Thursday, February 8, 2018

CBS ALL-ACCESS IS STUPID! I Wish I had something cleverer to say here, but yeah, this is just stupid what CBS is doing.

CBS, what in the goddamn hell are you doing?



Why, are you putting original shows on your goddamn website? You-, have a network, you know that right? (Mocking voice) "Oh, of course, "Star Trek", that's popular, we'll put that online, of course! Put that with that "The Good Wife" spinoff nobody knows exist, that'll work!"...- Seriously what the hell are you doing!?!?!? No, you're not Amazon, you're not Netflix,- I'm sorry your network dates back to radio, but you don't get to do this. Okay, you obviously can; you shouldn't though, 'cause it's stupid! On so many different levels this is stupid. You're the number one most-watched Network on TV still, right? I didn't make up that advertisement you've ran for like, the last five years or whatever, and it's still true by the way. CBS is still barely edging out NBC, although I don't know if that'll hold after this year, and FOX and ABC are third and fourth respectively, because I still watch you with an antenna attachment!  You're a broadcast network; if the government told you to shut down tomorrow, then maybe, okay maybe then go online, but,...- UGH!

Okay, to even begin to understand the bizarre strange curiosity of CBS All-Access and really understand how insipid and moronic this is, we gotta go back a bit and see how we ended up here. Now, the first thing, is that I'm being a bit facetious here, when I say that channel's website shouldn't have their own series, it's actually occurred several times before, but most of those series were webseries, back in the day when we used to know what those actually were. Early television on the internet, outside of a few early experiments like "Quarterlife" were short, small vignette episodic series; it would've been shocking to see something on the web, longer than, the average episode of "Robot Chicken" back then. And when the major networks or Hollywood in general, got involved in trying to compete in the webseries market, they mostly dipped their twos the same way. NBC was great at this, with companion webseries that worked with their shows. "The Office" was known for having several of these, although probably the most noteworthy kind of series like this that was an original series, I always think of "Jay Leno's Garage".



Now, I just posted the very first episode of the webseries, which original was on NBC.com, and now like a few other series have done, like "Web Therapy" and "Broad City" among others, they evolved their experimental little webisodes into a full series and "Jay Leno's Garage" is now a regular on the CNBC lineup, and you know what, I never had an issue with that, even for the big networks. If somebody wanted to do something small but additional to a series, or if you had a big network star who wanted to try something a little different and experimental and it didn't really fit on their regular schedule, then, absolutely try it out on the network's website. That kind of thing made sense to me, and it help both the network expand to the web, while also distinguish a network's website as a brand in of itself, and not have one hurting the other. And I still like it if networks would do that. They were also making available their regular series to stream if you happen to miss a recent episode, and I enjoyed that immensely at well. There are some major series that made their work and stayed on the air, not because of the Neilsen Ratings but because of streaming options. Let's say "The Office" for example, which stayed on the air because of iTunes. And I loved going to a network's website and catching up on a past episode sometime later. That's the whole point of these network-affiliate websites in a modern age essentially. Catch it when it airs, if you can but, if for some reason you're not able to, a good second option would be to catch online, at a reasonable convenience. Network websites wouldn't put every damn episode of their series and keep them on forever, I mean-eh, "The Tonight Show"'s backlog alone would blow up the website, but they usually gave us five or six weeks worth of episodes of each show they were airing at the time, and that was more than enough.

Then came, Hulu. Okay, there's a lot of business nuance and intricacies regarding Hulu's history and how they've evolved and what they've turned into over the years; that's it's own story, but here's the important aspect, Hulu LLC. the company, the company that owns Hulu, actually originated as a joint investment, with their biggest three investors being Comcast, 20th Century Fox and The Walt Disney Corporation, in other words, NBC, FOX and ABC, the other three big networks. CBS, didn't jump in on Hulu, and that's important and it's noticeable. Obviously, some shows that aired or are owned by CBS either now, or have at one time been on Hulu, but for the most part, CBS is noticeably not prominent in their backlog and the currently-running CBS series that are available, usually aren't available 'til the show's off-the-air or well into the series' run, and usually those episodes are not updated weekly when a new episode airs. Personally, I've argued for years that one of the bigger reasons that CBS has been the most-watched network over these recent years is because the majority of their shows are not easy to stream online. They have available outlets for certain series, Netflix for instance will usually updated their collections of CBS shows to stream every year, but for the most part, while I have occasionally seen somebody at a library watching a "Person of Interest" episode at the computer on CBS All Access, CBS's lack of streaming means that more Americans are inclined to turn on the TV and watch, say "The Big Bang Theory", as it airs on TV every week, then to miss it and go stream it later. I don't think that's the entire reason CBS has been so dominant in the ratings, but I do think it's an underrated reason.

It's also one that, kinda puts CBS in a weird spot. Most of those other networks, had been developing an online presence at the time they got into Hulu, in fact, Comcast complained about NBC.com's lower hits because all of their online programs were now more easily available on Hulu, so they had a difficult question regarding whether or not they needed an online presence at all The point I'm making is that, in a TV landscape that's more heavily influenced by streaming than ever, does that even make CBS, the true number one network anymore? It's definitely something CBS has wondered about. They had an opportunity to invest in Hulu at the beginning and turned it down, and while they will never admit it publicly, don't be fooled, they have regretted that ever since.

The first real clue though to this was when they first started taking their website and beginning to add an "All Access" pay option to their site, for those who really love CBS and want to catch up on all their favorite CBS shows, at least the last month. This, was weird. Although, it's now weird that in order for me to watch something on NBC.com like the new "Will & Grace" I need to log in with a cable account, which btw, that's stupid, that should be illegal for broadcast network series, and I don't know why the government doesn't shut that practice down by threatening to take away their license..., although I kinda get it from a business perspective. If people are going to be using their website, provide exclusive content for a price, to entice more subscribers..., that makes sense, for anybody other than a broadcasting network, that you already get for free! However....-

You see when it comes to Hulu, Amazon, Crackle, Netflix, whoever, when they started producing material that we wouldn't traditionally classify as a webseries, they had to put it on their streaming platform, that was their brand, and in essence their channel. They started as an internet product, that's where they should then stay. That's their established field. Now, I used to argue that those networks should also invest in creating a cable channel with all of their backlog as a promotional tool, Hulu to a degree has actually began doing this to an extent, as it now offers a Live TV option, as well as a joint deal with Yahoo for a channel of original Hulu content called Yahoo View! But CBS coming up with original programming that they're exclusively putting on their CBS All Access option on their website, and not on their TV network, is just outright bizarre and stupid. It's like to trying to go backwards in time and create an online presence, long after every other network got into the game years ago. It's like they're trying to create their own internet pay channel, and that leads to the big reasons why this is utterly stupid.

If CBS wanted to create series that they wanted people to pay to watch, instead of airing on their broadcast network..., then why don't they put those shows on Showtime? Yeah, that's the thing that makes this so stupid, beyond the obvious jealousy the network has over not collecting on Hulu, if we consider channels like Netflix and Hulu as pay channels when it comes to their original content, which I generally do, 'cause that's essentially how they position themselves on top of all the other aspects that makes them a TV network and a brand, separate from and within the realm of being a streaming service, they why in the hell, are they not putting these shows on CBS Corps.'s actual pay channel they own!? Or one of the other several cable channels they have a stake or claim in or outright own? Showtime in particular would be perfect, it's a pay channel, with a long-established online presence, one that's actually popular and people own, and people are willing to buy just to watch a series, that, I don't know, might be a spinoff or a continuation of a previously beloved network series.... (Yeah, I'm bringing up "Twin Peaks" again, the original show still sucks, deal with it.) I don't know, do you think there's enough "Star Trek" fans out there, who might be willing to put in money for a "Star Trek" series that's not beholden the to Standards & Practices of network television? 'Cause I damn well think they would be, and I'm sure if they promoted it properly, Showtime could also get people to watch "The Good Fight" as well.

This is so illogical putting these series on a streaming service that almost nobody I know actually owns and uses...- I asked around too, I found very few people who owned CBS All Access and none of them recommended buying it, yet, I know several people who went to by Showtime Anytime just to watch "Twin Peaks". They have a branch for these TV shows that people would pay to see and pay to stream and they're not using it! Okay, they're different networks and technically the branches are separate in the same overall company, blah, blah, blah, you don't have to vertically integrate everything, I get that, and maybe some people would like to see TV shows that for whatever reason CBS doesn't want to air regularly on their network, but wouldn't want to have them be on cable.

Okay,  huge stupid reason number two, this makes no sense: fine, you don't want to put them on cable, how about putting them on The CW? You own that too! I mean, what the fuck, you're willing to move "Supergirl" to The CW, which, let's be fair, that's where it should've been to begin with, but god forbid, "Star Trek: Discovery" moves to The CW, it has to be online, with the spinoff show of the most critically-acclaimed drama series CBS has had since the early years of "CSI"?! They need to not only be online, but on CBS's own online pay website, that we're supposed to take seriously, compared to every pay channel and streaming service website out there, including those that Viacom already owns and are already successful???????????????????????????????

CBS, I'm sorry you fucked up your chance to get in on Hulu, but I say it again, what in the goddamn hell are you doing, with this CBS All Access crap?!

This is hubris meeting incompetence and I don't know what to make of it, how anybody's ever gonna take it seriously, or how this is every gonna get popular or important enough to matter. I'd call for a boycott of it, just on the sheer stupidity of it, but that would indicate somebody was paying for this to begin with, and I don't know why they would. Even the biggest Trekkies I know, I don't think too many are getting on this and are just waiting for that show to ever go on DVD or somehow survive long enough to start getting it's rotation in reruns. I know, I'm just switching to Heroes & Icons at night for when I need a Star Trek fix anymore. You've only got five original series, two are spinoffs of your regular network shows, two play off Star Trek, and something called "No Activity" that you paired with Funny or Die with, a streaming service that actually knows how to produce and stream original content online, 'cause you know, that's how they started, and why you're piggybacking off of them! Cut the damage before this blows your network's reputation and money while you still can, move those shows, to one of your dozens or so other channels that Viacom has a stake in, and stop with this CBS All Access crap and we'll go on and start pretending it didn't happen, capiche? Seriously stop it, you're embarrassing yourselves, please.

CBS All Access, that's not even a good name. You're a broadcast network, you're already all access! It's not like you're the television equivalent to the Playboy Club or anything. That's like having an All-Access-Pass to the Good Will store. Ugh!


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