…Yes, he’s a producer, not a writer. But that’s the thing. Producers know. Which is why producers get laid and writers…well, not as much. (What? You thought it was the producers’ charm? Good looks? C’mon!)
Exclusive Q&A: Hot Producer Mark Gordon Reveals What TV Projects the Networks Are Buying – by Lacey Rose
Becoming a successful film producer is hard enough. But Mark Gordon has achieved the extremely rare feat of conquering television as well as movies. As of Sept. 20, the prolific producer had sold at least 11 new TV projects (eight dramas, three comedies). If they make it to air, they’ll join Gordon’s other small-screen offerings: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy andPrivate Practice, CBS’ Criminal Minds and Lifetime’s Army Wives. On the film side, the Producers Guild of America co-president has been behind movies big (2012, Speed) and small (The Messenger,The Details), with several more (includingAngelina Jolie’s Kay Scarpetta project, based on Patricia Cornwell’s novel) in development. The ABC Studios-based Gordon, 54, a soon-to-be-remarried father of two girls who got his start in off-Broadway productions, sat down in his artsy West Los Angeles office to discuss network buying habits, studio missteps and the genre he’d love to tackle.
The Hollywood Reporter: What are the networks looking to buy this development season?
Gordon: It’s gotten much narrower in terms of what each network wants. People are still interested in procedurals, but they want more character. ABC and NBC want more character, but they don’t necessarily want the same kinds of characters in their procedurals. The pilots that were picked up this year at ABC say “fun;” the pilots that NBC picked up say “smart, a little more sophisticated, a little more intellectually challenging.” CBS continues to do what it does, but even the three procedurals it picked up are more character-driven than they used to be. Fox didn’t pick up much, and the CW is still the CW.
THR Are you comparing NBC to what it previously had been or to the other networks?
Gordon: I don’t know what NBC has been over the past couple of years. It had been more of a hodgepodge before [entertainment chairman] Bob Greenblatt arrived. If you look at the pilots he picked up, there’s more thought-provoking; they’re not as easy to watch as the ABC shows, which are more candy.