"When a senior executive says, without shame or the merest blush, that they do not believe in authors, they believe in strategy, what she means is that they follow the advice of the marketing executives who have pored over focus group results. The programme makers are then instructed to construct a series which will attract young men, because that is the strategy; or that a show will not be renewed because the large and appreciative audience is too old, and that is against current strategy. The game now is not about the writers having the freedom to make their sense of the world; it is about creating products and brands which the research has indicated will sell."
Ben Stephenson responds by inviting any critics up to his London office for a
Then a load of writers take issue with TG, including Steven Moffat:
"I feel creatively stifled by the BBC every single day - but I'm a writer and 'creatively stifled' counts as anything short of an instant series commission, a guaranteed second series, a cuddle, a guaranteed third series, and a whispered invitation back to 'my place' (where I'll explain that really I've got a five-series arc in mind, and a spin-off.)"
SM's response (as well as comments by Tony Jordan, Heidi Thomas and Billy Ivory) here
I was going to write an incisive and interesting (whilst humorous) counterpoint article to all of the above, and then I realised I had an 18th century literary adaptation to write. So I'd better get on with that.