At today’s “Produced By” Conference panel Episodic TV: Elements of a Hit, panelists agreed that there’s “no such thing” as creating a hit TV series show anymore. “A hit is a show that you manage to keep on the air,” said Bill Lawrence, creator and executive producer of Spin City and Scrubs. He noted that all of the panel members had created scripted shows that received better ratings than American Idol — but none of those shows are still on the air and AI still is. “What is a hit is something way less transparent than it used to be,” explained Mad Men creator and executive producer Matt Weiner. The bottom line, said panelists, is that your TV show will eventually hit a peak, and then it’s just about holding onto an audience for as long as possible after that. Don’t expect your broadcast or cable network to help, either. The Ghost Whisperer executive producing and directing duo of Kim Moses and Ian Sander told a story about when they took the marketing of their show into their own hands (and wallets). After both CBS Television Studios and CBS were too cheap to cover the measly $350 needed to create a little excitement at Comicon before the show came out that fall, the producing pair themselves underwrote the creation of a comic book based on the series that they handed out. — posted by DHD stringer Rebecca Ford.
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