According to the Guardian, "Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle started poorly with just one million viewers" the other night. By whose lights is that "poor"? Considering that he's not a household name and there had been no big press campaign, I think the fact that a million people watched him indicates that inertia remains the greatest force in determining the size of a TV audience. It's simple mathematical fact that as media options increase, the number of people choosing any one option must become smaller all the time. TV has more trouble than most coming to terms with this because it still feels somehow entitled to command our attention.
One of the most interesting representatives of the modest tendency in entertainment is Moby who many years ago said that in the future there would be less millionaire rock stars. He's posted (via the Lefsetz letter) about his new album. "I like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record," he says and admits, "for even one person to make the effort to listen to music that I’ve made is pretty remarkable, and I need to be humble and respectful in the face of that." I'm sure his record company aren't keen on him saying that but it's true.