Man 1: I’m not watching TV anymore. They cancelled the only two shows I was watching.
Me: Which two shows?
Man 1: Smith and Kidnapped.
Man 2: They cancelled Kidnapped? But I was watching that. I need to check the TiVo. Did they find the kid?
Man 1: I don’t know. It’s just gone.
This is more or less an actual conversation. Man 1 has decided to quit television all together, and, by the way, he’s going to cancel his cable too. Nothing good there. The consensus was that these two guys had too much going on to sit down and watch much of the new Fall season. Man 1 doesn’t have a TiVo or a TiVo-like device. He’s more into watching television on a catch-as-catch-can basis. Man 2 is a TiVo believer, but he’s got a lot going on. It can be a while before he gets back to watching shows.
Both men fall into the coveted 18-to-34 demographic (falling just about in the middle). Both have walked away from the new season. Ray Liotta dragged Man 1 to the television. Now that there’s no Ray, well, you know. No TV.
Television is losing viewers, and, apparently, they’re losing them in what is somehow a prime demographic. It’s not that these guys didn’t want to give the season a chance — the season abandoned them before they could enjoy it. The network executives decided these two shows weren’t working. Maybe that’s true — maybe they would never find an audience.
Or maybe the audience was trying to work its way through the noise to get to the point where they’d settled into new favorites. As they dismissed television completely, there was one final thought:
Man 1: I’ll tell you what — a show like Seinfeld? No way would that have made it today.
Man 2: You got that right.