Producers bowling for budgets

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, at the Museum of Television & Radio’s William S. Paley Television Festival in Beverly Hills, Calif., asked fellow panelist J.J. Abrams how he finishes effects-laden Alias episodes on time and within budget, while West Wing is always late and over budget and they just have people standing around debating the estate tax. “You have people kick-boxing on disintegrating planes,” Mr. Sorkin said. Mr. Abrams copped to having a great stock footage house to help the show stay close to budget but said he got depressed after talking to his friend Rob Burnett, producer of NBC’s Ed. Turns out it cost more money to make an episode of Ed than Alias. “I was like Ed?!” Mr. Abrams said. “It’s a bowling alley! How much do you pay those pins?”