After a few weeks of bad spin about my Frank Darabont comments and in the light of AMC making a deal for Breaking Bad, I figured I'd try to fill in some of the blanks that were not communicated in my 140 characters.
Let me begin by saying that there is a bigger issue at hand regarding all this Twitter bullshit. It's a separate blog, but in short, main stream media is going to kill Twitter by using it as a source of on-the-record documentation. When you have douchebags like Brent Lang at The Warp taking my three tweets and building a story around them, you have news that ends up being ten percent fact, and ninety percent subjective conjecture about, "What I meant". Lang should be fucking fired for what happened next -- When I tweeted my frustration about the fact that he was too lazy to pick up a phone and actually call me for context, he updated his column, infusing more nasty opinion and pulling older tweets to support his anger. By his third or fourth "update" his news story was more of an angry tirade than any of my blogs or tweets. All this in the name of journalism. This is indicative of what's happening in cybernews. There is such a need for instantaneous reporting, to be the first to get it up, that truth and fairness are falling lower and lower on the list of priorities. Using Twitter as a news source is accelerating the demise of real journalism. Lang is a cunt who should have his credentials pulled. Or at the very least, someone should beat the shit out of him with an AP Stylebook.
Months ago when Matt Weiner made his deal at AMC, I commented about the need for showrunners to take some responsibility for the bigger picture. Meaning, yes, a show is the creator's vision, but it also becomes something more. In my case, SOA doesn't belong to me anymore. It has a life of it's own. It belongs to the fans, my cast, my crew, everyone associated with it. It's my job to steer and not crash it, but I don't own the bus. So when Matt was holding out for more money, I felt for his cast and crew who had to wait another six months to go back to work. Then when the specifics of the deal were revealed, I was kinda stunned. I know Mad Men is a valuable commodity, but the amount they were paying Matt felt unsustainable for a ad-driven cable network. My initial thought was, "Man, that's a little greedy. Someone else is gonna take a hit for this."
When news hit of the massive budget cuts on Walking Dead and AMC trying to force Vince Gilligan to finish Breaking Bad in only seven episodes, my reaction was, "Okay, that's who's taking the hit." It wasn't a stretch of logic, and even though AMC denies the money they paid Weiner had nothing to do with their decisions about WD or BB, I find it hard to believe that the deep payout to MM didn't in some way influence those creative bitch slaps.
If you're looking for a reason why AMC caved to Weiner, just look at your stock ticker -- AMC is now a publicly traded company. So how are you going to tell stockholders that your most famous product is potentially going away? It would be like Apple telling stockholders that iPhones are being discontinued. Mad Men identifies AMC. Even though no one really watches it, it is still the most prestigious, award-winning television show in history. They couldn't let it go. So, they caved. Then, like any other corporation, they were forced to apply that loss to their bottom line. Again, do I have financial documentation to back this up? No. I'm not a fucking journalist. I'm a guy in the business, who is formulating an opinion based on documented facts, history and some inside knowledge. Am I completely right? Probably not. Am I completely wrong? Probably not.
I know for a fact that when Breaking Bad was being forced to end their award-winning series in only seven episodes, Vince Gilligan approached other networks. I know for a fact, when AMC got wind of that, they caved. At the end of the day, I believe the deal they made with Vince was not because they believe in the show, it's because they are afraid of more negative backlash. Darabont's firing, boggling Breaking Bad, cancelling Rubicon, AMC is really struggling. Not to stroke the hand that feeds me, but they should take a page from Landgraf's handbook -- empower the artist. Pretend that it's a forum for creativity not a multinational corporation. Mad Men is coming to an end, if AMC doesn't figure out how to develop, how to nurture and maintain relationships with writers, they are going to be know an the network who used to have that really good show.
Why is this any of my business? It's not. I don't work for AMC. I don't know Vince. I know Frank a bit, but he's not a close acquaintance. Why am I ringing the bells? I don't know. I think what started out as just a desperate need for attention has turned into something greater. Perhaps, my bombastic opinions are my service to fellow creatives. There's a large part of the entertainment community that would just like me to shut the fuck up. They think I'm a loud-mouthed, arrogant douchebag who should just collect my big check and stop rocking the boat. To them I respectfully say, "Suck my dick." This Twitter thing has reignited my fire to blow the balls off of shit. And even though I'm doing it anonymously on social media, I will continue to proudly own it here.
Thanks for reading.