Traditional skeds filled with primetime shows and appointment viewing are as passé as skinny white neckties – at least that’s the mentality at Al Gore co-founded cablecaster Current TV. That’s why the mostly non-fiction network tapped into current media consumption habits to create a schedule filled entirely with short-form programming, what the us net calls the ‘TV equivalent of an iPod shuffle.’ Aimed at the 18- to 34-year-old demo, Current TV launched in August 2005 and covers varying topics like fashion, music, spirituality and politics in 15-second to five-minute segments it calls ‘pods.’
Quirky terminology aside, the network is now available in 28 million households. Pushing it forward is CEO and co-founder Joel Hyatt. If his track record for making innovative ideas work against the odds is any indication (Hyatt once successfully challenged the US legal establishment to provide affordable services to families in need), Current’s pod concept may start a new trend in scheduling.
Commenting on Current’s mission to generate a new kind of TV for viewers, Hyatt has used a quote from Orson Welles: ‘Don’t give them what you think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.’ As long as you keep it short.