Since its invention, television has clearly changed drastically. On June 6, we are on the scene for the “Changing Face of Television” panel presented by ION Media Networks at the Greenwhich International Film Festival.
The event’s moderator was Marshall Fine and panelists were Colin Hanks, Thomas Kelly, Alysia Reiner, Terence Winter, and Charlie Collier. The average American television that once featured less than fifty channels now has the ability to play close to one thousand different television stations twenty-four hours a day. In this panel, both actors and members of the television production teams discussed how they experienced the change happening in the television industry.
When asked what they felt was the biggest change in television in the recent past, many brought up the introduction of online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. These new services completely altered the way television is viewed today. Instead of adhering to a set schedule, like every Monday at 7 p.m., entire seasons have started to be released all at once on websites like Netflix or Amazon. This has an effect on the way television shows are produced because viewers have started to binge watch entire seasons in a matter of days or hours, rather than over months.
Also, because of this viewers are often watching shows on portable devices such as phones or tablets, which have much smaller screens than the standard televisions. Some members of production teams stated that this has been a challenge because they have to now focus on how to keep a show engaging even when viewed on such a small screen.
However, many of the panel members felt that there were also a lot of positive changes in addition to these challenges television is now facing. It was stated a few times that it seemed that there was more of a push for new talent in the television industry. Instead of shows looking for big names to sell their stories, production teams have started to look at unexplored talent. Because of this, many new names have started to appear in television and have gained notable recognition for their work in shows.
Overall, though the face of television is rapidly changing, the speakers on the panel concluded that this was for the better for both viewers of television and those on the production side. Greater accessibility to television through portable devices and online sources has increased the number of viewers, as well as demanded greater diversity in content due to varying interests of the vast number of viewers. According to the speakers of the panel, this is not the golden age of television, it is the platinum age.