A lost art

Watching "Fairly OddParents" with my daughter, I realized it has something contemporary prime-time shows don't have. Well, it also has pace, but what I'm thinking of is that it tells you the premise of the show in the theme song. You can't do that in prime-time, because you don't have time (shows have gotten almost a minute shorter since I started working in network, and I haven't been working in network that long).

A subtle consequence of this is that networks feel that premise-y sitcoms (think "Green Acres" or "Gilligan") don't work, because today's audience won't get it. Today's audience doesn't get it because you don't get the chance to explain it to them. Hence shows that are easy to understand, like a fat guy and his skinny wife.

Of course, if you had a good theme song, that would help to brand your show. But I don't know why networks would want that, either.

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