Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Networks vs. The Net

This article by Patrick Goldstein is a month old, but worth reading for describing the tension that exists between the top down networks and the bottom up net.
"You can see why people find YouTube subversive," says [Alex] Gregory. "If you were to put all the failed [TV] pilots up there and some of them became popular at a time when the shows the networks put on as series were failures, it would make them look terrible. In fact, it would make their jobs look superfluous. If you prove their taste wrong or incorrect, that's a pretty dangerous scenario."


Steve Schnier said...

Hi Mark,
To play Devil's Advocate; While a pilot on YouTube may be a great way to get the work seen - one concern a programming exec would have is, "Does this show have legs?" Will it sustain for 100 episodes? While a pilot may be a brilliant 'one-off', will it keep its audience over the long haul to amortize its costs? I doubt if YouTube or any popularity based sites take that into consideration.

Mark Mayerson said...

Steve, the unfortunate truth is that nobody knows what will be successful long term. Networks and the public can only judge what exists, not episodes yet to be created. Given that, I'd rather go with "the wisdom of crowds" than the decisions of network execs and their tiny focus groups.

The failure rate of TV series is insanely high using the current approach. If alternatives for choosing TV series are worse, let's prove it rather than guess.