I ran across a comment on the blog that I wrote last week. It caught my interest.
Not to say you guys won’t get there, but . . . I don’t know; perhaps it’s where I live, but I don’t often meet people who would be considered your target audience. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I thought about it for a bit, and wondered, why would he make that type of comment? It didn’t take that long to realize that what is happening at least in terms of Ejdalise, is that many people don’t really understand our goals and intentions for this program, and thus think that we are aiming to create a show that is aimed at our smallish, yet active skeptical community. This is just not so.
In order for a TV series to be successful in a “real” way that’s judged in the scale that will even make a blip in the Nielsen ratings, one must create a program that is consumable on the national, dare I say, international, scale. Too bad really, because that means that we have to create a show that must be, hmm how to say this correctly well… just easily understood by the general TV viewing audience.
If we went out and created a TV show “For the Skeptics by The Skeptics” We wouldn’t last a season, probably only two episodes. Forget the major networks, it wouldn’t get off the ground. As big as the community is, we’re not nearly big enough…yet.
I find most TV pretty dull, and rarely educational. I have my favorites, generally divided into two categories: Mainstream network sitcoms that I can watch while working away on my laptop without fear of missing an important plot point.. A handful of network weeknight prime-time shows. Then there’s a few shows that I truly anticipate and watch, Mythbusters is surely one of them, I love to learn how things are made, how processes work and I really enjoy learning about new science, though most science shows seem to be re-hashing of pretty out of date science “wow” bits.
This sounds like I’m bashing the very industry that employs me, I’m not. We all understand that in order to be successful in business you need to provide your customer with goods or services that they want, and in this case, our product is televised entertainment, and our customer just happens to be the majority of the TV viewers. Well, that’s the hope anyway.
The Skeptologists needs to be a show that non-skeptics can watch and really enjoy. A show that teachers can comment on in their 5th grade class the next day to their students. That the assembly line worker can joke about to his buddy over the din of the machinery. And.. I didn’t forget.. A show that skeptics can watch, be entertained and educated by. That’s a tall order. I want to create more than a show, I want to create a culture, and carefully injected into that culture is hopefully a few small bits of a molecule that will grow within the public. An idea that thinking things through with different ideas and opinions is good. Questioning things that are taken for granted, and sometimes just stopping to wonder why.
We all used to do it so much as a young child? Why this? Why that? At some point along our growth, we stopped asking why, and got concerned with how much? What’s in it for me?
I know what your thinking, “Oh no, the show is going to be boring and dumbed down.” Not so. My aim is to assemble a program that’s got great, new, relevant science, fun and interesting tests and experiments to determine and come to conclusions right before our eyes. The show is about a cast of characters who all come from different but amazing backgrounds and a way to watch as they all bring their own perspectives to bear on the subjects.
The show is about The Skeptologists and without giving away the format, it’s about how they interact to come up with solutions to problems and challenges. It’s not about the things, it’s about the emotions, the wonder and the creativity that’s required to be a good thinker, scientist and skeptic. It doesn’t matter if they are performing high level equations or simple arithmetic, that’s not the story. The story is why we do things this way and why some people choose not to take the time to consider why, or how.
The world is full of people taking advantage of other people in many different ways. The Skeptologists have the power to show people how to think better, deduce, use logic and critical thinking. Maybe we’ll start to find that people just need a common ground in which to discuss tricky topics. It could be that they never gave it much thought, or perhaps, they didn’t dare bring it up for fear that their own doubts would be looked upon by others as negative. By creating The Skeptologists culture within our show, our viewers can talk about the show… but hey, look at that, what they are really talking about is how they’re suddenly skeptical about something.
So who is our Target Market? I’ll be bold and greedy and say: Almost everyone. That’s a really tough demographic, but I intend to give a bit to everyone, and my amazing cast and crew will deliver the goods… I’m sure of it.
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