President of ABC says Wikipedia-fuelled viewers leading to smarter TV
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/06/2012 (3938 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BANFF, Alta. – TV viewers are more clever than they were a few decades ago and their savvy is reflected in the shows that are being made, the president of ABC Entertainment Group told a session at the Banff World Media Festival on Monday.
“Thirty years ago smart shows were the exception and now they are the rule especially for scripted. ‘New Girl’ is a smart show, ‘Big Bang’ is a smart show and ‘Modern Family’ is now the smartest show on television,” said Paul Lee.
“I do think we’re in a world now where our audience is Wikipedia fuelled and knows everything. We have an exchange going on where people predict which shows are going to do well and literally the audience is generally saying which shows are going to work or not and they really seem to pick better than the executives.”
Lee says when he calls viewers “smart” he is referring not to intelligence but to worldliness.
He points out that TV shows are the most common conversation subject around the globe and were the subject of more than a billion tweets last year.
“Television shows, television viewers and television writers have become smarter,” he added. “In the echo chamber of the digital world, the not-so-smart shows are reduced and the smart shows are multiplied,” he said.
Lee is particularly proud of top-rated “Modern Family,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge” and other comedies such as “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” and “Surburgatory.”
ABC has six of its freshman series returning for a second season.
Other than “Charlies Angels,” which Lee said he couldn’t even bring himself to talk about anymore, the reviews of others have been good.
Twenty or 30 years ago the idea was to find shows that were the least objectionable programs said Lee but now the choices for views are virtually “limitless”.
He said there were smart shows in the past — singling out “All in the Family,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” but believes there are more of them now.
Still, Lee says that despite the sophisticated audience, the final deciding factor is the story itself and how well it is written.
“The message of today should be never underestimate the intelligence of the public,” he said.
“We’re still all kids wanting desperately to lie back and be spun a timeless story of fear and hope, of good and evil and vengeance and love.”