Anthony Kimble, co-CEO of Arrested Industries, laments the rise of the reboot and its impact on creativity.

There’s a new sound in LA. Rumour is that it’s the ominous death knell for the Golden Age of TV drama!

It was only a few years ago that television started to compete with film as a medium where true auteurs could fashion intricate stories. Big screen names such as Jane Campion, Steven Soderbergh and Jordan Peele led the charge, lured by incredible paydays and promises of creative freedom and the time to tell their stories how they wished. And they delivered some truly groundbreaking and creatively thrilling series – not to mention A-list talent – to screens that had been predominantly populated by generic procedurals and the odd limited mini-series.

It was an extraordinary time to be producer, writer, director. I remember the chatter at dinner parties – Netflix was well known for writing blank cheques for a series from acclaimed talent and simply letting them get on with it. It truly was revelatory: no tedious guidelines on nudity, swearing or risqué material, no rounds of tiresome notes from the studio and network… life was good!

But this creative utopia could not sustain forever. As more competition started to arrive in the streaming landscape and budgets got tighter, the commissioning briefs began to get more specific and focused on bringing in a broader base to ensure continued subscriber growth outside of the coastal elites. Commissioning by algorithm was born and the overall quality of shows started to decline due to the sheer volume needed to feed the platforms’ ravenous appetites…

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