More Is Not Always The Answer

In the early days of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels was brought to the top of the NBC Building to meet with some NBC Executives. They had questions about some of the expansions to the budget and production timelines he had requested.

He explained how he felt that a further developed budget and an increase in the production timeline would help the show keep up with growing audience expectations. He feared the show was losing its edge, and was no longer the challenge to the writers, the cast, or the audience it had set out to be. Essentially, the show was on a collision course, Lorne felt, with mediocrity.

An NBC Executive leaned forward, “Let me explain something. You are contracted to produce an hour and a half of programming from 11:30 PM to 1:00 AM every Saturday night. That’s all. No where in your contract does it say that that hour and a half needs to be any good. It doesn’t. Relax. You’re working too hard.”

Lorne smiled and went back to work, but left the show shortly after that.

Here’s what I know:

More money isn’t always the answer.

More time isn’t always the answer.

But lowering the bar, racing to the bottom, decreasing expectation, these things aren’t always the answer either.


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