Viewers Like You: How Public TV Failed the People (NONE)

The problem with Love Island – by the people who turned it down
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They held oxygen and hydrogen, which was converted to electricity and water in three fuel cells — powering the capsule and providing the astronauts with drinking water. The routine instruction to turn on stirring fans was to make sure the liquid in the fuel vessels was properly mixed, to ensure the gauges gave accurate readings.

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Swigert flicks the switches for the fans. Two minutes later, there is a bang and the master alarm sounds. On the ground, Liebergot is beginning the last hour of his eight-hour shift and is the first to see something has gone wrong. We are venting something out into space. The damage to the spacecraft could be seen as the crew drifted away in the lunar module Credit: Nasa. Everyone in the room was instructed to talk only on their headsets, call in their support staff and establish what was wrong.

The mission control team worked around the clock to bring the fragile module back home Credit: Nasa. But , miles , kilometres away and still heading away from Earth, Lovell was not as certain. His strategy, using an emergency procedure drawn up in the event of a fuel cell failure, was to begin powering down the spacecraft — reducing the demand on the one remaining operational fuel cell.

They had already begun moving across to the fully intact lunar lander, although Lovell soon realised it was not going to be comfortable. Despite fears over whether the parachutes would deploy, the module made its way back to Earth Credit: Getty Images. Over the coming days, mission controllers worked around the clock — grabbing a few minutes of sleep under their desks when they could — to get the Apollo 13 crew home. They planned thruster burns to stay on course and figured out how to keep the astronauts alive — using a plastic cover, an old sock and duct tape to fit the square carbon dioxide scrubbers from the command module into the round scrubber holes in the lander.

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Several of these were co-productions between U. Hush , and others. All of these were five-minute shorts designed to be placed within locally hosted kiddie shows. In addition to regular series, syndicators also offered packages of feature films, cartoons, and short subjects originally made for movie theatres. Until late in the s, however, much of the theatrical product available consisted of low-budget secondary features mainly Westerns with relatively few notable stars. One syndication company, National Telefilm Associates , attempted to create a " film network " of stations showing its lineup of first-run series, which included syndicated programs such as Police Call , [5] How to Marry a Millionaire — , The Passerby , Man Without a Gun — , and This is Alice The venture lasted five years and closed down in By the late s, a de facto two-tiered system had developed in the United States, with the major network affiliates usually on longer-range VHF stations consistently were drawing more viewers than their UHF, independent counterparts; syndicators thus hoped to get their programs onto the major network stations, where spots in the lineup were far more scarce.

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FCC rulings in curtailed the U. Buckley, Jr. The more obvious result was an increase in Canadian-produced syndicated dramatic series, such as Dusty's Trail and the Colgate -sponsored Dr. Simon Locke. Game shows, often evening editions of network afternoon series, flourished, and a few odd items such as Wild Kingdom , canceled by NBC in , had a continuing life as syndicated programming tailor-made for the early fringe. In , the U. Federal Communications Commission passed the Prime Time Access Rule and Financial Interest and Syndication Rules , which prevented networks from programming one particular hour of prime time programming on its television stations each night and required the networks to spin off their syndication arms as independent companies.

Although the intent of the rule was to encourage local stations to produce their own programs for this time slot, budgetary limits instead prompted stations to buy syndicated programs to fill the slot. This, coupled with an increase in UHF independent stations , caused a boom in the syndication market. In the s, first-run syndication continued to be an odd mix: cheaply produced, but not always poor quality, "filler" programming.

These included the dance-music show Soul Train , and 20th Century Fox 's That's Hollywood , a television variation on the popular That's Entertainment!

There were also many imported programs distributed this way. The Starlost was a Canadian series, apparently modified from the vision of science fiction writers Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova. These two series were created by Gerry Anderson and his associates , who was previously best known for Supermarionation a combination of puppetry and animation series such as Thunderbirds. Game shows thrived in syndication during the decade. Nightly versions of What's My Line?

A few independent game shows, such as Sports Challenge and Celebrity Bowling , also entered the syndication market around this time. Of these shows, Let's Make a Deal and Hollywood Squares were the first to jump to twice-a-week syndicated versions around Another popular daytime show to have a weekly syndicated version was The Price Is Right , which began concurrently in weekly syndication and on CBS ; the syndicated "nighttime" version was hosted by Dennis James for its first five years, after which daytime host Bob Barker took over for another three years of weekly episodes even though, by this point, the daytime and nighttime shows had diverged noticeably.

The nighttime version of Family Feud quickly jumped from once-weekly to twice, and finally to five-day-a-week airings, and its massive popularity, along with that of new five-day-a-week entries like Jack Barry's The Joker's Wild and Tic-Tac-Dough , the move of Match Game's daily run from CBS to syndication , and Chuck Barris 's increasingly raunchy remakes of his s hits The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game , brought an end with rare exceptions to the era of once-a-week games.

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Also popular in first-run syndication and daytime was The Gong Show , hosted by Barris throughout most of its run Gary Owens hosted the first syndicated season. Also notable was the growing success of audience-participation talk shows, particularly that of the innovator of the format, Phil Donahue.

First-run syndication in the s also made it possible for some shows that were no longer wanted by television networks to remain on the air. In , ABC canceled The Lawrence Welk Show , which went on to produce new episodes in syndication for another 11 years, and currently continues to much success in weekend reruns with new segments featuring Welk cast members inserted within the episodes distributed to PBS stations by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.

Also in , CBS dropped Lassie and Hee Haw , the latter show's run ending as part of the network's cancellation of all of its rural -oriented shows known then as " rural purge ", which also resulted in the cancellations of The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres. Lassie entered first-run syndication for two years, while Hee Haw continued to produce new episodes until Throughout the mid-to-late s into the early s, sitcoms continued to enter first-run syndication after being canceled by the networks, the most successful of which were Mama's Family and Charles In Charge.

Many of these sitcoms produced new shows in syndication mainly to have enough episodes for a profitable run in reruns. Other sitcoms, such as Small Wonder , Out of This World , The Munsters Today , and Harry and the Hendersons as well as more action-adventure oriented series like Superboy and My Secret Identity enjoyed success in syndication throughout their entire run.

The broadcast networks aired many action-adventure programs from the s to the s. By the late s, however, increasing production costs made them less attractive to the networks.

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Studios found that reruns of one-hour dramas did not sell as well as sitcoms, so they were unable to fully recoup the shows' costs using the traditional deficit financing model. Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in , and became the most-watched syndicated show throughout its seven-year run. Its great success caused many others to debut.

Friday the 13th: The Series a horror series which shared its title with the successful movie franchise also debuted in The next syndicated shows that debuted in were War of the Worlds and Freddy's Nightmares. Baywatch , which debuted in on NBC and was canceled after one season also became one of the most watched syndicated shows throughout its ten-year-run, garnering a worldwide audience. By , there were more than 20 one-hour syndicated shows.

Three years later, a second Gene Roddenberry series, Andromeda also premiered in syndication.

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How public is public television if only a small percentage of the American people tune in on a regular basis? When public television addresses viewers like you. Viewers Like You? How Public TV Failed the People: Laurie Viewers Like You ? traces the history of public broadcasting in the United States, questions its.

As emerging networks WB and UPN signed contracts with formerly-independent stations, and the syndication market shrunk, Andromeda season 5 moved to the Syfy Channel During the late s and s, independent stations signed on in mid-sized and many small markets. The market for made-for-television cartoons grew as a result to include a branch for such stations.

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It usually had a greater artistic freedom, and looser standards not mandated by a network. In , The Walt Disney Company tried its luck at syndication; DuckTales premiered that September and would eventually last for episodes. The following year, the two shows aired together under the umbrella block The Disney Afternoon. In the fall of , Disney added another hour to The Disney Afternoon ; the block continued in syndication, running additional first-run animated series until These cartoons initially competed with the ones that were nationally televised on the broadcast networks.

In the s, national broadcast networks only aired cartoons on Saturday mornings , not competing with the weekday and Sunday syndication blocks aired by local independent stations; however, by the s, Fox and then The WB launched their own weekday afternoon children's program blocks. By the end of the s, both syndication distributors and broadcast networks ended up losing most of their children's market to the rise of cable television channels aimed at that audience such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network , which provided appealing children's entertainment throughout the week at nearly all hours.

Also in the s, news programming of various sorts began to be offered widely to stations. Independent Network News , which was produced by WPIX in New York City, was a half-hour nightly program that ran from to on independent stations in some markets, INN was paired with a locally produced primetime newscast ; CNN would offer a simulcast of programming from its sister network Headline News now HLN to broadcast stations later, as did its rival All News Channel , although both were used mainly to fill overnight time periods and were effectively discontinued in syndication when All News Channel folded in and HLN launched a "Headline Prime" talk show block in In , NewsNet began offering a similar service to its affiliates.

Another area where network dominance was challenged by syndicated programming in the s was with late-night talk shows ; The Arsenio Hall Show was the only very successful one it would be canceled after five years in due to ratings declines spurred by many CBS affiliates pushing the show to later timeslots following the debut of the Late Show with David Letterman , and was later revived in , but similar programs were attempted such as Alan Thicke 's earlier short-lived Thicke of the Night , Lauren Hutton 's innovatively shot Lauren Hutton and The popularity of syndicated talk shows fell dramatically in the mids as network and cable offerings expanded in the wake of Johnny Carson 's retirement.

Long before their popularity on network television from the s onward, reality competition shows in one form or another, such as Star Search and American Gladiators , enjoyed popularity in syndication as early as the mids. Since the now-defunct networks UPN and The WB began offering their affiliates additional nights of prime time programming in the late s, there have been fewer first-run scripted series in syndication, at least, in the U. The more expensive dramatic projects are less attractive to syndicators particularly when they might be sold, with somewhat less risk, to cable channels ; "reality" series such as Cheaters and Maximum Exposure and several dating series began to be more common in the early s.

They were able to get significant clearance because of stricter Federal Communications Commission FCC enforcement of rules on children's television programming. Several game shows are currently syndicated; historically, the most popular has been Wheel of Fortune and the current version of Jeopardy! The shows have been 1 and 2 or 1 to 3 in the syndication ratings consistently since at least the late s. In fact, according to the Guinness Book of World Records , Wheel is the most popular syndicated television program both within and outside the United States.

Three years later, a revival of the program featuring Ray Combs as host became a moderate hit and continued for seven seasons, its last year featuring the return of original host Richard Dawson in a failed attempt to save the series. A third revival hit the airwaves in and has gone through four hosts. The first three hosts Louie Anderson , Richard Karn and John O'Hurley struggled in their respective runs and only lasted three to four years. The current run of the program, hosted by Steve Harvey , has been a major ratings success; on the week of June 12, , for the first time ever, Family Feud was the highest-rated syndicated program in terms of average household ratings.

While the current version of The Price Is Right another Goodson-Todman game show has enjoyed tremendous success on the CBS daytime schedule since its inception in under hosts Bob Barker and Drew Carey , it has also produced three spinoffs, two of which failed after one season. The most successful syndicated edition was the —80 weekly version that was initially hosted by Dennis James , but in , daytime host Bob Barker also hosted the nighttime version for the final three seasons.

For the —86 season, Tom Kennedy hosted a daily syndicated version, and in —95, Doug Davidson emceed his own daily syndicated version, titled The New Price Is Right.

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Unlike the daytime series, which expanded to its current one-hour length in , the syndicated versions of Price were 30 minutes long. A Hollywood Squares revival also thrived beginning in under host Tom Bergeron , running six seasons until its cancellation. By far the most successful entry into the market in the s has been the daily version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire , which premiered in September and was canceled in May after 17 seasons in syndication and a total run of 20 seasons dating back to the show's premiere in August Because game shows are very inexpensive to produce, with many episodes completed each day of production, successful ones are very profitable; for example, in Jeopardy!

Between and , no new game shows debuted in syndication, marking four consecutive seasons where no new shows with that genre debuted, a syndication first. That streak ended with the fall debuts of Temptation and Merv Griffin's Crosswords , bringing the daytime tally to six game shows; both ended production after one year, though Crosswords aired in reruns in some cities during the —09 season before those reruns moved exclusively to cable. More new shows were added for the —09 fall season, including a daytime run of Deal or No Deal which featured certain elements that differed from the show's franchised format, most notably with prospective players instead of models holding briefcases that held the monetary amounts and an adaptation of the popular board game Trivial Pursuit.

While Deal caught on and was renewed for the — season, Trivial Pursuit: America Plays suffered low ratings throughout its run and was canceled. Don't Forget the Lyrics! Deal , suffering from falling ratings, was canceled in February , with the final episodes airing in late May of that same year; it would later be revived by CNBC in Reruns of the GSN dating game show Baggage first aired in syndication as a test run in early on stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group , which preceded its full launch into other markets in fall ; although it was removed from syndication after one season.