USA Network: 25 Years: Gordon Beck

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

I came in as an associate producer in sports back in the first couple of years of USA’s existence, when the network was essentially all sports. It was a small, growing operation, where we all learned to do pretty much everything. We felt like a family and acted as one. On some Friday afternoons we’d go out to a baseball field in New Jersey and play softball.

I certainly didn’t know we would be moving into original entertainment down the road or that we would launch the Sci Fi Channel as a sister network or that we’d go international. We were just trying to put on the best-quality productions we could muster on an extraordinarily tight budget.

The stakes were not as high on the production line back then. We had very few viewers and they were more die-hard, so we would play to them. We gave our announcers more creative freedom to vamp and try new things. It became sort of like a guerrilla TV thing that few people were aware of. It wasn’t until later that we learned we couldn’t be too “inside;” we had to go for a broader audience.