I have noticed two effects of the robber-barons of Wall Street (combined with falling audience figures caused by THIS medium, both on laptop and now, iPads and the like) on Hollywood TV.
First are the number of perfectly good series that get CANCELLED if they fail to set the ratings alight within four eps. It was always thus (“Last Of The Summer Wine” would NEVER have caught on in the States) but now it is MUCH worse.
However, the second is WEIRD. The old movie backlots had hardly been used in decades. Indeed, one nearly BURNED DOWN a couple of years ago. But in the last few seasons, they have made a COMEBACK!
Despite their vintage, neutral architecture, obviously “planted” street furniture, tatty plaster walls, vacant upper windows with dirty net curtains – and FLAT streets (no camber) with SQUARE kerbs (not worn) and lack of traffic marks – they are MUCH cheaper than using real streets.
These days, production companies can no longer “steal” shots on the street. They have to “liaise” with the mayor’s film office and pay a fortune to them, off-duty cops, shops, businesses and everyone else who can smell a buck.
And now I see the studios are building NEW backlots, to enhance the worn-out, traditional ones. Which suggests that financially, they do not expect things to get better anytime SOON…