Thriftier perspective on TV production

A TV camera taping

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: It appears the Hollywood writer's strike may finally be coming to an end. Leaders of the Writers Guild meet tomorrow to go over the details of a possible settlement. Shows could get back to production next week.

But that doesn't mean it'll be business as usual. Stacey Vanek-Smith explains.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: The writers' strike has cost studios a lot of money. It's also touched off introspection into the economics of how movies and TV shows have traditionally been made.

Mark Lacter covers Hollywood for LA Observed:

Mark Lacter: You have a very antiquated system. And given what's been happening with the Internet and all of these other influences, you're going to see a real radical changeover.

Lacter says in order to stay profitable, networks will be trying new things, like launching shows on the web and scaling back the free-spending TV pilot system.

Screenwriter Alexi Hawley says he's not worried. He says the way people consume entertainment has changed before -- the one thing that hasn't changed is the appetite for it.

Alexi Hawley: The economic model that any company in the world would love is that you can make a product -- Gone With the Wind -- 50, 60 years ago, and you're still making millions of dollars off that today.

So it looks like the Oscars are safe this year. But don't get too comfortable. Whatever deal is reached will likely expire in just a few years.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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