TV News and Tidbits 5/23/12 – Community, Smash, Women Pilot Writers

How Did Women Pilot Writers Fare For 2012? [Deadline]
– This “analysis” is bad, cherry picking a few choice statistics and drawing the big picture from there. A few problems with her line of thought. 1) What are the percentages of scripts sent to the networks from men and women? If only 1% of the scripts were sent by women, then obviously very few scripts from women would be picked up. Shouldn’t this be important information to know? And before anyone still says there should be a 50-50 split, it’s pretty obvious that the more scripts sent, the more likely there will be a good script in there. Now if 80% of the scripts were sent by women, then the statistics cited would be a problematic. Without them, however, they’re useless. 2) The networks’ goals are to maximize profits. To say that all these networks are conspiring against women in lieu of making money is stupid. Yes, it’s likely that most male network executives will have biases towards male writers, but that means they’re missing out more deserving scripts written by women and not making as much money as they could be. Another possibility is that perhaps men just have better scripts, again because more men are writing scripts, so there are more good scripts written by men out there. Interestingly, her comment about the CW, “CW continues to be a leader, both in the quality of their pilots and how many are written by women (holding steady at 50% for the last three years)” would seem to suggest this, if we attribute viewership purely to script quality (something I don’t believe). In the end, these numbers don’t prove anything. As for her comment about writers of color, how about she, a white person, give me, a person of color, her job. That would be nice.

A bunch of people are leaving Smash [EW]
– I think the only people who really needed to leave the show were Ellis and Michael. They were simply too creepy and outlandish to serve any purpose. Dev and Frank, while boring for the most part, were suitable on the show.

Seth Gabel not returning for Fringe’s final season [TV Line]
– This makes sense for a story standpoint, as long as bridge can never be reopened.

Dan Harmon was fired from Community and it ain’t pretty [Paste Magazine]
– Yes, Dan Harmon seems to be a hard guy to work with, given what we know went down between him and Chevy Chase. But he’s also a brilliant writer who shepherded Community through three amazing seasons with plenty of fresh ideas. It looks like the show is headed in a new direction, with a new slate of producers and no Dan Harmon to even lay out the next season. There was a trade off between having to deal with Dan Harmon and having his ideas, but in the end it was simply too much to keep well. What’s weird, though, is that Robert  Greenblatt would chose to lie about the situation just to calm the fans, when Dan Harmon, as he eventually did, could easily tell the truth.

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