Executive Meddling / Other

There are executives in every industry.


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    Advertising 
  • Used in-universe by Sprint for a movie theater commercial: An animated movie is almost finished, and the studio demands pants on Happy the Hedgehog.

    Art 
  • It is said that the Greek sculptor Polykleitos was making a statue once, and people constantly instructed him about how it should look (in some variations, it was an official committee). He made such a statue, while simultaneously making another the way he wanted. In the end, he showed the people both statues, and explained the difference between his creation and theirs.
  • The Statue of Freedom on the Capitol Dome was originally designed wearing a Phrygian cap, but the man overseeing the project, Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederacy, rejected that part of the design.
  • If you tour the Vatican, the guides will tell you a possibly apocryphal story about Michelangelo and a Cardinal. The Cardinal demanded that Michelangelo cover up the genitalia of the figures in his paintings. Michelangelo retaliated by painting him as Satan in Hell, with a serpent covering his crotch. When the Cardinal complained to the Pope, the Pope replied "I am sorry my friend, but he has painted you in Hell, and I only have the power to release people from the purgatorium."

    Documentaries 
  • Dinosaur Revolution would have been a purely animal-centric animated Edutainment Show, consisting of six episodes in which highly anthropomorphic prehistoric animals goofed off, with no Narrator or any Talking Heads. Then, to explain the science behind these comedic and often far-fetched stories, there would have been a companion show where real life paleontologists would have, well, explained stuff. This was deemed too "risky", so the two series got combined, and only four episodes were made. Many segments, some of which had been storyboarded and had their CGI models ready, were abandoned. They added narration and holograms of talking scientists, while various Stock Footage clips now interrupted the stories. Despite the stories clearly having been animated as very dark comedies, the final show was presented to the viewers as a legit documentary. The Discovery Channel realized these faults, and at a later date, a cinematic version titled Dinotasia was released, which attempted to present the concept as it was originally intended, with no narration. However, since it could only work with whichever scenes had already been done, the movie turned out to be an inconsistent mess, and without the originally planned companion series, the educational value was all but lost. Even most of the special effects looked hokey due to the rushed production.

    Fan Fiction 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Thunderbirds had a positive example. The production company exec, Lew Grade, liked the show so much that he demanded that the half-hour show have hour-long episodes. As a result, Gerry Anderson's company had to, at least initially, pad the time with additional plot twists and character development, which gave the series a sophistication that made the show a cult classic.
  • Grade also made a decision concerning Anderson's final Supermarionation show The Secret Service. Each episode featured Father Unwin, voiced by Stanley Unwin, bamboozling people with Unwin's trademark "Unwinese" doubletalk. Unfortunately, when Grade first heard this, he cancelled the show with only 13 episodes in the can, on the grounds that viewers wouldn't understand Unwinese — despite the fact that they weren't meant to.

    Radio 
  • The Howard Stern Show:
    • Executives were trying to change Stern's vision of his show since his first day on the air. It's generally agreed upon by critics and fans that him fighting and being able to do his show the way he wanted completely changed the way morning radio shows were presented. However, whether or not Stern going through the actual process of fighting these battles was entertaining leads to a case of Broken Base.
    • While discussing the constant format battles in his Private Parts biography, he brings up several interesting anecdotes. For a Crowning Moment of Funny, when airing on WNBC, the station required a quick station identification before every commercial, which Howard dutifully agreed to do. But later, his program supervisor came to him and told him that the station wanted him to say "WNBC" with a quasi-Southern drawl, emphasizing the "N", specifically (Something like "W-Ee~ee~en-B-C!"). Naturally, the next day, Stern featured a skit with himself and another cast member playing the role of gay men auditioning for a WNBC program, debating over which of their ridiculously overexaggerated drawls was most suitable.
    • Later on, he had a female program manager who was willing to go along with any idea he wanted, as long as it was planned out in advance, something he himself admitted was a perfectly reasonable request. If he wanted to have such-and-such skit, great; just pencil it in at X time on Y day, so listeners know to expect it on a regular basis. But at that point, Stern was still in that strange embryo phase between Small Name, Big Ego and Protection from Editors, which led to him arguing that he should be allowed to air skits and segments whenever he felt like it; in this case, he got away with it, but one wonders how many other supervisors there were willing to work with his ideas and get them into a structured format, as opposed to the majority he talks about in the book who were simply looking to hammer the censorship button and make his life hell.
    • Stern himself has speculated the reason he was fired from WNBC was because the Chairman of RCA (who owned NBC at the time), Thornton Bradshaw, heard Stern's "Beastiality Dial-A-Date" segment and ordered him fired.
  • BBC executives banned The Goon Show from imitating politicians, and would regularly censor the scripts so nothing overtly political got through. Spike Milligan responded by trying to make the censors' lives as miserable as possible and ranting a lot about the BBC.
  • On The Stan Freberg Show, CBS ordered the ending of the nearly episode-length sketch "Incident at Los Voraces" changed to replace the hydrogen bomb with an earthquake. The sketch returned to its original version on LP and CD.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The creators of the Planescape and Al-Qadim settings for Dungeons & Dragons have both commented that they were fortunate TSR bosses expected a different setting to be the Next Big Thing, and so were breathing down those developers' necks, and leaving them to do whatever they wanted.
  • Some of the Crazy Awesome of Spelljammer stemmed from Creator Backlash at TSR's execs pushing their deadline forward with no chance to playtest.
  • In an example of distributor meddling, Upper Deck Entertainment pressured Konami into letting them rearrange the rarities, severely alter the construction of the Structure Decks brought over, and create their own cards for the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible card game sets. This has had the end effect of widening rifts between Japanese and Western versions of the game, and eventually led to Konami taking the game back.
  • Magic: The Gathering's Mythic Rares. Magic had always had Common, Uncommon, and Rare cards (though not always-always: some early sets only had Common and Uncommon cards, with Rares not really existing at all). However, Hasbro, Wizards' owner, wanted the game to have "very rare" cards like every other trading card game out there; keeping in mind that one major draw of Magic was the nonexistence of "very rare" cards like everyone else. Wizards' response? Fine. But sets will now be much smaller, so that the probability of getting any one Mythic Rare in the new sets is now the same as the probability of getting any one Rare in the older sets. This hasn't changed the general public's perceptions that Mythic Rares are much more powerful and thus should be worth more money, but as a whole the game hasn't suffered much from this.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in the series Revisioned: Activision, which has an executive trying to force two writers to remake the Atari game Kaboom for modern audiences. At one point, he even flips through a guide of "Screenwriting for Meddlers."
  • On GameSpy, a negative 1.5/5 review for Donkey Konga 2 was partially rewritten to score 3/5. Then they pulled it off the website and replaced it with a new one (3.5/5). Penny Arcade was not amused.
  • Caused a literal Creator Breakdown in the production of the series finale of There Will Be Brawl: Matthew Mercer had planned to release it on Christmas Day, but The Escapist (the host site) suddenly announced that it would be released a week early, causing Mercer to scramble so much to finish filming and editing that he ended up on bed rest with a pinched nerve. It ended up having to be released on New Year's Day.
  • Cracked:
    • In this article on Bogleech about how the author's article was so thoroughly changed (Most notably by adding a "kill all spiders" slant when, if you read the author's other work, you'll see he holds the exact opposite position) that he ultimately disowned it.
    • Another article by the same author on how much of a pain in the butt it is to get an article accepted shows how arbitrary their standards for what gets in their articles can be. They rejected Goddamned Noseybonk for an article on nightmare fuel in kid's TV for God's sake!
  • An example where a bit of executive meddling might have been warranted: on the Bad Call TV episode "Playing the Fools," Comedy Central makes the error of allowing the creators of South Park to begin their second season on April Fool's Day, without any creative intervention. The result? A massive backlash from fans, who had hoped to see a resolution to the Season 1 cliffhanger, only to be treated to an entire episode of just Terrence and Phillip.
  • This caused a show to be incomplete - Polaris were making a show called Game_Jam where four teams would compete to make a game in four days for a number of prizes. The show was sponsored by Mountain Dew, and yes, that fact is important. A consultant from PepsiCo went to each team implying that 'having females on the team would put them at a disadvantage', generally trying to make that Reality TV show bullshit drama. Every team walked off the set and refused to continue the project, costing Polaris $400,000 and costing the show's producer (not the guy who actually said this to the teams) to be fired from Polaris.
  • The "Twitch Debacle" with Rooster Teeth. Rooster Teeth wanted a Twitch channel for livestreaming, since that's a big thing. However, a higher up decided that, instead of making a new one, they decided that the Twitch that Achievement Hunter member Ray Narvaez, Jr. used for his own personal livestreaming should be used as it already had a big number count. This pissed off Narvaez to the point where he was almost ready to quit the team. Eventually, he reluctantly relented, but his performances and responses to the fans were quite sour for some time. Then he actually did leave the company, although he did leave on good terms and is still on board for X-Ray and Vav.
  • According to Doug at a con, Mike Michaud made him and Cinema Snob do a The Nostalgia Critic video on Sharknado because it would get good hits.

    Other 
  • Toonami: According to an Anime News Network interview with Jason DeMarco, the person in charge of Toonami, as the years went on and Toonami's success became indisputable, the rest of Cartoon Network's programming people gradually took more control. They began hands-off, seeing how Toonami would do on its own, with the people at Toonami doing broadcasting rights themselves. Then, Cartoon Network offered people to help get rights for Toonami. Later, Cartoon Network looked for show rights themselves, got a lot of deals started, and would ask DeMarco and others about which ones they should continue pursuing. Finally, they became harmful: Cartoon Network executives forced Hamtaro onto Toonami, then took most of the control over the block. This is the reason why the original Toonami's final years had a severe increase in Merchandise-Driven shows aimed at younger audiences than before, like Duel Masters and D.I.C.E., as well as the removal of Toonami Midnight Run, which was aimed at teenagers and adults. The new Toonami, the one that's part of [adult swim], had executives overestimate how popular it would be. It was intended to be only 3 hours long, but their superiors insisted on it being 6 hours. Since Toonami's budget cannot allow for 6 hours' worth of new content all the time, they scraped whatever reruns they could hold onto to pad out the latter half. When Toonami was cut down to 3 and half hours in 2015, the decision was actually welcomed by the Toonami staff, as it meant they could now run the block as they intended.
  • Nobel-prize winner Leon Ledermann, writing a book about the Higgs boson, wanted to call it "the goddamn particle" because of all the trouble it was causing within particle physics. His publisher decided to change it to "the god particle".


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ExecutiveMeddling/Other