“It’s dangerous to make broad generalizations about TV versus film without sounding as though you’re comparing apples and tubas, but let’s do it anyway: television is running circles around the movies,” Newsweek’s Devin Gordon argues in the new, just-out issue.
“The internet age has put both industries into a state of high anxiety, with everyone scrambling to figure out how money will be made in a digital future where people watch movies on their phones and surf the web on their TVs. But while the major film studios have responded by taking shelter beneath big-tent franchises, the TV industry has gone the opposite route, welcoming anyone with an original idea.
“The roster of channels has ballooned into the hundreds, creating a niche universe where shows don’t need to be dumbed down in order to survive (because the dummies have their own channels). DVDs, meanwhile, have upended how we watch television, transforming shows from disposable weekly units into 8-, 12-, sometimes 22-hour movies. ‘We get a lot of people who tell us they don’t even watch the show when it airs,’ says Joel Surnow, co-creator of 24. ‘They wait for the DVD and watch it all at once.'”