Picard with Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role. I will likely pass on the Saved By the Bell re-boot, though. Sorry, Peacock. I’m sure I will check you out at some point (whenever you launch, that is!). Same goes for the new Lizzie McGuire series with Hilary Duff. For more, check out this Previous Post on Surfing Hollywood.

  • Super Heroes – Marvel and Disney+ own this landscape with its slate of exciting series like Wanda Vision, Loki, and Falcon & the Winter Soldier. The CW owns the second tier thanks to DC Comics and Warner Bros., but I’ve never been a fan of Batwoman, Supergirl, or The Flash, so interest is minimal. Even event-programming like  Crisis on Infinite Earths did not capture my attention like I thought it would. Last season of Lucifer, anyone? How about The Boys with Karl Urban? I’ve heard that’s quite good. (Note: It’s on the List of Shows I Will Watch Eventually)

  • Horror – FX made news recently by picking up Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story (AHS) for three seasons, but I had to wonder whether FX will be around in three years, such is the changing nature of Television.  How much longer can Basic Cable hang in there when its corporate parents are pouring billions into streaming services that capitalize on library content that once went to cable? Meanwhile, FX is developing a series version of Stephen King’s Carrie. High School was certainly Hell for Buffy & The Scoobys. Even more so for Carrie.  Let’s see. The creators of Sherlock made big waves and garnered big ratings for their Dracula miniseries for BBC One, which Netflix streams in the US. Showtime is shooting its sequel to Penny Dreadful, City of Angels. And surprisingly, Hulu recently passed on The Vampire Chronicles from Anne Rice and Christopher Rice. More Horror via Surfing Hollywood.

  • AdaptationsThe Last of the Mohicans is being adapted for TV at HBO Max. The Brides of Dracula live again, this time at ABC, from the creator of Riverdale.  Amazon is still in pre-production on its ambitious Lord of the Rings series. And worst news of all, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has confirmed there’s no S3 of Fleabag coming. I just read the play, which essentially, is the first episode of the wonderful 2-season series that has swept the TV-viewing world off its collective feet, garnering numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards along the way. For more, check out This Previous Post on Surfing Hollywood.

  • Actors Who Produce – Reese Witherspoon owns this Trend (The Morning Show, Big Little Lies, Little Fires Burning Everywhere), but other actors have taken notice and followed suit: Ben Stiller is producing Severance at Apple TV; Margot Robbie formed Lucky Chap Entertainment and is producing the upcoming Harley Quinn movie and EPd Dollface for Hulu; Michael B. Jordan produces Raising Dion, the Netflix super hero family drama; Phoebe Waller-Bridge has a rich deal to create for Amazon following a blockbuster S2 of Fleabag and a tip of the cap from Barack Obama, who also has a rich production deal.  For more, click This Previously on Surfing Hollywood Post.

TV, you’ve worn me out.  I’m saturated. Dosed. Perhaps, we need to start seeing other people. Let’s take a break, shall we? It’s not You. It’s… well actually, it is You.

N E X T   U P:

Let’s Talk Books.  I’ve Been Reading. A Lot.



About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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