Monday, 19 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #557: POST #1,000

Welcome to the show folks...

Just as I logged on to write this post I saw that it would be my 1,000th post. So let's mark this ultimately pointless milestone by sending me large amounts of money. Who wants to send me some cash?


Fine, be that way.

For my 1,000 post I am looking at two stories of cashing in when you can.


Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of Fox TV's hit show
Glee has inked an extremely lucrative deal to stick with his hit show, and to develop new shows. I won't go into too many details, except to say that he will now sleep in a solid gold house atop a king-sized bed with a mattress stuffed with $100 bills, and pillows stuffed with feathers from birds that went extinct centuries ago that were hand plucked by Rupert Murdoch himself during a time travel expedition. This goes on top of his already lucrative screenwriting work, the latest being the up-scale New Yorker finding themselves by traveling, eating & shagging, epic Eat, Pray, Love.

I say good luck to him, and that he should get as much as he can, while he can.


Because it can't last.

I laid out some of the possible reasons for Glee to crash and burn when I heard it was renewed for a third season before it even finished its first, and it doesn't involve 18 year old guest stars getting botox.

For those too lazy to click the link, I'll summarize:

1. The fandom and hype around
Glee is just too intense. It's like the old Nat King Cole song, it's just running too hot not to cool down. The hotter the show, the faster the chilling, and the colder it gets, sometimes completely freezing everything and everyone involved. Only the most charismatic and talented can survive that sort of hype-storm, and Fox putting the Glee performers in as many Fox related things as they can is not going to help them in the long run. The odds are really good for people to turn it on during season 2, wonder why they got so excited the previous year, and change the channel.

2. The cast is already in their mid-20s and will be hitting their late 20s during season 2. Passing them off as high-schoolers will get tougher. Plus, they should be all graduating at the end of season 2. What then? Do they get a new glee club together? Does the teacher follow them to college? Do they forget graduation and try to go all
Head of the Class and try to keep them as high school seniors when they're actually closer to senior citizens?

So I say to Mr. Murphy, get as much as you can while you can. Get as many new shows up and running as fast as possible and hope that they hit it, so that when
Glee does crash and burn he has an escape hatch.


The CW Network has purchased the sitcom 18 To Life from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), joining CBS's police dramas
Flashpoint, The Bridge, (co-produced with CTV) and ABC's Rookie Blue (co-produced with Canada's Global Network).

I was actually surprised to hear that CBC, Canada's tax subsidized 'public broadcaster,' actually went with this deal. Usually when one of their shows attracts considerable foreign interest they cancel it as fast as they can. Apparently the show was originally developed for ABC, but they passed and CBC caught it, and has now joined the other networks in selling their shows over the border.

Personally, I think it's a good thing.

90% of programming watched by Canadians are shows imported from America, with a sprinkling of British shows on our cable networks. Our domestic TV producers are usually geniuses at missing opportunities. Alliance-Atlantis TV, our biggest producer, produced the immense CSI franchise with American mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and what did they do this success? Did they use it to sell their other shows? Did they use that clout to expand and grow into a new market?

No, they pretty much dissolved themselves into
a mish-mash of companies incapable of doing much of anything substantial.

That's why I'm rooting for the Canadian shows that sell south of the border, and it's our own damn fault that we didn't catch on and break out of the cable/syndication ghetto into the prime-time network big time long ago.


1. Shows set in Canada and dealing with Canadian situations aren't all that alien to our American cousins. Our accents are understandable, our institutions are a little different, but not in any insurmountable way.

2. We have an excellent roster of talented performers and comedians who usually end up going to the states anyway, so it's nice for them to stay home and make a living.

3. It's just plain cheaper to make television in Canada. Canadian TV production doesn't have a lot of the baggage piled on it like ones made in California.

The American networks actually need Canadian shows, because they pretty much screwed up their own development systems following the twin false prophets profits of corporate synergy, and reality television. The myth of synergy has alienated a lot of talent, and pretty much cut them off from any access to the network higher ups. Reality shows stopped being the cheap panacea they were originally conceived of being, becoming more and more elaborate and expensive to stand out among the pack. This coupled with the decline in the popularity of reruns as summer viewing has left American networks with a black hole in their schedules.

Unable to develop the new scripted programming that advertisers demanded themselves because of all the walls they erected between them and the talent, the networks needed programming that was easy to sell and already put together. They found that material in Canada.

So good luck, I hope the Canadians do well, they could use it.

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