Tuesday, August 09, 2016
You have a question about something? Bam! They take your call. If they have the Super Bowl that year or the Olympics – you want tickets? No problem.
You’re invited to New York for Upfronts parties. You play golf? Join a member of the higher-ups at his club. His treat. He insists.
Mention casually that you have a cold and an hour later a huge care package arrives at your home or office with chicken soup and muffins.
You get birthday cakes, and baby gifts, and invites to premiers. You get Super Girl mugs, and Grey’s Anatomy hoodies.
They ask if your kid got into that private school you wanted. They wonder if you had a good weekend. If you go on vacation a bottle of champagne shows up in your room.
It's like they... they really care.
And when you have another idea for a show, even if it’s a little bizarre, you just come right in that day, they greenlight, and you’re on the air faster than it takes for the chicken soup to get cold.
That’s what it must be like for Robert & Michelle King now. THE GOOD WIFE was a mainstay on the CBS schedule. Believe me, if I came in and pitched BRAIN DEAD it would not be rushed into production.
Then your big hit runs its course. You receive a lavish send-off, and a few more chances to recapture the brass ring.
And then you start noticing – you’re not invited to the Final Four this year. You had your gall bladder removed and nothing arrived. The last hoodie you got from them was for BECKER. What’s going on here? These aren’t just business associates, these are BFF’s.
A few years go by. You have another idea. You call the network. They’re excited to hear from you. Can you come in and pitch it... in five weeks? You walk into the meeting and there are all new people. You don’t know them, and worse – they don’t know you. They’ve heard of you. And their parents are big fans.
For the first time in years the network passes on your idea. But please bring in anything else.
Such is the circle of life in network television. And here’s the thing – no one who has been fortunate enough to be in that sweet spot, is remotely surprised when it’s taken away. Sure we miss the love. But we miss the muffins more.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM