Many people have asked me, “Joss, what is the future of television? What will we watch? And how will we watch it? Surely you must know, for you are wise, and slender.” I usually smile and say nothing, because I wasn’t actually listening to the question. But it’s a good one, and I think it’s time I let you in on a few highlights of Television-to-Be.
The networks will all be creating exciting, innovative new spin-offs of today’s shows. Approximately 67 percent of all television will be CSI-based, including CSI: Des Moines, CSI: New York but a Different Part than Gary Sinise Is In and NCSI: SVU WKRP, which covers every possible gruesome crime with a groovin’ ’70s beat. (Jerry Bruckheimer will also have conquered Broadway with the CSI musical “FOLLICLE!” starring Nathan Lane as a frenetic but lovable blood spatter and Matthew Broderick as lint.)
Lost has that one-of-a-kind alchemy that really can’t be copied. Therefore, look for the original series Misplaced, as well as Unfound, Not So Much with the Whereabouts and Just Pull Over and Ask!
In a stunningly cost-effective move, CBS will air How I Met Your Biological Mother, That Bitch, which is just old episodes of How I Met Your Mother with snarkier narration. HBO’s Westminster will continue the trend pioneered by Deadwood and Rome by making 19th-century England really dirty and weird, like Jane Austen with Tourette’s. (Actually, I can’t wait for that one.) Also, the constant slew of cable mergers will result in the creation of CinePax, a channel that’s just very confused about its morals.
Every year another film actress gets “too old” for film leads and finds a (sometimes much better) home on TV. This trend will continue a few years hence when the aging but feisty Dakota Fanning headlines CSI: Vancouver Made to Look Like Chicago.
Obviously, we’ll see advances in technology. TiVo, iPods, streaming video “” the way we watch TV is changing dramatically. It’s on our phones, in our cars “” even projected on specialized eyeglasses. But don’t listen to the talk about having shows beamed directly into your brain. That’s science-fiction nonsense. Shows will be stored in the pancreas and will enter the brain through the bloodstream after being downloaded into your iHole.
And what of me? My short-lived series Firefly was the basis for the epic action film Serenity (now available on DVD! I have little or no shame), and the future will see even more incarnations of this visionary work, as it returns to TV as Serenity: The Firefly Years, then back to film as Firefly: Serenity’s Sequel, back to TV as SereniFly, and finally end as the direct-to-eyeglasses series Choose a Damn Name Already. I promise it’ll be as heartwarming and exciting as the original Serenity, now available on DVD. (Explain again this thing you call shame….)