Big Media, Bad Business

Tv media giants may be dominating the airwaves, but they sure haven’t figured out how to find a winning formula for programming. “While it’s taken for granted that TV’s oligopoly wants to further consolidate its power, it’s equally clear that networks aren’t any more adept at tapping into the public zeitgeist when production stays all in the family. In fact, the ratio of shows that stick around at least four seasons — generally the cutoff to be deemed a hit, ensuring there will be enough episodes to run in perpetuity — has consistently stayed around one in six since the early 1990s. Although a hit can pay for a lot of flops, that percentage wouldn’t exactly qualify for the hall of fame, or even the Dodgers’ batting order.”