The State of Television in 2018

At ATX Television Festival, aka tv camp for grownups, there’s always a lot of talk about the evolution of television and the impact its had on the industry. This year, on the red carpet for HBO’s Sharp Objects, we decided to ask some of the people we interviewed about the state of television in 2018 and whether the changes that have taken place over the last few years are good or bad for the industry. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Emily Gipson — Cofounder, ATX Television Festival

It is in a great place. I think the hardest part right now is there is so much great content and there’s just not enough time to watch it all. [Caitlin and I] have very different viewing styles. She doesn’t mind binging a whole season of something in a short amount of time where I’m very week to week. Even if it comes out on Netflix, I spread it out over a few weeks. Keeping up with everything is very hard and you kind of feel a little left out if you missed a show and then go back and get in on it. I think there is a bit of detriment to that because we’re missing really great things. But at the same time, it’s such great shows so it’s nothing to complain about. The fact that there is too much great TV to watch is nothing that I will ever complain about.

Caitlin McFarland — Cofounder, ATX Television Festival

I agree completely. I think the thing that will happen next is figuring out how we’re watching, like what we’re watching on and I think that is still going to continue to shift. But I have no complaints about the quality and the types and the amount of television that’s out.

Nick Wechsler — Revenge, Shades of Blue, ATX Television Festival Ambassador

I don’t know. I feel like this leads into…I got into a debate with some friends recently about film and how Netflix is doing their thing and how they have to release it theatrically in order to qualify for this thing. I get why people feel the way they do but I feel like its a little bit of a losing battle to insist upon… this is not a popular opinion… we are heading towards [total] on-demand, streaming, subscription-based viewing. I feel like fighting that is sort of pointless. And I’m more interested in that because I can control what I watch and when I watch. I think when people pay a little something, they also have greater control of whats on the menu and I think higher quality things are made. Not that there aren’t great things on network television, but you can’t curse, you can’t deal with certain things that are more lifelike.

James Lafferty — One Tree Hill, Creator/Writer/Producer/Director of Everyone is Doing Great

It’s wild. I don’t think anybody really saw this coming, this explosion of content out there, this explosion of platforms and shows. For me, we have this project out here, Everyone is Doing Great…and I feel like, because of what’s going on, we get this opportunity to screen our show. Because the industry is open to so many new voices and so much new content. For me, its incredible to watch but its also a little bit scary. It feels like a bubble and [I’m] hoping it doesn’t burst before our airplane leaves the hangar. But we’ll see.

What do you think about the state of television in 2018? Do you agree or disagree with these opinions? Let us know in the comments below!

1 comment

  1. I can completely relate. I love television and there’s so much content out there, but I don’t want to get lost in the shuffle and sometimes I miss out on a show or come to it late, and that initial energy of the brand new is no longer there. It’ll always be hard to compete with the new binge nation thanks to Netflix, but I hope that the week to week watchers like me can still find interesting shows worth the time and attention.

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