The Problem with Publishing/Producing – John Doe (TV Series)

Viewer and Reader frustration…

Craig and I often get caught by different ads and commercials for tv shows. What looks interesting? Quite often it all is interesting, downright fascinating. The problem comes from schedules. How many of our parents and grandparents, and for years, us and our children had to make sure we were home by 7 or 8 for the beginning of evenings TV shows. And so many stories captured our attention, we would fill three or four evenings a week with shows.

Yeah. And our news is going nuts with tales of obesity and sedentary Americans. Which, there is a point, but having a limit on how many shows we watch had some really bad consequences.

We’d get into one show and when new ones came out, we couldn’t watch them because they were on at the same time on different channels. So the newer shows suffered a lack of viewership in the realms of numbers that made the producers happy and were subsequently canceled.

Now, thanks to TV on DVD, Netflix, Blockbuster, and Hulu, (not to mention all the other outlets), there are hundreds of unfinished stories out there. Thousands of finished stories.

For instance, we just got through John Doe. An engaging story, a mystery about a man who wakes up naked  in the middle of woods with no knowledge of who he is, but strangely knows everything else. It lasted for one season. 21 episodes and ended on one heck of a cliffhanger.

Luckily, in the case of John Doe, producers put out a statement of what was supposed to happen in the end. The answer to the riddle. Kind of. And while it is good to have an answer to the riddle, we lose the magic of the process. The growing characterization that takes place in each episode builds to that final answer, so it makes more sense, is more well-rounded and wraps up all threads.

But, the problem is each network wants ratings. And they aren’t happy with a few million people. They want everyone to tune out of their lives and tune into their station, all at the same time.

Really? Is this even possible? No. People have different interests. They want to watch different shows on different channels on their own time. When they don’t have work, school, sports and basically, life events deciding their schedule.

Intro streaming media. Any show at any time in any order. It’s all about the story.

But, how many of those stories are half done or worse, barely introduced? How many unfinished stories will we carry around, filling our heads with thoughts and questions?

What’s more, publishers do the same. They want ever rising sales numbers or story series  never end. And readers are left wondering. How would it have all ended?

The good news is that authors, who often have those same uncompleted stories in their heads, are now able to self-publish pretty easily and make their stories widely available. Now it’s just a matter of finding them amid all the scammers, pirates and lazy people who just want to string enough words together they can call it a book or be published “without ever writing a word”. Looks like readers will need to be educated buyers.

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