Reports of Its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News files an expansive article on the impending death of HBO. To hear Umstead and Syracuse University professor of popular culture Robert Thompson tell it, the Not-TV cable powerhouse is “on the ropes” because of newly fierce competition from original programming at TNT and F/X and the looming demise of The Sopranos, “rendering its once unchallenged domination of cable scripted fare as fragile as Janice Soprano’s psyche.” Ouch on both fronts.

Of course, Umstead then trots out statistic after statistic to undercut his argument: overall subscribers have gone up and the channel continues to make billions of dollars for Time Warner. And HBO CEO Chris Albrecht is on hand to tout the series it has in development that all sound more interesting than everything else on TV. Except maybe Shark Week.