Remote Destination – Waiting for the DVD?

I’ve had a real rough go this season. First Smith got the axe. Then Kidnapped. Then both The Nine and Six Degrees disappeared. And finally Daybreak got yanked. My hour long viewing took a hit and early.

But at the same time I’ve been enjoying Arrested Development, Futurama and Homicide: Life on the Streets on DVD. So I’m really considering waiting until I know that a show has a full season before investing time on it.

Smith was obviously an expensive show, considering the on camera talent, but I don’t think that anyone would argue that it wasn’t pulled too soon. Both The Nine and Six Degrees had plenty of time to catch on, but didn’t (and I honestly don’t really miss them all that much.) But Daybreak was intended for a short run and ABC didn’t even give it that.

For me, the fact that the networks are pulling the plugs on shows so soon seems like a good reason not to watch network television. I know if I watch a show on Showtime or HBO that I’m going to get a complete season. It might not have a second one, but I’ll get some degree of closure. The same thing with FX and TNT. But the networks aren’t offering that same guarantee, which makes their product a much riskier proposition.

I loved Kitchen Confidential but FOX didn’t really give the show a chance to find an audience. And I understand that it network television and pay cable are two different beasts, but why should a viewer investing time watching a show, when there’s a chance that it could be cancelled after two episodes? Can’t the networks see that such action is counterproductive? Especially in light of the egg FOX had on it’s face after canceling Family Guy.

Sometimes it takes time for an audience to find a show. I applaud NBC for sticking with The Office, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Friday Night Lights, threes shows which struggled in the beginning and one which has proven itself a success.

I guess my point is that I’m frustrated that shows are getting canceled (in my eyes) prematurely. And that I’m almost frustrated enough to not commit to a show until it’s entirety is available on DVD. What scares me is that, if more people “wait for the DVD” then who’s going to be watching the shows when they first air?

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