Monday, June 13, 2011

Budget Cuts Threatening Top-Rated Shows

by Mary Parker for TVStoreOnline.com


Last year was a big year for TV. Two of the reasons for this were The Walking Dead on AMC and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. AMC’s smash zombie program topped out at six million viewers, while HBO’s epic about prohibition-era mobsters scored audiences of over ten million. Both series were renewed by their respective networks, and fans have been waiting for newsPhoto of a young Steve Buscemi (American actor...Image via Wikipedia about their favorite shows. What they’ve been told, however, is not good.


It seems that both HBO and AMC are pushing budget cuts on the creative teams behind their high-rated shows.


During The Hollywood Reporter's annual Emmy roundtable, Walking Dead director Frank Darabont indicated that the adaptation of Robert Kirkman's zombie epic may be facing hard times thanks to the network's attempts to slash the budget. He said, “Creatively I have no complaints thus far, [b]ut I believe if they do move ahead with [the budget] they’re talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?”


The Walking Dead is no stranger to pre-season dangers, as it lost almost its entire writing staff before the series even premiered.


As for Boardwalk Empire, which stars Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt, Terrence Winter noted: “I think in the idea of trying to contain the budget and contain the scope of the show, you have those suggestions, ‘can't we do many more interiors?’ Looking at some of the proposed cuts – the wish list for the budget, I had to remind people the show is called 'Boardwalk Empire' and we can’t afford a boardwalk or an empire for that price.” But Winter seemed not to be as hurt by the proposed cuts as Dabaront. “It's a blessing to work there,” said Winter. “I've been [at HBO] since 1999 and they've been tremendously creatively supportive.”


No news about the upcoming season of Boardwalk Empire has been released, but a first look at the second season of The Walking Dead made its round s around the internet last week, and all seems well – or, at least, well-decayed – on set.

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