I don’t know if this is part of a new strategy where networks totally give up on young people, but that is what it seems like. We now have a series that tells us all about Will Graham’s first encounters with Hannibal Lecter (see above), Carrie Bradshaw’s high school years, and Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, for heaven’s sake. These can only be appealing to people who have no imaginations and hate new things, because there’s a ton of great new stuff on television. Granted, it’s exclusively on cable, but it’s there—”Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” even totally inoffensive fare like “Cougar Town” and the USA dramas demonstrate genuine cerebral activity. “Suits” is surprisingly good; “Burn Notice” is great.
Are broadcast networks really that starved for good scripts? The only halfway decent thing I can even think of coming to broadcast in the fall is Joss Whedon’s “Shield” show (and I almost linked to IGN’s coverage of that, until I realized that I would rather saw my own leg off at the knee than link to the actual staffer-created content on IGN. “Reporter” actually describes Samuel L. Jackson as “a very busy, very important man”), and even that is spun off of a movie premise, and not officially greenlit yet.
In conclusion, go watch “Archer” or “Downton Abbey” or something, and try not to think about how your taxes pay for broadcasters to have free access to public airwaves.