Cracking the Code: Developing and Acquiring TV Hits
In this episode, we are joined by Tracy Jean, or TJ, a seasoned executive in the field of development and acquisitions. In a full and frank discussion, TJ shared a treasure trove of insights into the dynamic world of ideation, development, and acquisitions in the television industry. With a wealth of experience spanning decades and continents (three and counting!), she delved into the importance of collaboration, the intricacies of crafting new show concepts, and the challenges of acquiring content.
The Creative Process and the Power of Collaboration
We started our conversation with an exploration of the creative process involved in bringing fresh television show ideas to life. TJ, who has held numerous senior roles in development and acquisitions, underscored the critical role of collaboration and the need for a structured approach when generating innovative concepts. She shared a fascinating anecdote about her participation in an Asian pitch day at the close of 2020, revealing the international dimension of idea generation in the industry.
Not the Best Idea, the Right Idea
When it comes to shaping ideas that resonate with the market, TJ highlighted the delicate balancing act required between market analysis, team brainstorming, and idea refinement. She emphasised that factors such as taste, audience preferences, and the quality of execution play pivotal roles in determining the success of a show concept. TJ also stressed the importance of maintaining a diverse range of formats to ensure that new shows don’t clash with existing favorites.
A No is Better than a Maybe
A big portion of the conversation was dedicated to the art of gracefully handling rejection in the industry – whether you are rejecting, or being rejected! TJ underlined the benefits of a “fast no”, and also of providing clear and considerate feedback when turning down an idea. She pointed out the importance of preserving comprehensive project records, as sometimes a ‘no’ may simply mean that the timing isn’t right for the project. And she shared her “work hack” – never give bad news on a Friday…
The Transformative Power of Television and Its Societal Impact
We discussed with TJ the unifying influence of television and how it allows us to gain deeper insights into different cultures and nations. She shared an anecdote about a show that initially faced rejection due to featuring older characters but later found success, running for three series. On a more personal note, TJ discussed the profound impact of television on societal issues, citing the MTV show ’16 and Pregnant’ as an exemplary case of how television can shape our perspectives on sex education.
Don’t Miss It!
TJ’s interview is a deep dive into the art of television show development and acquisitions, providing valuable resources for those with an interest in the industry. Her insights unveil the complexities of the creative process, stress the importance of collaboration, and offer valuable guidance on handling rejection gracefully. Above all, Tracy’s experiences underscore the profound influence that television wields on our society and culture, making it a must-listen for anyone passionate about the world of television.