2.02.2006

Preach, brother

From Joe Flint's TV column in the WSJ (sub only):

"Mr. McPherson seems quick to blame the producers involved in 'Emily,' but what about his own network? These days, most producers don't have the latitude to cast even benign parts or make minor tweaks to scripts without network approval. If Mr. McPherson were truly surprised by the creative issues, then ABC's own programming team also fell down on the job by not realizing how dire the situation had become."


Emphasis added to make one point -- how you have to run all your casting by the network. I had a (even more) veteran writer complain that, in the old days, the network only wanted approval of your leads, but your side characters were your choice. This makes perfect sense to me because your leads are the face of the show and the network has a stake in it, but your other characters are mostly there for funny and you, as the writer in charge of generating funny, should know best who will deliver it for you. But now you don't get that choice. What this leads to almost invariably is that the hotter less-funny woman gets chosen over the funnier less-hot woman. And hot less-funny is what comedy is all about!

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