Bill Bregoli, entertainment correspondent for CBS Radio News, says young people will watch entertaining shows no matter how long ago they were created. “College kids in particular seem to want to go off and find new things, so they’re sort of a new audience now,” he says. “[They’re] also watching things like Game of Thrones, too, which is interesting. So they’re up for old and new stuff.”
Bregoli says it’s not a new idea for entertainment media to keep older product available to the public. “Radio caught on to this trend years ago,” he points out. “For how long have stations been playing the greatest hits of the ’80s and ’90s and that sort of thing? It seems like TV is actually catching up to that.”
Bregoli says we’re not certain how big this new young audience is. “It’s hard to get ratings figures out of Hulu and Netflix. They won’t reveal exactly how many people are watching,” he says. “But it’s got to be profitable for them because they don’t have to produce the shows. All they have to do is buy the rights.”
The recycling of all these older programs, Bregoli says, doesn’t mean producers are out of new ideas. He points out that there are 470 TV shows currently in production, and the number is expected to rise to 500 by next year.