What It takes to Make a Hit TV Show

Believe it or not, CBS News is bringing us this article on what’s hot and what’s not on television today. We find it interesting and hope you will too, because even though CBS is generally clueless about things like this the writer seems to have the right stuff:

ready to hit

by Lauren Moraski

From “Better Call Saul” and “Orange Is the New Black” to the newly released “Master of None” on Netflix, there’s no shortage of critically-acclaimed hit shows.

So, what does it take to make a successful series today? A lot, it turns out, especially in this digitally-focused, binge-watching and on-demand world.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is behind hit original streaming series “Transparent”and “Hand of God.”

“There are two ways you can go about deciding to make a show. You can ask yourself how many millions of people are going to watch this show? I think that leads you into corners that aren’t interesting,” he told “CBS This Morning.” “Or you can say is the creator of this show really passionate about this topic? Is the creator a great storyteller? Can they assemble an amazing cast? I think remarkable storytelling always finds an audience. “‘

Alan Sepinwall, TV critic and author of “The Revolution Was Televised,” thinks there needs to be a “specificity” to a series — whether it’s a drama, comedy or reality show — for it to have staying power.

“It just can’t be some variation on something that’s been done 50 times before. It has to have a specific point of view. It has to have characters who pop,” he told CBS News.

Very good writing needs to be part of the mix, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, a research company.

“[That’s what it takes] to get people to stick it out for the long haul — to binge watch something, to take 30, 40 hours out of their lives to watch something,” he said, citing HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as a series that had excellent writing.

“Transparent” is one of the many streaming shows with good writing that have resonated with viewers. The award-winning series, starring Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender parent, is about to enter season 2. Getting the show off the ground was smooth, said creator Jill Soloway.

Read it all at CBS News