TCA: Cable Has Much To Offer Viewers In 2011

The cable portion of the Television Critics Association showcased a number of quality, original scripted and reality programs – as well as the queen of TV Oprah Winfrey and her new OWN cable network.

The various network TCA presentations unveiled a few programming trends that will play out on television screens over the next year.

–Comedy is in vogue this year as seven sitcom series were presented to TV writers during the TCA.

–Hallmark Movie Channel and AMC will look to resurrect the western genre on television with a TV movie (Goodnight For Justice) and a scripted series (Hell On Wheels) respectively.

–Docu-reality series focusing on such wide-ranging topics as pigeon racing (Animal Planet’sTaking on Tyson); swinging married couples (Playboy TV’s Swing); and kidnap victim rescuers (Discovery’s Kidnap & Rescue) promise to educate and entertain audiences. The granddaddy of all docu-reality series will get its own original movie when HBO debuts Cinema Verite, a behind-the-scenes story of the 1970’s PBS documentary An American Family.

–The Sci Fi genre will look to scare up viewers on cable though several new shows.  On the scripted front, TNT this June will expand its heavy crime-fighting lineup to battle a different type of criminal – aliens hell bent on destroying the earth in the new series Falling Skies.

Meanwhile Starz will examine what happens when on one on earth actually dies in Torchwood: Miracle Day, a U.S. version of the popular British Sci-Fi series of the same name.

For conspiracy theorists, a new National Geographic Channel, Area 51 Declassified, promises to offer declassified military documents about the secretive facility as well as interviews with former workers. If and when aliens officially visit the earth, apparently the government is prepared to defend us from potentially hostile combatants, according to the Nat Geo documentary Alien Invasion.

All in all, cable’s three-day TCA session shows that the industry is prepared to offer content to serve virtually every viewer’s tastes.