Home > Valerie Campbell (costumer) > Friday Night Dinner 11: Changing the Subject Just a Tad

Friday Night Dinner 11: Changing the Subject Just a Tad

The 11th in a weekly look at the progress of The Gilmore Girls Companion as we round the bend on this 2+ year adventure.

It’s been a very gratifying week for the book, thanks in large part to Gilmore fan Katie McLaughlin’s CNN.com piece on the 10th anniversary of the series. Thanks again, Katie 🙂

I’ve spent much of this week polishing up the final chapter about what’s gone on since the end of the series, especially the endless Gilmore movie rumors. Of course everything that can be said has been on that subject by this point, until a deal is actually announced.

Instead, I wanted to concentrate this week on something only tangentially related to Gilmore.

You may not know the name Valerie Campbell right off, but you are extremely familiar with her work. For nearly the entire series of Gilmore, she was the key set costumer, meaning her work was integral to the wardrobe on that program. She’s also one of the people we have to thank for some of the best behind-the-scenes info about Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls Companion.

These days, she’s working on the NBC series Outlaw starring Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue), a show that hasn’t really received much in the way of promotion. As a result, there is some concern on set that it will be canceled soon if it can’t drum up support. If legal dramas are your thing, why not give it a watch? If it turns out that you like what you see, e-mail angela.bromstad@nbcuni.com to let her know you want to see more.

You can:

So why the concern?  From a purely pragmatic standpoint, we so seldom get a chance to weigh in on TV programming choices, when we do get the opportunity, it’s good to let the Powers That Be know that we have opinions and we’re not afraid to express them. It’s also a lot easier to convince networks to keep a show in production than it is to get them to resurrect one that’s already been canned.

More importantly, there is a prevailing attitude in Hollywood these days that it’s much more profitable to air reality TV series and talent shows than to invest in quality script writing and talent. Though Pop Idol and Dancing with the Stars and the like certainly can be entertaining, I’m guessing that even their biggest fans would get a bit sick of seeing them 24/7. Given the choice, that’s exactly what networks would like to give you. It’s cheap and it’s easy to produce.

And it starts by programming shows like Outlaw and then letting them die on the vine without promotion. The networks get to say “See, we tried to give them scripted dramas, but they didn’t watch them. So here’s some more reality TV.”

I can’t help but remember that Gilmore Girls started life pitted against the reality TV giant Survivor. Had it been put on the air by one of the big three U.S. networks that live and die by their ratings, rather than the plucky WB, it probably would have been shelved by Episode 6. Instead of enjoying the legacy of seven seasons of Lorelai and Rory and Co., we’d have Season 1 on DVD only…if we were lucky.

Well, that’s my two cents worth. Sorry for the soapbox bit; hope everyone has an awesome Friday!

  1. Lara
    October 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I agree. And this is exactly why Gilmore Girls fans should be staunch supporters of Lauren Graham’s new show Parenthood. Please keep great scripted shows on the air! Tell all your friends to watch. It’s the warmest and loveliest of shows.

    • October 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Another good example, Lara.

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