About

Patricia Handshiegel

Digital Dish covers the ins and outs of an Internet executive moving into the television arena. Disher Patricia Handschiegel is the founder of Stylediary.net, which she sold to Stylehive.com in November 2007. She has a background in Internet infrastructure and technology business, was an advisor to Kaboodle.com (sold to Hearst in 2007), and has contributed as an entertainment/media business writer for Venturebeat.com. She’s also been an early visionary of professional Internet TV content since 2005 and is currently an advisor on several entertainment/Internet projects. Always an entrepreneur, she had a highly profitable babysitting monopoly at 11, lent her writing skill to students at 17 and landed her first published national article at 23.

She has also worked as a ghost writer for a national TV correspondent. At 22, she was recognized nationally for promoting the growth of women’s hockey and advised companies on creating hockey products for women. She’s been quoted and profiled in dozens of media outlets since and is currently developing two book concepts. A serial entrepreneur, she plans to continue to build Internet, entertainment and media companies, with the goal of promoting social change and charities. She is currently involved in the use of technology to help find missing and abused children, and has contributed financially to TheJoyfulChild.org and other organizations. She is the founder of Look|Shop|List.com (in development).

Categories

Digital Dish



I Wonder If ‘Good’ Can Sell

November 3, 2008 10:42 AM

I can’t lie. I look at TV today, then our society’s many crises, and sometimes I wonder if there’s a correlation.

This was true even before today’s Reuters article about a study linking teen pregnancy to “sexy” shows. It’s crossed my mind many times as I’ve lunched around town amidst an ocean of people mimicking the mannerisms of Lindsay Lohan.

I’ve asked the same question more recently with the problems of our economy, driven in part by Americans wanting “bling” that they can’t afford. Many television shows over the past eight years have been centered around wealth, whether real or not.

It makes you wonder if Americans were trying to keep up.

It would make sense. TV today isn’t like it used to be, when there was “Dynasty” but then also shows like “Roseanne.” The menu now is almost entirely decadent. Never mind that only something like 14% of the population are millionaires, or that the majority of those I know don’t spend extravagantly.

We’re facing an enormous financial crisis in our country in large part because people want things they can’t afford.

Could television be to blame? I wouldn’t be surprised. There’s always been a good vs. evil battle when it comes to what the media produces. Even if media influences, it’s not necessarily our job to make sure it’s good and clean.

But that’s not the point of my post today. What I wonder is, can other ideas sell? Are Americans no longer interested in watching shows based on real life, like “Roseanne,” or even “Friends”?

Monica, Phoebe and Rachel shared an apartment and worked at regular jobs. “Friends” stayed on the air for years.

Is it the audience truly driving the demand for money-obsessed programming, or is it that the networks are stuck in a rut of what they think works and therefore produce the same concepts again and again?

Is an idea truly working if there are few other options that really challenge it? If given a choice, would a well-written, solidly cast show set in a normal world trump something based on bling?

As an entrepreneur, I wonder if this creates a gray area. I’d love to hear what people think.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.tvweek.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/14993

Comments (3)

hdtvpete:

TV viewers and movie audiences have always enjoyed movies about the rich and famous. This goes all the way back to the Depression! If you can't have it, then a little fantasizing doesn't hurt.

Viewers also took perverse pleasure in seeing wealthy characters with good looks and every seeming advantage in life suffer one misfortune after another - the appeal of Dallas, Falcon Crest, and "Dynasty" back in the 1980s.

Nothing like seeing a spoiled starlet or a egotistical millionaire take one on the chin now and then...

EmmGee-Ohio:

"Even if media influences, it’s not necessarily our job to make sure it’s good and clean. "

I totally disagree. It really is our responsibility to make sure that the media is really reflecting some sort of morality. In an age where TV media is very negative, material based, mouthy, and dare I say, "dumbed down," we need to tell the media that some things are not acceptible.

Yes, I do remember sensors, years ago. Howeverm those went by the wayside, before the recession. So, what's TV's Excuse???? I'm betting $$$$, based on several factors. First; a more liberal audience, who can swear up a storm and kiss a gay man anytime, anyday. Secondly, loss of FCC tax base. They are too busy fining AM, FM and local TV stations, to really care about some things. Case and point, Survivor 2008's nudity. It hadn't been challenged yet. But CBS did it 2x, to get ratings. That brings me to the third point, Titilation and being different, to "shock and aww" an audience.

TV netowrk news is also to blame.

"But that’s not the point of my post today. What I wonder is, can other ideas sell? Are Americans no longer interested in watching shows based on real life, like “Roseanne,” or even “Friends”?"

Why not positive news???

What ever happened to the old days of news? WFRV-5 Green Bay, WI. (before CBS bought them) had a great idea. The idea???? Broadcast a separate "good news" segment. It kept me, so why not try it again. Just because Mary Smitts isn't there anymore, does not mean there's not a call for it. Unfortunately, WFRV dropped that segment, then CBS purchased them.


"Is it the audience truly driving the demand for money-obsessed programming, or is it that the networks are stuck in a rut of what they think works and therefore produce the same concepts again and again?"

The answer to this is pretty clear.....greed upon greed. Networks want cash! That's why there are so many paid stories, product placements, etc.
Its currently that way in radio, and just as clearly in TV. The formulation is slightly different, but is clearly there3, if one opens their eyes.

I really think that America got used to programming choices being slim... and accepted what was there. If they would have demanded more, this question would not have to be asked.

EmmGee-Ohio:

A note: "program choices" does not mean titles. It means varieng genre's of shows, such as reality TV, game shows, infomercials, dramas, various brands of sitcoms, etc. There are plenty of duplicate genre's, or various titles, on cable and sat as well, but they are mostly the same. This goes for various countries in border zones as well, since Canada uses US TV shows, with only a few exceptions.

Post a comment