Alessandra Torressani In Caprica

Consumers can cancel things too


Alessandra Torressani in Caprica

Caprica won't live to see a second season, neither will my cable service

It’s that time of year again… no, not when department stores start putting out holiday decorations (that happened months ago). This is the time of year when fall television makes its first round of early cancellation announcements. By now, it should come as a surprise to no one that just about anything that isn’t “reality” based or a procedural crime drama finds its head on the chopping block. I was somewhat surprised at the cancellation of JJ Abrams’ Undercovers, but stunned to learn that Caprica will not make it past its first season. Now, after consecutive years of premature show cancellations, I find myself wanting to cancel cable all together.

I’ll admit that Undercovers didn’t have the sci-fi underpinnings of a show like Fringe to keep viewers interested before the token Abrams’ multi-season-story-arc could really get going, but was enough of a welcome deviation (from other shows on television) to keep my support. Caprica, on the other hand, seemed like a surefire bet: a program based on a blockbuster series, seductive marketing, and a home on a channel that caters to fans of SCIENCE FICTION. What really has me worried here is this: If science fiction programming cannot survive on a channel that caters to that audience, then where will it survive? Certainty not on broadcast TV (see also Terminator: SCC, Life on Mars, Pushing Daisies, Virtuality, Defying Gravity, Firefly, and Dollhouse).

Season after season, I’m starting to feel that television no longer caters to my interests. Practically speaking, it is more emotionally gratifying to watch a whole season of a TV show through a web based service than to have something torn away from you after 6 or 7 episodes. It has been (or will be) mentioned on the Rated NA podcast, but where will fans of these niche-type shows find comfort? Can a show, like Caprica, live as an Internet-only show, partially funded by page advertisements, in-show ads, and/or even fan contributions. It works for NPR and PBS (not quite the same scope, but you get the idea).

I don’t claim to have the answer to the emerging frontier of web based / internet streaming programming, but I do know this: Keep cancelling the things that I love, and I’ll keep looking forward to cancelling cable television.

PS #SaveCaprica

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • matt

    One week no cable and happy about it. Also just signed up for Hulu plus on the Roku. A write up will be done on this here website soon enough.

  • Ash

    Do you guys thing big cable companies will get the hint and stop charging so much? Because 100 bucks is a bit insane to be able to watch T.V.

  • $8 Hulu Plus + $8 Netflix streaming = $16/month and tons of entertainment… what else do you really (really) need?

    Then again, I’m the type who would try and find something to read at the library rather than anticipating a new book in hardcover. But for me, cable is a bad value.

    • We talked about this (again) recently. Even the technology paradigms are outdated with Sat/Cable. Remembering to DVR something now feels just as bad as setting a recording on a VCR.

      Another added benefit of web-based television is that I don’t have to plan ahead, or worry that my storage media will run out of space. The declining quality of programming in general also means that there’s no need to watch something at airtime, goodbye “appointment tv”.