It seems that Hollywood is at a bit of a creative standstill. We are in the age of franchises. It is increasingly uncommon to find a hit movie that is completely original. Nowadays, all you can find are re-boots and sequels to stories that have already proven to be successful. For every one Bridemaids,
you will find ten Sherlock Holmes
sequels, superhero movies, or retellings of a fairy tale. TV is now headed in the same direction. Two (yes, two) pilots re-booting Beauty and the Beast
have been ordered for the Fall. Bravo
has proven that as long as they can keep re-booting its Housewives
franchise, it will have the best ratings in those timeslots. The success of Revenge
has spawned half a dozen soapy dramas on the docket for next fall.
Even some of the most exciting ventures airing this season are largely only successful because of their inspiration. Once Upon a Time
is practically a family-friendly fable version of Lost. Smash
is only possible because of Glee
’s success. This is disheartening for those of us who look to TV for enthralling, innovative programming, but also doesn’t do much for the networks. Sure, Once Upon a Time
is a hit, but its ratings pale in comparison to that of Lost.
Gone are the days of ABC routinely bringing in 25 million viewers to watch Grey’s Anatomy
and Desperate Housewives
, because so much of what’s on TV is a retread.
These imitations may inspire average ratings, but it’s doubtful that any show on the docket for the next fall will be able to go viral. Sure, there are some contenders. Smash
could be very compelling, as does The River
, but what does it say about our consumer culture and the biggest names in creativity if the biggest hits on TV re-tooled concepts? Here’s to hoping and praying for the next Desperate Housewives
—only original, and soon!
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