Decade of TV: Future adrift in turbulent waters

This last decade of TV has added more excitement to our lives than most other decades of TV ever has.

It has been a decade that included saying goodbye to "Friends" and hello to the 22nd season of "The Real World" and 19th season of "Survivor." A period of time in which "The Shield," "Monk," "The Closer" and "SpongeBob Squarepants" proved cable could draw viewers and, with them, real Nielsen ratings. When "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City," series that debuted in the late-late '90s, came into their own in the last decade and drew droves to premium cable where it wasn't just TV. It was HBO.

When the explosion of reality TV and its cheaper production costs started filling network schedules with shows that ask the questions — so you think you can dance, sing, survive, scheme, design, back-stab, swap and win the money or the grand prize or the girl and 15 minutes of fame. That move portended the decline of scripted programming on broadcast TV.

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