Question: I was wondering what's happening to the family dramas. I used to watch all of them when they were on, but with 7th Heaven going off the air, The Book of Daniel being canceled, Once and Again long gone and American Dreams ending last year, there just aren't family dramas anymore. I miss them. Do you think it's because of the NCIS, CSI, Law & Order shows or because of reality TV? I just want good family dramas back!
Answer: I hear you, and I'm especially worried that with WB and UPN collapsing into CW, Everwood (my personal current fave in the family-drama category) will disappear, making the genre even more of an endangered species than it already is. It's not just that crime dramas and reality shows have taken over the network slots, which is true, but that the TV audience itself has fragmented over the years, with families watching less TV together as a unit; this may have dampened the ratings for some of these "family" shows. These dramas also tend to be harder to pigeonhole, which can make them harder to sell, promote and nurture. Were Once and Again and The Book of Daniel, with their provocative adult story lines, actual "family" viewing? I happen to think so. Were WB shows like Everwood, 7th Heaven, Felicity and Dawson's Creek strictly "kids" shows because of that network's demographic emphasis? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, I think that, where these sorts of shows are concerned, the situation will get worse before it gets better.