ABC

Mighty no more: The sad, greedy decline of network television into games and circuses

Mighty no more: The sad, greedy decline of network television into games and circuses

Just when I start to think network television couldn’t get worse, along comes a promo for a new prime-time show that convinces me it has not hit bottom yet.

But, oh, what a long, sad, downward journey it has been for the once-mighty media brands of NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox.

CBS and NBC all but invented TV as we know it in the late 1950s, and they were among the most dominant economic, cultural and political forces in the nation for half a century.

Each new fall season, they put forth an impressive array of new series that both reflected and shaped the popular culture. Their news divisions played as large a role as any single institution in setting the national...

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