Strange as it may seem, cable TV, like Time Warner Cable Austin, actually might give creators more creative freedom than other areas in Hollywood, at least according to some sources. Cable is pretty desperate for original content, given that networks are dividing and multiplying faster than the cells of a brain tumor in stage IV. Most cable networks are filling spaces with silly reality TV shows that have neither substance or creativity.
But let’s say you actually do have an idea for film entertainment that is actually really creative – going to get a movie produced actually relents more creativity than if you were to create a televisions series. Just ask Matt Nix, who used to write and rewrite screenplays for all kinds of Hollywood projects that ended up getting trashed right before getting the greenlight.
So his agent told him, switch to TV. Poor Nix did and lucked out with the very first pilot he wrote up, called “Burn Notice.” You’ve likely heard of the show, now pushing six years on the USA Network. It’s about cops that are corrupt and trying to figure out stuff in Miami, where apparently there are a lot of cops that do naughty things.
This wouldn’t have likely been the case 10 years ago, but now they seem to be letting writers do what they want to do instead of taking orders from other folks. And cable is seeing results happily, getting the kind of attention that hasn’t been seen in Hollywood since the early ‘70s. It’s sad to say, the real action and drama is no longer splashed on the silver screen, but sprayed all over your living room.
This is a great model for cable TV, like what Time Warner Cable Austin is doing, because they’re getting so much money from it. If only Hollywood would take note and start making some movies that people actually want to see.