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Jack Myers On the Road

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Yet on this Thanksgiving week, there are a few things to be thankful for in this environment where the state of TV is concerned. First, television’s absence in this eco-system hasn’t hindered a remarkable television era from taking shape – one that will influence the rest of this decade and beyond. Consider the explosion of original programming all over the place, especially distinctive scripted series, along with the adoption of smart TV sets by consumers allowing them to watch their favorite networks, the Internet and original interactive applications; the quickening adoption of accessories that make TVs “smart,” such as Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV, and growing avenues for talent to break into the medium, such as the New York Television Festival and South By Southwest.

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The quality that sets “The Middle” and “Mom” apart from most comedies is that they overflow in every episode with uncanny insights into the way tens of millions of American families actually live, a quality generally absent from other series in the family sitcom genre, since the ‘50s a crucial cornerstone of the foundation of broadcast television. It’s as if every comedy producer in Hollywood except those directly involved in the creation of these two shows is afraid to acknowledge the reality of modern family life: It’s all about living without enough money and the ways in which people behave under those circumstances.

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