Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Kicking the Copycat Conundrum, Continued
2006-10-19 12:30
by Jon Weisman

One of the biggest problems TV networks can have is to try to achieve success by imitating success. "The copycats never seem to be able to replace the original in a lot of genres," Brad Adgate, senior VP and director of research for Horizon Media, summed up the situation in an interview last year. "Originality does win out."

To its credit, CBS is taking advantage of its solid ratings position to try experimenting, according to Michael Schneider and Josef Adalian of Variety:

Already in the development pipeline: a 1970s period drama from Mike Kelley ("Jericho") about wife swapping and the sexual revolution; a project about the women's movement from Bruce Eric Kaplan ("Six Feet Under"); and a laffer from "Borat" scribe Ant Hines, among others.

With auds still scarfing down the net's procedural-loaded primetime diet in droves, entertainment prexy Nina Tassler said it can now afford to chase projects that wouldn't usually be deemed Eye-friendly.

"We are going to throw out the rule book," said Tassler, who admitted that she's faced an "uphill battle" convincing agents and studios to bring their edgier fare to CBS.

The efforts may fail from show to show, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth pursuing. There isn't much to be gained, financially much less creatively, from ripping off someone else's achievement.

2006-10-19 13:52:12
1.   Linkmeister

You know, even taking into account that they are writing for a specific audience, would it kill the authors to spell out the word? It took me nearly a minute to figure that out; I thought it was a typo at first.

2006-10-19 14:00:24
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - That's just the tip of the iceberg.

2006-10-19 16:26:19
3.   DXMachina
Meanwhile, NBC announced they will no longer run dramas or comedies in the 8 p.m. hour of prime time, because they're too expensive. They will put less expensive programming in that slot (Dateline and game shows, I presume). Sigh.

Which you probably already know, but here's one link to the story anyway:

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