Television Production By Democracy? Filibuster -- And Bring Back The King
Television production by a committee of professionals? It never works. So why would a bunch of viewers do any better?
They won't. Democracy in television production is a nice, almost PBS-like idea. But it's also a set-up for big problems. As lame as it sounds, you always need a vision, someone at the helm. You may have a team of 20 writers for a drama or comedy, but you need a strong voice.
In "Seinfeld" you can hear one voice -- even when there were a bunch of writers contributing, even when they're deciding on the "Bro" or the "Man-siere."
Syfy is working up a two-hour Saturday original movie to which viewers will contribute by voting: casting ideas, story arcs, characters, whatever. It's a nice publicity/marketing stunt. But if viewers truly contribute equally, we know how this stuff would end up: in one big mush.
No doubt, there will be a leader for the Syfy effort, someone looking to incorporate all those ideas. But one thing for sure, it won't be a democracy. Decisions have to be made. Characters will need to move smoothly from one spot in the first act to act three for everything to hold together.
At best it'll give Syfy lots of stuff to work with. The good news is that it'll prod the real executive producer into responding to ideas like, "Oh. That's awful" or "Yeah. Kind of funny... for a Ben Stiller movie. This is sci-fi."
If anything, producers will get a "House" moment, where the rejection of material actually gives you another, better idea of what to use.Come to think of it, "The making of a Syfy movie with help from its viewers" would make for a better story.