Each time there are fewer comedy series on ‘streaming’ services

David H. Steinberg, co -author of No Good Nick, a comedy from the 2019 season of Netflix is ​​accustomed to making presentations to executives looking for new programs. It’s part of the job of being a writer in Hollywood.

But the main services of streamingdespite his insatiable appetite for programming, doesn’t seem to be buying much comedy these days, Steinberg explains. Business Insider. In fact, it has the sensation of that nor would they want to meet with comedy writers.

“In the past, we have launched many ideas that finally nobody bought”, he assures. “But, until now, I have never left one pitch and that all platforms say: ‘We don’t want a meeting’ “.

For those who manage to get into a Zoom meeting with executives these days, a “yes” is more difficult than ever. What anyone buys is down. The most likely is that a “yes” will happen later, in the suites corporativities and the eyes of the creators.

This change must be part of the network complex of decision making in vertically integrated conglomerates that albergan studios, networks and platforms, all under one paraguay.

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But another factor is that the services of streaming are not subject to the conventions of pilot episodes. Instead of trying and spending money on a pilot episode before buying a series, platforms prefer to participate in programs that they believe will be successful.

The global rush of platforms holds the key

“We are at a point of inflection in the state of television comedy,” assures a representative of a major talent agency, who recalls speaking at a recent industry party with a comedy producer who was “hooked”.

“As far as these platforms are concerned, the content in the local language is very important; the first thing that is expressed is domestic comedy,” the agent continued. The world of television comedy is “very fractured at the moment. And it is very serious”.

However, there is a criterion that executives have constantly imposed on television writers who seek to get green light for a program: only want programs that are “incontestable”, as at least 2 television writers will be remembered.

“It’s the word of fashion. It’s up to the couch,” Steinberg says. “Incontestable se traduce en que tiene a cinco ganadores del Premio de la Academia, ya alguien con un contrato de 9 cifras”.

The launches at the moment “have to be tested in response. It can’t simply be a great idea. You have to have a showrunner very well known or has some other type of window, already with stars or directors “.

What worked even a few years ago is not what buyers are looking for now.

“Netflix said it wouldn’t have happened Died for methey would not be able to buy if it was out now, which is a madness because it was a critical success and a good spectacle “, pointed out a high -level television agent.

“But now what excites them is the program of Rob Lowe and his son, it’s something very different” (while Died for me is a black humor comedy about pain and loss, UnStable is centered on an introverted protagonist who goes to work for his father, who works in biotechnology).

The second agent claims that programs like Broad City o Louie they could at some point stand out from the crowd, but the platforms are now in search of the next The Office. That, says the agent, makes it difficult to find new voices.

Why Netflix’s ‘atracones model’ doesn’t like comedy

While Netflix continues to attract 17,000 million dollars (16,300 million euros) in content this year, its recent problems (bankruptcy, dismissal …) have fed the surges of a potential replay.

“Netflix probably made as many programs as all the other services together,” Steinberg said. “The fact that Netflix is ​​in a state of quite a doubt responds to selling media hours, while all the other platforms have opted for other options.”

Netflix’s comedy programming for summer and fall is pretty cool and includes new series like Boo, Bitch y Uncoupled by Neil Patrick Harris. The new seasons of Emily in Paris, I never and the animated Big Mouth are also available.

But the sitcoms traditional in the line of Friends have had more difficulties to be successful. It can be attributed, simply, to the lack of routine in the time of consumption.

Although Netflix’s classic strategy of launching a full season of hurricane can be perfect for compulsive spectators, it is difficult for the structure of a comedy, according to the writers.

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“The drama model requires that you create a program that is highly serialized, that has moments of suspense, in such a way that it attracts the audience to watch the next episode,” Steinberg said. “That model is not necessarily full of comedy”.

As far as transmission, including with great success of sitcoms recent as Abbott Elementary de ABC y Ghosts de CBSthe chains are not apostatizing to increase the offer of comedies.

In conglomerates born of recent corporate mergers, such as Warner Bros or Discovery, creative directors are still defining their own identities. Meanwhile, platforms like Netflix are looking for more secure programs.

“All the services of streaming it’s about appealing to a much wider sensitivity, “Royce explains.” Now, you simply don’t know the rules, so when you go to a Zoom meeting to present a proposal, you don’t know if it’s the right place for your proposal. Nobody knows it “.

Mathias Döpfner, Business Insider’s business representative, Axel Springer, is a member of Netflix’s board of directors.

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