Parties’ challenge: Make conventions exciting TV

In this Sept. 4, 2008, photo, balloons fall on the floor as Republican presidential nominee John McCain is joined by his wife, Cindy, his family and his running mate, Sarah Palin, and her family, not pictured, on stage after his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. Viewer interest in the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions is still unclear. With the parties' quadrennial presidential nominating gatherings fast approaching, organizers on both sides are bedeviled by a similar challenge: how to ensure TV viewer interest in the multiday affairs, which threaten to be largely predictable spectacles nearly devoid of suspense. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Patriotic music? Check. Balloon drop? Check. Sign-waving delegates? Check. Viewer interest in this summer's Republican and Democratic national conventions? Still unclear.