This could easily be changed. Suppose each player has a private touchscreen that has no chess AI or databases (the players still have to figure everything out on their own), but allows the players to play out theoretical positions as they think about them.
There should be at least two advantages to that. First, if players can physically visualize their theoretical positions and not just mentally, their depth of analysis should be able to increase a bit, leading to even higher level of play.
Second, the viewers will be able to follow the actual players' thought processes as they consider positions and reject them. And commentators will provide further explanations on why the player is thinking about those positions, instead of only theorizing what he could want to play.
I think this could help making chess look much more dynamic and exciting for the viewer.