Thursday, May 18, 2006

The "West Wing" Episode That Wasn't: "The Limousine"

From the Los Angeles Times:
"Some of television's top creative talents urged networks and studios Wednesday to give writers a greater say when products are woven into the story lines.

John Wells of "ER" and Marc Cherry of "Desperate Housewives" joined Writers Guild of America officials at a hotel news conference to criticize the encroachment of products into scripts.

The WGA timed the event to coincide with the networks' "upfronts," when thousands of advertisers converge in Manhattan for the unveiling of fall schedules.

"By the time we realize that we've gone too far we will have chased away some of the elusive audience that we worked so hard to get," Wells said.

Wells gave an example of a meeting he attended by the makers of presidential limousines at which it was suggested that an entire episode of his recently ended show "The West Wing" be built around their product.

"It was very, very uncomfortable to say that while I admired the construction of their limousine, the viewers of 'The West Wing' would probably not respond well to an entire episode about the car," Wells said."

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