NBC’s Saturday Night

Lorne Michaels vision for Saturday Night Live, an American late variety show, came to life on the night of  October 11, 1975 premiering on, well you could’ve guessed, NBC. Saturday night live was a hit in family homes all across America. Reaching an audience range many shows couldn’t. The goal of SNL wasn’t just to get that quality audience, however get the audience the other shows couldn’t get. This late night comedy stared weekly celebrity host and musical guest with that formula your guaranteed to get people watching. If it wasn’t for the show it was for whoever was going to be on it that week. This is just a pure example of television and the family. NBC’s Saturday Night gives families the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a show together.

With cast members like  John Belushi and Chevy Chase each week something new was going to happen. Thats what keeps this show running from day one is each episode is never going to be the same as the previous. Each celebrity host puts there own twist on it and the cast is there to back up there image and put on a show. The range of cast members this show has gone through is hard to look at and think that they’re still on the air. As of Season 44, SNL has featured close to 150 cast members. Thats what keeps so many people watching and shows how when reviews go down and they do have a rough season, they have something new coming that can bring them right back up. So for the families that eat dinner in the living room, or the families that eat dinner, and then go to the living room to watch that late night Saturday time slot. I bet it was SNL.

Because SNL was such a good example of Television and the family it brought in all sorts of commercials and sellers trying to put they’re product in the late night time slot rather than the prime time.  In 1975 and 1976, they were the most desirable demographic for television advertisers. In this era of Broadcast Television, adds where everything. The way SNL brought something new to the table shows how much of an impact it was and still is for telivision and families.

– Drake Nickolaison

The Jetsons: Who Needs Color in the Future Anyways?”

The Jetsons is an animated cartoon series about the nuclear Jetsons family living in a futuristic world. The show aired on ABC for its first season in 1962. After years of reruns, The Jetsons returned with new seasons on ABC, CBS, and NBC, from 1986 to 1987. It was the first show in color on ABC, and one of the first shows to be on all of the Big Three at the time.

Broadcast and cable have always been in competition. Viewers tuned into cable more often because there were more networks available than broadcast. It was clever of the producers of The Jetsons to broadcast on ABC, CBS, and NBC, during the post-network era because it gave the show the leg up with more air time, and more outlets to watch it from. As opposed to cable, yes having many networks, but shows were instead aired on single networks. Viewers were able to watch their respective shows on one of the Big Three broadcast networks, then watch The Jetsons without the interruption of having to change the channel.

Although The Jetsons technically had 3 seasons, it is accredited for only having one since further seasons came out 20+ years later. The Jetsons was going to be ahead of its time with its color televisuality. The bright neon colors were supposed to transport the audience, painting a futuristic world of robot maids, floating cars, and jetpacks. Instead, it fell through to its then audience, due to the noncolor/color dynamic. The show was produced and broadcasted in color, but less than 3% of households could view it in color, because a color tv was needed. The show was made to be bold and captivate its viewers with various shades of blues and purples as the floating carships zipped through the sky. But instead, there was dull shades of gray.

I chose two clips, one to show it in black and white, and another to show color. The black and white clip is a 1963 promotional commercial for The Jetsons. Without color the scenes are dull and only the use of advanced technology is alerting the viewers that they are in the future. Color advances the televisuality by creating depth in the scenes, and by making everything in general more appealing.

-Nina-Simone Avery

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