5 TV Hopes for 2023 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

5 TV Hopes for 2023

January 3, 2023 by  

5 TV Hopes for 2023

Photo credits: NBC, ABC, NBC, CBS

It’s a new calendar year, which means people all around the world have made resolutions, laid out big plans for the next 360+ days, and things feel, well, possible.

Is it realistic? Who knows. But in honor of 2023, here’s a few of our wishes for the next year…

5 TV Hopes for 2023

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — Episode 1708 — Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara, Simon Cowell, Maxence Vire — (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Stop messing with reality competition formats.

2022 was the year a number of notable reality competition series tweaked their formats, seemingly hoping to make non-audition episodes a bit more exciting…and, boy, did it almost never work out.

Arguably, AMERICA’S GOT TALENT and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE suffered the most from this. Yes, THE MASKED SINGER and even THE VOICE’s tweaks occasionally made for frustrating situations, but THE MASKED SINGER wasn’t going to be a life-changing break for the contestants and THE VOICE was only a single round.

But AGT and SYTYCD? Yikes. SYTYCD rushed through its entire season, which also meant the pre-taped series never allowed America to vote for the best dancer. It was hard to get attached to anyone. (Heck, virtually everyone who got significant time in the auditions didn’t make it through to the studio shows.) And it’s really unfair to call someone America’s Favorite Dancer when the only people with a say are the couple hundred people who could be in the studio for filming that day.

Meanwhile, AGT held “qualifying” rounds post-auditions for the top 55 to make it into the finals. It doesn’t work! Fundamentally, with AGT, if you want to reward the best act (who should be able to sustain a Vegas show), they need to be able to do more than a couple of good performances. (It also means a lot of good acts got cut too soon and it didn’t allow room for them to really surprise us, either.)

And on a bigger level, there’s a big difference between making good TV versus trying to find and sustain stars. Looking to the early era of AMERICAN IDOL, we saw those contestants for months. It’s a lot harder to get wildly connected—and/or want to seek them out post-show—if you’ve spent under a half-hour with them throughout the entire run of a season.

Of course TV shows are going to want to tweak things, keep them interesting, and maintain/sustain ratings. But please stop trying to go for flashy things if it makes it harder for the contestants to succeed long-term when the cameras stop rolling.

5 TV Hopes for 2023

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Gimme Shelter” Episode 24003 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)

Utilize franchises in a responsible way.

Starting this with an important caveat: We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and that is absolutely impacting some of what can be done with in-person crossovers and the scope of production. To ignore that entirely would be disingenuous and unfair.

That being said, we’re in the era of Peak TV Franchises on network television. ABC has THE ROOKIEs and GREY’S ANATOMY-STATION 19. CBS has the NCISes and FBIs. Fox has the 9-1-1s. NBC has ONE CHICAGO and the LAW & ORDERs. The CW, which used to have the overarching ARROWverse, is down to just the WALKER universe at this point.

Some shows are handling things well. THE ROOKIE franchise has had multiple crossovers this season, both in big and small ways, and it feels—to use a cliche—completely natural. FBI did a really great job of incorporating MOST WANTED’s huge shakeup within their own world with a quick line in early 2022, and one of the big highlights of CHICAGO FIRE this fall has been their usage of CHICAGO P.D.’s Trudy

But there have also been frustrating turns as shows within the same universe didn’t intersect at times when they should. Jay Halstead left CHICAGO P.D. without any real goodbye to his brother, Will, who leads up CHICAGO MED. (And Jay left for Bolivia.)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME have both addressed Elliot and Olivia’s complicated relationship in recent episodes, but viewers don’t know if they’re even in contact right now…which could have been resolved with a half-sentence line in any number of episodes when the topic came up. (And is actually pretty relevant to the conversations they’re having with others.) Even when the duo were interacting in ’22, it was primarily superficial and/or new topics. It’s not realistic to expect the two to have Very Serious Conversations every time they interact, but when the opportunity comes up to throw a line in to indicate they’ve had a conversation or to give them a chance to bridge the decade-long absence from each other’s lives, they either have ignored the obvious or half-addressed it. (For the latter, it’s been a year, but does Elliot know the “Ed” Olivia mentioned was Tucker? Probably not!) There’s no realistic way to expect to see them having every conversation they need to have on-screen; it’s not like they’re in 22-plus episodes a year together anymore. With the admitted limitations in place, figure out what’s must-see, and let us know in subtle ways they’ve been talking off-screen to fill in the rest of the gaps.

It’s incredible, and extremely gratifying to viewers who watch the entire franchise, to have shows connect in larger ways. And it’s not realistic for franchises to be intertwined every single episode. But hopefully 2023 allows for these franchises to make the big moments count.

5 TV Hopes for 2023

CLAIM TO FAME – “The Domfather Part II” – As the contestants catch on to Dominique’s influence throughout the house, some develop their own counterstrategies. This week’s challenge has everyone divided into teams for an elaborate game of telephone, putting their memorization and communication skills to the test. Tensions build over who will be named The Guesser, with the final guess surprising everyone on an all-new episode of “Claim to Fame,” airing MONDAY, AUG. 8 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/John Fleenor)

Embrace the ridiculous and fun reality shows.

CLAIM TO FAME may have been the unscripted surprise of the year and HOLEY MOLEY gave viewers one of the biggest WTF JUST HAPPENED moments of 2022. Are both ridiculous on paper? Sure. But they’re fun.

Months before the nepo baby discourse took over social media, ABC’s CLAIM TO FAME brought famous relatives together to live in a house where they had to work together—and against each other—to figure out who their celeb connection was, while also trying to protect their own identity. It was BIG BROTHER meets an interactive mystery game, and it was delightful.

Would a second season be complex? Sure. It is probably not wildly easy to get a contestant group full of people who don’t know each other—and I’m curious in a potential season 2 if they overhaul how they reveal clues/IDs to viewers—but it would be worth it.

And HOLEY MOLEY is just ridiculous. I love it so much. Yay silly TV that allows you to just laugh at things for an hour.

Streamers should embrace their library content.

2022 was a tough year for streamers, as a whole lot of content we took for granted would be there just…disappeared and/or was canceled unceremoniously.

While there’s no easy answer for how to sustain the library content it would be ideal to have—though this is also my repeated plea to return to making shows available via DVD and Blu-ray, so we can actually physically own shows we love—it would be really nice to see more places follow the lead of Peacock and make the streaming destination of beloved shows worth something. Peacock has gone all out with restoring deleted scenes from THE OFFICE and has done a number of retro digital exclusives, including its recent DAYS OF OUR LIVES holiday throwback. Heck, even Paramount+ has streamed uncensored versions of shows like THE CHALLENGE: USA.

We’ve gotten incredible original shows on a number of streaming platforms, so this is by no means a plea to minimize those. But if you’re sitting on a mountain of things fans would love to see, why not give them that unseen content and an extra reason to subscribe? Release the deleted scenes! The bloopers! The actual versions that aired, rather than stream the syndicated cut! Give us the extras we would have gotten on a home video release, please.

5 TV Hopes for 2023

“Ghostwriter” – When Sasappis offers to help Sam complete the B&B website so they can start taking reservations, they butt heads over the creative direction. Also, Pete bonds with Jay over basketball until Jay makes a new living friend, and Flower attempts to be Pete’s new basketball buddy, on the CBS Original series GHOSTS, Thursday, Feb. 24 (9:01-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Gregory Zaragoza, father of series regular Román Zaragoza, guest stars as Sasappis’ father, Naxasi.
Pictured (L-R) Danielle Pinnock as Alberta, Rebecca Wisocky as Hetty, Devan Chandler Long as Thorfinn, Rose McIver as Samantha, Asher Grodman as Trevor,
Utkarsh Ambudkar as Jay, Brandon Scott Jones as Isaac
Richie Moriarty as Pete, Sheila Carrasco as Flower and Román Zaragoza as Sasappis
Photo: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


To two of the best comedies on TV right now: Please don’t change a thing.

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