Q. But what about the studio? The network pays the license fee, but the studio fronts the production costs, right? So doesn't the studio do a lot of hand-holding on both ends? giving notes, rejecting notes, and acting as a buffer between the showrunner and the network when it comes to network notes... any thoughts?
Ah, well. That.
American networks have enough clout that they unlikely to tolerate their notes being mediated by the studio. They're going to want to talk to the showrunner. However, the studio will have its own notes, because they have to make up their budget deficit by overseas sales. Overseas audiences may want more action and less talk. (Action is universal. Talk translates poorly.) They may want less sex (except in France, but they have their own shows). They may be more sensitive to how Muslims are treated. Or Asians. Or Asian Muslims. And, anyway, it's their deficit dollars, so that buys them the right to have their concerns addressed.
The showrunner has to reconcile all the notes. Sometimes they contradict. On Galidor
, if I remember correctly, FoxKids wanted "more action." YTV wanted "less violence." Different countries and different audience demographics. Imagine what fun we had (the showrunner, Tom Chehak, and his staff) delivering more action and less violence. We wound up with a lot of guys in costume jumping around and missing each other.
As always, "addressing concerns" is not the same as "doing as told." Sometimes it's more important to make the execs feel they're being listened to, than to actually do what they think they want. Sometimes you have to do what they're asking. A showrunner has to be a bit of politician to know which battles to pick with the people paying the bills.
Labels: network, notes, showrunner