Talk long enough with any television exec over 55, and sooner or later he'll get around to mentioning the La Brea Tar Pits, that enormous shimmering stinkhole in Los Angeles where the liquefied remains of some 660 species of organisms still burble. These old-timers, with skin light brown and pockets pale green, see themselves as the real L.A. dinosaurs--living fossils killing time at the Polo Lounge till they wet their toes in the sticky goo of extinction. They grumble about them damned kids ruining the networks; they grouse about being passed over by schmucks whose knowledge of television's past goes back to Chandler and Monica's engagement. The audience has gotten younger, and so have the executives, who insist a 60-year-old just can't write for 28-year-olds. So the geezers are handed a pair of bathing trunks and pushed off the... More >>>
T-Rex, still kicking: Rockford Files and Wiseguy creator Stephen J. Cannell switched off TV when Congress allowed networks to own their own product.