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P2P and TV

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the it's-going-to-change-everything dept.

Media 381

Khuffie writes "According to Wired, Warner Bros. Entertainment recently passed on a pilot of a show called Global Frequency. However, due to a leak on bit-torrent the pilot episode has reached thousands of viewers who are clamouring for more, and has given the show a new lease on life. What's more interesting is what the show creator learned. From the article: "It changes the way I'll do my next project," said Rogers. If he owned the full rights, he said, "I would put my pilot out on the internet in a heartbeat. Want five more? Come buy the boxed set." Frankly, I'm all for this method of distribution, as I barely watch 'regular' TV anymore."

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381 comments

More Stupidity! (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12932941)

Hoffman added that the pilot's unauthorized distribution is "unacceptable and illegal ... no matter what the underlying motives" and said the company hasn't ruled out taking legal action "when it comes to stopping the illegal distribution of our copyright material."

Quick! Cover it up! People aren't supposed to know we're rejecting the GOOD shows in favor of more idiocy! God forbid that a television network pander to an intelligent clientele. After all, you're all supposed to slurp up the low cost, low profit, low intelligence, but HIGH MARGIN reality shows! Who wants to worry about actually pleasing customers? Just pander to the stupidity! That's the ticket!

Gah. And television networks wonder why no one is tuning in anymore. It must be because there isn't enough stupidity. Bring on Big Brother on Survivor Island where the worst singer is voted into fear factor stunts! In Dolby 5.1 no less! That'll bring in the ratings!

Re:More Stupidity! (2, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | about 9 years ago | (#12933047)

Who do they intend to take legal action against? The Bittorent server owners? The BT sites? The downloaders?

Its pretty amazing how knee jerk and shortsighted execs can be.

Re:More Stupidity! (1)

pizzaman100 (588500) | about 9 years ago | (#12933261)

Who do they intend to take legal action against? The Bittorent server owners? The BT sites? The downloaders?

They take action against the people that offer the content. In the case of BT, that means you get busted for uploading.

And...? (1)

sczimme (603413) | about 9 years ago | (#12933100)


Quick! Cover it up! People aren't supposed to know we're rejecting the GOOD shows in favor of more idiocy! God forbid that a television network pander to an intelligent clientele. After all, you're all supposed to slurp up the low cost, low profit, low intelligence, but HIGH MARGIN reality shows! Who wants to worry about actually pleasing customers? Just pander to the stupidity! That's the ticket!

And what does any of that have to do with protection of copyrights? You know, the topic that Hoffman was actually addressing. For good or bad, copyrighted junk is still copyrighted.

Re:And...? (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12933178)

It was his reaction to the whole thing. Instead of pondering what this sudden influx of a fanbase for a non-existent show means, he jumps straight to the "cover it up through force" method.

In other words, I'm not really talking about copyrights. Then again, neither is Mr. Hoffman. ;-)

Re:And...? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 years ago | (#12933258)

There should be NO protection for works that are never published. This pilot is more like a trade secret than some creative work.

This should be true in general. Any work that an "owner" is not interested in exploiting for commercial gain should be strictly PD. None of this nonsense about locking up masterpieces in a vault to rot away.

Re:More Stupidity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933146)

Just pander to the stupidity! That's the ticket!

Hey as long as the stupidity includes nudity [popealien.com] count me in!

Re:More Stupidity! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933151)

I'm skeptical about the motives of this "accidental" leak.

I figure it was intentional, and the studio execs are clamouring to create more "buzz" about it.

Worked for firefly.. subpar series gets a boost from "underground" sources.. people spread word of mouth without ever having seen the show, drunk in their own media power.

You forgot... (1)

brakk (93385) | about 9 years ago | (#12933196)

The winner gets to work for The Donald, and it's in HDTV.

Re:More Stupidity! (5, Insightful)

ghislain_leblanc (450723) | about 9 years ago | (#12933214)

You seem to have mixed up your role in this whole thing.

You are not the customer, you are the product. Advetisers are the customers, they are buying your attention (what's left of it) and the TV networks are selling it.

Re:More Stupidity! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12933259)

As I understand it, the teenage/young adult market (i.e. The Star Trek market) is one of the most profitable markets in Television. The key with the reality shows is that they're less able to attract those high-profitability markets, but they accept less risk and higher margins. (Which is different from higher profits, BTW.)

Re:More Stupidity! (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#12933228)

Who wants to worry about actually pleasing customers? Just pander to the stupidity! That's the ticket!
Viewers aren't the customers, they're the product. The networks do care about pleasing their real customers, the advertisers. I would guess that advertisers, in general, prefer stupidity -- it makes it easier to get idiots to buy their products.

Then how is the production funded? (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 9 years ago | (#12932944)

You're watching no ads. I'm not sure you realize how much money advertising brings to the table here.

Want five more? Come buy the boxed set.

You mean pay in advance for the boxed set that doesn't exist yet? Yeah, the kind of people hell-bent on pirating shows will do that. Even the ones who claim they'd "pay" for good content (How much? Ten or twenty dollars? Beyond which they'll just go back to BitTorrent again?). And no one's going to finance a project like this, since you've got no proven paying viewership.

Look, guys: we all realize that P2P has legitimate applications. But these desperate attempts to somehow "prove" that P2P is somehow the most desirable distribution mechanism are getting tiresome. And even in this case, Warner Brothers owns this content (though I'm not even going to touch on the legality of copyright infringement, since so many here already either believe copyright is inherently wrong, or that copyright is okay when its used by projects they approve of, but "wrong" when a corporation uses it).

Frankly, I'm all for this method of distribution, as I barely watch 'regular' TV anymore.

Well bully for you.

What do you watch, then? Shows whose production counts on the advertising revenue associated with the show? No, you don't have to watch the advertising, and yes, you can go to the bathroom during the commercials. But the advertisers are paying to be in front of X number of peoples' eyes. And if that goes away, how does your well-produced show get, well, produced?

I'm not saying there are NO alternatives; just that it's more than a little hypocritical to completely discount where the money came from to pay for these shows you're downloading.

Now, if someone who creates and owns the content wants to distribute on P2P and try to drum up interest that way, go for it. But I highly doubt the kind of entitlement crowd that downloads everything for free is going to be willing to pay to support ongoing production of such an operation. Some money? Aboslutely, sure. The kind of money that is ANYWHERE NEAR the kind needed to support the ongoing production of such an operation? Absolutely not.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12933021)

You're watching no ads. I'm not sure you realize how much money advertising brings to the table here.

There's nothing stopping Internet distribution from including ads. Sure, some people will remove them, but the majority wouldn't bother. There are also other models that can be explored, such as BitTorrent-like streaming where the final file is really not accessable to the user.

Want five more? Come buy the boxed set.

This is the "first hit free" model. It's based on the idea that most people aren't going to bother running around trying to find another free hit. They'll just pay for it. There will always be a small group trying to game the system, but they are insignificant.

Reading the article, my gut feeling is that this is nothing more than a grass-roots effort to get a show into production. Just like the fan-base of FireFly was built through BitTorrent, so will the fan-base of this show be build. I don't think it really has anything to do with the P2P aspect other than the fact that P2P technology was used for distribution. Similar things happened prior to the Internet with leaked tapes, whereupon copies upon copies were made.

Just because . . . (1)

QMO (836285) | about 9 years ago | (#12933255)

"This is the "first hit free" model."

Just because it made the guys at ID Software great thumping wads of cash . . .

Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

poena.dare (306891) | about 9 years ago | (#12933053)

The kind of money that is ANYWHERE NEAR the kind needed to support the ongoing production of such an operation? Absolutely not.

I was pondering this as I was not illegally not downloading something that was not a GF mpg. How much does one episode of a show like that cost?

And by cost, I mean the cost of the show minus the advertising and administrative overhead.

Just curious.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | about 9 years ago | (#12933241)

I think you could safely float the number around $1M, and it could go up or down another few hundred thousand depending on production values, method of shooting, actors etc. You can definitely do an episode for much cheaper than that, but then the question is where you're going to cut your costs, and how that changes the overall quality. Administrative overhead eats quite a lot of any budget, but some of it is actually important work being done...

Re:Then how is the production funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933064)

Shut up already. How about you get off of your high horse and do something other than just shoot down everyone else's ideas. You sure sound like you work in Hollywood...

Re:Then how is the production funded? (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 9 years ago | (#12933072)

Assume just a million people pay 10 bucks a piece for your DVD set of 5 shows (i.e. 1 DVD).
You are looking at a gross of 10 million dollars. You only pay taxes on the profits. So first take off your costs. Actors- Figure 50k per episode for the Stars and 10k per episode for all bit actors. But they might go for a percentage of the gross. Techs- Figure another 100k per episode for editors, etc.
Music- Another 100k per episode. Costumes and Sets- 300k one time setup plus 10k per episode- so say another 60k per episode.
Easily 200k per episode profits after the cost of producing quality dvd's. Take off 50% for the government and you have 500k profits.
---
Part of the reason it is expensive now is that you are paying for a HUGE overhead of hollywood, distributers, and local outlets. All of that expense goes away.
---
Check out "Star Wreck" or "Star Trek the new Voyages" for an idea of what you can do with merely 15 grand- upscale that by about 500 grand and imagine how much better it would be.
---
A lot of junk will be produced- but a lot of good stuff too. Once you build up street cred that you won't rip people off- you produce a "pilot" and put it out. Tell folks "The nut for this is 500,000 viewers at 20 bucks a piece. If we get it- we will produce 5 episodes on DVD for those folks. We'll make another 6 episodes as long as the actors and the audience can agree on a price for more. We'll stop when they can't agree."
---
The cost of making things like this is dropping like a stone. You don't need 150 million dollars to do it if you don't go through hollywood.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 9 years ago | (#12933175)

Assume just a million people pay 10 bucks a piece

Just a million?

Just a million?

I think you vastly overestimate the number of people you could get on board for something done exclusively in the non-advertising, P2P panacea you envision.

Even the article [wired.com] used for this supposedly shining example says:

"Now I have an extra 10,000 hits a week on my website, and I've got to figure out what to do here."

Rogers, who said he had nothing to do with the leak, has already received 350 e-mails from people praising the show. He said he would like to release the pilot as a DVD.


Wow, a whole 350 people emailing praise? Holy smokes! And assuming all those people would pay, only $9,996,500 to go! And 10,000 extra hits a week? How do you quantify all this stuff? More realistically, you've got maybe 10,000 people willing to pay $10/show, lowering your gross by a couple orders of magnitude.

It's easy to lay out a best-case scenario.

What's hard is for someone to actually execute on it. And, P2P aside, if it were that easy, it would already have been done.

I'd love to see it succeed, and I'm sure some will. However, none of this justifies any of the rationalizations used for taking things funded by advertising in the meantime.

Already tried & failed (4, Informative)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | about 9 years ago | (#12933266)

We'll make another 6 episodes as long as the actors and the audience can agree on a price for more. We'll stop when they can't agree.

Stephen King tried it. He started a new book and gave the first chapter away for free, putting subsequent chapters up for sale; when enough people bought a chapter he would write & publish the next one (all on-line). It was a dismal failure: the second chapter was bought by few and re-distributed by many; as a result, chapter three was never published. Author and audience couldn't agree on merely chapter 2.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 9 years ago | (#12933093)

Exactly...my first thought was 'gee wonder how he'll feel when 1 person *buys* his boxed set, and the other 10,000 download it for free?'"

With all the lawsuits and shouting on both sides of the copyright issue, it's hard to see how things will shake out. But something's gotta give, that much is clear.

If 'free' OTA TV goes away, is the HBO/Showtime model the right one? pay for everything? or do we come up with a free, 'trailers' channel that people can watch when they want or not, that shows the 'hip new' shows that will be coming out?

The ride will certainly be intersting for the next few years ;-)


Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about 9 years ago | (#12933155)

Exactly...my first thought was 'gee wonder how he'll feel when 1 person *buys* his boxed set, and the other 10,000 download it for free?'"

I'd buy the boxed set. I'm not really interested in spending hours downloading something over the internet and tying up my hard disk space when I can buy it at Amazon or rent it from Netflix in 30 seconds and have it show up in may mailbox.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933123)

"I'm not sure you realize how much money advertising brings to the table here." It is so cool that you, as an IT worker at a University in Wisconsin, have a much better idea than an actual television producer about the scope of television advertising revenue. You tell 'em how it is, friend.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933173)

Exactly. This guy's a bigger moron than the people he's bitching about.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 9 years ago | (#12933213)

Oh? Then please tell me, brilliant ACs, where the money comes from to produce a show that costs, say $500,000 to produce a 30-minute episode.

It doesn't fall out of the sky. But, since you haven't got any actual rebuttal, and since you know that the money comes from ADVERTISING, I guess this is about all I should expect.

Re:Then how is the production funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933220)

"...what do you watch then?"

I don't. I have other things to do that I enjoy more... like playing hackysack, juggling, playing guitar, playing a game (board, video, computer, etc.)...

Re:Then how is the production funded? (1)

Morosoph (693565) | about 9 years ago | (#12933230)

You mean pay in advance for the boxed set that doesn't exist yet? Yeah, the kind of people hell-bent on pirating shows will do that. Even the ones who claim they'd "pay" for good content (How much? Ten or twenty dollars? Beyond which they'll just go back to BitTorrent again?). And no one's going to finance a project like this, since you've got no proven paying viewership.
This is pretty ridiculous, since there's pretty good feedback that there's a lot of demand. Maybe not as many as there are downloaders, but pretty healthy demand all the same. Your position is as cynical as those that you attempt to characterise. Just because some file-sharers are freeloaders doesn't mean that all of them are, and "no proven paying viewership" is simply lack of imagination. Often even a small percentage of paying viewers will justify further investment, which you can deduce from good educated guesswork backed with statistics about comparable efforts, or less comparable efforts with a large margin of error. No new product could ever come to market, given your reasoning.

Myself, I don't download films nowadays. I lost interest; my interest in this issue is political.

Look, guys: we all realize that P2P has legitimate applications. But these desperate attempts to somehow "prove" that P2P is somehow the most desirable distribution mechanism are getting tiresome. And even in this case, Warner Brothers owns this content (though I'm not even going to touch on the legality of copyright infringement, since so many here already either believe copyright is inherently wrong, or that copyright is okay when its used by projects they approve of, but "wrong" when a corporation uses it).
The point being raised isn't directly about right and wrong: it's about how release of copyright material helps to create a market. Right and wrong is a separate issue, to be resolved according how you think that property rights are justified.


I have a couple of JEs that might interest you:

http://slashdot.org/~Morosoph/journal/108744 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/~Morosoph/journal/100704 [slashdot.org]

Two words: (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#12932976)

Viral marketing

Re:Two words: (1)

verbal (24849) | about 9 years ago | (#12933099)

Viral ok, but marketing?
What if the content wasn't as good? Then it wouldn't be viral anyway. So this viral marketing only works for products that sell themselves?

And Paramount's response? (4, Insightful)

schon (31600) | about 9 years ago | (#12932977)

Legal posturing.

This is *precisely* why Copyright law needs an overhaul. The supposed goal of copyright law is "to promote science and the useful arts".

How is allowing a company to stop this from seeing the light of day a promotion?

If you make something, and don't release it, you shouldn't be allowed to stop someone else from distributing it for no charge.

Re:And Paramount's response? (1, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#12933032)

How is allowing a company to stop this from seeing the light of day a promotion?

Because they paid for it and most likely own the license for it, they get to say what they want to do with it. By your logic say I create Awesome-o-matic(tm), just because it's good people can take it and give it to people for free? I dont effing think so.

The choice of what to do with it is in the hands of the creator, not what the masses want.

Re:And Paramount's response? (4, Interesting)

m50d (797211) | about 9 years ago | (#12933117)

Did you even read the post you replied to? The only legal basis for *copyright* is to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. So if people taking your Awesome-o-matic would in the long run promote science and the useful arts more than letting you keep and sell it, that's what should be done. If you don't like it you can move somewhere else, because that's the *constitution*.

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

Andrew Cady (115471) | about 9 years ago | (#12933140)

How is allowing a company to stop this from seeing the light of day a promotion?
Because they paid for it and most likely own the license for it, they get to say what they want to do with it
Answer the question. How is that promotion of the arts?

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#12933201)

Answer the question. How is that promotion of the arts?

Answer: The studio obviously thought it was crap so they shelved it as to not promote crap in the arts.

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

Soybean47 (885009) | about 9 years ago | (#12933186)

No, he's saying that if you create your Awesome-o-matic(tm), and then decide to never let anyone see or use it, it should be ok for people to make copies (not take it from you) and give them away for free. Creating things and hiding them in your basement is not within the spirit of copyright laws.

Many people would be extremely upset if a private collector bought the Mona Lisa or some other piece of famous artwork and wouldn't let people look at it. There's a general sense that these paintings should be available for people to see.

In the same way, the Global Frequency pilot should be available for people to see. I'm not going to try to pretend that it's fine art, but it's damn good TV!

Er... I mean... I assume it's good TV. Since there is no legal way for me to see it, I'm obviously just assuming this based on what I've heard.

Re:And Paramount's response? (4, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 9 years ago | (#12933221)

Way to totally misunderstand the GP.

He's just saying that if the point of copyright is to encourage more content to be created and released (which it is), then we should consider the copyright system a bit broken if it causes large amounts of good stuff to get suppressed. It's possible that tweaking the copyright system would result in more content getting created and released, which would make it better. GP said nothing about giving stuff away for free.

The choice of what to do with it is in the hands of the creator, not what the masses want.

The construct of "intellectual property" is created by the masses for their own benefit. If it happens to benefit creators, that's great. If the creators get in the way of benefit for the masses, fuck 'em. Copyright is about benefitting society; that the best method of instituting it happens to help out the creators in most cases is incidental. The system can help creators a bunch, that's fine, but the second that interferes with the benefits for the masses it needs to change, because that's not why the masses invented copyright. The creator can choose not to release anything at all; however, if they do release and then seek copyright protection, society better damn well better be getting something out of it for granting them such protection.

We're talking about optimization here. Best possible good for the masses. Odds are the solution gives the creators of content a pretty damn good deal, too, but that's just a happy coincidence.

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 9 years ago | (#12933243)


The choice of what to do with it is in the hands of the creator, not what the masses want.

Unless the masses decide to ignore the laws enforcing the creator's rights, which seems to be the case at present.

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

yotto (590067) | about 9 years ago | (#12933250)

By your logic say I create Awesome-o-matic(tm), just because it's good people can take it and give it to people for free? I dont effing think so.

The choice of what to do with it is in the hands of the creator, not what the masses want.


Actually, it's more like you create the Awesome-o-matic(tm), show the plans to the Awesome Company, they say they're not going to make it. Furthermore, they say that due to the fact that you went to them with the product, they aren't going to let you produce it at all.

But hey, what's with a few split hairs?

Promotion of science/arts (1)

mopslik (688435) | about 9 years ago | (#12933281)

The choice of what to do with it is in the hands of the creator, not what the masses want.

<devil's adovcate>

If the oil companies hired somebody to create for them a vehicle that would get obscene gas mileage, leak near-zero emissions, and cost only a few hundred dollars, and they prevented it from seeing the light of day, would the argument be the same?

</devil's adovcate>

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 9 years ago | (#12933126)

How is allowing a company to stop this from seeing the light of day a promotion?

Because if they didn't have the right to stop this, they wouldn't have paid to create it in the first place.

If you make something, and don't release it, you shouldn't be allowed to stop someone else from distributing it for no charge.

I could agree with that after a certain length of time, but not immediately. It could be a whole new business model... Get funding from a studio for a pilot, make something good that they couldn't possibly accept, and sell it on DVD instead. Free money...

Re:And Paramount's response? (1)

Bronz (429622) | about 9 years ago | (#12933207)


"If you make something, and don't release it, you shouldn't be allowed to stop someone else from distributing it for no charge."

*shrugs* I kind of like living in a world where people can't force me to share something I own. We all learned in kindergarten how important sharing is, but I don't feel the government needs to be involved to enforce it. A TV show is neither science nor a useful art. It is entertainment. If entertainment falls under "useful art" then anything qualifies as useful, as everything is entertianing to someone, somewhere.

Heh (4, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#12932978)

Frankly, I'm all for this method of distribution, as I barely watch 'regular' TV anymore.

Only on slashdot is stealing* encouraged and applauded when it involves Television, music, and movie copyrights, but God forbid anybody violates the GPL.

*Yes i know it's not technically stealing.

Re:Heh (3, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | about 9 years ago | (#12933082)

*Yes i know it's not technically stealing.

I can't believe you would murder* someone for copyright infringement.

*Yes, I know it's not technecally murder.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933147)

*Yes, I know it's not technecally murder.

You illegally parked the word "technecally". Just so you know.

Re:Heh (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | about 9 years ago | (#12933122)

There's a number of distinction between the two, one being that you can pretty much only violate the GPL for profit. Downloading Global Frequency doesn't make me any money.

So don't try to oversimplify the discussion. Leave that shit to 24 hr news channels.

Try a remedial course in reading (1)

FreeUser (11483) | about 9 years ago | (#12933132)

Frankly, I'm all for this method of distribution, as I barely watch 'regular' TV anymore.

Only on slashdot is stealing* encouraged and applauded when it involves Television, music, and movie copyrights, but God forbid anybody violates the GPL.

*Yes i know it's not technically stealing.


Good Lord, your statement is so full of holes it must either be a troll or a sign of a one-digit IQ.

First, distributing a copy of a pilot that is destined for the dustbin isn't even the moral equivelent of jaywalking, much less "stealing", regardless of its legality.

Second, the quote you so misrepresented was, when taken in context, clearly not lauding the illegal sharing of said file (despite the fact that said sharing has demonstrably helped the project), it was lauding the notion of releasing pilots on the internet and selling the series as a DVD-set in place of broadcasting it on telelvision.

This is the model that could eliminate the cultural middlemen (the broadcast industry) that has created a vast cultural wasteland where art and creativity should be flourishing, an dinstead allow artists to bring their creations directly to the appreciative citizen.

That is what was being lauded, and everyone with the exception of the monopolist cartels you are shilling stands to benefit from it.

Re:Try a remedial course in reading (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#12933168)

If it's destined for the dustbin that's where it should go, ITS NOT YOUR CHOICE. It's the studio's choice in the matter. You dont have any right(s) to watch it.

Re:Heh (1)

Jjeff1 (636051) | about 9 years ago | (#12933144)

For the same reason people still remember Robin Hood and his legend of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor*

*whatever the actual truth about Robin Hood, this is what people remember.

Re:Heh (1)

I am the blob (239590) | about 9 years ago | (#12933154)

The reason the GPL exists is because copyright law, as it exists today, is broken. Yes, the GPL uses copyright to its advantage, but only to serve the ultimate purpose: To allow all information to be freely distributed for the benefit of mankind.

But don't worry about the details, just keep framing it as hypocrisy.

Re:Heh (1)

m50d (797211) | about 9 years ago | (#12933166)

Distributing TV/music/movies in violation of copyright = making more free copies of things. Violating the GPL = stopping people making more free copies of things. Supporting the former but not the latter is only inconsistent if you're under the misapprehension that I give a fuck about the law.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933167)

Only on slashdot is stealing* encouraged and applauded when it involves Television, music, and movie copyrights, but God forbid anybody violates the GPL.

The first involves "free" access to what is intended to be a commercial product.

The second involves maintaining "free" access to what was originally a "free" product.

I fail to see how you would find the relationship between two things surprising.

Re:Heh (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 years ago | (#12933238)

What market they're for is beside the point. The point is they're both protected by copyright, but Slashdotters have no problem violating the former.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933193)

It's not "only on slashdot," it's on Groklaw, too. Idealism was the "in" thing in high school, boys and girls, but you're 19 now and it's time to start thinking like adults. Perhaps reading about the real issues and their real implications would be a good place to start. Here's a little hint, though: Slashdot is the absolute last place you should look if it's truth, correct spelling and grammar, and relevant information you seek. The editors here are the same kind of profit-mongering corporate bastards that run record and movie companies, and they make millions on you reading this crap and posting your "thoughts" about it. You hate those people, remember?

Yeah right...a "leak" on bit torrent (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12932987)

I hate it when things accidentally get uploaded onto a computer and then leaked out on bit torrent completely accidentally.
No sireee bob, no humans were involved in this "leak"...it was all accidental

What a bunch of Greedy Bastards (1, Interesting)

dankasfuk (885483) | about 9 years ago | (#12932992)

This 'leak' has produced a fanbase before this show has any possibility of airing, in effect creating a market for it (not to mention its being posterd on /.) This has the potential to generate WB a small fortune on a project they would have otherwise scrapped; and all they ccan do is complain about how it was a theft of intelectual property. If I remember correctly, once you throw something out, its fair game ;)

Re:What a bunch of Greedy Bastards (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#12933109)

Is it me or do WB shows have a life span of 2 seasons at most? They should beg people to download their stuff, come with free virus scanners and games.

Teetering on the brink (1, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 years ago | (#12932996)

But that didn't stop someone from leaking the pilot on the internet. The file eventually found its way into the BitTorrent network.
Over the last couple of weeks, enough people have downloaded and viewed the pilot online to give producers hope that TV executives might take a second look at the show.
Advertising:
One way to save.
But legal standing?
Really quite grave
Wherein lies SCOTUS, and ol'
Burma Shave

It makes you wonder... (4, Interesting)

EvilStein (414640) | about 9 years ago | (#12933004)

How many really cool TV show pilots are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, never to be seen by the public?

Why? Corporate interests? Copyrights? It's sad how copyright law lets something be shoved under the carpet like that.

I'd like to see media companies do something cool: if the product is no longer generating revenue, turn it loose on the web. Maybe that's just a dream, because they're hoping TV Land will pay royalties to air old TV shows, so since there's a *potential* revenue stream, the shows sit on the shelf.

Hey, here's another idea. Put the pilots on the web, and have a contest to see which one folks like best. *gasp* Imagine that! Having the *viewing public* help you pick out what shows to work on next! Oh, the humanity!

Re:It makes you wonder... (1)

Aerog (324274) | about 9 years ago | (#12933079)

It's brilliant! A reality show where you follow a number of producers, racing to get a pilot out to the networks. Then, the viewing audience can vote on the best shows, which will be turned into series! Sell the rest on a DVD of the reality show, and you make two times the money! If the show works, they can start cancelling some of the crap out there (maybe start with all the rest of the 'reality' shows) and replace them with what the audience voted for.

Plus, the audience then feels a link to the shows on TV from the get-go because they helped it get on the air!

Re:It makes you wonder... (1)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | about 9 years ago | (#12933111)

Do a search for "Heat Vision and Jack", and download the pilot for best show you'll never see. Directed by Ben Stiller, starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Christine Taylor (and a certain evil government agent who also doubles as a B-movie actor). Friggin' hilarious.

Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Heat Vision And Jack (1)

PaxTech (103481) | about 9 years ago | (#12933145)

Reminds me of "Heat Vision and Jack". It was an unproduced pilot created and directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jack Black as an ex-astronaut who is super smart under sunlight and his talking motorcycle Heat Vision voiced by Owen Wilson.

If not for Bittorrent, I'd never have seen it. I bet most people haven't even heard of it. It's funny because everyone involved is really famous now.. It's like an artifact from an alternate reality.

Re:Heat Vision And Jack (1)

Cylix (55374) | about 9 years ago | (#12933237)

I thought Heat Vision and Jack was aired on the tv fun house stuff. Ben Stiller even came back and did the whole master piece theatre intro.

Yeah it was fairly funny, but it didn't seem like a pilot as it was just a bit out there.

Re:It makes you wonder... (1)

Cylix (55374) | about 9 years ago | (#12933184)

Makes you wonder just how many are out there right now.

I can count about 6 unaired shows sitting here in the office. That is of course what we get as a broadcast affialite and those shows made the "probably going to air" cut. However, we don't get things like Global Frequency which were nixed off the bat.

I can't say many of them catch my eye though, but the pilot to Fearless wasn't bad.

Torrent (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933010)

Torrent of mentioned show [thepiratebay.org] .

The future of Podcasting here? (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#12933014)

I think guy now "gets it" - he doesn't *need* the studios anymore. Get some funding, put together a pilot and a few episodes, and then do it himself. He could sell DVDs. He could do it via hostageware (until X amount of money or DVDs are sold, we won't make any more). He could make it, get it popular, then have a major network pick it up. Tell people that if he can raise X amount of money he can film a pilot episode (and if they're someone such as the producer/director of "Firefly" or "Battlestar Gallactica", maybe the fans would do it - look how much people raised to try and save "Star Trek").

Makes you wonder if Podcasting might not take this route. I once listened to the "Catholic Insider" (not because I'm Catholic, mind you, but I liked his reporting on the death on the last Pope), and he had a joke Podcast about podcasting in the future - where people all around the world online edit the video, set up production, then distribute it online with the ads built in (or people pay for certain individual content).

It's rather optimistic, and I'm not saying the major networks will "go away", but if gentlemen such as this guy can go "Woah - wait - now I have an option on how to promote my work", then there's a chance that it will bring a new level of pressure onto the networks. Which would mean more competition. And that is always good for the customer (I don't like using the word "consumer" for myself, sorry).

Of course, this is all just my opinion. I could be totally wrong. But I hope not.

Re:The future of Podcasting here? (1)

Popageorgio (723756) | about 9 years ago | (#12933112)

But could all that come anywhere close to the audience and ad revenues from a regular TV broadcast?

Okay, granted [buzzmachine.com] .

Re:The future of Podcasting here? (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#12933161)

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe not for another 10 years until broadband is nearly universal. But it would be interesting to see. I mean, evidently this show has been seen 10,000 times just on bootleg. If it had been legally P2P'ed and promoted at all (some Google ads, ad on Slashdot, CNN, etc) maybe it could have gotten 100,000 viewers. If the pilot got that many viewers, they could put in ads and raise some cash, offer DVD sales, hook into a forum with Google ads - who knows?

Maybe not as much as the WB could have given them, but on the other hand, maybe in time it will. We'll just have to wait and see.

Re:The future of Podcasting here? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#12933138)

Get some funding, put together a pilot and a few episodes, and then do it himself.

gosh, it all sounds so simple when you put it like that

I wonder wht no-one ever thought of it before

oh yeah, the "get some funding" part

Re:The future of Podcasting here? (3, Interesting)

Ironsides (739422) | about 9 years ago | (#12933139)

How about we take a cue from the home theatre market? Direct to Video productions? Screw the movie theatres and the major networks, just release the episodes directly to DVD and make money that way.

devil's advocate (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | about 9 years ago | (#12933205)

>I think guy now "gets it" - he doesn't *need* the studios anymore. Get
>some funding, put together a pilot and a few episodes, and then do it
>himself.

Where will he get funding without a studio?

Re:The future of Podcasting here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933211)

Right now we're proving we don't need corporations. We don't need money. This can become a commune where everyone just helps each other.

Yeah, we'll have one guy who like, who like, makes bread. A-and one guy who like, l-looks out for other people's safety.

And another guy who makes podcast shows. And another guy who makes TV shows.

"finally bring us into the 20th century" (1)

Aerog (324274) | about 9 years ago | (#12933017)

And not a moment too soon, I say. Right now, the only reason I pay for cable is that it's bundled with DSL and I keep telling myself I'll find out how to stream from it some day. Other than that, it's Bittorrent all the way, and when something comes out that's worthwhile (Firefly, Dr. Who, Harvey Birdman, ...) I'll buy the DVDs. The question is if this is more or less profitable for the studios. People will pirate things so just throw an episode or two up there, wait a few months for distribution, and BAM. Box Set. Lose the ad revenue, gain the DVD revenue. It won't work for everything, but that could have something to do with so much TV being crap. Can't hurt to try it with a few more things.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to download some Global Frequency...

It makes sense (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | about 9 years ago | (#12933018)

Think about it. You've got a pilot. It wasn't picked up for whatever reason. Maybe the show was bad, maybe it didn't fit what the network wanted. You're left with one episode of a show for which about the only use left is taking a minute and a half out and using it in a Best TV Shows That Never Were special. So as there isn't any money left in it, why not give away the pilot? Worst case scenario is there's just more crap on the Internet. On the other hand, if it's something the network didn't really understand, you have the potential to generate a fanbase for the show and get it picked up or at the very least it's something the people involved with can point to as something they've done.

Re:It makes sense (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about 9 years ago | (#12933257)

It's good strategy, but given the current legal stance of the entertainment industry regarding P2P, it would be career suicide for anybody to admit to doing it.

Amen, brotha!! (3, Insightful)

75th Trombone (581309) | about 9 years ago | (#12933029)

It's mind boggling to me that things like this don't put big, green, opaque dollar signs in the eyes of studio execs everywhere.

Even without effective DRM, studios could be raking in the cash RIGHT NOW via any number of online distribution methods. Yes, there would still be piracy, but it would convert at least SOME of it into dollars. RIGHT NOW!! If they want to keep pursuing DRM then fine, but they're losing money right now. What more incentive do they need??

Re:Amen, brotha!! (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | about 9 years ago | (#12933274)

It's mind boggling to me that things like this don't put big, green, opaque dollar signs in the eyes of studio execs everywhere.

Actually I'm becoming less suprised every single time. TV execs are the least imaginative people in the world. These are people's who job it is to homogenize everything that's put in front of them to make it palatable and sellable to the most people possible.

Has anyone else realized that the new trend in TV seems to be crime dramas with female leads who are "profilers" of some kind. I mean airing right now or premiering soon we have.

1. The Inside
2. The Closer
3. Medium
4. Wanted
5. Bones

These are all essentially the same show. Not to mention they all have "punchy" one word titles.

Ad Revenue (1)

VeganBob (888165) | about 9 years ago | (#12933037)

It won't happen until networks can find a suitable sublement for ad revenue. TV commercials generate a good portion of TV entertainment's funding. Commercialized torrents? ...I would pay to see that.... yeah right.

Agreed, We Need More Geek TV (1)

LegendOfLink (574790) | about 9 years ago | (#12933049)

Frankly, I'm all for this method of distribution, as I barely watch 'regular' TV anymore.

The only two channels I watch are the Discovery channel, and the Cartoon Network (Adult Swim). There is a definite need for more intelligent programming, other than the garbage that American Idol, The Crapelor, or whatever shi'ite that the big networks decide are "good" for the masses.

Then again, the morons that watch this crap raise the ratings, and the networks follow the new trends. Maybe this leads back to education. Educate people more, make them less stupid, and maybe we could get higher quality programming that would actually be enjoyable (as opposed to "reality tv").

He Could use P2P (1)

Bryan_W (649785) | about 9 years ago | (#12933059)

Or he could use Google Video [google.com]

I remember this (1)

deanc (2214) | about 9 years ago | (#12933073)

I have the first issue of this comic from when it came out. Great premise, good art, but I was unimpressed with the story and writing, and I had no desire to follow up on it. The comic thought it was much deeper than it actually was.

That said, this probably translates a lot better to television.

http://forum.testking.com/ was hacked. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933077)

http://forum.testking.com/ [testking.com] was hacked.
Offtopic, I know.

Re:http://forum.testking.com/ was hacked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933110)

No, script kiddies either found an existing flaw in their message board system that they bought, or easily found the admins password.

Stop using the word "hacking" so easily.

The Long Tail (3, Interesting)

Andrew Cady (115471) | about 9 years ago | (#12933096)

I hope we've all read The Long Tail [wired.com] by now.

This is the end of advertising-sponsored media -- not Tivo or illegal torrent downloading. Advertising-based media, which always must seek the largest audience possible for every program, simply cannot compete once broadcast distribution is no longer a scarce commodity. The larger the target audience, the lower the quality.

The full implications of the long tail are astounding, once you really work them out. Imagine the end of huge movie stars, of "hits", of fame in entirety -- it will simply not be profitable -- imagine what that would mean, in any medium! How will we decide what to watch, listen to, or read when there is nobody who can make money deciding for us?

Loose lips... (1)

aldeng (804728) | about 9 years ago | (#12933106)

Unfortunately, he has now been blackballed.

Fund$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933108)

"Want five more? Come buy the boxed set."

How are you going to get the money to make 5 more if the show never airs?? If you can just solve that one problem, network tv will be dead pretty soon in favour of online distribution. Slashdot rejoice!

Frustrated (1)

BioCS.Nerd (847372) | about 9 years ago | (#12933119)

Given that everyone and their dog is downloading TV shows or movies now, wouldn't it make more sense for these studio types to get the jump on the market instead of jumping on the law suit bandwagon?

Do you all remember the /. discussions when MP3 lawsuits started picking up? Everyone was saying they wanted a legal service, and they'd pay $0.99/track. Now people are saying the same thing, and I'm willing to bet most of you would pay $3-5 per TV show. Where are you Apple? Give us our iTMS for TV and movies and we'll open our wallets. Hell, it doesn't even have to be Apple, just someone with decent software that doesn't use that godawful WMP codec.

Have 'em put their money where their mouth is (1)

Undefined Tag (750722) | about 9 years ago | (#12933125)

If I'm WB, I'd reply publicly and honestly to Rogers, "We're still not interested, but if you think you can do it, great. We'll sell the rights - for P2P distribution only - to you for $X".

If Rogers is right, WB would have learned a great lesson, saved face, and gotten a piece of the pie.

If Rogers is wrong, WB would have learned a great lesson, Rogers would be out a chunk of change, and we all can finally put this whole "free downloaders really want to pay for content" myth to bed once and for all.

This guy gets it.. (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | about 9 years ago | (#12933143)

The world is big place. Why should we be forced to eat the vanilla the big networks force on us , when a lot of us prefer ?
If the demand is there, then sell the boxed set. And yes i do belive that leaking is a very savy way of building interest. Its just my experiance with my own hobby here (read my url). I have a couple hundred dollars in recording.. and couple thousand in equipment, and am not niave enough to think that fame and fortune are in my future.
Soon enough big networks will die if they don't change. And soon enough some real talent will come up on the music side, that can handle the new digital age.... embrace it... and do like the Dead did with their bootlegs... it builds a community.
All the big boys are trying to demonize p2p because of copyright infringements... Its just useless. They cry foul because their business model doesn't fit.... boohoo.
Maybe a smart advertising company could sponsor some Creative Commons shows and release them. And then merchandise it..
// Just an idea//

Broadcast TV Cares Not For Quality (2, Interesting)

aredubya74 (266988) | about 9 years ago | (#12933153)

So long as there are broadcast television networks and channels that don't make a dime off cable subscription fees, the subject is accurate. Execs don't particularly care about cool, fun or quality. They care that the programs they run bring eyeballs to the screen that will allow them to maintain (and raise) advertising rates. It's how they make virtually all of their revenue.

Now, what's changed in recent years is the number of cable networks and channels getting in on the act. Ad revenue matters to them too, but they throw on much riskier programming that can be resold through retail channels. Their smaller quantities of free eyeballs ("expanded basic" cable or satellite subscribers, not over-the-air or nearly-free basic cable) demands that they provide niche value to the channel lineups, and demands they produce programming that can be sold. Comedy Central is a perfect example of this - South Park, Chappelle's Show and Reno 911 would not have gotten a chance elsewhere. On CC, they made money for the channel through ad revenue, and sold tons of DVDs.

The production houses are the wildcard in all this (Warner Bros, Paramount, NewsCorp). They're now directly affiliated with broadcast media conglomerates themselves, but for years, they sold to ABC, NBC and CBS. Now they can pitch to those 3, along with their "vanity" broadcast network, as well as to their vanity cable station (FX, TNT, USA and the like). With so many broadcast outlets, the big dollars don't come with being picked up. They come from syndication and retail resale. As such, those production house (like the one from this article) owe it to themselves to get quality shows in front of viewers, no matter what it takes to get it there.

Why not produce it in China? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#12933180)

Since IP is a loose guideline more than enforced, it wouldn't be hard.

And since Hong Kong is now in China, it would give it an edge at the same time ...

Never going to work... (1)

stubear (130454) | about 9 years ago | (#12933181)

"Want five more? Come buy the boxed set."

What happens when the contents of the boxed set finds its way to the P2P networks? Past actions dictate that thisis the most likely outcome and people will claim they want to make sure they like the other five episodes before they shell out money for the boxed set.

copyright (1)

hitchhacker (122525) | about 9 years ago | (#12933187)


IMO, this is how things would work if copyright didn't exist. eg. you create a work and release it to the public. Then you ask for people to fund your next work. Information that hasn't been created yet has intrinsic value that can be bartered for.

It's like contract programming. You get paid for creating information, not owning it.

-metric

Hollywood Still Missing The Obvious (3, Insightful)

ausoleil (322752) | about 9 years ago | (#12933190)

Those in charge of distribution of programs need to finally realize that either they distribute their shows and profit, or face the simple fact that they will be shared on P2P nets and distributed outside of their profit channels. The simple fact is that electronic distribution is not going to go away, no matter how many laws are erected to stop it.

That does not mean that I am saying that stealing is right, or that *is* a right, clearly, from a legal, moral and ethical standpoint it is not. However, common people are becoming common electronic thieves simply because that is the only way to satisfy demand. Given the illusory "anonymity" of the internet, it is all too easy to do, and right now, the odds are favoring them as opposed to Hollywood when it comes to facing the consequences of violating the copyright holders' rights.

That all said, it's also my take that people, given the choice, would pay a *reasonable* fee to legally download television shows and do more or less with them what they did or do with videotapes. However, for some reason, Hollywood cannot seem to grasp this, or at the very least, cannot grasp how to do loosen their grasp on their content in such a way to make a subscription based P2P net possible.

My suggestion: allow people to subscribe to virtual channels, as they do with satellite or cable now. Allow them to download the shows, to share them on legal networks and pay a fee that is comparable to what they pay for cable now. That would be a real on-demand system, one where the infrastructure of the network is paid for by the subscribers themselves. Other than a substantial investment in seed servers and a first uplink, Hollywood would have to do little else than pay credit card processors and accountants.

To enable protection, they could sell smartcards similar to what Dish and DirectTV use now. Yes, I know that they have been hacked in the past, but nowadays, they are relatively secure, in as much as the average guy will not bother even trying.

Then, collect cash.

Back Channel Marketing maybe? (2, Interesting)

farrellj (563) | about 9 years ago | (#12933197)

So, someone in the TV industry clues in to what Microsoft and a few others have know for a long time...Windows and other programs like Word, Autocad, etc are as popular as they are now not by quality, but by the fact that they are freely copied and thus everyone, even poor people learn them, and if they ever are in a situation where they can buy it, they do. Piracy thus creates a vast pre-made audience for a product, be it software, music, books or now TV shows. For all we really know, this release of the show could actually be a test of back-channel marketing. To sell a show, you need to know how popular it is, and only then can you sell commercials for it.

In today's 500+ channel universe, getting "eyeballs" can be hard for a new show on TV...but on the Internet, it's a good chance if you get even a small part of one percent, you will get more viewers than the average new show on network TV. As various groups track P2P transfers, you can get a more accurage accounting of viewership than you can with a random sampling of TV viewers such as Neilson does.

All in all, P2P distribution seems to be a more economical way to judge the possible success of a new show.

ttyl
Farrell

I get it.... (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | about 9 years ago | (#12933202)

At least I see that his message is clear: "illegal file-sharing is a bad, bad thing[...]You, despite your enthusiasm, should be ashamed" "I would put my pilot out on the internet in a heartbeat." Wow. that clears shit up nicely. in fact, I bet that he did put it up there.

I suggested a similar scenario to TiVo (3, Insightful)

The Lynxpro (657990) | about 9 years ago | (#12933209)


After "Doctor Who" debuted/returned triumphantly back to British television and the SciFi Network here in America continuted to pass on the show, I wrote a personal letter to TiVo CEO Michael Ramsey (a Scotsman) advocating that TiVo make an offer to BBC Worldwide to make the series available as a download to broadband enabled TiVo subscribers that might be interested. I figured that most broadband enabled subscribers would also be viewers with scifi leanings, and it would be a success and would generate buzz.

While it might have been costly short term wise, I asserted that TiVo would be at the forefront of a potentially profitable new television wave. Charging production companies/studios to make available pilot episodes to TiVo subscribers to create buzz for certain properties. It would be a way to circumvent the networks saying "no" to shows that might otherwise be successes.

To this day, I haven't heard one thing back from TiVo about this. I think my idea had merits, and obviously an idea whose time has come.

To this day, no American broadcaster or cable network have picked up the rights to the new "Doctor Who" series, leaving potential American fans to *acquiring* the show through less-than-legal methods until an official DVD release in the States happens...which won't until the series actually is televised in America first.

The irony... (1)

mbourgon (186257) | about 9 years ago | (#12933219)

I've watched the pilot. Clever, but the first half _sucks_. Uses pretty much every cliche in the book.

About halfway in, though, it really starts to shine, and my wife (who came in at that point) mentioned that she'd like to see more episodes of it.

Doublespeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12933254)

"It changes the way I'll do my next project," said Rogers. If he owned the full rights, he said, "I would put my pilot out on the internet in a heartbeat.

Translation: If I had full rights I'd do everying in my power to sell it off to a major studio... less risk taking for me, and money up front. If I couldn't sell it, then as a last ditch effort I'd use Bit-Torrent as a tool to prove its worthiness.

Broadcast TV is dead (1)

mrsam (12205) | about 9 years ago | (#12933263)

I don't remember the last time I watched anything on any big-3 TV network. The last thing I ever watched on broadcast TV is the slow, withering death of "Enterprise", and that was only with my Tivo's help.

Broadcast TV is completely unwatchable these days. You're wasting a third of your time having your intelligence insulted by all the ads. It's not just the sheer amount of ads drowning out the real show you're trying to watch. My impression -- from the snippets I catch here and there -- is that they're utterly brainless, and are aimed at the lowest common denominator.

Every once in a while you might stumble across a retrospective show that runs some notorious commercials from the decades gone by. The difference is staggering. 15-20 years ago the commercials actually tried to be creative, funny, and entertaining. Now they just try to get into your face as fast as they can, and shout their slogan repeatedly at full volume, before their time runs out.

Broadcast TV is a cesspool. Cable TV is still barely watchable, so far, with some help from the Tivo.

It does not surprise me that the dude's show was rejected, but gained some popularity after the leak. The show was probably "too cerebral" (geek points if you know where the phrase came from, and obviously this isn't really new). If your show's too intelligent, it's a minus these days. Broadcast pablum has to be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. If not, you're lose all the societal rejects, because they won't understand the show. There goes half your audience.
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