In which one of TV’s (and the interwebs’) funniest writers takes on the major networks and their seeming desire to turn the talent that really makes TV great into the villains in every discussion:
by Ken Levine
A recent article in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (yes, I read ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, what of it?) by Lynette Rice claimed that the major networks are crying that they can’t get the best talent anymore. A-List writers, producers, directors, and actors would much prefer to take their projects to Netflix, Amazon, A&E, HBO – just about anybody other than CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.
Especially now that these other platforms and services pay what networks are offering, top talent, who once brought networks projects first, now bring them to networks last. And this couldn’t come at a worse time for networks since their ratings continue to hemorrhage. Now more than ever, they need HITS. Instead, they’re pitching ideas that were rejected by Nick at Nite and cable channels no one can get.
This goes along with yesterday’s post about how the networks once ruled the world. But as Bob Dylan said (back when Bob Denver’s GILLIGAN’S ISLAND drew an audience of 30,000,000): “For the loser now will later to win.” Providers on channel 458 now rule.
Can networks do anything to reverse this insidious trend? Can they once again attract the best writers and producers? Absolutely. And they can do it overnight. And it won’t cost them an extra penny. It’s not like the answer is to outbid everybody. Nope. They can even save money….