For whatever reason, CBS has found its way to the top of the networks, and it’s not shy of reminding us constantly of that sad fact. Why people are watching the bulk of CBS programming is beyond me. How many crime dramas can you watch before they all seem the same? Three CSIs and two NCISes? How uncreative is that? I’m also confused about why people want to watch comedies that star Bill Shatner or Charlie Sheen. Two and a Half Men is not bad: it’s abysmal.
All these crappy shows made me even more surprised to find The Big Bang Theory (TBBT), which is both hilarious and brilliant. The characters and plots are unique. The writing is sharp and witty. All of the actors excel in their respective roles. In short, TBBT is one of the best shows on television currently and a big part of why Thursday night is the best night on TV. It is one third of the comedy three-headed monster; the other two are NBC’s 30 Rock and, of course, The Office. Big Bang is so good that J and I have been forced to all but stop watching Community, which is another great show.
Indeed, the aforementioned trio of brilliant shows are some of the few programs that the wife and I consider appointment television. However, no one can watch his or her favorite shows every time they are on. We missed last week’s Big Bang Theory, but I wasn’t too sad because I figured I could watch it on CBS’s website. That is what I do whenever I’m unfortunate enough to miss The Office or 30 Rock because NBC is smart enough to put full episodes of its programs online. I was disappointed to find, however, that cbs.com has clips of TBBT but no complete episodes.
CBS, let me take you aside here for a moment. How has it not occurred to you that your audience will find its shows on your website if you put them there? If you are worried about decreased TV audience, simply upload the episodes after they air. Also, how is NBC doing so well with so much of its programs online? Furthermore, think of the advertising revenue. You air commercials on TV, but they are fleeting. Ads online last as long as you like, and you can sell the rights again and again.
Most importantly, having your shows online helps maintain audience loyalty. Fans of your shows want to keep abreast with developments, and they cannot schedule their lives around your TV schedule. This is the online era; put your content online. I might find an alternate route for watching last week’s TBBT, but I would have been delighted to visit your website, CBS, instead.
I hope that all networks will upload full episodes of their programs in time. Until that happens, CBS’s unwillingness to cater to its fans by putting shows online is just another example of its subpar modus operandi.