MONDO EXTRAS

The Steve Sicherman Interview

WC: I was going to say. Like when you hear about whatever people that first passed on The Cosby Show or something like that.

SS: Oh yeah. You do hear occasional stories of an exec passing on a show that winds up a hit for someone else. Which is, of course, every development exec's nightmare.

WC: Stressful!

SS: It's more of that weeding out -- the execs with better track records of recognizing, developing, and sustaining hits are the ones with the longer careers. Which is kind of a relative term -- at least in TV.

WC: How long are these careers?

SS: Actually, with creative execs -- the ones who do development and current programming at studios and networks -- you really don't see many people 'much past their forties. 'There's a natural attrition rate as you go along.

WC: Where do they go?

SS: Well, I'm still in the middle of my own, so, you know, ask me in a few years [laughs]. A few move higher up in the studio or network system. Some become independent producers. A good portion The rest, I guess, get fired or burn out and leave the business. The workload can get intense, the hours are long, it's pretty stressful. I think I'm a relatively decent human being, but I confess to being pretty competitive and when my shows don't do well, in addition to getting a knot in my stomach, I also get really pissed off. But I like that. It's a cliché, and I don't want to overdramatize it, but I think you need that fire in the belly to sustain yourself. And Maalox.

WC: Hm. That's interesting.

SS: How am I doing?

WC: You're doing great!

SS: Are the readers going to get to grade this?

WC: They're going to grade it an A+. They'll love it.

SS: When I read Will's interview, I saw that whatever number of users had graded the interview and I started to get worried about that.

WC: Think of it as, they're grading me. They're grading the questions I'm asking you. And you can only be as good as whatever questions I'm asking.

SS: [laughs] Okay.

WC: What are the most and least fun aspects of your job?

SS: The most fun is when it's working. When you're on the stage, and jokes are working, or if the dailies are coming in and they look great, and you feel great about the script, and the relationship with the producers is great and the cast is happy -- when that's going on, that's just fantastic. That's just the best. And, you know, some of the perks are fantastic. We did an episode of Reba a year or two ago where the episode actually called for her to sing -- she sang Carole King's "So Far Away" in this flashback sequence in a bar -- and we're sitting there at runthru, and Reba's up on stage twenty feet from me, singing.

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Comments

The Steve Sicherman Interview

WC: I was going to say. Like when you hear about whatever people that first passed on The Cosby Show or something like that.

SS: Oh yeah. You do hear occasional stories of an exec passing on a show that winds up a hit for someone else. Which is, of course, every development exec's nightmare.

WC: Stressful!

SS: It's more of that weeding out -- the execs with better track records of recognizing, developing, and sustaining hits are the ones with the longer careers. Which is kind of a relative term -- at least in TV.

WC: How long are these careers?

SS: Actually, with creative execs -- the ones who do development and current programming at studios and networks -- you really don't see many people 'much past their forties. 'There's a natural attrition rate as you go along.

WC: Where do they go?

SS: Well, I'm still in the middle of my own, so, you know, ask me in a few years [laughs]. A few move higher up in the studio or network system. Some become independent producers. A good portion The rest, I guess, get fired or burn out and leave the business. The workload can get intense, the hours are long, it's pretty stressful. I think I'm a relatively decent human being, but I confess to being pretty competitive and when my shows don't do well, in addition to getting a knot in my stomach, I also get really pissed off. But I like that. It's a cliché, and I don't want to overdramatize it, but I think you need that fire in the belly to sustain yourself. And Maalox.

WC: Hm. That's interesting.

SS: How am I doing?

WC: You're doing great!

SS: Are the readers going to get to grade this?

WC: They're going to grade it an A+. They'll love it.

SS: When I read Will's interview, I saw that whatever number of users had graded the interview and I started to get worried about that.

WC: Think of it as, they're grading me. They're grading the questions I'm asking you. And you can only be as good as whatever questions I'm asking.

SS: [laughs] Okay.

WC: What are the most and least fun aspects of your job?

SS: The most fun is when it's working. When you're on the stage, and jokes are working, or if the dailies are coming in and they look great, and you feel great about the script, and the relationship with the producers is great and the cast is happy -- when that's going on, that's just fantastic. That's just the best. And, you know, some of the perks are fantastic. We did an episode of Reba a year or two ago where the episode actually called for her to sing -- she sang Carole King's "So Far Away" in this flashback sequence in a bar -- and we're sitting there at runthru, and Reba's up on stage twenty feet from me, singing.

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Comments

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