Monday, November 07, 2016
Not sure if producers want the audience to admire him for his stance or dislike him for his misbehavior.
But my daughter, Annie, who has worked on sitcoms, had another take. And independently, I had the same reaction.
When a star of a television show has a tantrum and possibly shuts down a series he is costing over a hundred people their jobs. Suddenly, his “integrity” and need to be respected as an artist goes right out the window.
Most of those hundred people make way less money than the Kevins of the world. They have families to support, jobs are not that easy to come by, there's rarely stability, and they work extremely hard for zero recognition.
It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Peoples’ lives and livelihoods hang in the balance.
After the first season of ALMOST PERFECT, my fellow co-creators, David Isaacs and Robin Schiff, were called to New York to meet with Les Moonves. He wanted us to get rid of the boyfriend. This is a decision we vehemently opposed. The center of the show was the relationship between Nancy Travis and her boyfriend. Without that we pretty much had nothing. We could have stood up in the meeting and said, “Well, that’s not the show we signed on to do” and left. ALMOST PERFECT surely would have been cancelled and we would have been spared killing ourselves in season two trying to find clever entertaining stories.
But we had a staff and a crew, and it would have been totally irresponsible for us to just abandon them for the sake of our so-called “artistic integrity.” Sometimes Hollywood is hard.
THIS IS US is just a TV show (a very popular one) and what the ramifications are of Kevin’s blow up are up to the producers. I’m sure they’re laying out a string of behaviors to help define all of the characters over time.
But from an insider, more important than preserving the integrity of fictional characters on TV shows are taking care of the people who make them.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM