Change is eternal. Time passes and you grow old. Things start to sag, get puffy, and your old clothes just don’t seem to fit anymore. Short of going under the knife and forwarding thousands of dollars to your favorite plastic surgeon, there really isn’t much you can do about it.
The story works much the same way for television, particularly in the cable realm. As your audience grows older and their tastes and interests change the powers that be in tv have a two options: grow old with your audience and lose advertising dollars as these audiences move out of the coveted 18-49 age range or move away from the original purpose of the channel. Channel drift is a well known phenomenon in television with for most people MTV serving as the poster child for the seemingly never ceasing debate on whether this drift is a good thing. And of course it’s simplistic to think that aging audiences are the only reason for this drift, but its a good one.
The TV Squad’s Joel Keller voices his two cents on the topic in a piece decides to separate the drift that is currently taking place or has taken place over the last couple of decades into the winners and losers. Disagree as you may with his scoreboard (and I do) its an interesting piece in understanding how things change in the boob tube industry.