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“RIP pilot season”

Did you all see this article from the Hollywood Reporter? If not, it’s a must read. It outlines the pros and cons of Fox’s Kevin Reilly’s recent proclamation of war on the traditional development season. What do you think? Is it time for the broadcast nets to revamp their business model?

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Is TV Eating Itself?

Wonderfully written Op-Ed by Andy Greenwald of Grantland. Agree or disagree, this open-faced look at TV is definitely worth a read.

Truly original ideas are hard to come by, but they’re even harder to get on the air, as executives increasingly reach for recognizable packages that save them the trouble of marketing or explanation.

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State of the (TV) Union

I am constantly asked by clients how to best position their television (or multiplatform) show given the changing media landscape. The question always seems to be, are networks going to become irrelevant? My short answer is, I don’t know (psst…neither does anyone else). It depends how well they adapt to consumers’ viewing, media consumption and purchasing patterns.

But I do know that right now, at the present moment, networks are still doing three basic things: paying for TV shows, marketing those TV shows, and distributing them. Now, some may argue that they are not doing any of those things particularly well. Fair point. I can certainly tell you from experience that the amounts they are paying producers have been dramatically cut. Despite all that, though, a TV show is still a TV show. Any way you slice it, people are still watching TV. A lot of people. Advertisers are still paying for eyeballs. Watercooler discussion is still focused on TV (read: Breaking Bad finale). In other words, even though you can buy toilet paper online and have it delivered to your doorstep, lots of people still go to the store, buy a big ol’ package of Charmin, and lug it home.

It is changing, yes. As a content creator, you have many more options now than ever before regarding how best to produce, market and distribute your show. But for now, the old guard still remains. And as long as networks remain standing with dollar bills in their pockets, you still need to know how to pitch to them.

More from Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast, on this subject, in this interview with PBS.

In his words: “Will there be a lot of choices that don’t involve networks? Absolutely.”

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A (Biased but Fascinating) Look into “Smash”

While I don’t normally head to BuzzFeed for my television news, I have to admit this article includes some good “dirt” on the behind-the-scenes drama of NBC show, Smash.

Yes, I think Smash has its issues. Yes, it was clear there was trouble in the writers’ room. Yes, there were way too many cooks in the kitchen on season 1. But yes, I am nonetheless addicted to the show. So sue me!

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What’s Working (and Not Working) in the TV Universe

Here’s a great update on the current television season, what shows have been axed, and what to expect in the new year. What new fall shows are you hooked on?

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Anthony Bourdain’s Rant About the Travel Channel

If you haven’t read Bourdain’s latest blog post, it’s definitely worth a look. It takes a lot for a long time television veteran to defile the network that took a chance on him. As always, though, I’m sure there is more to the story than meets the eye.

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