Originally Posted by ClearToLand
[DISCLAIMER: I'm a Senior Citizen.
IMHO, the majority of the 'Series Premieres' over the past few years have been crap. Since I now watch a LOT more TV than ever (disabled / unemployed / retired - you choose -> health issues), I'd rather watch a re-run of NCIS *, Law & Order *, Numb3rs, etc... over most of these new shows.
Personally, I blame it on the writers - i.e. IMHO, the GOOD writers have retired / died and this is what the current generation of writers THINKS is good.
I don't think its the writers. There are a LOT of good scripts out there that never get produced. You need to blame the development people at the studios. I see three major reasons why broadcast TV is so bad.
1) The people who are the gatekeepers, who decide which scripts get moved up the chain to the execs, are apparently all kids in their 20s. Whenever a development person goes to set during the filming of a pilot, they look like kids who just rolled out of bed from their sorority or fraternity. Half the time, I think they are interns who should be getting people coffee, until they are introduced as "Meet Joe from (fill in studio name here)" They simply haven't had enough life experience to learn good story telling from bad. They also haven't lived long enough to see what formats have been done a million times before that audiences might be bored with.
2) You'd be surprised at the differences between the original script for a pilot, and the script that actually gets on the air. And all the people in the process who had an opportunity to give the writer "notes" for "improving" the script. So the writers have to pick their battles. Some 'notes' they can deflect, but when the guys signing your paycheck keep asking you to make changes, you have no recourse but to accommodate some of them, if you still want to keep working. Even if the suggestions are outright stupid.
3) Writers don't have control of the final edit of a show, particularly a pilot. Remember that the cut for any TV show goes like this: The editor gets his/her cut, then the director, then the producers, then the studio gives notes, then the network. All along the way, other people are having their input about what makes the show funny or dramatic. And again, sometimes the people empowered by the studios and networks to give notes on the edit are MBAs with zero experience in story telling. And pilots have even more problems. They get shown to test audiences. And then the marketing dweebs who question the test audiences also get input about what the final show should be.
The end result is watered down pablum that often is only a shadow of the original concept.
One of the reasons old TV shows seemed to have better writing is that they had less interference from non creative types. The writers had a lot more control of their product. And the development people and network execs were story tellers, not just MBAs and glorified accountants. And the reason why cable nets like HBO seem to have better programming is that they are still run that way.
On the subject of Sleepy Hollow, we can take it off the list of potential cancellations. It just got picked up for a second season. Good for them.