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Which Network Television Shows Belong on a Cable Channel?

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  • LexMG
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    #270759

    Just a question that I’ve been thinking about for some time now. I feel as though there are so many network shows, past and present, who could have reached their full potential or had found better success had they been aired on a cable channel instead, due to the drastic difference in quality, quantity, content, and much more.

    Any examples that come to mind? Thoughts? Reasons?

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    eastwest
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    #270761

    On the drama side “The Good Wife”. This season has been excellent, but given that the mantra of that show is that it is a “cable series on a broadcast network”, they could get so much mileage from having a thirteen episode season. But I felt more that way seasons previously. They have earned the title of the best network drama.

    For comedy, “Happy Endings”. I am hoping another network gets the show b/c it’s too good to go away. I can totally see a “Cougar Town”/”Happy Endings” comedy block on TBS. 

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    LexMG
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    #270762

    On the comedy side, the one show that comes to mind almost instantly is Glee. At the beginning, the show had such a fresh and edgy concept that was nearly irresistible, at least for me. This quickly went to hell in the years that passed, however. I feel as though with, as you mentioned, a shorter season order, it could have had so much more room to grow, and wouldn’t have to revert to consistently recycled and uninspired ideas so often. And the new medium adds potentioal for such a colorful array of stories that may not be told on network. Plus, I think the characters could have benefited greatly as well. It seems as though they have become cardboard cutout, setereotyped, cliches who are just props for the show, while this opportunity could allow for more dimension and depth.

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #270763

    Awake” had great potential and would have been a good fit on FX, where Kyle Killen could have followed his better instincts and avoided the attempt to procedural-ize the drama so it would fit the network mold; that show had a great pilot, and a great last three episodes, and a lot of bland case-of-the-week mysteries in-between.

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    Graeme O’Neil
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    #270764

    On the comedy side, the one show that comes to mind almost instantly is Glee. At the beginning, the show had such a fresh and edgy concept that was nearly irresistible, at least for me. This quickly went to hell in the years that passed, however. I feel as though with, as you mentioned, a shorter season order, it could have had so much more room to grow, and wouldn’t have to revert to consistently recycled and uninspired ideas so often. And the new medium adds potentioal for such a colorful array of stories that may not be told on network. Plus, I think the characters could have benefited greatly as well. It seems as though they have become cardboard cutout, setereotyped, cliches who are just props for the show, while this opportunity could allow for more dimension and depth.

    I don’t think being on a “network” has caused the problems of Glee. Being on cable wouldn’t have made any difference. The writers would have produced just as crappy character development and ridiculous plot twists if it was on cable too.

    The creators have always said that “The Good Wife” is basically a cable show on network. I know CBS told them they had to do a “Case per week” in order to work on CBS, and they’ve adhered to that. That being said, watching it, I’ve never gotten the sense that the storytelling is being impeded by being on a network. It’s fantastic no matter what.

    One show from the past that would have benefitted from being on cable, or at least on a network now, is Alias. It’s my all-time favourite show, but ABC did put the hammer down on it twice (season 3 and season 4) and forced them to simplify the storyline (or end a continous storyline early) in order to try to appeal to a larger audience by being more episodic.  Would have been great to see what they would have done had they not had to adhere to network demands. I think ABC at least learned their lesson with Alias, and got the heck out of Lost’s way once it was on the air and let it do its thing. 

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    Boidiva02
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    #270765

    Well I’ve often wondered what “Smash” would look like had it aired on cable as originally intended (it was originally developed at Showtime, I believe).  I think it would have been able to tell a much more fleshed out story and have more refined characters.   I also think a shorter season would have helped a lot with some of the moronic characters.

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    nahborghi
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    #270766

    Community seems to have no place on network tv. It’s not a comedy for everybody. It could have been better aknowledged and appreciated if it were on cable.

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    silver girl
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    #270767

    Smash is the one that immediately came to my mind. A cable switch wouldn’t necessarily have fixed their core problem of idolizing Karen when McPhee can’t carry that weight but Ivy and Derek could have been awesome characters in a cable format. The show could have progressed at a much better timetable with a shorter season. And they wouldn’t have needed as many covers and relatable moments if they weren’t aiming for a mainstream audience. I’ve also read McPhee said she wouldn’t have signed on for the original Showtime script because if the raunchiness so maybe it would have fixed more of the problems.

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #270768

    For the current season of The Good Wife, I find cases of the week to be more interesting than non-procedural aspect, so it rightfully belongs on CBS. It could end up getting canceled and finding the new home on a cable channel, but I highly doubt that. Will there be anyone who passionately fight for the show to have another life?

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    Alijah Purdy
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    #270769

    Last Resort, I believe, would have been much better airing on AMC. Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman were great on that show, and I think viewership would have been higher had it aired on AMC.

    I’m glad Southland moved from NBC to TNT. That show, while not bad, wasn’t good on NBC. Now it is amazing on TNT.

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    Denis
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    #270770

    I agree about Last Resort.

    I also think that Fringe would’ve been great if it was on TNT or FX, I dunno about showtime.

    Contrary to the purpose of this thread, I feel the need to say that Anger Management is dreadful for FX, it should’ve aired at CW, Fox or ABC.

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    Atypical
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    #270771

    “The Good Wife” is the one that instantly comes to mind. I also wouldn’t have minded seeing what “30 Rock” and “Arrested Development” could have been like on cable, or preferably premium channels.

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