I Love Independence, but not the Costs

Desuli developed network television from changing the way TV shows were produced.  By straying from the live televised shows to a filmed show with a live audience, Arnaz and Ball were able to keep costs low and take ownership from CBS because CBS was not willing to fully finance this risk.  This created a separate sector where independent production companies could create successful shows, mostly based of radio show hits, and do it without the control of TV networks like CBS.

After seeing how successful Desilu had become as an independent production company, networks gained the power of picking and choosing successful hits from these independent production companies that enabled them to gain profits without having to initially invest in a show that was unknown to be a hit or miss.

By relying on independent production companies, networks lost the control of shaping networks through content, it was rather they chose what was successful, not what best created a cohesive prime time line up.  But this is the downfall of the independent production studios.  Based on their successes, they created a refined, narrow subject matter, that limited them from branching out, like how Arnaz wished to do with Fountain in Youth.

With major Hollywood studios coming onto the scene, independent production companies saw their decline.  By increasing costs of production, creating shows with superior production values, independent production companies had to up the ante to compete.  With the upped ante though, the cost risks for production could be financed by bigger Hollywood studios, but the independents couldn’t afford it, which led to their downfall.



2 thoughts on “I Love Independence, but not the Costs

  1. I believe that the independent production companies didn’t even have a chance. They survived in the beginning because everything was new and they were the ones calling the shots. However, as I noted while reading Desi Arnaz created a monster. The tv series were too perfect to change and weren’t worth risking anymore. The independent production companies created the television model we see today, which ultimately destroyed them. Plus it didn’t help that Hollywood wanted part of the action. There was no way the indies could keep up with the costs Hollywood was more than able to afford. What do you think would happen if Desilu hadn’t had such a success with I love Lucy?

  2. Without the initial financial set up Desilu gained from I Love Lucy, the company wouldn’t be able to finance itself or be nearly as successful. It was through CBS dropping the ball and enabling this company to gain millions of dollars through the show that gave them a chance to finance other independent productions.

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