Political Animals on USA Network

Stan

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Finally finished the series, fairly decent overall, but some of the writing was definitely lacking. There were quite a few times where I literally knew the dialogue before it was spoken, No psychic abilities, just very predictable in some scenes.
Found this on a site called Maxupdates where Bonnie Harper, an NBC exec was interviewed.
She said that they are interested to look at it wholesomely and want to see what it is bringing to the network as a whole. He said it is not about the show hitting a certain threshold when it comes to ratings but what is bringing to the USA network. To add to this, Greg Berlanti added that all the show’s stars were contracted for multiple years. He said that they have lots of storylines for each character that will cover the whole life of the characters.
I would guess contracting people for multiple years is probably pretty standard in case a show becomes a hit, but there is probably a way out of it if a show bombs.
 

Matt Hough

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Originally Posted by Stan /t/322301/political-animals-on-usa-network#post_3968723
Finally finished the series, fairly decent overall, but some of the writing was definitely lacking. There were quite a few times where I literally knew the dialogue before it was spoken, No psychic abilities, just very predictable in some scenes.
Found this on a site called Maxupdates where Bonnie Harper, an NBC exec was interviewed.
She said that they are interested to look at it wholesomely and want to see what it is bringing to the network as a whole. He said it is not about the show hitting a certain threshold when it comes to ratings but what is bringing to the USA network. To add to this, Greg Berlanti added that all the show’s stars were contracted for multiple years. He said that they have lots of storylines for each character that will cover the whole life of the characters.
I would guess contracting people for multiple years is probably pretty standard in case a show becomes a hit, but there is probably a way out of it if a show bombs.
I believe it's usual for actors on a series which has an iffy chance of renewal to have a certain cutoff date when they're free to look for other work.
 

Yee-Ming

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Originally Posted by Stan /t/322301/political-animals-on-usa-network#post_3968723
I would guess contracting people for multiple years is probably pretty standard in case a show becomes a hit, but there is probably a way out of it if a show bombs.
They aren't literally contracted for years, but rather there are options, exercisable at the studio's choice, so if the show is a hit, the options are exercised for the next season. However, the options also have an expiry date, so there's a reasonable window during which the studio must decide once and for all whether to exercise the option ("pick it up" is the term sometimes used), after which the actor is "free" and can move onto something else; but until that option expires, the actor cannot commit to anything else, otherwise he/she would be in breach of contract.

It's what happened to Pierce Brosnan waaaaay back in 1986 or so: Remington Steele had yet to be renewed, but the option on Brosnan had yet to expire. When he was selected as the new James Bond, there was so much interest in him that the studio decided to "pick it up", meaning he was contractually obliged to do Steele for another season, and therefore had to decline Bond.

Unusually, if a show is a big hit, to show support a network might commit in advance to more than one season. This happened recently with Glee: at the end of S1, the network committed to S2 and S3 immediately, so in that case, the actors indeed would already be on multi-year (i.e. 2) contracts at a minimum.
 

Stan

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Yee-Ming said:
They aren't literally contracted for years, but rather there are options, exercisable at the studio's choice, so if the show is a hit, the options are exercised for the next season.  However, the options also have an expiry date, so there's a reasonable window during which the studio must decide once and for all whether to exercise the option ("pick it up" is the term sometimes used), after which the actor is "free" and can move onto something else; but until that option expires, the actor cannot commit to anything else, otherwise he/she would be in breach of contract.
It's what happened to Pierce Brosnan waaaaay back in 1986 or so: Remington Steele had yet to be renewed, but the option on Brosnan had yet to expire. When he was selected as the new James Bond, there was so much interest in him that the studio decided to "pick it up", meaning he was contractually obliged to do Steele for another season, and therefore had to decline Bond.  
Unusually, if a show is a big hit, to show support a network might commit in advance to more than one season.  This happened recently with Glee: at the end of S1, the network committed to S2 and S3 immediately, so in that case, the actors indeed would already be on multi-year (i.e. 2) contracts at a minimum.
I remember the Pierce Brosnan problem. Actually glad it worked out that way as I personally feel he was the "wimpiest" guy to play James Bond.
I'm actually kind of surprised Political Animals hasn't been picked up for a second season. Some pretty big Hollywood names involved with people like Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn, etc. Not a perfect show, but a good cliff-hanger ending that leaves a lot of possibilities for a second season.
 

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