“Freaks and Geeks” creator Paul Feig has a new TV show “in the hopper,” but don’t expect to see it on network TV. Feig, who was speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, pronounced network TV dead.
“Nobody under 35 cares,” Feig said. “There’s no loyalty; it’s ridiculous. I’d rather have my first scripted show on QVC than fight with network standards.”
Those are strong words from a successful comedy director who’s mostly worked on broadcast shows. Feig’s first TV show as a writer/director was “Freaks and Geeks,” the cult classic that NBC cancelled before it finished its first full season.
The beloved show served as a launching pad for actors like James Franco and Jason Segel, and its reputation has only grown since it went off the air in 2000. It also spawned this sprawling oral history in Vanity Fair.
In the 13 years since “Freaks and Geeks,” Feig has directed episodes of network shows such as “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Arrested Develpoment.” He’s also contributed episodes of premium cable shows “Bored to Death” and “Nurse Jackie.”
Yet as Feig worked on those shows and built a movie career with comedies like “Bridesmaids” and this summer's “The Heat,” consumer tastes have changed.
“People will set a TiVo or see [a television show] online,” said Feig, noting that after watching multiple episodes of the first two seasons of “Game of Thrones” back-to-back, he can no longer wait a week for each new episode of season three.
That may be why he expressed so much interest in Netflix, which he described as “the wave of the future.” Once a repository for movies, Netflix has transformed itself into a rival to premium channels like HBO and Showtime by funding original series.
It released all 13 episodes of the Kevin Spacey political drama “House of Cards” at once in February, defying the conventional practice of waiting a week between episodes.
Though he expressed his admiration for Netflix and threw dirt on the grave of network TV, Feig didn't say much more about his new show — which, he told Marc Maron last year, was a coming-of-age dramedy based on his own memoirs.
"It's almost even more personal than 'Freaks and Geeks' was, but in that same tone," Feig said last January.
Judging from his appearance at NAB, one area Feig will not be venturing into is reality TV.
“Reality TV is bullshit,” Feig said Wednesday. “Reality TV is more scripted than the ‘Bridesmaids’ clip we just showed.”