The procedural format dominating network television is criticized as stale and lacking innovation. Shows like NCIS, Law & Order, and CSI, despite their long-standing success, are viewed as contributing to television stagnation. With the rise of streaming and a demand for fresh content, there’s a call for canceling procedural shows that have exceeded their peak.

Procedurals typically follow a rigid structure, revolving around police or medical dramas, with an overarching storyline playing a minor role in most episodes. While successful in the past, these shows are seen as hindering creativity, making it challenging to attract new viewers.

Even beloved series like NCIS face criticism for extending beyond their peak, with some arguing that Mark Harmon’s departure in Season 19 would have been a fitting ending. The addition of new cast members, like Gary Cole in Season 20, is seen as a way to prolong the series, contributing to the decline of CBS’s lineup.

The argument is made for networks to explore more creative concepts in the espionage genre, akin to shows like Homeland, 24, or the later seasons of Person of Interest. Success stories in streaming, such as Succession and Billions, demonstrate the effectiveness of shorter seasons and compelling storylines.

Rather than sticking to formulaic detective stories or weekly serial killer plots, the plea is for network television to embrace original storytelling. Comparing Person of Interest’s evolution to NCIS’s consistency since 2005, there’s a call for change and a move away from decades-old formulas.

While canceling some NCIS spin-offs is seen as a step in the right direction, there’s uncertainty about the potential deviation from the formula in shows like NCIS: Sydney. In a saturated landscape of FBI, 911, Rookies, and Chicago series, the plea is for more innovative shows like Poker Faces that break the mold, tell compact stories, and provide conclusive narratives.

To save network television, the argument concludes with a bold statement: all procedural shows must be terminated. Networks like CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox are urged to learn from successful shows like Yellowstone, Succession, Poker Face, and Reservation Dogs, embracing change and letting go of the procedural format for a more dynamic and relevant television landscape.

By chrysos