This week’s Time declares on its front cover ” Jay Leno is the Future of TV”. By parading Jay’s new show at 10:00 to compete with expensively produced dramas like CSI: Miami and other scripted shows, NBC is beta testing whether live content will be as attractive as or more cost effective than canned content.
What’s the revolution? PC monitors are already used like TVs for on-demand programming. Add time-shifting digital video services and Tivo, and it’s notable that TV no longer can provide instant programming gratification with the touch of the ON switch. Canned programming is more efficiently watched by time-shifting to one’s own schedule.
So what is TV good for? Real time news… breaking news… sports… programming relevant to the here and now. Jay Leno will break the mold to see whether a TV audience will tune into live programming just because it is not canned. If it works, the cost of paying Jay Leno playing talk show host for 5 hours per week is a magnitude lower than producing a series of 5 one-hour dramas. If it works, scripted content will go direct to big screen, YouTube or Hulu, and TV will be littered with sports, talk shows, news shows, reality shows and talent shows, all designed to force people to set an alarm to watch them. Then social media converges with TV because everybody sitting on their coaches watching a national football game or Dancing with the Stars can participate live with others, and make that experience relevant to their lives.
Conclusion: PCs became TV proxies, and now TV is going the route of emulating the real time relevancy of PCs. This is simply a manifestation of media convergence; in fact, it’s cross-convergence.