The rise of the McDramas. Why franchise series are on the rise and tv shows (like Firefly) created by drama auteurs are on the wane.
"Franchise series tend to have a significant built-in audience, especially when a show such as ''CSI'' introduces the ''CSI: Miami'' cast in one of its episodes. They're presold, unlike an unusual, genre-twisting series such as ''Firefly.'' A network promotional team faces a hard road bringing viewers to ''Firefly,'' even with the Whedon imprimatur. ''From the maker of'' helps but goes only so far. Whedon's ''Angel'' has a small, loyal viewership more because it's a ''Buffy'' spinoff than because Whedon's name is attached to it. "
Basically, the way its going if you want to watch original and challenging TV shows, you'll have to get cable to watch channels like HBO.
December 15 2002
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