Too Real for NBC
Emmy award winning-producer Tom Fontana used to be the golden child for NBC. He produced shows like "St. Elsewhere" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" and was one of the creators for the HBO series "Oz." But when Fontana started writing a show with subjects that touched on important issues, NBC quickly kicked him to the curb as fast as they put him on the pedestal.
Fontana wrote a pilot script for a show called "The Philanthropist" based on an idea by producer Charlie Corwin. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show centered around a renegade billionaire who uses his wealth and connections to help people in need. NBC, seeing dollar signs in the little thought bubbles over their heads, quickly ordered the script into production and Fontana ammassed a team of writers to start working on the new series.
However, once NBC realized that Fontana was going to focus on real issues like immigration or drug addiction instead of something more "escapist and fantastical," the rift between the peacock people and Corwin started to open.
Now, NBC is looking for a new Exec Producer to fill the shoes of the series, which is still on the books and will be scheduled as part of their 2008-09 lineup as a mid-season replacement. There is no information as to the fate of the writing staff that Fontana assembled for the show.
According to Reuters, Fontana is now developing a new project for AMC.
Fontana once said, "Most network executives and studio bosses believe that the TV audience is filled with idiots, who want the same old pabulum sweeps week after sweeps week."
I guess he was right.
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