April 26, 2003 · Lessig
One important issue that the change in market structure affects is the independence of creativity. Because of the repeal of network ownership rules, there has been a dramatic change in the ownership of pilot shows on major networks. This graph shows the change. In 1990, the overall percentage was 11.3%. In 2002, that had increased seven-fold — to 70.2%.
How might this matter? Some of the most important television has been produced by independents. “All in the Family,” for example, created by Norman Lear, was created because Lear could say no to network executives who wanted to tame his creation to fit the network image.
The future: fewer Lears likely.
Here’s the data for new series:1990 — 12.5% owned; 2002 — 77.5%