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The Ups and Downs of an Up-and-Down Economy

ESPRESSOSorry for the absence on Monday. Was finishing up a story and putting out internal fires at work.

In case you missed it Monday, THR had a good analysis about how a weak economy is good for existing shows. Seems the cost of finding, casting, developing, and marketing a new show is more expensive than keeping the weak performers. Of course there are far more actors looking for work, so this may not mean that pilot season will be particularly bountiful. Since I live in New York, my perspective tends to skew eastward, but with that caveat in mind, I will say this: If you are a Gotham-based actor who was contemplating a Hollywood sojourn for pilot season, this may not be the year. But ask your West Coast friends, who are probably in a better position to comment. (Hmm. The pros and cons of moving west; sounds like fodder for a Back Stage analysis. Anyone have any thoughts they wish to share?)

One show that isn't so lucky is The Ex List, which CBS has pulled. This was one of the shows network execs pointed to in May as examples of their attempts to create strong female characters. What was it about? A woman's race to find a husband. [Insert your own wise-ass comment here and win a prize.]

As for shows that can be saved, Austin American-Statesman has a story today about the Palin effect on 30 Rock: Scribe posits the governor may have helped the ratings-challenged show.

Good news for regional theatre actors: The inaugural Lunt-Fontanne Fellowships were awarded yesterday; 11 veteran thespians receive $2,500 and a week in Wisconsin (don't worry, it's in the summer) for a master class with Lynn Redgrave.

--Andrew Salomon

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