Thousands Of Older American Writers Are Now Working In China's Booming TV Industry

By Mack Rawden 2013-11-29 09:22:20 discussion comments
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Over the past decade or so, television executives have pushed for more realistic violence and more overt sexuality. Collectively, they’ve pushed the once straight-laced genre into a new age of realism. The tone alteration has done wonders for dozens of programs that have proven to fans exactly how brilliant the genre can be, but unfortunately, it’s also pushed an entire generation of writers to the curb who either have different sensibilities or haven’t been given a chance to adjust their styles. Luckily, a new opportunity has presented itself thanks to the altered tastes of the Chinese.

Thanks to a wide variety of factors, most especially a rigid censorship system, China’s television industry is in a very similar place to where the small screen was in the United States back in the 1980s. Consumers are looking for well-written shows with universal themes, neatly packaged and organized into polished products. Without the necessary writers with the experience needed to deliver that content, however, the Chinese television industry has started turning to older, seasoned writers from the United States to fill the void.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, more than two thousand older Hollywood writers have partnered with a production company known as Metan Wen Zhi Ku. It’s run by E! Entertainment co-founder Larry Namer. He’s a big name player in China, and he’s reportedly been getting the writers a few thousand dollars for each of their scripts. That’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s still work with the potential for a whole lot more if the content goes over especially well.

Being in a creative field is all about redefining yourself on numerous occasions throughout your career. Tastes change. New trends emerge. Only a tiny minority of people are able to continue doing roughly the same thing for their entire lives. The rest need to evolve, no matter how much success they’ve found. In fact, those involved with this project have written on such memorable shows as Murder, She Wrote, The Jeffersons, Miami Vice and more. Some of them have even won Emmys and Oscars, but still, they’ll no doubt derive great joy from churning out new material again.

All of the details haven’t been worked out yet as far as who will be writing on what shows and whether they’ll be pitching content or providing scripts for programs already in production. Most of the writers will remain in the United States, however, and simply telecommute to work. Ideally, if all goes according to plan, more and more jobs like this could open up in the future for veterans looking for a second chance. Fingers crossed they do.
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