The effects of this year’s entertainment strikes will be felt well into 2024. As Hollywood struggles to restart, it’s overlooking content opportunities from independent producers who appeal to the audiences who drove “Peak TV.” One producer is hoping to change that.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The 2023 entertainment strikes may be over, but the scripted content drought they created will live on through 2024. While networks and streamers have attempted to fill the gap with reality shows and foreign productions, they’ve overlooked exceptional, independently produced content by underrepresented writers, directors and actors who actually appeal to the audiences who drove “Peak TV.” The creator of MIDDLEHOOD, Michele Palermo, is hoping to change that.
MIDDLEHOOD is an 8-episode, half hour, single-camera show with a fresh, funny, female-forward look into midlife crisis. With the raw, intimate honesty of Tiny Beautiful Things and the social conflicts of All In The Family, MIDDLEHOOD is the creation of writer/director Michele Palermo, whose credentials include series developed with Peter Horton, David E. Kelley and LIFETIME TV. As she looked at the audiences who were actually driving the phenomenon known as “Peak TV” – who were primarily middle-aged women, according to the Wall Street Journal – Palermo decided to end-run the traditional system and create a show that would appeal to those audiences. Not just develop and write it, but create it – right down to the final shot, packaged for immediate broadcast.
MIDDLEHOOD features notable leads – Elena Wohl (Seinfeld, Spotlight) and Mark Damon Espinoza (The Endgame, Beverly Hills 90210) – impeccable writing, clean production values, and a strong supporting cast. Created under a SAG-AFTRA Special New Media agreement, MIDDLEHOOD received its finishing touches right before the strikes hit.
“It’s been interesting dealing with stakeholders during this process,” said Michele, who also executive-produced MIDDLEHOOD. “They publicly grieve the end of “Peak TV” and the lack of fresh content due to the strikes. Yet internally they still tend to cling to old systems, when they could use this moment to open up to large but underrepresented audiences. It’s a giant opportunity to be grabbed.”
MIDDLEHOOD has been attracting interest from both traditional television and streaming services at markets like MIPCOM, and Michele is hopeful that the series will soon land a home.
“What’s interesting about what we did is that we set up a site where, instead of just viewing a demo reel, buyers can watch the series and see the entire arc of the first season,” said Michele, “It’s a virtually risk-free way to refill the content pipeline, and the interest is definitely there.”
“We’re excited to see where this goes,” she continued. “It’s obvious that a core audience for MIDDLEHOOD already exists – we’ve been featuring snippets from the series on Instagram and Facebook, and our follower numbers are exploding. And they’re all asking the same question: ‘Where can I watch this?’ I can’t wait to give them the answer.”
SOURCE Michele Palermo