People/Biz

Your take on 2018: Sharp Entertainment’s Matt Sharp, Back Roads’ Colby Gaines

It’s that time of year again, to look back at the past 12 months and assess the highs and the lows. Look for more from our year-end survey here at ...
December 19, 2018

It’s that time of year again, to look back at the past 12 months and assess the highs and the lows. Look for more from our year-end survey here at Realscreen.com and in our upcoming January/February issue.

Matt Sharp, CEO and founder, Sharp Entertainment
Matt Sharp
I never thought they’d make a program about:
Popping pimples!

The most positive development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
Actually, a move toward positivity itself. Shows from Queer Eye to America’s Got Talent prove that America wants something, and someone, to root for.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
It’s getting harder to break through the content clutter. There were a lot of great premieres this past year that just didn’t catch on.

The idea I wish I thought of was:
Live PD. It’s the perfect nexus of an elevated tried and true format with an ambitious, new TV construct never before attempted.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was:
Before the 90 Days. Okay, I had the idea last year, but I’m happy about it this year as well. As an extension of Sharp’s 90 Day Fiancé franchise, Before the 90 Days follows couples’ journeys before they have ever met in person which opens up the show to incredibly fresh types of storytelling, including the specter of a love interest not actually being who they say they are.

If 2018 taught me one thing it was:
Viewers want authenticity over contrivance.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2019 is:
Live… for the sake of being live. Yes, I wish I thought of Live PD, but I think “Knitting Live” is where we should draw the line. It has to make sense and be strategic.

My New Year’s resolution for 2019 is:
Introducing the world to the next big thing (and yes, we have it!).

Colby Gaines, CEO, Back Roads Entertainment
Colby_Gaines__
My favorite factual program/series (or feature documentary) of 2018 was:
The Kavanaugh hearings.

I never thought they’d make a program about:
There are too many to mention here — you know that if a dollar can be made off of even an audience of one, a producer will attempt to make it.

The program/series/doc people will be talking about in five years is:
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

In 18 months, no one will be talking about:
Second screen experiences. The focus of our attention now is one screen and most of the time it’s mobile.

The best factual content I’ve seen online this year was:
Evil Genius.

The most positive development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
A report on CNBC saying the money spent on content will double in the next five years.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
The same report on CNBC saying the money will likely go to big media companies. So… the content pie will double but they’re likely not cutting more slices.

The idea I wish I thought of was:
A show I created and sold and that an executive said was originally theirs.

If 2018 taught me one thing it was:
We keep getting reminded that even though distribution changes, audience habits largely don’t. They/we still want premium, long form content experiences. As Michael Wolff wrote, “television is the new television.”

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2019 is:
Disruptive.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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