This Business of Show

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This Business of Show

Post  Instant Monkeys on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:50 pm

I wanted to post this New Yorker article about the music business -- specifically about Ester Dean, who writes (or "writes" depending on your opinion of these things) a lot of Rihanna's songs and a lot of other current hits, and a couple of dudes collectively known as Stargate, who provided the original tracks. It's about the process of creating hit songs -- like, most of the hit songs currently on the radio -- which is pretty much the definition of "writing by committee."

I know I was recently complaining about Rihanna, and honestly this music is not my music, but I found this fascinating and an interesting art form in itself. It is a new way to do things, all right, and very profit-driven, but interesting nonetheless. I think it does take talent to be able to sort of conjure up songs the way she does. I believe this is the same lady who was on American Idol recently, in a segment where the kids visit a studio and something something Ice Age something, I wasn't paying attention, but she definitely had some sort of mixing board and was recording them and whatnot.

I spent half the article going "My God, what has this world come to" and half going "These people are kind of geniuses."

Yes, this is from March and I'm just now reading it. Such is the current state of my New Yorker reading. You can blame all 3,000-odd (so far) pages of a little book series by a guy named George R. R. Martin.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  choubetcha on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:40 pm

That was really interesting. It makes me think of the songwriter competition show on Bravo last year, Platinum Hit, which I think practically no one watched. The winner didn't play any instruments and couldn't read music but had a real knack for coming up with something catchy. She destroyed all of the more traditional singer-songwriter types.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  blixie on Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:06 am

Ah, the eternal debate.

There are so many layers to this conversation. And I do wonder how the new realities for the working class musician making 35K plays into the increasingly "written by committee" kind of radio universe we have today.

I think what Lowry doesn't get is it's very hard for this consumer, particularly a DIY punk rock consumer to conceive how cheap technology and "democratization" isn't part and parcel of that ethic, or at least hypothetically could/should be. The ethic of a thousands of punk rockers that sold shirts that said "Don't Suck Corporate Cock". Now I totally get that which kind of corporation has the artists on their knees has *changed* from corporations that were even at their worst defined by being about MUSIC to corporations defined by selling Technology, and I agree the negatives have disappointingly outweighed the positives on the music industry, but I'm not sure how you stuff this particular genie back in the bottle. His message seem to be Apple is destroying the artists, please buy my music from Apple.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Eris Rising on Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:45 pm

Jimmy Kimmel is moving to 11:35, with Nightline taking the 12:35 slot. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is a good move. Letterman's ratings have been stagnant, and Leno has been such a disaster since his return to the show that he's had to go through major budget cutbacks. They'll still be dealing with the Stewart/Colbert one-two punch over on Comedy Central, and Kimmel will present yet another challenge.

I'd go so far as to say that we're going to see either Letterman, Leno, or both retire within the next year or two. Not necessarily as a result of Kimmel, but as a result of this and numerous factors that have been in play for several years. Leno's reputation is in tatters, Letterman seems to grow more tired of his job by the day, neither are the go-to folks for younger viewers (meaning that their audience is slowly dying off), and then there's the aforementioned ratings issues.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Never Enough on Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:53 pm

I agree. My first thought when seeing the announcement was the issue of Nightline being bumped. That was a real issue before, but it seems like a good comprimise. Switching time slots for now and giving Nightline time to set up going into primetime.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Binky on Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:54 pm

In Bill Carter's The War for Late Night, he theorizes that talk shows a la Leno and Letterman are an endangered species. I'd rather watch Kimmel over Leno or Letterman, but I also can't remember the last time I watched either. It's Daily Show and then bed for me.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  bookworm on Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:39 pm

I wish Craig Ferguson would move and replace Letterman, but that's just me. I enjoy his show most of all, but rarely see it because of the lateness.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Jamie on Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:44 pm

I love Craig Ferguson. I'd watch it every night if it was on earlier, instead of just nights I can't fall asleep. I also watch Conan quite a lot. It helps that TBS repeats it, so I'm more likely to catch it. Same with Daily Show/Colbert. I almost never watch them at their original air time, but I watch their repeats every day.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Never Enough on Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:02 pm

Craig has been pretty consistent in saying he has no interest in replacing Dave. I don't think his style would really work in the 11 PM slot anyway. He needs a small theatre, more direct interection with the audience.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  mayram on Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:34 pm

Never Enough wrote:Craig has been pretty consistent in saying he has no interest in replacing Dave. I don't think his style would really work in the 11 PM slot anyway. He needs a small theatre, more direct interection with the audience.

Yeah, he's far and away my favorite late night host but I feel like the "prime time" (for late night, anyway) slot would ruin his show. It would probably give it a more sanitized, duller feel.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  The Dude on Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:58 pm

Eris Rising wrote:Jimmy Kimmel is moving to 11:35, with Nightline taking the 12:35 slot. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is a good move. Letterman's ratings have been stagnant, and Leno has been such a disaster since his return to the show that he's had to go through major budget cutbacks. They'll still be dealing with the Stewart/Colbert one-two punch over on Comedy Central, and Kimmel will present yet another challenge.

I'd go so far as to say that we're going to see either Letterman, Leno, or both retire within the next year or two.
it'll be Letterman. Leno will die at that desk and there's no way NBC will let him go after the Conan mess.

Dave did say when Stern was on the show he only saw himself doing it for another couple years.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  biakbiak on Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:47 pm

George Lucas to donate the bulk of the money he got ($4 Billion) from the sale to his charities.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  biakbiak on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:06 pm

Jeff Zucker to get a chance to ruin CNN!
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  biakbiak on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:29 pm

For lack of a better thread Inside the demise of Up All Night; so much tinkering and meddling for which I thought was one of the better comedy pilots that season!
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Poubelle on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:40 am

Fascinating article.

Has there ever been a case where massive tinkering with a show has ended well?
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Binky on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:54 am

Poubelle wrote:Fascinating article.

Has there ever been a case where massive tinkering with a show has ended well?

Not that much tinkering. I mean, I can think of shows tinkered with a bit, but typically small changes before they even started airing or in the very first season. Like 30 Rock replacing Rachel Dratch, for instance. The Mindy Project has swapped supporting actresses.

Some of the first season changes to Up All Night, such as increasing Maya Rudolph's role, make sense. But the second season changes seem to be in response to, like, a focus group or something. I don't know why they changed the dynamics of the characters, or why they added new characters.

I can sort of see why they tried so hard to save it - Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph are a pretty awesome cast. But it sort of seems characteristic of NBC these days, like they have no idea how to build a sitcom or drama anymore and will stab wildly in the dark like that will work
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Arabella on Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:14 am

From that TV Guide article:
Ultimately, a script was written in which Applegate, Arnett and Rudolph played actors portraying the characters Reagan, Chris and Ava on a fictional show called Up All Night. Off the show-within-a-show, Arnett's character would live at home with his mother, and Applegate's would be dating. Rudolph's real-life pregnancy was being written into the storyline — and included a "who's the daddy?" twist.
Just...what?

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Gilraen on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:01 pm

That is so ridiculous that it sounds like the kind of thing someone would come with to deliberately tank the show.

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Kiran on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:09 pm

The Melissa Etheridge part is what made me go what in the hell?

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Morning Angel on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:25 pm

Gilraen wrote:That is so ridiculous that it sounds like the kind of thing someone would come with to deliberately tank the show.

Yes, it sounds like a left-over Jack Donaghy tries to tank NBC plotline
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Instant Monkeys on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:06 pm

This happened with Roswell. It was crystal-clear that there were network people trying to "fix" it. There were three seasons, I think, and each had a totally different tone. I can't remember the details anymore, but I think it started out sort of teen-romancey, and then got more sci-fi, and then they tried to smooth over the sci-fi with more romancey stuff. It just basically descended into incoherence.

Same thing with Millennium, Chris Carter's other show. Season 1: Darker than X-Files, very scary and somber and bleak. Basically Frank Black walking around frowning. Season 2: Morgan & Wong came in to run it, it immediately switched to black humor, and they had Frank get divorced and added Kristen Cloke in what seemed to be an attempt to make the show "look" more Mulder and Scully (Frank and Kristen Cloke with flashlights walking around bantering; it happened more than once and it was transparent and did not fit with the show as established in my opinion -- Frank does not banter and it was definitely not a "sexual tension" show). (And, of course, it was part of Morgan & Wong's ongoing campaign to give Kristen Cloke a job, which took priority over the needs/conventions of whatever show they were working on, not that I am still bitter about The Field Where I Died or anything.) Season 3: Morgan & Wong left and they completely reformatted it again: Frank's wife dies and he moves to Washington and gets a partner who lost her sister when she was a child, because I guess they hadn't yet tried ALL possible elements from TXF to "fix" it with. The tone gets somber again. Season 4: There is no season 4. I like episodes from all 3 seasons but it's clear the network was only interested in it if it could become a pop-cultural juggernaut like X-Files, and it was never going to be that and it never got there.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  laddical on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:47 pm

"Going meta" must be something they teach in Hollywood script-doctor workshops or something. "When all else fails, make the story about the problems with creating the story." It's not exactly a *common* theme, but this is at least the third time something has been tinkered into that exact situation. Adaptation at least stemmed from the screenwriter's own imagination as a means of dealing with the unadaptability of "The Orchid Thief", but Bewitched languished in development hell for years before they finally stopped trying to adapt the show and made it a movie about actors trying to adapt the show.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  Instant Monkeys on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:18 pm

And to me it's a little lazy. It's the equivalent of sitting at your desk not knowing what to write about and ending up writing a humorous essay about things that are on people's desks. It's sort of transparent and not as innovative as I think people think it is. It can be pulled off (I loved Adaptation), but should be used extremely sparingly and as a last resort. Which is the resort it certainly seems these folks were at.
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Re: This Business of Show

Post  big chicken on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:20 pm

Kiran wrote:The Melissa Etheridge part is what made me go what in the hell?


I didn't get that part either. Melissa was going to be watching the show within the show or was there just going to be random shots of Melissa in her living room?

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Re: This Business of Show

Post  QueenSix on Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:16 pm

Instant Monkeys, I feel your pain re: Millennium. I had no idea what I was watching from one season to the next. And the whole Kristen Cloke thing made more sense to me when I found out that she married Glen Morgan. Which good for her, but she was just okay in Space: Above & Beyond. There was nothing about her that screamed STANDOUT TALENT.

All the tinkering with Up All Night has left me WTF. And I've never even seen an episode nor do I have any connection with the show. If I were the creator or ex-showrunner, I think I'd be setting effigies of the executives ablaze.

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Re: This Business of Show

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