Why Facebook needs to take a break

TV shows like 30 Rock, The Office, Modern Family etc have all come to an end for the summer and will kick off again in September. The break is a well established system for sitcoms and drama series.  It gives the actors a chance to have a break and the writers a chance to create new material during the months where viewers spend less time in front of their TVs and more time outdoors.  For those still glued to their screeens there’s plenty of reruns to keep them happy.  At least that’s the theory. But with more and more people spending time online versus sitting in front of their TVs and with more people using their smartphones as a means of accessing the internet, there is a real danger that during this summer hiatus, viewers will find more reasons to avoid their TVs and unlike migratory birds, not return.  After all, Facebook and Twitter don’t show rerun updates and tweets over the summer.  Can you imagine of they did?

For this reason I wonder whether the networks need to rethink the summer hiatus.  I can see it being tough to change and it brings with it a fresh set of challenges.  One of the benefits of having short seasons and breaks is that low quality content and production values get the boot.  We’ve all noticed when a show runs out of ideas – Happy Days, invented the expression ‘Jumping the shark’ which means a show has taken things too far and lost the plot, when it had the Fonzie, literally jump a shark on water skis.  We can also tell when actors tire of a role.  So perhaps there is a role for the break.  Perhaps the formula is what needs a rethink.  Instead of putting all the best shows in the Spring and Fall, they could experiment by putting some of the stronger shows during the summer to keep the eyeballs on the TV and off their computer screens.  After all, I’ll say it again, can you imagine if Facebook and Twitter took a summer break?  Bring on the re-retweet.  Not.

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2 Comments on “Why Facebook needs to take a break”

  1. David Clare says:

    Interesting post, Tim. You make a really valid point. But I think it also creates the opportunity for viewers to explore other programmes.

    As you say, they are all on their computers, and with plenty of TV shows available legally and illegally, they may find something else… after all, this is how I found out about 30 Rock myself.

    The break also allows for better writing, and longer decisions making – ‘should we get the Fonz to jump a shark or do something else?’

    However, some shows should never take a break… TopGear should be all year round!

  2. Jesse says:

    Thought you might enjoy this concept. I got bored today and created this site. If you like the idea, let me know, maybe we can work on it together 🙂

    J


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