The competition never has been more intense. The old-school notion of networks being broadcasters and owning the big-tent audience is largely over. Cable series beat network series with regularity now, often in both total viewers and the 18-49 demo. Launching a series has never been harder or done in a more crowded and competitive environment. You want to pull out because some tweets bruised your ego or the ego of your stars or showrunners? Please. One absent network would be absorbed by others. All four want to pull out in a show of unity? I guarantee the cable channels would seize the moment, take your spot and create a master plan to roll over you. Netflix was here this time. It’s a serious content provider now. It didn’t get much time for its panels. No doubt it would like to be a fixture on press tour. Hulu? Yep. All the cable channels that weren’t invited? Yep. They would all come. And you know what? If all four networks agreed to bail on the TCA, two would change their minds just to screw the other two. It’s that competitive. (Yes, I know that The CW is our country’s fifth network; I just can’t be sure the lights will still be on. But if they are on, they’ll be here — or they’ll be replaced by Crackle or Blip or DirecTV. Book it.)
In case it’s not clear, this is a quote from THE TELEVISION CRITIC FOR THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
This industry’s disruption, let me show you it.