Friday, May 5, 2006

CBS Launches "innertube"

The whole shift to online programming by the networks is happening much more quickly than I ever imagined. Now CBS has launched "innertube", which will have both previously aired and original programming:

Among the shows debuting this month: "Greek to Chic," a makeover reality series for college students; "BBQ Bill," a sketch comedy series with Rick Najera; "Animate This!," where celebrities narrate funny stories from their lives that are animated; and "Beyond Survivor," a behind-the-scenes look at the reality show.

They're smart to make initial programs appeal to younger folks who tend to have a lot of free time and blazing fast web access. But they're also going to be showing programs that turned out to be not-quite-ready-for-prime-time:

Later this month, "innertube" will begin streaming "Fire Me ... Please," a reality series that was canceled on the network last year before all of the episodes aired. Similarly, "innertube" will be the destination for episodes of the drama "Love Monkey" that were not aired before it was taken off CBS for low ratings.

Is it possible that many shows might receive a second wind after being available for on-demand viewing? If enough people watch the shows online, and enough advertisers are willing to pay to support them online, then somebody's going to produce them. Simple economics.

There also have to be some bean-counters somewhere who realize that they might make more money from having episodes of old shows available online than releasing them on DVD. Or even syndicating them.

TV producers will have to establish a fine balance between their own profitability and the profitability of the networks and affiliates who got them this far. Eventually, tho, I envision that most broadcast television stations will simply disappear. That'll free up a lot of broadcast bandwidth for other things that haven't been invented yet.



Linking to: Leaning Straight Up, MacBros' Place, Gospel Fiction, Comedian Jenée: People are Idiots , Woman Honor Thyself