Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let's get some different settings for TV dramas

Since the advent of the television, different genres of dramas have dominated the airwaves for decades at a time. Believe it or not, there was a time when westerns dominated television. Yep, hour-longs featuring guys riding horses and shootouts in dusty western villages were all the rage.

Then something changed. I'm just guessing here as I wasn't born yet but the 1970s had to be the decade that changed it all. Television shows - dramas in particular - moved from the wild west to the big city. Out were the western dramas and in were the cop shows and medical dramas. These two genres of dramas really took hold in the 1980s but faded with a resurgence of sitcoms in the late-1980s and throughout the 1990s. Then, as the 20th century drew to a close, medical dramas and cop shows experienced a rebirth. Look at the television today and it's painfully obvious that those are essentially the only genres of televised dramas in existence.

They must work or else people wouldn't watch them but what about other settings for TV dramas? What else is being overlooked and are we nearing a point of total saturation in the cops and doctors genres?

COP SHOWS (crime dramas - in my recent memory)
CSI: Miami
CSI: New York
The Unit
The Forgotten
Law and Order
Law and Order: SVU
Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Law and Order: Trial by Jury
Law and Order: (I know there was a fifth one, HELP!)
Cold Case
Without a Trace

MEDICAL SHOWS (in my recent memory)
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
Three Rivers
Chicago Hope

Now when I can rattle that many off without the aid of Google, that says to me that television has a problem. Would it kill TV executives to try a drama about a time-traveling hot dog salesman or a drama about the very real drama surrounding the lives of restaurant workers and the tawdry affairs they land in while flirting with customers.

Come on, if I can come up with it someone else must have as well and with the sad state of one particular big broadcast network - ahem, NBC, there's opportunity for people to take chances because the last thing we need is another cop or doctor drama.

But the last thing the world needed a couple years ago was another photo blog but MinnPics it exists and practically flourishes today with its focus on photos from all corners of Minnesota.


Brandi said...

No additional Law & Orders but there was Homicide, where they got Munch for SVU. Also, an offshoot of the cop show would be the lawyer show, so you should add that to the list.

Reuben said...

ugh... best post ever. SOOOO bored with cop & medical dramas. I was never into them in the first place, so these days I just feel totally bludgeoned.

Sornie said...

I can't believe I forgot "Life on Mars" which tanked horribly on ABC last year and NCIS & NCIS: Los Angeles. I knew there had to be more cop shows.