Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Peace of Mind: Arrested Development

I came across an interesting article at Slashdot today entitled, The Real Problem With Alexa. Although the author's banter on why Alexa sucks made for an entertaining read; there was one particular idea completely off the topic from Alexa or anything SEO related for that matter, (10th paragraph) which shed some light on a question I had been wondering about for a long time. The question being, "How does a funny and intelligent show like Arrested Development get canceled?"

...and so the 10th paragraph reads:

"This problem has parallels elsewhere of course: The Nielsen ratings struggle to account for PVRs. Since you got a TiVo, when was the last time you watched "Live" TV? This is part of why Science Fiction shows struggle on TV... scifi fans are early adopters. So we stopped getting counted and our favorite genres are butchered by networks and lost to the void. PVR users tend to be wealthy (those boxes are expensive) and educated. Now I'm not saying that the dumbing down of TV is exclusively the fault of Tivo, but it sure didn't help that we weren't being counted as excellent "Smart" TV shows get canceled while we keep getting more seasons of Survivor. Who we are and how we live causes us to not be counted, and this has unintended consequences."

I realize the above uses scifi as an example but I maintain the description of PVR users in the fifth sentence to hold true regarding the demographics of the Arrested Development fan base. There en-lies the answer I should have seen long ago; Arrested Development fans are simply too awesome for traditional media companies to comprehend/track with silly things like Nielsen ratings. As such, we're forced to find entertainment elsewhere... thank goodness for Dr. Gaius Baltar.

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