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A Good Illustration How Much TV Has Changed From My Youth

September 14, 2020, 7:57 pm

I saw this story in my feed reader today:  

the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader reality show — consider it the Hard Knocks of cheerleading — is back for its 15th season. CMT announced today it’s bringing back Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team for one of the more interesting seasons in show history due to COVID-19.

I have never even heard of this show, much less seen it, and it is on its 15th season**.  In my youth, any show on its 15th season would have been known to all, whether one watched it or not.  Fewer than 10 prime-time series before the year 2000 even made it to 15 seasons, and even the ones that made only 9 or 10 seasons were part of the national zeitgeist and familiar to about everyone (e.g. Gunsmoke, MASH, Cheers, Hawaii 5-0, Perry Mason, Beverly Hillbillies, etc.).  It’s amazing to me how niche shows can find an audience and continue to make economic sense today in a totally different way than used to be possible.

Modern music, of course, has been through roughly the same changes.  Of the eleven albums with the longest runs as Billboard #1, only one (Adele 21) was released in this millenium and only one other after 1990.

Quick:  According to Wikipedia, what is the longest running show on cable at 44 seasons?  That is 5 more seasons than ESPN SportsCenter.  I could not have named it if you had given me 200 guesses.

** I am not dissing the show or its audience.  If you love this show, there likely is another example out there of a show on its 15th season of which you have never heard.

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