What is the next trend in syndication?
Given that there are too many court shows and given the genre we're intent on pursuing is the one that most people seem to be emulating, I'm going to have to vote for our relationship-dating genre. The proof is there in the listings of the other studios. They're all trying to climb aboard the Blind Date
What show currently in syndication do you wish you could distribute?
I got it already. The first one or two shows in a new genre take the fruits of having "first mover" advantage. The clones end up having to fight for life. My development strategy has always been to be the first. I also have great respect for Friends
How has consolidation affected your daily operations?
Consolidation has made us work harder, which is a good thing to hone our development: We have to do that to stand out in a crowd. At Universal, we don't have a domestic [station] alliance, so we have to convince the buyer that our offering is better than the offering that he or she is being "told" to schedule. [With alliances], it's easier to produce a deal.
Is there a show or talent you passed on that you wish you could take back?
No, and I'll tell you why. Our company's strategy has changed over the past couple of years, so anyone we may have passed on, we passed on for strategic reasons.
Where do you think the syndication business will be in 10 years?
In 10 years, station managers and program suppliers will be arguing about whether or not to support NATPE next year, just like they did 10 years ago and just like they're doing now. There'll be a lot of change, but the one constant is the studios will doubt publicly whether or not to support NATPE and then sign up for it anyway.
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