NYC TV Week: ‘Big Ideas’ and ‘Amazing Talent’ Key to Good Content

Panelists break down the ‘Art & Science of Content Trend-Watching’
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Talent and uniqueness are big players in creating buzz worthy content, according to panelists and NYC Television Week’s The Content Show.

“I think what we try to do is start with big ideas and amazing talent,” said Dave O’Connor, executive producer and VP of media and entertainment, Radical Media.

O’Conner’s remarks came during the panel “Art & Science of Content Trend-Watching.” The exec was joined on stage Oct. 22 by moderator Matt Gould, executive VP of PactUS and fellow panelists Karen Bailey, senior VP of original programming, Starz; Alexandra Jewett, executive VP, programming, Debmar-Mercury; Rafe Oller, GM, Z Living Network; and Nick Rigg, president, Loud TV.

For Jewett, creating a successful show has similar elements.

“You need to be unique and you need to have a real point of view that will separate you from the clutter,” she said.

But you can’t just hop on a trend.

“Trends is tricky. You can’t follow. You have to see how can you get ahead of the trend,” said Bailey, adding that it’s a mixture of observation and analytics that helps a network shake things up.

Z Living’s Oller took things a step further.

“You have to be very careful that you are [not] just chasing trend to trend,” he said, adding that networks can lose themselves in the process. “You are so seduced by a trend that you give up your brand and you give up what you stand for and then you find yourself not even knowing what you stand for anymore.”

Oller does think that there is value to trends but that audiences don’t need to be identified.

“At the end of the day, they [audiences] are looking to be engaged and they are looking to live vicariously through the lives of others,” he said. “The only reason people watch television or watch movies, I mean really love TV or movies, is because their one of two things. They wish they were the person on the TV screen or they’re glad that they’re not.”

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