The Impact Of Prestige On The Media Essay

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Prestige shows such as Game of Thrones (2011—), and now Westworld (2016—), are valuable to HBO for their synergy. If a viewer is going to pay a premium for HBO then premium channels need to justify the cost to those subscribers, subscribed either through a cable/satellite provider or via an app on a device, that the channel is worth having. Promotion though a show’s synergy is evident through the networks investment. High production values, distinguished actors, and well-known directors, ensure that audiences are getting what they paid for, not to mention that the network garners recognition with such prestige shows. But this has been a slippery slope for HBO, as the network needs to meet to a certain level of expectation with their original programming in order to keep current subscribers, as well as to bring in new ones. The challenge in this is twofold. First, investing in a show such as Westworld, a sprawling hybrid of western drama and sci-fi, is a risk even for the cable-subscription network. If it fails, it fails hard. Production woes proceeded Westworld’s reputation, “all provided fodder for anyone skeptical of HBO’s ability to execute a big-budget sci-fi drama as ambitious as anything in TV history,” says Daniel Holloway, Senior TV Reporter at Variety, “…then the show debuted, became a hit, and spoiled a perfectly good narrative about how it was destined for disaster” (Holloway). Secondly, since most prestige show seasons are shorter than traditional television, ten
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