In the next few months, you will have access to more content on your TVs and TVs than ever before. Apple TV + launches this week with a glamorous, standout cast of new shows – Jen! Reese! – and many more to come. In a few days you will be able to log on to Disney + and return with a $ 100 million addition to the Star Wars universe as well as a new version of Lady and the Tramp . But we're just warming up Next April, NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service called Peacock with Battlestar Galactica restarting from Mr. Sam Esmail on Robot as well as the reboot of Saved by the Bell and in May will be followed by HBO Max, which has announced more than a dozen new series, including the long-awaited Game of Thrones , this week. If Peak TV actually peaks, it won't happen anytime soon.
The good news is that if you like to have new things to watch, you will have many new things to watch – so many, in fact, that it may take some time to notice that much of it is not so great , The Golden Age of Television, the halcyon period that dates from the premiere of Sopranos in January 1999, is nearing some time, but as streamers are laying out their plans for the 21st [ThirdDecade19459027] it becomes clearer that it is well and truly over.
Like most of the golden age, television is a combination of prosperity and uncertainty. Television networks and their ever-conglomerating corporate parents were filled with money, but viewers began to move away from scripted programming and then away from their kits. (Last year, a fantasy series was the most watched thing on TV in 2003, and even with this highest rated show, NBC Sunday Night Football has less than two-thirds of its viewers turnover – the equivalent of a century.) Over the last few years, the explosion of streaming video has sent television ratings in freefall, but, especially when combined with the huge influx of money in Silicon Valley, it also gives rise to an era of unprecedented creative freedom, showing whose existence would be nev brazimo even a decade ago. Want to do a show about the transgender matriarch, who is also an in-depth study of Jewish identity? Here's some money. A sitcom for a washed-up television star who is also a cartoon horse who is also a portrait of chronic depression? Let's do this thing Musical for a woman struggling with mental illness? The lowest ratings in television history are damn, four seasons, not an episode less. A series for an aspiring rap manager who is barely influenced by surrealism? Another 18 hours from Twin Peaks ? What was Sense8 ? At a time when nobody knows what works, the answer is: Try everything.
But over the past year the dust has begun to settle and the landscape that is being revealed is well known. There is an Amazon canceling I Love Dick and One Mississippi because it deals in an expansion deal The Lord of the Rings . There is Netflix cutting off One Day During and OA as it signs the creators of Game of Thrones . As rebel rebels once prepare to fight traditional media companies, armed with decades of established hits (and no longer willing to license their past glories for anything less than the highest dollar), they behave a lot like entities who once sought to infringe, write nine-figure checks for big-name talent, and license all the intellectual property they can handle. The future of streaming is less Tuca & Bertie more Benioff & Weiss.
By this time next year, most of the world's largest media companies will have their own streaming networks and work and they will be aligned, not directly owned by some of the largest technology companies, most of which give annual subscriptions to sort their numbers and remind viewers who really runs the show. Year Apple TV + comes free with a new iPhone, AT&T customers already paying for HBO will receive free upgrades to HBO Max, Verizon gives its best customers a year on Disney +, and although details are still blurred, it's probably there. "There will be some synergy between Peacock and Comcast. As these content companies become more integral to their parent companies' overall strategies, the screws tighten. When AT&T acquired HBO, former CEO, John Stanki, announced that the network should think like "hours per day, not hours per week and not hours per month." HBO was profitable, but not profitable enough for its new owner, and while its well-known rigorous development process, you can fill the entire streaming network with the pilots only, HBO refused the cabbage on light – constantly giving good and often great show programs, AT&T wanted the next Game of Thrones . In fact, everyone wanted the next Game of Thrones despite the fact that "the next Game of Thrones ] 'Failed to emerge in eight years, as the latter may be a compelling argument that the days of this kind of only culture-unifying hit are well and truly fulfilled. (Remember, it was this rigorous development process that involved throwing away huge chunks of the original $ 10 million pilot that first produced Game of Thrones .)
Sometimes the rebellious streamers began to behave much like the entities that were intended to destroy .
This story is not unique to streaming or even entertainment. But the most convenient analogy is the transformation of Hollywood cinema. The studios wanted hits while movies existed, but as the pitch became more crowded and their audience instantly global, the studios put all their money in the same end of the betting table: more franchises, more restarts, more everything even with the unclear connection to the existing IP – TV show, board game, piece of bubblegum used, it doesn't matter as long as the name rings on some distant bell in the buried mind of the future viewer. The strategy is embodied by the Marvel cinematic universe, whose unprecedented dominance has changed the nature of filmmaking over the last 11 years, but now even the MCU is just a piece of the much larger puzzle sitting next to all of the Star Wars. movies and all Pixar movies and all Disney movies and all their endless possible spin. With its homogeneous sense and teasing after credits, MCU films have provided an experience similar to watching a sporadic, incredibly expensive television show. And now that they have made movies into television, they will help turn television into an MCU.
There will always be great television, just as there will always be great movies and great albums and great novels. And some of the lessons learned over the last decade, especially the decades of late awareness that people who are not straight white men, sometimes enjoy seeing themselves at the center of history, seem to stick for good. (Whatever the limitations of streaming entertainment, this is a killer app that allows niche audiences to demonstrate that they are not so niche after all.) But the atmosphere of all that allowed much of the Golden Age highlights on TV, is distracted as the ether fills with the sound of the money that counts. It is fortunate that one of the last projects that HBO completed before the march to the Max was the Deadwood: The Movie which ended one of the most painfully unfinished stories of the Golden Age. Set a decade after the original series, this is the story of the city of the Wild West, which has become significantly less wild, a settlement that is almost populated. It's a safer and even more profitable place than before, but it's also less interesting, the characters are a little less colorful. It's still a great place to hit it richly, but it's no longer exciting.