The Glass Teat, October 25, 1968
The "Generation Gap".
Whatever happened to that phrase?
Ellison has a lot to say about the profoundy conservative attitudes of TV at the time, in that their main appeal seemed to be to the generation that grew up in the 30's and 40's and ignoring their younger audience. Which didn't mean their programming was any more mature - it merely meant it was dominated by the kind of entertainment popular back in that period.
Variety shows, especially - a form of TV that seems to have disappeared. These shows featured a mix of comedy skits and musical numbers, much like a cleaned-up version of the old burlesque shows. These had no interest for the younger audience, so they failed to watch - and in a vicious circle the younger audience was shut out in favor of their elders. And so on.
These days, instead of the mere three channels (plus public television) that we had back in '68, we have a proliferation of cable channels that feed that same kind of need for nostalgia - TV Land and Boomerang being only two, plus channels especially for older shows from the 50's and 60's. The "free market" has won and we can all indulge in our respective nostalgias in peace, never having to be bothered with programming we don't understand or like.
I don't know if that's a good thing or not.