The way we get our entertainment is evolving and as more as more people cut their cable service in favor of purchasing their content ala carte from internet content providers the need for networks will slowly fade. There’s a growing number of people who no longer register on broadcast television’s radar and it calls for a change in the paradigm about what makes a show viable in a world were the Nielsen’s and advertising dollars are no longer the only barometer of success. The whole topic is very timely where the fates of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice are concerned in light of the upcoming dialogue between Warner Brothers and SMGO.TV.
Both beloved shows had good to average ratings from a traditional standpoint, but in the digital marketplace both shows routinely landed in the top ten animated shows on iTunes, one digital portal where there is at least some barometric in place to determine popularity of the content. The million dollar question is whether or not television shows like the ones we lost even need a network to be viable when they could be offered up digitally and then sold in season sets like every other series out there. In this model the studios can control their own content without the need to depend on a network to support their content.
This is where SMGO.TV and the recent Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign really makes this conversation interesting. Essentially a Kickstarter for television series, SMGO.TV is attempting to put the fate of shows in the hands of the audience by giving them the chance to help fund them. The overwhelming response from fans to both Green Lantern and Young Justice essentially crashed their server during their beta phase and the effort has led to an official conversation taking place on April 11th between SMGO and Warner Brothers. Given that Warners okay-ed the highly successful Veronica Mars campaign it’s not beyond reason to think that maybe the studio is seeing the writing on the wall and is among the first studio brave enough to consider the digital marketplace as viable enough to forgo the traditional model of providing entertainment. Whether this means a new season or a series of direct to video movies is unknown, but I truly feel that we can help shape the future of these shows and influence the powers that be to consider this new avenue for providing content to a hungry audience.
We’ll know more soon, but the one thing we as fans need to continue to do is make ourselves heard in a vocal but positive manner. Tweets, Facebooks postings, emails and letters are power tools that we all have at our disposal and if we truly care for these shows and want them to continue we simply cannot falter in expressing our desires. It’s no guarantee that our efforts will pay off, but honestly nothing will happen if we don’t step in and be the heroes for our heroes.
So here is the contact information for the main entities that we should focus our energies on, courtesy of the Justice is Ours organizational blog. Make sure to be positive and supportive of BOTH shows as we are in this together.