New York — Jason Mittell had other things to do last month when ABC aired a two-hour debut of the drama "Red Widow," so he set his digital video recorder to capture it.
Then the Middlebury College professor and Just TV blogger saw the show's disappointing ratings the next day. He deleted the DVR file. If the show already appears to be on thin ice, why bother watching?
Skittish viewers who guard their time are making the already difficult task of establishing new dramas on broadcast television even harder. If the show becomes a hit, technology offers many ways to catch up later. It's just one more advantage for cable networks at a time when they already seem to have the upper hand with dramas.
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