Network Television And The ‘Maestro’ Complex?

I just saw the rundown on what will be on network television this fall and let’s just say I am not pleased.  Most of the shows will either be sports or reality/game shows.  The level of creative thinking at the networks seems to center on only doing tried and true variations or remakes with no changes (even the names) from the 1980s.  They had all during the Writers’ and Actors’ Strike to come up with plans for great television.  Instead, they stuck to the crime-like, mob-related shows with a few comedies thrown in.  Do we really need that with what is on the news?  My question also is why is there a need for sports almost every night?  When there are no pro or college (and really a whole football season of only one conference), we get wrestling. 

I watched the new Doctor Who episode, “Maestro.”  Suddenly, I realized that we could apply that episode to network television.  In the episode, the Maestro character comes and steals all the music leaving the world a dull and void place.  The Doctor and Ruby find out what is happening when they visit the Beatles recording studio in 1963.  The songs that made the Beatles popular are replaced by a repetitive song about a dog.  Another studio is recording a different childhood song and the orchestra is recording “Three Blind Mice” (I believe). 

London is a sad place.  The world is also because Maestro has spread its lack of music to all quarters.  There are no residents on the street.  No music, whistles, or church bells ringing.  Maestro appears to the Doctor and Ruby when Ruby sings an original song.  Just for a moment, London had woken up as Ruby sang on the rooftops.  Maestro’s goal is to steal all music.  For the Earth, it means a nuclear winter.  For the universe, all “The Music of the Spheres” will be gone.  The universe is gone!  Of course, the Doctor and Ruby (with the help of John Lennon and Paul McCartney) find the right cord to play to defeat her and return music to the land.   Song and rhythm break out and happiness, dance, and joyful noise return.

This got me thinking of the programming I’ve seen listed.  Under 45% of all new shows on networks are scripted (or so they say) television.  The rest is sports, game shows, and reality.  Have we lost our creativity and imagination? Are we fast approaching the era of new imagination or originality?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure some people like crime shows but are we overdosing on it?  We have a steady stream of the same thing night in and night out.  The most original show I’ve seen is Ghosts and it’s an import from England.

I’m honest!  I love shows that make you question what is going on in the world around you.  I love a good romance that shows like Once Upon a Time gave us.  I love a mystery that doesn’t have a shooting every five minutes.  Maybe that’s why I found Wild Cards so enjoyable.  It was entertaining and witty.  More than anything else though, it took an old idea from Remington Steel and even Castle and gave it a new twist.  It just felt like the kind of program I would watch and I did.

I know originality is hard to find.  We’re losing that to AI and writing bots but the streaming shows have no problem finding original or book-based television.  They are stealing viewers because of the unique programming.  Network didn’t think people would flock to Bridgeton or Downtown Abbey.  Yet Bridgeton will have a new season on Netflix this year and Downtown Abbey is going back into production.

On another note.  Have we lost the sense of everyday life?  Could we do an original family-based program not based on Roseanne or an older show?  Has our life become so consumed with sports, computer games, and even dance that we’ve lost the joys of doing things as a family? 

This is all food for thought.  I will say with the rate of crime shows on national networks, I have often wondered if they are promoting the violence to such a level that it is spilling out into the population.  When guns appear before the credits run, it is a problem.  Are networks, like the Maestro of Doctor Who, trying to turn us from creativity to mind-numbing violence or pretend?  Don’t we get enough of that on the nightly news? 

My question is:  will networks have to shut their doors as more and more creative shows are showing up on Netflix, Disney+, Prime, Apple, etc.?  Have the minds of the populace only wanted violent crime shows?  Remember!  The best new programming from the Spring of 2024 with Wild Cards.  The CW in the past has always seemed to have the most unique programming with shows like RiverdaleSmallvilleDawson’s Creek , and even the DC comics.  Their president says the Fall schedule is not for all year.  He proved it by renewing Wild Cards for the Spring 2025 season.  Sure it is a crime series, but it was fun, creative, and made people smile.  Can you say that of some of the returning other network drama shows and will they buy a clue and make things more original? 

Say, that’s an idea.  Have a scripted show based on