‘Peak TV’ paradox: Why so much great TV has become such bad news for writers

April 28, 2017Media Mention
The Washington Post

Stuart Zicherman knows he has an enviable job as a Hollywood television writer. Right now, he’s working on plot twists for the acclaimed HBO series “Divorce,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Last year, he worked on Showtime’s “The Affair.” Before that, he wrote for “The Americans” on cable’s FX.

In this era of what’s being called “Peak TV” — with networks, cable outlets and streaming services such as Netflix making a record number of scripted series each year and demanding creative story lines — Zicherman often feels like there are no limits to imagination or expense.

The top of the Hollywood’s income pyramid is doing fine, said Dan Stone, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. The industry’s average pay is inflated by massive payouts for superstar writers like Shonda Rhimes of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” writers said.

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