Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pay cablers achieve to the grey zone

HBOs one-on-one chat Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Back Together Again remembers Hollywoods senior class. HBO's programming-quilt philosophy means individual programs need not attract an especially wide audience. As lengthy as passionate subsets keep signing up for components as disparate as boxing, movies, documentaries, and original series from "True Bloodstream" to "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the channel's model yields returns.Possibly this is exactly why pay TV seems to represent among individuals couple of bastions within the youth-obsessed media in which the quilt reserves samples -- silently, with little fanfare, there within the corner -- for grandmother and grand daddy.It is a little early to call grey the brand new black. But you will find more signs pay TV is realizing senior citizens' money is as eco-friendly as anybody else's. Besides, for individuals not just a few beer marketers, attractive to a demographic a lot of the media has left out within the snow, metaphorically speaking, has its own advantages.HBO's documentaries have lengthy shown this inclination, including recent profiles of Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte. This is not to express individuals projects do not have relevance today, that the styles speak more to individuals who have been sentient throughout their early contributions to feminism and civil privileges.The funnel has additionally found different ways to celebrate Hollywood's emeritus class, like the wonderful one-on-one chat featuring Mel Brooks, Dick Cavett along with a cameo by Carl Reiner -- a trio that totals nearly one fourth-millennium of mirth.Apparently removing a webpage from that playbook, Encore will devote a number of its original-programming budget now to "Approach to the Madness of Jerry Lewis," a documentary tribute towards the octogenarian who, like Brooks and Reiner, demonstrates comedy is really a effective protecting agent.Even HBO's scripted fare has become in to the act. The network just offered a preview of their horseracing drama "Luck," where the majority of the marquee names -- including Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, Nick Nolte and Michael Gambon, together with director Michael Mann and author supreme David Milch -- are gone 65.On the other hand, consider the Academy awards, which after its youth-movement hosting test out Hathaway As Catwoman and James Franco found itself inside a public-relations jam and retreated towards the safety and comfort of Billy Very, who's over the age of the pair of them combined.Possibly it's really no accident the film "Red-colored" is within pay TV rotation on TMC, showing it truly is possible, financially speaking, to become of sufficient age to retire and become very harmful.Granted, this range of good examples hardly qualifies like a turnaround of tides tugging within the other direction. Contrary, his or her demographic profiles migrate upward tv stations are much more wanting to corral more youthful audiences, which describes the giddiness surrounding CBS' "2 Broke Women" and Fox's "New Girl," that have carried out disproportionately well among individuals under 35. Oddly, one rarely listens to similar crowing concerning the strong 50-plus pull of "Harry's Law" and "Blue Bloods."There is no denying some condescension has crept into depictions of senior citizens, but possibly eclipsing that's the novelty factor: A lot continues to be completed to expunge older figures from certain media quadrants, seeing them provides something of the unpredicted kick, which partly describes the Betty Whitened craze that all of a sudden had her appearing everywhere.Integrating such projects on pay TV also reflects a shrewd realization concerning the transactional character of media, where people progressively pay directly for what's consumed with no advertising intermediary.Under individuals terms, you can program for an older audience, whose money is not reduced in the manner the need for their patronage is one kind of media purchasers. And also, since many senior citizens are really faring much better than their progeny in the present economy, they are prime candidates to pay for the toll to gain access to programs focusing on them.The media preoccupation with youth is simply too deeply ingrained to create a wholesale change -- even just in the minds of older baby seniors, frankly, who've a difficult time considering themselves his or her parents' age. Because the animation great Chuck Johnson, then 84, once told an interviewer, "I simply seem like a youthful guy that has something the problem with him."Nonetheless, if pay channels fine-tune their mix to take advantage of these demographic designs -- finding a silver lining, to quote the Grateful Dead, in a little grey -- it will not be just dumb luck. Contact John Lowry at

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