There's more than Charlie Sheen and fixing the Oscars on everyone's minds
How much longer can TV networks operate within a broke, outmoded Nielsen system?
This is a bigger question than can really be discussed in a single paragraph in a gallery slideshow. But can we all just admit that much of the business of television is being controlled and built around a system of measurement that has almost nothing to do with the ways that people watch TV in 2011? Seeing networks make renewal/cancellation choices and watching advertisers make investments based on the current system is like imagining Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer dealing with TV. "Your DVRs and Hulus and OnDemands and Netflix streaming options frighten and confuse me. And how do those little people get in my box anyway? Are they men or are they demons? I'm just a caveman." Every year millions of dollars are tossed around on an outmoded system makes us wonder how much money there would be in coming up with a better statistical model and makes us marvel at how slow that process appears to be. Instead, networks just keep tossing around Nielsen numbers like they have meaning, which they do, but only because they're an even playing field that's broken the same way for everybody. Til then, we'll just be left to wonder if proper integration of new viewership matrices might have saved a "Party Down" or a "Terriers" or a "Rubicon." The answer? Probably not. But we don't know for sure...
- Dan Fienberg