2.25.2008

Oscar joke after seeing "The Counterfeiters"

Which I don't know where else to put:

Just think of how many Nazi movies there'd be if we lost the war.

2.06.2008

Going dark

I'm going dark here for a little while; you may have noticed the posts are drying up. I'm still continuing the other thing, but with that + trying to get work again, I can't even do what posting I do.

Besides, a little quiet is good for Lent.

ENVOI: I leave you with this.

2.05.2008

Will Leitch is making sense

In LAist: "I adore Dodger Stadium. I am surprised it doesn't get mentioned with the Wrigley Fields and Fenway Parks when you people talk about great historic stadiums."

2.04.2008

I resemble that remark

Nikki Finke:

"...the big-time agent who described the TV showrunners as 'the plantation owners' vs the TV writers who worked for them as 'the cotton-pickers who should just damn well be grateful they have health and pension and get back to work already'."

2.01.2008

You know what city sucks to live in? Paris.

At least, according to Forbes, according to this bloggingLA post. Why does Paris suck? High taxes, says Forbes. (LA is the 7th most miserable city in the country.)

I question any system where Panama City, Florida can possibly score points ahead Paris on any scale except access to barbecue.

Buy a Masonic Temple!


This Curbed LA post, about the Masonic Temple on Wilshire near where we used to live (and for which Coldwell Banker has the listing -- Valentine's Day is coming up, ladies!), brings to mind one of my favorite crackpot theories -- that at some point the cool Hollywood thing will be to join the Masons or the Elks or some fraternal lodge like that. I just like the idea of the cast of Young People's Problems and The Indie Songs About Them all hitting a Moose local for the wrap party. It could happen!

I really shouldn't be blogging about politics

But I agree with this:

"As for the general election, everyone just has to stop freaking out about poll numbers in February. It's true that McCain is a stronger general election nominee than the other Republican candidates. But most of the public still thinks of McCain as Mr. Straight Talk Express, and after $500 million worth of advertising to point out that that bus is old and broken down, he has no real economic policy expertise, and he's fine with staying in Iraq for one hundred years, the numbers will change."

On TV development

The press of events has prevented me from blogging on this and this from the Times TV blog.

The first is from Jeff Zucker:

Mr. Zucker also gave details about the network’s recent decision to curtail its pilot development season, saying repeatedly that NBC was “committed to as much scripted programming as ever” because of the revenue it generates from advertising, syndication and DVDs.

He noted that the five broadcast networks spent half a billion dollars to develop 80 pilots last year. “Next fall, or whenever the next television season begins, at most eight of those series will return. 1 in 10,” Mr. Zucker said.

As he has done in the past, Mr. Zucker suggested that the NBC broadcast network will increasingly resemble the company’s cable properties. The USA network, for instance, has produced “just five pilots in the last two years,” he said. “Four of them went to air.”

On cable, Mr. Zucker said, “there’s far more discipline, far fewer big name directors and stars, and far greater reliance on script development and guts.”

Even though Jeff Zucker's record as a network executive speaks for itself (Father of the Pride), he is right in every particular here:

1. A scripted show will make you more money in the long run. People are still watching Gilligan's Island.

2. The way the networks develop is crazy.

3. The way cable develops isn't crazy.

Why is this? My opinion: a cable network knows itself and knows what it wants. USA (Characters wanted) stands for something; Bravo (reality in the decorative arts) stands for something; NBC stands for Celebrity Apprentice. Guts means standing for something and not picking something up because you had a marketing retreat where some Mark Penn-wannabe told you what your audience might want.

The second post is about how Raymond and Family Guy are still making coin in an otherwise gloomy syndication market. Why is the syndication market gloomy? Because there's no comedies? Why are there no comedies? Because no network wants to open another comedy night, because the network suspects, probably rightly, that they'll just screw them up. (Raymond and Family Guy are excellent cases in point because Family Guy was cancelled and Raymond almost was. )

I realize this is a long way to just say "Executives are idiots" but sometimes everyone needs to be reminded.