Fenton Bailey writes:
So I’m in DC at the Real Screen Summit, moderating a panel called Engaging the Audience, in which execs scratch their heads wondering how to avoid global yawning (the audience’s gradual abandonment of television).
As they talked – brilliantly – about branding, demographics, market research, super teases, formats, and style vs content, it occurred to me that the question I should really ask them is what show really grabbed them the most. So I did, and here’s what they said:
• For John Wilson from PBS it was The Singing Detective.
• For Maryanne Culpepper from National Geographic it was An American Family, the doc series about the Loud family.
• For David Lyle of Fox Reality it was 7 Up (new installment 49 Up coming soon).
• For Cyndi McClellan from E! it was the Oprah show and Crash.
• For Ross Martin of MTV U and MTV U Uber it was coverage of the O J Simpson trial.
Each answer got audience applause. And then it struck me that although PBS and Fox might seem worlds apart, all the shows picked were format-busting genre-benders. That’s the one thing that will always grab an audience – innovation.