Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am


Cable TV vs. Network TV

Everyone has their favorite show that they cannot miss. My personal favorite, along with many other 20-year-old women, is the show Girls. The show follows four girls in their twenties trying to navigate their life in NYC. Issues ranging from relationships, money, and career paths. Think of a more edgy "Sex and The City".

Airing Sunday nights, "Girls" is in its third season on the cable channel HBO. The show's creator and star Lena Dunham states that she wrote the show because there was no representation of her or her friends on television. There was not a single sitcom show that she felt paralleled her life. So she took her idea to HBO and with the help of Judd Apatow, who is famous for movies like "Knocked Up" and "Superbad", she created an instant hit.

So why did Dunham pitch her idea to HBO and not NBC? The answer is because she could produce her show and present it anyway she felt. She wanted 100 percent creative freedom for her show on cable television. That is what you get with cable television, a major difference between cable and network productions.

Cable programs are a choice that many consumers choose to pay extra for, while network stations such as NBC and CBS give access to everyone. This means more people are exposed to network stations, so the subject matter must be more conservative or viewer conscious. On cable you can pertain to any subject matter you would like. Foulwords are usually banned by on network television. There is usually more violence as well.

Think of a show like the "Sopranos", this show was extremely raunchy. Ranging from the subject matter to the language it would have never been able to broadcast on network television. Yet, viewers truly ate it up and made it extremely successful.

Shows see this trend of success sometimes on cable rather than network. Cable has a bigger budget so it can produce better quality shows. These shows can bring in star power usually not seen on network shows. Cable shows take a look at something different. They have more interesting story lines because unlike network shows they have more to work with.

Network shows recycle story lines every new pilot season. The reason is because you can only do so much when you have limitations. New and interesting ideas are hard to come by. It is very rare to see a network show as well received as a cable show, especially in today's society where everyone is always pushing the envelope on what is funny or entertaining.

I personally enjoy both cable and network television shows and, I do not prefer one over the other. It is hard to say that cable is better than network or vice versa but when we sit down to watch television we want what will entertain us the most. That decision is up to you.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151