Star Wars TV Show Might Land on Cable

by Paul William Tenny

I find it hard to believe that the big four networks wouldn't fight to the death in order to secure the broadcast rights to any Star Wars TV series (even if it's traditionally animated) but anything seems possible in the world of George Lucas. Asked by TV Guide where he invisions his new money bonanza landing, he was fairly indifferent. Yeah, I'd be indifferent too if I was going to reap all the profits from both the first-run, syndication, and DVD sales.

Well, it's one of those things. Television is sort of bifurcated up into small niches and unless you fit in one of those niches, no one knows what to do with you. And, of course, I'm always outside the box, so it's like, "Uh-oh, we don't have a box for you." [Laughs] But it's Star Wars and it's really good, so I'm sure somehow or another, people will also start thinking outside the box and it will find its home.

Lucas is shooting for at least 100 episodes of the animated series and is writing scripts for the live-action version as well. I find it hard to believe, though, that even with Lucas' fame and power, and the Star Wars brand allure, that any network would allow him to run the show at that level before they sign on. The network has the final say on scripts if they feel so-inclined to interfere (and that's precisely what it is when you start meddling in the work you've hired other people to do) above any objections of the show runner.

To have Lucas get final say since he's writing this stuff before even getting a pilot order, he's kind of cheating the system a bit and I wonder if the networks would demand the entire pile on their desk before green lighting anything. I know a lot of people in television that have a lot of power, but film star-power doesn't really translate into television star-power. I know of no one already in television that could and would write out a series before getting it picked up, so is Lucas in for a wake-up call, or will he rewrite the rules for film power brokers?

Look at how Steven Spielberg's television work has been smothered over the years for an indication of how that battle for creative control might play out.


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