This New York Times piece on Paddy Chayevsky’s archive is amazing. The NYT seems really way out ahead of the field in terms of presenting primary sources online; I mean, just look at this document viewer. It’s awesome.
Here’s a highlight: Chayevsky created an entire programming grid for UBS—the network in “Network”—with shows like “Lady Cop,” “Death Squad,” and the one-two punch of “Celebrity Canasta” and “Celebrity Mahjong.”
I so dearly wish this pilot existed:
In 1968, he started writing a pilot script for a comedic series he called “The Imposters” or “There’s No Business,” about subversives who infiltrate a television network and undermine it from within.
And finally, you can count on Aaron Sorkin for the kicker:
Sorkin, however, spoke for “Network” fans who respond to it as a devastating media-industry critique—one whose author never saw television devolve into a vast wasteland of reality programming and political partisanship, but who after 35 years is still shouting just as loudly about the dangers of crass, pandering content.
“If you put it in your DVD player today you’ll feel like it was written last week,” Mr. Sorkin said. “The commoditization of the news and the devaluing of truth are just a part of our way of life now. You wish Chayefsky could come back to life long enough to write ‘The Internet.’ “