TV to the Web – Web to the TV???

June 25, 2007

When the Internet first came around TV producers were reluctant to deliver their content in the new medium. TV was TV and the Web was the Web. At first, many producers looked at the Internet as just that – a new medium for delivery. What they didn’t know was that this was not just a new medium for delivery of existing content, it was THE medium for delivery of NEW concepts.

Homestar RunnerI first heard about Homestar Runner when I started working with 2 web developers from the University of Alaska. Camie and Melanie turned me on to these guys back in 2002 when we were working on some support issues. At first I was like “Ok, these guys are weird” but after a while I started to really enjoy it. Short clips that lasted under 2 minutes were the staple. Something that the TV medium just won’t support. This was right after Atom Films and a few other early video sites started (No YouTube was _not_ the first video aggregation site).

At the time most TV cartoons were only running on TV. Even the radical Cartoon Network remained popular only from their TV audience. But then the Video revolution hit and TV producers were not scared to publish their content on the Internet. In fact, most of them jumped ship completely because the Ad revenues far exceeded that which they recieved from the Television Studios. Plus, with the popularity of the Flash player, they could push ideas out faster.

So, I naturally thought that the progression would move from the Web back to the Television. I envisioned that artists would use the Internet as a low end pilot system where they could test out their ideas. When one got popular, they would shop it around at the TV stations for that illustrious weekly spot on Cartoon Network or the like. However, it appears that it may not happen this way:

It seems like a foregone conclusion that the hit online animation Homestar Runner and his cartoon friends will end up alongside Meatwad, Space Ghost, Brock Sampson and the other pop culture icons on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim — a block of cartoons for grownups.

Unfortunately for this would-be marriage, the only people who think Homestar isn’t quite right for Adult Swim are the character’s creators, Matt and Mike Chapman.

I would now agree with Mike and Matt. Keep the show where it made it’s history, where it has it’s sharpest fans. It proves to me that maybe the Television is the 2nd medium. That the Internet will dominate and as TV advertisers flock to the Internet, you will see a ration of content larger than ever seen before.

Nice Work Guys! Long live Strong Bad.

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