What will be the next trend in syndication?
Dating shows. We came up with Hooters
because we saw that there was a trend. Television is unbelievably reactionary: "Hey, Will & Grace
worked, now we're going to do a gay show." Syndication plays it even safer. Everyone else has a dating show, we've got a dating show.
Is there a show, now in syndication, that you'd like to have to distribute?
Any hit show. I'd love to have (rookie action hour) Andromeda. I think anyone would like to find the next Andromeda.
How has consolidation of the syndication business affected how you do business?
Philosophically, as an independent, the goal of a place like Lions Gate is to play in businesses that are less interesting to the majors. That can still provide solid margins to us. We have to be a little more nimble, a little more efficient, a little more creative on the deal-making. Be smaller and more agile.
Is there a passed-on show or a talent that you that you wish you could have back?
No, not yet. But we're a young company. I haven't seen anything that I passed on that has become a hit yet. It certainly can happen. [During my time as a Baywatch
production executive] we auditioned Kevin Sorbo for a role, and he didn't get it. But at Lions Gate, we haven't missed on something that became an explosive hit.
Where do you think syndication will be 10 years from now?
If there continues to be consolidation, I think it will be pretty different. The studio will have more and more control of its own destiny at the station level. The idea of the traveling sales guy with his 10 shows will go away. It will be two or three phone calls made internally.