They are just really stupid people in Hollywood

They are just really stupid people in Hollywood. You write them a script, and they say they love it, they absolutely love it. Then they say, ‘But doesn’t it need a small dog, and an Eskimo, and shouldn’t it be set in New Guinea?’ And you say, ‘But it is a sophisticated romantic comedy set in Paris.’

P. J. O’Rourke

6 thoughts on “They are just really stupid people in Hollywood”

  1. The CBS guys in the 90’s loved Bilson & Demeo’s proposal for a FLASH TV series.
    When filming started, they started asking for changes. Why film the superspeed running with CGI? Why not just fake it with slomo?
    And did he really need the red bodysuit? The thing is espensive and garish. Wouldn’t a gray running suit do?
    “Yes… We could do that. But then you have the Six Million Dollar man instead of THE FLASH. Do you really want to give money to Glen Larson?”

    They relented.
    And then they took a critically acclaimed and expensive show and put it on thursdays 8PM between THE COSBY SHOW and THE SIMPSONS. Then tbey moved it to 8:30 PM. Then they moved it three more times to the point TV GUIDE couldn’t keep track of it. And then they cancelled it because there “was no audience” for a straight superhero show.

    They may not all be stupid but collectively they do a lot of stupid things, especially when it comes to SF&F.

    NBC, for one, paid for a full season of CONSTANTINE (that was brilliant) then held back the premiere until after the Olympics and then had to renew or cancel before the first episode aired. They cancelled it. When it ran, it won its time period handily but the cast already had gotten better paying jobs. And, of course, they would have to admit they were wrong to cancel it before airing.

    Fox was no better: several of the writers and producers of X-FILES crafted a serious and critically received SPACE ABOVE AND BEYOND. It ran the same year as the convoluted and trite SLIDERS, with so-so reviews and ratings. At renewal time, they of course chose SLIDERS. Which they recasted trying to find an audience and cancelled after the third season. And, of course, there was FIREFLY…

    And the less said about APPLE, the better… (Blind horse barbarians. Right.)

    It isn’t just tbat they mishandle the shows, it’s that they keep trying, picking up content they don’t understand.

    • Hey, blind guys with swords in the woods is the best thing to come along in a long time. Whoever thought that one up is a genius. Season 3 is about to start.

      • Getting paid for that?
        Genius.
        Paying for it?
        Not so much.
        Now Netflix getting WB to give them SANDMAN instead of putting it on HBOMAX?
        That is true genius.

  2. The OP rather assumes (a) the very existence, the very possibility, of a “sophisticated romantic comedy set in Paris,” and (b) that either the author of the OP or any H’wood executive could recognize such in the first place. Given that the author of the OP spent several decades as the “foreign affairs correspondent” for Rolling Stone, and that I know some H’wood execs (mostly adversarily!), my confidence level isn’t too high.

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