Washington, D.C. (December 26,
2011) -- It's that time again
when all good pundits make their predictions for the coming
In the past, I have restricted my predictions to the TV
technology industry. But this year, I am changing up and
including my forecasts for the entertainment side of television.
And instead of offering my usual portion of 15 or 20
predictions, I am making 50 predictions for television in the
That's right. 50 TV Predictions from the web site you have come
to know and love, TVPredictions.com.
My predictions cover such topics as Apple's new TV, Howard
Stern's invasion of network television, the chances that a major
corporation will buy DIRECTV or Dish Network; whether
Friday Night Lights will become theatrical movies;
which TV shows will be cancelled; which TV picture technologies
will advance; what will happen to Netflix; and many, many more.
So, Swanni Sez, let's dive into that crystal ball and start
making some predictions!
1. Apple TV Will NOT Launch in 2012
Despite what some Wall Street analysts have predicted, Apple
will wait until 2013 to release its much-anticipated
company-branded TV. Why? It's the economy, stupid. Apple is
shrewd enough to know that you don't try to enter a new business
category when consumers are counting their pennies.
(Particularly a business category as tough as the retail TV
business.) Plus, another year will give Apple time to smooth out
some of those 'revolutionary' features that the late Steve Jobs was
allegedly working on.
Trouble For HBO
HBO has seen its subscription totals erode somewhat in recent
years, but 2012 will put company executives in unemployment
lines; Time Warner shareholders in the 'sell' line; and perhaps a few
creative types in coke lines. Recession-weary Americans need --
get it, NEED -- to cut back their monthly TV bills. And with HBO
charging roughly $16 a month -- more than any other premium
channel -- it will be the first place they cut.
To make matters worse, HBO is ready to file for intellectual
bankruptcy. The channel just cancelled three disappointing
comedies and the ratings for such dramas as
Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones
have been so-so at best. And whoever green-lighted that turgid
ratings-bomb, Mildred Pierce,
should be hauled off and sentenced to work at PBS for the rest
of his/her life.
AMC's Ratings Will Get Even Better
Thanks to declining subscriptions for HBO -- and the return of
Mad Men -- AMC's ratings
will jump again in 2012. Ex-HBO subscribers will turn to AMC, a
basic cable channel, for cinema-like scripted drama.
4. Howard Stern Will Bomb On America's Got Talent
Howard is sarcastic, bombastic, acerbic and controversial --
everything a mass audience hates. And the last time I checked,
NBC still has a few hopes of reaching a mass audience.
America's Got Talent returns this
summer, but Howard will take a fall by fall. (And for those
who say Simon Cowell's outrageous personality has succeeded on
network TV, look at Simon and then look at Howard (Come on, look
at that picture above!) It's not just Howard's personality that
scares the mass audience. And I say that as a Howard fan.
5. Consumers Will
Continue to Ignore 3D TV
The studios and TV makers will make
another attempt to cram 3D TV down our
throats, but Americans ignored it in 2011
and they will again next year. The
Hollywood and tech elite don't seem to
understand that watching 3D at home is
an intrusive, uncomfortable experience.
It doesn't add to your enjoyment; it
interrupts it. Television is supposed to
help you relax, but 3D TV actually
raises your energy level -- and not in a
6. Charlie Sheen's
Anger Management: Losing!
In the summer of 2012, Sheen will return
to sitcom life with Anger Management
on FX. But the show will be dead by
2013. Why? It's the stupid, stupid!
People have grown weary of Sheen's
stupidity tour; it's just not funny
anymore and everyone knows it except for
certain network executives who will find
out the hard way.
7. Netflix Fires
CEO Reed Hastings
Hastings masterfully built Netflix
from an idea in 1998 to an industry
powerhouse in 2011. But last summer,
Hastings suddenly morphed into a rank
amateur, raising prices and insulting
his audience with a myriad of confusing
policy twists and turns. The damage has
been severe with Netflix hemorrhaging
subscribers. In 2012, Hastings will have
to take the fall for his erratic
8. No One Will Buy
DIRECTV or Dish Network - No One!
Every year, pundits and analysts,
myself included, predict that some major
corporation will buy one of the nation's
two satellite TV services. Not gonna'
happen; at least not in 2012. Too many
financial and logistical obstacles. And
when you factor in Dish's maverick CEO
Charlie Ergen, who's tougher to
negotiate with than an Mel Gibson ex,
the chances of a deal get even smaller.
PLUS, even if an AT&T makes a bid for
Dish or DIRECTV, the feds will swat it
down faster than Shaquille O'Neal in his
prime, claiming anti-competitive issues.
9. No One Will Buy
Likewise, every year brings a prediction
that some company, such as Apple or
Yahoo, will swallow up TiVo. Sorry, that
ship has sailed. Thanks to plunging sub
numbers -- and the heavy distribution of
cable and satellite-branded DVRs --
TiVo's value has dropped like a rock.
The company's patent portfolio is
basically all it has left to sell, but
it wouldn't bring a sufficient return to
make it worthwhile for TiVo to pull the
10. CNN Will Fire
It's bad enough that his ratings are
falling short of his predecessor, Larry
King, but a new report seems to surface
every month that the ex News of the
World editor may have had some
involvement in the phone hacking scandal
in the UK. It's time for CNN to throw
Piers off a pier. (Hey, maybe Howard
Stern can replace him after he leaves
America's Got Talent! He replaced
him on that show!)