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August 28th, 2003

Original Programming and Infotainment

Quick: when I mention The Weather Channel, what do you think of? Weather? Lots of maps? Finding out if it’s going to rain on your newly-washed car? Sure, sure, but what about… original programming?

I was amazed to hear, last year, that The Weather Channel had come up with its own programming in an attempt to, you know, gain ratings. I expect to turn on The Weather Channel, get weather, and then stop watching.

Now, ESPN wants a piece of the same pie with Playmakers, a “dramatic” series. Likewise, on the one or two times a year I turn on ESPN, I want sports news or analysis – and then I want to get out.

All of this points to even more “entermation” or, if you please, “infotainment.” So what can we expect next? I have a couple of ideas….

  • CNN unleashes “Behind the Headline News,” a reality show following its Headline News anchors around in their daily lives.
  • CSPAN launches “Extreme Government,” a hip new show that mixes the news from the day’s Congressional sessions with the latest hits from artists such as Eminem and Justin Timberlake.

Clearly, there’ll be no end to entertainment – even when we’re just trying to get some information. Sorry, gotta go check the weather – it’s in an exciting new game format, kind of like Tetris, and I have to put the blocks together before I can find out if it’s going to rain today!

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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