It's the same old story...

Cleese moans about TV execs

TV comedy is being driven by marketing rather than original ideas, John Cleese has claimed.

The comic, who is in Montreal to host a high-profile gala on Thursday, says executives are scared by innovation.

‘They say they want something original and edgy, and if you actually write it and show it to them it frightens them,’ Cleese told the CanWest news service.

‘They then backpedal and spend the next year trying to make it as conventional as possible and as much like all the other stuff on television as possible.’

He added that broadcasters, are obsessed with younger audiences , ignoring the over-40, commissioning shows which are ‘almost entirely mindless’.

Cleese says he’s also found that, during his recent live tour of New Zealand, audience prefer the spontaneity of an unrehearsed question and answer session to material he’s slave over.

‘I would rather see someone who's a talented writer, who's got his material very carefully polished and figured out exactly what he wants to say and then performed it well. But no, they'd rather have the slightly rough and easygoing and slightly shapeless Q and A. That's fine. If that's what audiences like, I'm very happy to give it to them,’ he said.


Published: 17 Jul 2006

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