Television: When Good Networks Go Bad

Rampaging animals...cheating spouses...big ratings... shockumentaries are hot!

It's oddly compelling to watch network television die. Executives whine about straying advertisers, overbid on sports and berate the Nielsens. Best of all, they're willing to air just about anything. You've got footage of a family caught on top of a rampaging circus elephant? A man urinating in the office coffee pot? Twentysomethings shooting milk out of their tear ducts for distance? The nets can probably squeeze any of that in the slot between DiResta and Malcolm & Eddie. Cable used to be the frat basement of television, full of "Skinemax" and foul-mouthed comics, but now you turn to the double...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!