I was watching Moneyball the other day and one thing struck me, what if the same principles were applied to British Media?
The baseball concept was to find undervalued players to make up for budget shortfalls and showed that the system was working off a flawed concept.
To use one genre as an example, current television comedy is using a similar now flawed concept that is ripe for reinvention. From my experience, the talent scouts currently employed at the major production companies seem to follow the same tradition of discovering stars that translate well to television. By translate I mean the usual footlights type. This has worked previously in creating iconic programmes but for the last few years that way of bold thinking has fallen to the wayside. The output is all the same and the format is becoming stale because if it. Turn on the TV and innovation has all but stopped.
No matter where you look, these same faces appear on television talking the same comedic language.
Instead of trying to replicate the same televisual template, the Indies should be hiring people who think out of the box and stop searching for what would fit into the current lineup. Everyone is playing it safe for the sake of ratings but bold choices are for the brave and the rewards can be more enduring.
Two examples are The Real McCoy and Goodness Gracious Me that literally created an audience nobody thought existed. The Office also made the sheer boredom of office life gripping viewing and Chris Morris’s output is pure anarchy.
Obviously it’s not just down to the Indies as the commissioners need to be open to these unique ideas and be involved in the risk. Historically there have always been “quiet slots” to try out ideas so the gamble is minimised.
I have personally met some of the most respected, innovative and talented comics on the circuit who you will never know because their attitude doesn’t fit into the current mold. The right spotter can pick this talent and nurture them into creating something truly different. I think it’s high time to shake things up and hell, if it fails what do you lose from the small outlay?