Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Breaking In For News

There's an article in today's Washington Post highly critical of the networks for not interrupting last night's regularly scheduled programming in lieu of the horrific Virginia Tech shootings.

On the one hand, it's an extremely important story that everyone was talking about, far more important than the entertainment shows that were broadcast.

On the other hand, as the network executives point out in the article, after the initial flow of information, all the networks would have been doing is regurgitating the same stuff over and over.

Network news, which used to be the means in delivering breaking stories for the U.S., has become somewhat obselete. With the 24-hour news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox delivering news on a constant basis, it's difficult for networks to compete with a mere half-hour broadcast.

There is a small portion of the country that doesn't have cable/satellite or internet access, so network news is still important for them, but as I pointed out during a previous posting on the State of the Union address, most people can access the information through other means besides the networks.

Still, not putting up some sort of news broadcast seems rather callous. NBC ran a special at 10 p.m. in lieu of "My Name Is Earl" reruns, but didn't interrupt its original, first-run episodes of the night. The other networks didn't even do that.

The Post also reported that Fox has made a concession to the shooting, pulling the first-run episode of "Bones" on Wednesday, which deals with a college shooting.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: As I say pretty much every Tuesday while it's on, Tuesday's top pick is, and will always be, "The Shield" (FX, 10 p.m.)

Country music star Martina McBride is the guest talent this week on "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.), followed by an all-new "House" at 9 p.m.

A new "Gilmore Girls" (CW, 8 p.m.) airs tonight after lots of reruns, followed by some reality thing that isn't "Veronica Mars."

ABC runs its own reality with two hours of "Dancing With the Stars" at 8 p.m., followed by a new "Boston Legal," in which William Shatner may or may not dance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(this is zodin2008)

Ok, here goes a week's worth of responses...started a new job and been busy.

Watching original programming for me was an escape, not just from my first day at work, but from endless depressing coverage. Tuesday night last week, I actually went with my buddy to see the Braves beat the Nationals at RFK and can't think of a better and happier distraction then watching the Braves win.

But this Virginia Tech incident was horrible and the proper respect was paid at RFK that night by the players, fans and the flags flown at half mast.