A TV Truism

Canadian TV writer Denis McGrath posted on his blog a simple TV truism that is nonetheless often taken for granted in this business:

The process of making a Friday Night Lights, or The Wire, or The Shield, is exactly the same process that results in Being Erica. It’s just as much work to conceive of, break story for, and execute a little confection like Ugly Betty or Reaper or Cupid as it is to make The West Wing.

No matter what the show is, whether it’s winning Emmys or going unnoticed, it still boils down to a showrunner and a bunch of writers in a room, breaking stories that can be told in four acts and shot in X number of days for X amount of money.

4 thoughts on “A TV Truism”

  1. All the shows he lists are good shows, though some are more respected than others. (Being Erica is a gem!) The other thing we tend to forget is that it *also* takes the same amount of work and heart to make “bad” shows. I worked as hard on Baywatch as anywhere else. A lot of things can make a show go wrong, but laziness or apathy are not usually among them.

  2. Gillian,
    I didn’t know you worked on BAYWATCH! I rarely admit this…but I worked on the show, too, during it’s “unsuccessful” run on NBC before it became a global phenom. It was the hardest show I’ve ever worked on…mainly because all lifeguards do is dive in the water and rescue people who are drowning. It’s not easy to spin 22 hour-long episodes out of that…especially if you’re stuck with the Hoff and Parker Stevenson.


Leave a Comment