…Or at least not THOSE types of Republicans. The Paul Ryan ones. The Ayn Rand ones. The ones who believe earning money by working is for the little people, while investing—ah, investing—is the highest good and deserving of all the rewards, tax-free, forever and ever, amen.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, take a look at Steven Mallas’s latest work of objectivist genius at The Street:
“The Big Bang Theory” makes a lot of money. The show is worth billions of dollars of revenue in the broadcast and syndication arenas; how much of that is profit is hard to come by, but it has to be significant. Even so, it is my conclusion that [CBS CEO Leslie] Moonves and [Time Warner CEO Jeff] Bewkes should not have given in to the cast and instead called it a day on the show.
At issue is CBS & Time Warner’s decision to pay the top three stars of The Big Bang Theory what they’re worth to the show, i.e., about $1 million per episode, similar to what the cast of Friends was making near the end of that series 10 years ago.
Mallas concedes The Big Bang Theory will still make “significant” profit for the two companies and their investors… but NOT AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Therefore, cancel that shit.
For the record, let’s a look at where The Big Bang Theory sits in the ratings:
- NFL Sunday Night Football, NBC (21.6 million viewers)
- The Big Bang Theory, CBS (19.9 million viewers)
Yep, it’s the most watched show on TV outside of football, and the highest rated program on CBS. That’s the show Steven Mallis wants to cancel at its peak. Let me remind you this is a man who is paid to write investment advice.
Here’s my investment advice: if your stock broker demands a company you’re invested in cancel its most popular product line out of spite, FIRE THAT STOCK BROKER.
And let’s be clear – spite is all it is.
According to Mallas, if the cast wants to make more money, then fuck it, no one gets to make any money at all. We’re taking our investment dollars and going home. That’ll show those greedy Hollywood actors who only care about money!
“Wait,” you say. “When did appreciating money become a bad thing in the Mallas’s world?”
Well, he’s got an answer for you. And it’s a beaut:
[I]t’s important to stay ahead of the curve, and it’s important to fight for shareholders — maximizing stock value is of utmost importance. […]
Who takes the risk, ultimately? Is [it] the star talent? No. It’s CBS and Time Warner. Moonves and Bewkes should have gotten together and told Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco no. It’s a simple one-syllable word that should be used more often in Hollywood.
Sure, a rational person would recognize that Jim Parsons and friends HAVE taken a risk or two. They committed to working on The Big Bang Theory without any guarantees of its success when they could have invested their time and talents into other projects. But in Mallas’s world, dollars are the only investment that matters.
And now we’re at the heart of the matter. Let’s cast aside the actual economics of running a network or a production studio – Mallis already has – and discuss the real issue here.
This isn’t an economic argument; it’s a philosophical one. If it were economic, Mallas would have to acknowledge that massively successful sitcoms don’t grow on trees. Instead, he’s entirely interested in the employer/employee dynamic.
In Mallas’s mind, everyone who works for a living is an interchangeable, easily replaceable commodity. Only the investors matters. They are the gracious and glorious job creators, the pillars of American society. Everyone else is an ungrateful mooching bastard who is already getting more than they deserve.
Which is weird, because investment dollars weren’t what set The Big Bang Theory apart from other shows. Other shows that failed have had just as much cash on hand. What’s made The Big Bang Theory a hit (i.e., profitable) is the talent and commitment of the actors, the producers, the writers, the editors, and the crew.
CBS and Time Warner are smart enough to know that. So are Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco.
Steven Mallas, on the other hand, is an idiot. He’d not only slaughter the network’s cash cows on the altar of Ayn Rand, but after that, who with any other prospects would ever pitch a show to the network again?