Now that the television season is over and there's no more Lost or American Idol to drool over, Jessica and I have been TiVo-ing (I hope there's a consensus on how to spell that soon) older shows and I'm reminded that there is probably an enormous number of fantastic series and movies that I've never seen. I rarely go see movies in the theater anymore because they're pretty boring, and I wonder if we're reaching the limit of what new stories can be told in 30 - 120 minute chunks. Just about everything -- except news and reality shows -- are simple repeats of what's been done before. (And some say that even history repeats itself.) Why bother spending millions to recreate what already exists? Just to do it in HD?
Eventually human civilization will have a large enough library of visual fiction and efficient enough indexing and retrieval that there will be no need to create new content for mass consumption. I'm sure some artists will continue to create for the sake of their own vanity, but just as creation and distribution costs get cheaper, the market for new material will continue to shrink because there will be so much great, old material that's still new to huge swaths of the population and available cheap or for free.