We all know this, accept for out parents and grandparents, but no on really buys cable. We stay up watching shows on Hulu or Netflix, or streaming live tv from our computers.
So TV channels are shifting their focus. In a recent podcast I listened to called : Pop Culture Happy Hour, it explored the idea that TV is trying new things to get people to still buy the channels. What are these two things they are focusing on? Live sport events and live musicals.
Why does it work? Well, there are a couple theories.
The event itself doesn't just take place on TV, it's also a high moment for people to take to Twitter and talk about it. The night of Grease Live, the top trending hashtag was just that : #GreaseLive. So for those people (like me) who didn't get a chance to watch the show, I felt like I was missing out a LOT. I wanted to be a part of the social media conversation. And for Fox it was just nice free advertising!
In the beginning on television, people gathered around the tv at night, and then the next day talk about what happened with their friends! Now, we have SO many shows to watch or things to see that we miss that piece. The musical events are set up to get people to watch ONE thing. There is so much hype for the event, that people feel like they truly need to see it, whether it's good or not. A similar experience would be the Superbowl. I don't really like sports, but you can bet that I'll catch the Superbowl. It's just something you can't miss.
Pretty much everyone has seen Grease, Sound of Music, the Wiz, or Peter Pan. These musicals work because they are shows we grew up on. We want to be reminded of those things we loved from way-back-when. And we want to see them again and again and again (or maybe that's just me?). The types of musicals they pick are classics, so you want to tune in and watch your favorite show as a kid.
The Thrill of Live!
Live events come with rehearsal, practice, and coordination. There is always a chance that things will go wrong (and sometimes they don't go perfectly). I think there is an element in all of us that is excited to see that on TV. We like rooting for the actors to do well. We like hoping that things will mess up, but then be fixed. Too much perfection is not fun! We like a chance for a mess up, it makes us feel like it's real.