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Tom Shales - In dying color: No. 4 NBC has cast itself in the role of the fading peacock -

Might the trademark "NBC" be retired and the TV network become just another cog in a large, empty capitalist apparatus -- one that plops out leisure-time product with the slick, chilly efficiency of an assembly line? It's possible that Comcast could be even more tightfisted an owner than GE and that NBC might be the first network to prove that the whole idea of broadcast networks really is over. It could prove it by dying.

One of the networks has to be the first to go, and the most likely candidate is NBC. I was watching "Modern Family" the other night and one of the storylines (if you can call it that on a 22-minute sitcom) was about how no one in the house other than the Dad knows how to use the remote. (Tired gag, but well done in this case.)

So Dad is trying to convince Daughter to let him teacher her how to use the remote to show up Mom who says no one can learn it. Daughter exclaims, "Dad, this is stupid. I watch TV on my computer! Why do I have to learn this?"

It was said in passing but I think that pretty much sums up the future. People like myself who watch TV on the network's schedule, even when you take DVRs into account, are a dying breed and so are the networks. I think my eyes will be really opened up to this when my Moxi arrives this week and I hook it into PlayOn. Even if I watch TV shows being served *from* a computer I don't really enjoy watching them *on* a computer. ;-)


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