Lizz Winstead mentioned this when I talked to her on Tuesday, and it’s something I think about fairly frequently as well: what do you do when you come up against a movie or television show you’re not sure you’re going to like, but that you think you should watch to prove there’s an audience for that kind of movie or television show? My sense is that you take a deep breath and go as often as you can, or set your DVR to record things you don’t really intend to watch just so you can juice the numbers a bit. Sometimes, what feels like it might be a duty watch, turns out to be a delight, as was the case with Bridesmaids. Sometimes, it turns out to be 2 Broke Girls, which looks like it’ll be generally frustrating but with the occasional thing that is so funny and true that I get sucked back in all over again:
But it’s a risky strategy. Proving there’s a market for one thing won’t necessarily convince studios that there’s a market for things like it, but rather that there’s a rigidly defined market for that single thing, as has proved to be the case with the announcement that Lionsgate is giving Tyler Perry his own network. Perry is not exactly known for giving projects that might be better suited to other artists, like For Colored Girls, to other directors and writers, so it remains to be seen if he tries to write and program the entire network himself. We can only hope that it’s too much even for the famously productive studio head, and that he has to let other creators handle some shows, and put some new ideas out there.