According to a report on the BBC News Web site, Kevin Spacey told the attendees of the Edinburgh Television Festival that television audiences are demanding "smart, complex stories." He can speak from his own experience with the Netflix remake of House of Cards. However, he can also be speaking of how "smart, complex" series from both HBO and Showtime have been wolfing down audience share. On the other hand, we can continue to watch the "big" networks crank out reality shows that get more and more absurd and situation comedies that just keep getting dumber while they try to appear cleverer.
In a way we are experiencing the same radical difference in taste for television entertainment that we have been observing in politics. Of course, where the political scene is concerned, those radical divisions have led to such stagnation that many are beginning to question whether the United States is becoming undone by what has happened to governance. In the world of television, on the other hand, people with different tastes can just go separate ways, with neither side providing any real cause for aggravation from the other.
Is there a new model of governance to be found in television?