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In my last blog entry, I tried to help TV producers decode some of the nuances of the current ‘broadcast speak’. Now, at great risk to my personal livelihood, I bring you Part Two: What TV Producers really mean when speaking to the Networks they do business with. 

Apologies to my producer colleagues for burning some of these very useful lines.

 

1.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“My partner couldn’t make it this morning but he’s very excited about the project.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
He got crazy drunk last night, but I don’t really care because he doesn’t understand the project anyway.

 

2.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“I love the new direction your channel is taking.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
Looks to me like you’re following the herd but I will say anything right now to sell you a show.

 

3.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“What shows are working on your network these days?”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
Just reassure me the TV business model still works!

 

4.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“This concept is not an exact fit but you never know…”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
Everyone else passed so I’m throwing it at to anyone who will listen. Please don’t be mad at me for wasting your time!

 

5.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“I heard your channel was just acquired, very interesting…”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
Let’s talk about anything other than my pitch. I think we both know your days are numbered…

 

6.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“…So you’re open to us bringing you new formats we find at MIP?”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
You hate our ideas so maybe someone else’s will interest you?

 

7. WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“We’re still casting the real people, it’s turning out to be much trickier than we thought.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
We sold you a show that is completely un-castable. It’s a disaster!

 

8.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“The cut of the first episode is really coming along.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
A week ago I wanted to jump out a window, now I’m just praying the new editor can pull it out of his a**.

 

9.WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“We’ve got a robust social media strategy.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
The intern is posting about it on Google+ too!

 

10. WHEN PRODUCERS SAY
“The show was relatively simple to produce. We can do season two for much for less money.”

WHAT THEY  REALLY MEAN IS:
Trick question.  A producer would never say that.

 

Allan Novak is an award-winning TV series and format creator who recently launched AllScreen Entertainment, to create and produce great shows across platforms, genres and borders. You can find him on LinkedIn here, and follow him on Twitter here.

 

 


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