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October 28, 2022 5:34 pm  #1

Another American Network Show Goes To Streaming Only

It's not a program I'll miss, but it's a sign of what's floating down the industry - taking shows off of free over-the-air TV and transferring them to a pay streaming service. 

In this latest case, it's the execrable CBS reality show "The Real Love Boat," a terrible idea that pits couples against each other on the ship introduced in ABC's "The Love Boat" back in the late 70s and early 80s. It wasn't doing very well in the ratings, and now whatever episodes are left will be available only on the network's Paramount+.

CBS seems to have a terrible habit of doing this, and has transferred other hits like "Seal Team," "Evil" and "The Good Wife" sequel to streaming only. It doesn't really matter if these are on your radar. Eventually a show you like will disappear into the online ether and you won't be able to see it without ponying up cash for the privilege. 

If this is the future of TV - and it appears to be - you have to wonder what there will be to watch on regular free television. If, that is, there's anything left at all. 

There are other examples from other networks - Seth MacFarlane's Star Trek rip-off "The Orville" went to Hulu from Fox. "Lucifer" spent three seasons off the latter network and on Netflix. NBC took the admittedly cancelled "AP Bio" and "Manifest" from its network and did a season on Peacock. And there's no safety on cable, after Disney+ gobbled up the rights to "Dr. Who" in most of the world besides England. And on and on it goes. 

As a fan of OTA, I fear for the future of free TV. I'm not naive enough to think there won't be more of this. But as Woody Allen once said, "I'm not afraid of dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens."

I'm not afraid of the end of network TV. But I just don't want to see it happen while I'm watching. 

‘The Real Love Boat’ Moves To Paramount+ From CBS