Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More spin-offs coming to a TV set near you

This semester, I am hoping to research how television content will change in the 21st century and so most of my posts on this blog will discusses issues relating to genre, narrative, etc.

Two recent announcements give us an indication of one way programming content will move, at least on the major broadcast networks: spin-offs.

Obviously spin-offs are nothing new, with CBS trotting out three different iterations of the CSI: series and successfully launching a second entry into the NCIS brand this season. And that's just scripted content. Think of all the spin-offs and new iterations of reality programming that fills up the schedules of cable networks like MTV and VH1.

But it doesn't look like spin-offs will go away any time soon on the scripted side. CBS has been kicking around the idea of a Criminal Minds spin-off for a couple of years, and they are officially going forward with it now, starring Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.

And over at FOX, the idea of a House spin-off is still alive in some capacity. FOX thought they had an idea for the spin-off when House producers introduced P.I. Lucas (Michael Weston) last year, but it ultimately fell a part for whatever reason.

As disappointing and uninventive as spin-offs are, these two instances are more respectable than others, with the creators of the originals staying closely involved with the new versions and in the case of Minds, they are at least trying to rope in quality actors.

So perhaps the ideas are being re-done over and over, but we can take a sliver of solace in the fact that there is still some effort being made to produce quality television. And of course, they are really smart business because people are seemingly more apt to respond to a pre-packaged brand that something brand new.

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