An older generation of television writers — including those who worked on classic TV shows such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Kojak" — are finding success in a new market: China, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
E! Entertainment co-founder Larry Namer has created a collective called Metan Wen Zhi Ku, which the article says means “Writing Mastermind.” It has organized about 2,000 older writers to pen content for Chinese audiences.
“While China’s media business is developing at a rapid pace, core skills of storytelling are lacking," Namer told the publication. “We believe Metan Wen Zhi Ku will fill this void."
The story adds, “Namer has teamed with Art Eisenson and David Gittins, who head a group of writers who have penned such hits as ‘Miami Vice,’ ‘Hart to Hart’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote.’ While TV scripts often sell for just a few thousand dollars in China, for many of these talents it’s a chance to reinvent their careers in the developing market.”
"This allows older writers to get their mojo back," Eisenson told the publication. "We understand television."
Some of the writers working for the group were part of a 2010 settlement of a class-action lawsuit, in which 165 TV writers alleged they were suffering from age discrimination, the story says.
Most writers won’t actually travel to China, the piece adds. Namer will spend much of the year there and will look for deals for the venture, the story notes.