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Prime Time TV, Changing of the Guard

As I was choosing what to write this week, I noticed we are saying goodbye to a lot of shows and characters this year. There seems to be a changing of the guard as one would put it. For some, this can be a refresh and an opportunity to move forward in a new direction, breathing life into the same old arenas. We have said good-bye to Chuck, and House has received its eviction notice. Marg Helgenberger has made a graceful exit from CSI, the desperate housewives are taking their final bows, and One Tree Hill has withered and died.

There are a few on the fence on whether we will be seeing them again, like Fringe, Bones, Terra Nova, Breaking In, and Alcatraz to name a few. For the first time in a long time, TV canít seem to make up its mind. We have never before had such an extreme list of genres broadcasting at one time. The amazing thing is that most are really very good. There are always stand outs in each genre, like The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, Glee, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, and Person of Interest.

Look at the eclectic nature of the list. I am dating myself but I remember must-see-tv Thursdays, anything Sci-Fi or offbeat was on Saturdays and all family oriented activities were Sundays. Action and Adventure, crime or suspense shows were set for Fridays. Serious dramas were always Wednesdays. Monday and Tuesday were throw away days with game shows, and sitcom filler.

Now it seems every night there are a plethora of choices, and I am not even including the cable channels like AMC, TNT, and USA, who host some of our very favorites, Mad Men, The Closer, The Walking Dead, Burn Notice, and Psych. If you step out of the circle even further you can see an entirely different kind of television experience. Long gone are the days of NOVA and boring educational television. Now we have An Idiot Abroad, Hoarders, Scared Straight, Curiosity, The Deadliest Warrior, Top Shot, and Stan Leeís Super Heroes.

It is a rarity to say there is nothing on television. In fact, there is too much! So many shows I want to see and support, but simply have not had the time. Thank goodness for DVR technology and the ability to fast forward through commercials.

This makes me think about the future of prime time. Will we settle into a easy coast for a while, or will basic prime time continue to jockey for position? I guess only time will tell, and of course ratings.

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