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Summary:

George Lucas has just begun work on his upcoming live action Star Wars TV show and his CG animated Clone Wars television show is in full swing. Right now, neither show has a traditional network TV home. Mr. Lucas, take a cue from Radiohead, and tell […]

George Lucas has just begun work on his upcoming live action Star Wars TV show and his CG animated Clone Wars television show is in full swing. Right now, neither show has a traditional network TV home. Mr. Lucas, take a cue from Radiohead, and tell the networks to take a hike.

Why bother with traditional TV? You own the one of the biggest brands in the, well, universe. The shows are already being produced without a network commitment. Avoid the hassle of negotiating terms with networks around the world (and dealing with their marketing and promotions).

But most of all, it would give you what you are famous for — control. Here’s how you do it.

Just make the shows available through a service like Brightcove. Throw ads in front them to make a little scratch for yourself — or don’t. With the content embeddable, your legion of rabid Star Wars fans will propagate it around the globe for you, faster and better than any marketing department ever could.

Then put higher-quality versions up on BitTorent and iTunes for people to watch the shows on their big-screen TVs. Charge people (or don’t) and if you do, keep that money for yourself.

Or release them through every digital distribution platform at once and take your cut from all the ads. It’s not like someone would turn down hosting Star Wars content because it’s up elsewhere. Exclusivity is dead — viva ubiquity!

Then you could release as many shows at a time as you like — don’t be hamstrung by a weekly network schedule. Launch with one — or all of the episodes at once.

With Star Wars, you’re one of the only people who can push this idea forward. It’s not like you don’t have precedent. You helped create the summer blockbuster with the original Star Wars. You ushered in a new era of digital moviemaking with The Phantom Menace. Why stop now? Transform the entire notion of TV.

Help us, Mr. Lucas. You’re our only hope.

A disclaimer, while I was never an employee of Lucasfilm, I did help run its Star Wars Fan Film Awards for a number of years.

  1. Could the live-action follow the Radiohead model? Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    [...] fellow by the name of Chris Albrecht over at NewTeeVee has got some interesting thoughts on how George Lucas could use the same model as Radiohead’s recent online album release and [...]

  2. Alright Chris, You’re just trying to get a personal tour of Skywalker Ranch. Aren’t you?

  3. Hey Tim,

    If only getting a tour was that easy…

  4. Mark Schoneveld Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Here, here! I second the motion.

  5. Angela Wilson Gyetvan Thursday, October 18, 2007

    I’ve had a coupla tours, and lunch, even. (It was tasty.)

    Skywalker Ranch aside, I love this idea, and wouldn’t be surprised to see more folks thinking this way if the WGA strike actually happens in a couple of weeks. George, lead the charge!

  6. Even better then the excellent suggestions set forth above, use a closed end CDN/CDS like Broadramp (www.broadramp.com) to deliver high quality, full screen high definition video, securely and without buffering and then, allow sponsors to run branded portions of the programs and provide high visible access to interactive cut-aways that would stop the action of the show and bring an overlay up that would allow for exploration of branded content.

    A disclaimer is needed as well as among other services that I provide, I re-sell encoding, streaming and compression services offered by broadramp. There are though other excellent companies that can deliver much of the same benefits, like a Bit Torrent, etc.

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