I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions but it is fun to speculate about what’s coming up in the New Year and beyond. Here are some predictions of I think will happen in the media during the year to come and beyond, some serious, some not so much.
1. The live show will disappear from televised shopping within the next 3 to 5 years. In this age of online everything, the live television shows are an unnecessary expense. All the networks feature mostly cookie cutter hosts these days along with an extremely narrow selection of products. This is a perfect prelude for on demand Internet presentations. People will be able to select the products they want and watch recorded presentations from product experts online. The need for talking head hosts will all-but-disappear as product experts can easily lead these types of presentations.
So what will the companies do with the live channels? QVC and HSN could have enough cable subscribers to sell their channels to other broadcasters for huge amounts of money. This is problematic, however, since the cable companies that carry the channels currently receive a percentage of the revenue generated within their zip codes. While there are many ways to compensate the cable companies for the lost revenues, it will be a stumbling block to selling the channels.
Some of the more popular TV shopping hosts will be chained in small TV studios and forced to sell Dyson vacuums, computers and Chinese porcelain bakeware 24 hours a day until they drop from exhaustion.
2. Jimmy Fallon will be replaced as the host of the Tonight Show. While his ratings are fine now, his only real competition is a soon-retiring and very tired David Letterman. Once Steven Colbert takes over the CBS show, it will be interesting to see how Fallon’s “everything is about me” style will fare. On his last show his guests will be Pat Sajak, Chevy Chase, Dennis Miller as well as the ghosts of Joey Bishop and Joan Rivers.
3. Saturday Night Live will leave the air. After 40 successful years (well, maybe 20 “successful” ones) they have nothing to apologize for. It’s obvious that today’s educational/social climate isn’t producing comedic geniuses like it did in the 60’s and 70’s. At best, the show is a pale shadow of itself. Will NBC replace it with a different comedy show? Sadly, there are no viable cast candidates in today’s world, especially within the hallowed 18-35 demographic.
4. The concept of 2 seasons of network programming, new and reruns/replacements, will evolve to the concept of multiple shorter “seasons” within a year. Cable channels like AMC, USA, History and many others are already extremely successful with this style of programming.
Under the leadership of Comcast, NBC will do a reboot of “Breaking Bad.” In their version, a lot of people die waiting for the meth cooker’s customer service to answer their calls.
5. More and more new TV shows will debut online rather than on broadcast or cable TV. Many of these online shows have already been extremely successful. The uncensored nature of the Internet makes it easier for writers and producer to create realistic and powerful dramas and comedies.
The creative freedom will allow the studios to make truly edgy shows. One proposed show has Bill Cosby singing and acting out “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to a different budding starlet every week. A new streaming video game show is titled, “How Much Stuff Can You Cram Up Kim Kardashian’s Butt?”
6. Sirius/XM will disappear. Once Wi-Fi is available everywhere, Internet radio will quickly take the place of the outmoded satellite provider. Once the service is out of business and proven to be obsolete, I-Heart Radio will buy it.
7. Country music will come back from whatever rhythmic/boring/songs about drunks and scantily-clad women Hell it has become. Real songs with actual melodies and interesting choruses will emerge as “the new country.” (Many country rappers will be exiled to dance clubs in Europe.)
8. There will be a different awards show on TV every week. These will rotate between music, movies and television. One proposed show, “The Pedophiles’ Kiddie Choice Awards” already has three major sponsors, Ovaltine, Sugar Smacks Cereal and Trojan’s new Kid Condoms. (Once a year, the DIY Network will host a radio awards show airing after 2 AM in most markets.)
9. Betty White will reveal that she made a deal with Satan to take the life spans of her former Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girl and Hot in Cleveland costars. She will live for another 115 years, more if she stars in more shows.
10. Songwriter Pharrell Williams will be given a lengthy prison sentence after writing a song even more annoying than “Happy.”
11. Casey Kasem’s body will be returned to America and given an Internet Top 40 Countdown Show. A year-end poll will show that his corpse is more entertaining than 98% of all other Internet Radio hosts.
12. After Matt Lauer alienates all his costars and they quit or get fired, the show will be re-titled “Today with Matt Laurer.” Since he will also have alienated all the potential guests for the show by then, it will soon be cancelled and replaced with “Rehab with Kathie Lee and Hoda.” Nick Nolte will be their roving reporter.
13. After he figures out the exact value of Pi, Stephen Hawking will set his genius to finding out what EVINE LIVE really means.
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