Thursday, September 22, 2005

Available Television Reserves at Emergency Levels


Agents from Operation SNOW SCREEN warn that recent developments in television broadcasting indicate the available supply of useable, refined television could run out within 5 to 7 years. This could lead to widespread panic, a wave of domestic violence, and, most alarmingly, a deterioration of much-needed voter apathy.


The current crisis has its roots in the 1970s, when two major television-production-related-activities occurred. First, there was a rapid proliferation of spin-offs. Responsible programmers followed international safety standards for spin-off refinement, resulting in successful transitions to new shows (e.g. Laverne and Shirley, The Jeffersons). However, due to a spike in demand for recurring characters, broadcasters began producing crude, unrefined spin-offs that wasted creative resources and in some cases seriously endangered the health of viewers (most notably The Ropers, Flo, and Joanie Loves Chachi, which triggered the first television-related security alert in 1982).

More significant was the introduction of cable television. Cable was originally designed as a nude-scene transportation mechanism, running failed R-rated movies ad nauseam. However, it quickly moved from pumping daily reruns of Friday the 13th Part 2 and started siphoning traditional sources of TV programming: news, sports, documentaries and, ominously, original programming. Instead of three suppliers controlling production, 109 rogue broadcasters began doing anything to acquire Nielson points. This triggered a run on creative juices that led to networks rushing low-grade programs to air with little regard for viewer safety.

The next emergency occurred during the previous Bush administration with the debut of America’s Funniest Home Videos. At the time, due to a lack of solid human intelligence in the field, our analysts failed to foresee the near-catastrophic development of programming based on content from viewers. “Battle stations” were ordered and the government began stocking reruns of Cheers to prevent a panic.

Thankfully, the discovery of Must See TV averted disaster. The MSTV products Seinfeld, Friends, and ER provided free, high yield comedy and drama. However, this also produced a false lull as many experts predicted that premium creative juices would remain plentiful and affordable. When Seinfeld inexplicably ceased production in 1998, subsequent efforts to mimic the formula could only produce about 60-65% of the same laugh output (See Tab A: "Why Everyone Doesn’t Love Raymond as Much as Seinfeld"). ER confused viewers by introducing 57 new characters, leading viewers to think the show had actually gone off the air. CSI has temporarily filled the drama gap, but attempts to reproduce that show have met with mixed results (See Tab B: "The Limits of CSI Spin-Off Technology"). Romantic relationships between the characters on Friends repeatedly and blatantly violated the Sexual Tension Act of 1989, more commonly known as the Moonlighting Act, eventually causing the show to be removed from production.


In 2000, the breakthrough discovery of the Survivor field was prematurely heralded as a fresh, unlimited source of cheap entertainment that could bypass the traditional challenges of refinement and production. This sparked a reality-TV race among the major television powers. While the Survivor field itself remains stable, producers have been unable to find a Survivor-based derivative that doesn’t decay within one season.

Other areas have not yielded any long-term solutions. American Idol is dangerously over-drilling the same area that Star Search did. The Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Learning Channel have likewise exhausted all known sources of documentaries on nature and Hitler. The Home Box Office field, while producing high octane entertainment, remains very expensive to distribute and suffers from a high rate of profanity byproducts. In addition, there are several pressing situations that could result in severe, violent blowback:

  • We could face yet another deep recession triggered by public reappearance of Donald Trump’s hair.
  • Excessive deregulation of the production of reality TV has produced several new pollutants, most recently Tara Reid.
  • We are already T+18 months past critical Jim Belushi mass.

Using our customized BLACKOUT simulator, we have predicted the social consequences of TTVF (Total Television Failure). We have factored in numerous circumstances such as: gun ownership, economic and educational levels, and PTTSB (Proximity to the Super Bowl). The results:

  • 57% chance of widespread rioting, with violent civil confrontations over the last DVD copies of Lost and The Sopranos.
  • 43% chance of complete ennui. Millions of Americans will simply sit, immobile, in front of blank television sets, unable to go to work or interact with others.
  • 17% chance for a dramatic increase in movie attendance. However, the simulator predicted a corresponding 72% chance for widespread rioting after viewers leave these movies.
  • 2% chance that peace, productivity, and the collective intelligence of citizenry will increase, which would have incredibly dangerous political consequences.


We immediately recommend implementation of the following actions, taking all covert precautions and ensuring plausible deniability of the government’s involvement:

  • Creation of a new channel, TerrorTV. This would provide live feeds from current military operations and/or Arab-owned convenience stores.
  • Hybridization of genres. One example would be a political talk/game show called, "Where in the World Is Vice President Cheney?"
  • Develop new issue-based situational comedies that, while inane and unfunny, could inflame viewers enough to conceal the lack of entertainment. We have three prototypes in development: "Tax and Spend," "That Homosexual Agenda Show," and "We Gotta Hire a Black Guy."

Finally, if all else fails, we have one final “nuclear option”: we may have to force books on the general population.


rubely said...

That was excellent, You are the best blog I have seen yet, Keep it up

Brando said...

Thanks for the nice comments, rubely, glad you enjoy the blog.