Though syndicated television may be considered “fringe” to TV professionals, it holds a special place in the public’s hearts. We have all had days where all there is to do is watch TV. Before the times of Netflix and DVR, all there was to watch was live television. I remember watching reruns of old cartoons when I got home from school, talk shows with my mom during the day, and game shows with the family. I have definitely been a “fringe viewer” of syndicated television many times. And though it doesn’t always push the boundaries as we know independent texts normally do, It is independent.
Syndicated television is considered independent as it is produced and distributed independently of major corporations. Though unlike indie films, syndicated TV doesn’t push aesthetic boundaries. This is because there are aspects of stability and reliability in television that people have come to expect when wanting to watch syndicated television shows like talk shows and familiarity in reruns. “Syndication has remained vital to many corners of the media industry during this period precisely for delivering the one factor lacking virtually everywhere else in the industry: stability…The primary reasons for this stability are the programs themselves, which, after a tumultuous wave of bold and often exploitative ventures in the 1990s, have settled into a hegemony of tried-and-true, anti-controversial genres and programs.” (56)
Syndication plays an important role in today’s television market and people’s lives. It brings familiarity and stability that everyone can enjoy. There are some syndicated programs that do push boundaries as well. They do this in such a way that still appeal to audiences. As stated in the article, “by experimenting with techniques that extend the visual range of the format and further capitalize on their personalities’ interpersonal skills to guard against format exhaustion.” (71). Such techniques are helpful in pushing boundaries and moving forward with the trends of current television.