Network TV needs to wake up to 3 main facts, FACT 1: All people want are good shows and good storylines, but most of all we want to know that before we invest in a show, it's going to be around, shows that sound good and that seem like it going to be good a one, I'm always scared to get into, because they cancel things so fast now, I waited to watch all my current favorite show this season, to make sure that when I did start watching them, they would be around to the end of the season.
Fact 2: US Networks and TV writers must also get over this need to have a series go on forever, I watch a lot of TV shows that originally aired in England, Japan and South Korean, shows that only last 6-16 maybe 26 episodes, you get great writing, full story-lines and the promise that u will see a series to the end of its run, then if the series is really popular it gets pick up for another season or it just ends. Either way you rarely have to worry about a cliffhanger ending that you might never get to be resolved. Why does a show have to end in cliffhanger, why does it have to stay on for more than one season, it's the unnecessary need to make a show last forever that contributes to the decline in good writing, the networks need to have something that can tot for years that keeps new show from having a chance and as time goes on people lose interest.
And FACT 3: When are the networks going to realize that people don't watch TV the same so you can't rate a show's viewership the same (sorry Nielsen, but you are way out dated). The Music World and Billboard Chart have caught up, why hasn't Nielsen Ratings? Music counts store sells, radio play and downloads. I don't even have cable or the digital box, I watch my shows either online on the networks, using Amazon or iTunes or Netflix, I also like to buy or rent them when they come on DVD (which is usually way after a shows season has ended). And I know tons of people that that DVR them and some that still records them on VHS. Do the network count all that, no? So how do they know how many people really watched a TV show? They need to hire more people to track all the forms of viewership. After all the networks aren't blind to the fact there are other forms of watching a show or that even a cancel show can still make them money, otherwise they wouldn't stream canceled shows online or put them on DVD for sell later.
When network stop worrying about making a show last forever, give new shows more time to established themselves and start counting all the easy other tractable ways to rate a show. Let’s face it, if they can track how much money they made off a show when they include online ads, rentals, DVD sales and downloads for their bottom-line they can easily count how many people probably watch them as well based on said info.