Here’s How Eight Network Chiefs Would Solve the Industry’s “Comedy Problem”

kent_altermanAt TCA this month, The Hollywood Reporter surveyed 23 network chiefs about the industry, and when asked for solutions to television’s current “comedy problem” they offered an interesting variety of responses. Here’s what execs from NBC, FX, Netflix, HBO, Comedy Central, and more had to say:

The industry’s comedy problem could be solved by:

CINDY HOLLAND (Netflix): Patience and trust that the audience will build over time.

SUSANNE DANIELS (MTV): Unleashing the traditional guidelines for developing and producing comedies. We over-note comedy people, and their ideas get watered down in the stew that’s created by networks, agents and production companies.

MICHAEL LOMBARDO (HBO): Stop looking at focus groups. It’s not working, so throw it out.

CHARLIE COLLIER (AMC): Submitting the next seasons of American Horror Story and True Detective as outstanding comedy series.

BOB GREENBLATT (NBC): A new generation of great writers.

JOHN LANDGRAF (FX): A miracle. Comedy is the most subjective thing and it’s just very hard to create a comedy that pulls a very fragmented audience back together because if you’re a man, woman, person of any sexual orientation, any ethnicity, any age, any geographic region, there’s a show that’s made just for you. So how do you make a show that’s as good as that for everyone? I don’t envy the broadcasters trying to make broad comedy right now.

GARY NEWMAN (FOX): One big comedy hit!

KENT ALTERMAN (Comedy Central): I’m not sure whether to be alarmed to learn there’s a “comedy problem” or insulted that cable isn’t considered part of the industry.

The rest of the survey is a great peek into the approaches of different cable and streaming TV networks and is well worth the read over at THR.

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