Possibly or not, one of the differences b/w creative industries + product based ones is the near undefinable of what makes a hit or success. Otherwise known as the formula. Now I know as I was taught at biz school re innovation it isn’t “wearing a white coat” - but.. cars like Nissan GTR has particular KW, power, 0-100 etc attributes that if delivered with acceptable design will drive X degree of sales.. while creative products may functionally deliver on set requirements.. but get no significant uptake.
The argument can go u need to create something totally new, with a new formula / business model / consumer experience / value equation, to have a chance of becoming The New New Thing.
With TV, a newish model, let’s take Bruckheimer’s CSI as it’s into it’s 9th series.. that took the crime show model, added B-grade film actors, created a really large special effects budget, not to mention showing alot more violence / body parts in the name of Poh-lice work…
So CSI begat CSI Miami, CSI New York. And all the surrouding shows….
But then a formula gets stale, ratings start going down, actors leave.. so Bruckheimer + JJ Abrahams go away from Vegas/violence/pulp_noir/forensics + towards science - which can be put in good and bad hands. Hence why we have #EleventhHour and #Fringe. The former which plays a very straight dry bat with Dr Jackob Hood, and the latter with a much loved kooky cast around Pacey from OC, Walter Senior - a too funny, beyond smart mad inventor, and Olivia the NIDA trained Aussie who was in White Collar Blue and also the First Series of Mistresses which I wouldnt mind guiltily watching.
The tiredness of forensics/violence as well as the science trend, has led to the rise of the mercurial non police officer whether it be consultant/magician/telepath; You have Toby with Sookie Stackhouse like telepath powers in #TheListener; Patrick Jane the empathy/body language Aussie in The Mentalist; Nathan Fillion the crime novellist on secondment with the Force in #Castle. Sometimes this consultant isimplied to if not have magic powers, to be in the words of this week’s #Fringe episode “Hyper-Emotive”. Combined with a potential backstory that involves family/wife being slaughtered/murdered/killed (The Mentalist had wife/family murdered; The Listener was abused as a child; Eleventh Hour wife died of cancer; Olivia’s backstory on Fringe is only coming to light)
Interesting sub trends in this consultant trend results in a lead police officer : And in most cases it’s female, with rich daddy issues. You may have the lead detective in The Mentalist coupled with Patrick Jane. Castle is bundled with female lead who doesn’t want people knowing she’s a trust fund kid. And in the latest show (as well as #Southland which has been gr8 from start) which is growing on me after an awful pilot : #The Unusuals, where the lead is female, brunette, rich daddy issues again.Via Sepinwall link above : “The “CSI”s and “Law & Order”s and the rest are driven largely by plot. It’s been a while since we’ve had a drama specifically about the culture behind the badge — so, in typical TV fashion, we get two at once: ABC’s “The Unusuals” and NBC’s “Southland.”"
Via CliqueClack : “There’s a new trend of procedurals out there and Castle fits right in. Have you noticed that the best procedurals lately are the ones where it’s not just cops solving the crimes, but “consultants” of some sort? Believe it or not, Psych seems to have started this trend with Shawn and Gus as the Department psychics. The Mentalist has Jane as a consultant, and now Lie to Me is following in their footsteps with a consultant corporation of sorts.”"
Via TVSeries Finale : “The creative brains of The Mentalist have learned a few things from television history, particularly Moonlighting. Though lots of fans of the popular series wanted the main characters (played by Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd) to get together, once it happened many lost interest. The series ended 20 years ago next month.. you won’t be seeing Patrick and Teresa getting together any time soon. At the recent Mentalist spotlight at the annual Paley Festival, the actors said that the two characters have very different personalities and approaches to their work. Series creator Bruno Heller said that he believed putting them together would spell the end of the show. As a result, you won’t see any romance between the two — at least until the very end of the series. You’ll also have to wait until the series finale to see the Red John case solved. A serial killer by the name of Red John murdered Patrick’s family five years before the series began. Those who follow the show religiously may have noticed that each episode’s title has some form of the color red in it (Redwood, Scarlett Fever, Red Rum, etc.) — a subtle way of indicating that the killer is always on Patrick’s mind.”
The economics of all this is interesting too, but that’s another whole post : ” “Stuart Baxter, exec VP of distribution at Sony Pictures TV International, points to FX series Damages, which Sony produces and distributes. “It’s a show that has done critically very well almost everywhere it’s appeared, and it’s also been a big marketing hook almost everywhere it’s launched,” he says, citing networks like Canal+ in France and SBS in Holland. “Because it’s high-brow, intense and serialised, buyers don’t target it for massive audiences. They target it more for a higher-brow demo that they’re trying to draw into the channel.” Baxter, who also represents other FX titles The Shield and Rescue Me, and A&E’s Patrick Swayze vehicle The Beast, says the growth of digital networks with narrower demographic targets has also helped in placing cable shows with terrestrial buyers. The Beast, for instance, is sold in 11 EMEA countries including to RTE in Ireland, Five USA in the UK and Channel 1 in Russia; Damages is sold in 34 EMEA countries including to M6 and Canal+ in France, SBS in the Netherlands”"
OK that’s my deconstructing of trends.. the $64K question is always not analysing what is now, but what is next.. but something always does come next.. and according to Dave Winer’s Gartner’s Curve piece suggests what comes next will gain adoption even faster than Twitter has currently, as whatever is next will utilise Twitter, and the live web to be shared around and tested. Scoble has a pretty good go at suggesting what is next too…