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Stevenson Villager

Editorial: Peak TV

    Editorial: Peak TV
    Actors James Marsden and Rachel Evan Wood star in Westworld. (Photo from

    After the course of one wild weekend, I finished binge watching the HBO hit show, “Westworld.” Rebooted from a series of predating films and televisions shows, “Westworld” is about a cowboy-themed park filled with realistic androids and thrilling mysteries. I think I spent that weekend quite well, and I was on to the next bullet down a lengthy list of recommended TV shows.

    It is very common for people to have a list of shows that “they need to watch.” However, have these lists grown too long? Are there just too many TV shows ? Have we reached the peak of television?

    In 2015, the total number of scripted television series on broadcast networks, cable and streaming services has reached a new record. In a Los Angeles Times article, Julie Piepenkotter, executive vice president of research for FX Networks, said, “The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years.”

    While I do enjoy the onslaught of new show after new show and seemingly endless content, people in the television business stand fearful of what they have created. In that same article, FX Networks Chief Executive John Landgraf described the industry as being in a bubble and that we’ve reached “peak TV.”

    An article from Investopedia explained that industry bubbles occur when the market prices of assets far exceed those assets’ true value and these inflated values become unstable, eventually falling dramatically. But just what does that mean for the everyday Joe, for people who simply want to enjoy an episode of “Game of Thrones,” “Hannibal” or “Stranger Things”?

    As progress through our lists of things to watch, the shows that we haven’t gotten to miss out on our viewership. A television show rides on the backs of the people who watch it.

    There have been several instances of television shows being cancelled or cut early despite how well they were received. Cult favorites such as Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” or David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” have experienced the axe due to a lack of viewership.

    “Firefly” was a western space opera about a crew of former military turned outlaw after the loss of a decisive battle. Despite having won an Emmy and several other awards, the show  lasted onlyone season with many episodes un-aired.

    “Twin Peaks” was a serial drama from the 1990s about an FBI agent who traveled to the small town of Twin Peaks to investigate a murder. Rolling Stone, Time and many other magazines have listed “Twin Peaks” as one of the greatest television shows ever. However, the show lasted only a season and a half before being placed on hiatus.

    While I enjoyed “Westworld,” the shows I haven’t gotten to watch might be next on the chopping block. With a list as long as mine, I would have to say, “So long, partner,” to a lot of shows.

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    Editorial: Peak TV