Farscape’s cancellation comes at a
great terrible time in television history. In the UK 50% or more of content on TV is “reality” based, in the US we’re slightly behind but catching up fast. And it makes sense, of course — so-called reality shows are incredibly cheap and quick to produce, bring in potentially huge ratings, and are just as easy to change, kill-off, or re-envision with another twist to keep viewers interested should they start to decline.
This is not sustainable.
I predict right now that within 18 months the television industry will report major losses, reality will be gone, and they’ll be scrambling to fill the gap in sensible, intelligent, well-written programming. Yes, more expensive to produce, yes hard to franchise, yes less certain, but far, far better for all of us.
Also, the Farscape model will catch on. They make it cheap in Australia, SciFi paid for 50% and the rest was paid by Henson and a consortium of others who showed it in Germany, England, and a few other places. TV will become more international, I predict, and we’ll see how that works out.