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Thread: When did the writers/producers stop working long hours?



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  1. #1


    When did the writers/producers stop working long hours?

    This just popped into my head. Back in the day, during the classic years, everybody was working on the show nonstop. Al Jean & Mike Reiss were working at least 80 hours a week when they were the showrunners, and I know Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein talked years ago about how much of a crunch there was when they were producing season eight, because season seven was in post-production at the same time. I'm pretty sure the staff writers were working long hours too.

    I'm curious to know when that all ended. I don't think this will ever be a nine-to-five job, especially when the show is in production year-round, but if Al Jean has been showrunner for almost two decades, the job has to at least be a bit easier than it was in the show's prime. I want to say it started when Mike Scully was showrunner, because at the time, a lot of the staff had families and Scully wanted more time to see Los Angeles Kings games, so the hours were shortened.

    Also, do you believe this might have played a role in the show's decline? Maybe the shorter hours meant the staff wasn't putting in the same work?

  2. #2
    hutz is my waifu owo's Avatar
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    im pretty sure youve answered your own question - i dont know if theres a source for this but iirc one of the reasons why staff members liked scully as a showrunner because he was a nice boss... which means he let everyone wrap things up and go home at a reasonable time whereas o&w were so fucking into it they were staying up past midnight and sacrificing all of their time just to make the goddamn episodes the absolute best they could be (i think im just paraphrasing stuff from the ortved book)

    i would fucking kill to know what the hell happened when scully took over - a bunch of people on staff were convinced the show was on its last legs, o&w assumed scully would wrap things up after season 9 or 10, but fox just kept renewing the damn thing and the merch kept sellin' and then jean came back in so he could start nurturing this new grotesque little baby that would soon become known as zombie simpsons..

    think its obvious that yes it played a part in the prolonged mangling of the show


  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by owo View Post
    im pretty sure youve answered your own question - i dont know if theres a source for this but iirc one of the reasons why staff members liked scully as a showrunner because he was a nice boss... which means he let everyone wrap things up and go home at a reasonable time whereas o&w were so fucking into it they were staying up past midnight and sacrificing all of their time just to make the goddamn episodes the absolute best they could be (i think im just paraphrasing stuff from the ortved book)

    i would fucking kill to know what the hell happened when scully took over - a bunch of people on staff were convinced the show was on its last legs, o&w assumed scully would wrap things up after season 9 or 10, but fox just kept renewing the damn thing and the merch kept sellin' and then jean came back in so he could start nurturing this new grotesque little baby that would soon become known as zombie simpsons..

    think its obvious that yes it played a part in the prolonged mangling of the show
    Yeah, when Scully took over, the expectation was that the show didn't have much time left. He joked about how the writers should start thinking of ideas for the series finale because it was coming eventually. That was actually the main reason he was the showrunner for four seasons - because if the show was about to end, he didn't want the job going to someone else. He wanted to stay in charge until the last episode, but I guess somewhere along the line, Fox just decided it wasn't worth ending the show and the ratings stayed consistent for a long time. It wasn't as popular as it was in the 90s, but enough people were still watching and it was still turning a profit.



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