For months now, Hollywood producers have been racking their brains to come up with ways to turn the New Economy into the next big, bankable thing. Just an hour plane trip north, all those geeks in Silicon Valley have managed to churn out episode after episode of success, making CEOs into stars and ticker-watching into a national pastime. So far, though, the slicksters in Hollywood have yet to cash in.
But that could be about to change. Coming soon to screens large and small is a raft of new shows, movies, and documentaries that will attempt to sate the public's fascination with all things digital.
The thinking is that if the New Economy can launch at least five new magazines (Wired, Fast Company, Industry Standard, Red Herring, and Business 2.0) and a slew of best-sellers (eboys, The Millionaire Mind, The New New Thing, Irrational Exuberance, and Nudist on the Late Shift), then why not sitcoms, movies, documentaries--even hour-long dramas?
Hollywood is a little late to the game in part because it doesn't set trends, it follows them. Plus, conventional wisdom until now has been that most heroes on TV dramas have to be cops, lawyers, or doctors. "Nobody could imagine a hero from any other venue," says Michael Chernuchin, exec producer of Turner Network Television's new fall series, Bull, the first of the New Economy dramas. Chernuchin says he has been pitching Bull since 1990. But the Hollywood kingpins told him nobody cared about business. That was before the days of overnight billions and Microsoft trustbusting. "When Wall Street moved to the front page, it opened up a whole new area for entertainment," Chernuchin says. "There's major drama in business--everybody's jumping on the bandwagon."
$TREET NEWS. So much so that the bandwagon's getting a bit crowded, with stories ranging from the superficial to the serious. Sex in the City creator Darren Star is taking a flier with