U.S. critics agree to disagree on the future of TV.

Position:L.A. Screenings Review

In the two weeks comprising the Upfronts in New York City and the L.A. Screenings in Hollywood, America's local and national press reviewed the U.S.'s upcoming 2017-18 TV season and in the process outlined their take on the future of television.

The New York Times opened the salvo on Monday, May 15, the Upfronts' opening day for the U.S. broadcast television, declaring that "Viewers' Eyes May Drift, but Marketers Are Sticking With Broadcast Television," and followed up with a spacious and pro-broadcast TV article about Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal's head of advertising sales.

The next day, The Los Angeles Times seemed to reinforce the message with a front-cover article in the business page explaining that, "TV networks adapt to ad-skipping viewers," but, at the same time, the paper's headline pointed out that "TV advertising [is] in 'upheaval.'"

Then, on Saturday, May 20, in the midst of the studios' screenings of the new season, both The New York and The Los Angeles Times reports shifted to the quality and genres of the upcoming series. This aspect of the news is usually received with chagrin by the studios, which go to lengths trying not to have buyers get access to critical reviews of the new shows before they have a chance to screen them. For this reason, some studios exclude journalists from attending screenings, especially those who tend to review the new series. While some publications avoid such restrictions by having international buyers register unfamiliar reporters with the studios, VideoAge is granted screenings privileges from virtually all studios because its L.A. Screenings Studio Issue lists only the synopses of all new series.

In its business section, The Los Angeles Times reported, "TV lineups playing it safe," and gave half a page to the fact that "TV networks are bringing back sitcoms," focusing on the ABC revival of Roseanne, a hit from 1988 to 1997...

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