Tuesday, October 02, 2007

For You Television Folks...

Who read this blog from links on other, fancier blogs. Lee Goldberg (DIAGNOSIS MURDER, SHE-WOLF OF LONDON) talks about the differences between German and American television.

He makes several very important points about consistency, a good concept and how a show should be run from the Writer's Room. As he describes it, much of German television is produced in separate units with the director in charge. This allows for wild inconsistencies in how stories are told for a series and doesn't foster "destination viewing."

Lee also says that things are turning around and PRO-7 (pronounced "Pro - see-ben") is taking the first steps toward the idea of a writer's room with the series creator working out the storylines with the freelancers and then sending them off to work. They still don't have what we consider to be a "staff writer," but it's a step in the right direction.

Now why do I say "a step in the right direction?"

Well, I for one will want to see these new shows they develop using the writer's room methodology. That, combined with the spectacular production value they pump into every show says they can easily dub their shows into english and expand the competition.

Competition is a good thing. The problem has always been how to compete. The Brits do it by making these low run six-pack shows like JEKYLL and PRIMEVAL and LIFE ON MARS, creating self-contained novels for tv (which in my mind has influenced how DEXTER, THE SOPRANOS and MAD MEN has been structured). The Japanese make these weird shows with tons of physical and visual FX (or at least the ones I watch). The Latins make these year long tele-novelas (which has led America to remake their UGLY BETTY).

Yes, competition is a good thing. An influential thing.

It is also great teacher, and one thing we need right now - in the beginning of this so-so television season - is some schoolin'. We talked about it last night on the Geekerati Podcast (see right sidebar player for your convenience).

I look forward to your thoughts.

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