In a land full of phonies, money grubbing, and transparent favors, at least one Hollywood television producer is keeping it real. Jon Robin Baitz, creator of the award-winning Brothers & Sisters, announced that he has left the ABC drama because of creative differences with studio executives.
Baitz, an accomplished playwright before trying his hand at creating his own show, says he was "ousted, not fired, an important distinction," in an article he wrote for The Huffington Post. If his article is any indication, he won't be longing for a return to mainstream television anytime soon.
"I can no longer argue for tone and can only watch as the demographic demands that have turned America into an ageist and youth-obsessed nation drives the storylines younger and younger, whiter and whiter, and with less and less reflection of the real America, which is made up, to the sorrow of the research departments, of people over 35 years of age and of many ethnicities and incomes," Baitz wrote.
"Then again," he continued, "I will never again have to do a notes call wherein the fear and seasickness of the creative execs always prevails over taking a risk, resulting more often than not in muddy and flattening or treacly-sweet compromises after a stolid and pointless series of writerly objections."
Baitz will still serve as an executive producer of the show--he is under a two-year contract with ABC--but says the he will no longer be "the source" of the show's plot moving forward. He says the television industry just wasn't for him and (against most Brothers & Sisters' fans insistence) believes he "sucked at it."
"Maybe the network guys, the execs know how badly my version of the show would do, and even if they wanted to greenlight it, they couldn't," Baitz says. He goes on to say that execs know that the conventional model of television is changing and they're scared of a power shift. "[The television execs] have to hold on to what they have while they still have it. And I don't care to do just that. I hope to push the boundaries so I can look [Mad Men creator] Matthew Wiener, [Sopranos creator David Chase, [Deadwood creator] David Milch, [Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm creator] Larry David, and [Dexter executive producer] Sara Colleton in the eye."
Baitz will also write two more pilots for ABC, as designated by his contract, "which shall be writ and executed more my way than theirs should there be interest in doing them at all," he says.
Brothers & Sisters follows the upper-class Walker family and stars award-winning actresses Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, and Rachel Griffiths. For more information on the show, read TV.com's previous coverage.