Is Our Patience Really Dead When It Comes to Trying New Shows?

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Here’s something to add to today’s conversation about how hard viewers can be expected to work when watching comedies. The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman argues that in a world with nearly 500 channels of options, “patience is dead.” If a show isn’t fully formed right out of the development womb, audiences and the network will drop it like a hot potato. As evidence, he offers up the incredibly low numbers of last year’s new scripted shows that were renewed this year: 2 out of 10 new shows on ABC, 3 out of 8 on CBS, 3 out of 7 on Fox, and only 1 out of 12 on NBC. In Goodman’s view, the pressure is on for shows to be amazing, immediately:

“The solution is pretty simple: Make better shows. And make them strong from the start. That fourth- or fifth-episode stride you’re talking about? That’s a fantasy. Chances are you’re dead by then, and you don’t even know it.”