Yes, shows don’t have to be hits to be interesting or to supply some valuable commentary. This locally conceived and produced talent show was certainly not the former, attracting quite dismal ratings and being cancelled after 2 weeks but in many ways it can be regarded as the latter. Everybody Dance Now exemplifies how “white noise” not only applies to blogs but to television as well especially in terms of local content competing with that of overseas and how television 2.0 is upon us, for better and for worse.
Like the web, television is a level-playing field in which the people choose from a spread of shows (sites) that occupy the same platform and only the best (most-viewed) survive. But TV is very different; for one thing not anyone can do it, it takes a whole series of pitches and interviews and filming and negotiations before anything appears on screen and there is much more involved; while websites can be built with a few pages of code by a few people, television is built on a whole foundation of money, time and effort to get it going and if it falls it falls hard.
Like the web it’s been so heavily digitalized by cable TV, digital channels and web services that there is much, much more to see and heavier competition. With more and more shows being produced there is more white noise; even the icons like The Simpsons and Mad Men are having to fend off competition to be heard above the noise but the most evident victim of this has been Australian content.
Networks have a choice of cheaply importing overseas TV content to air or produce original local content that is expensive and may struggle to compete content-wise and quality-wise with it’s international rivals, Channel 10 show Everybody Dance Now was the result of option B.
While quality is subjective, as far as attracting audience goes the show just didn’t do it; with viewing figures that even “SBS would frown upon” to quote from the Switched On liftout of the August 29 Herald Sun it was revamped after 1 week and cancelled after the next. It’s a cogent symbol of the democracy of TV (the fact that the show was cancelled even though the host is married to the boss of Channel 10) but more clearly the level of competition that truly exists now in the sea of options from the bustling TV 2.0 that threatens to leave a whole nation of programming behind, ours.