NBC chief: Strike will change TV

Jan. 20, 2008 at 11:07 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- NBC Universal's top executive plans to use the Hollywood writers strike as an opportunity to change the way the U.S. television business is run, a report said.

Jeff Zucker told the Financial Times the strike will allow his network to do away with conventional features of the commercial TV business such as the annual pilot season and the so-called upfront presentations -- annual gatherings at which networks preview for advertisers the shows they have planned for the coming season.

"Things like that are all vestiges of an era that's gone by and won't return," Zucker told the newspaper.

U.S. networks, including NBC, have already canceled millions of dollars worth of conventional production deals since the Writers Guild of America went on strike Nov. 5 against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Zucker said one byproduct of the strike will be that the process of developing TV shows "will change forever."

"I think there were a tremendous number of inefficiencies in Hollywood and it often takes a seismic event to change them, and I think that's what's happened here," he said.

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