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Something Made You Special, Part 2

By Shamus
on Sunday Sep 24, 2006
Filed under:


Veggie Tales
Jaquandor points to Phil Vischer’s blog, which sheds a great deal of light on the questions I asked yesterday. In the comments of that post, BeckoningChasm took a guess on what was going on and it looks like he nailed it: Big Idea agreed to editing, thinking this would mean making commercial breaks and adjusting the length of the show, and only later did everyone find out exactly what “editing for TV” entailed. Vischer has agreed to do the edits, removing non-historical references to God, but still doesn’t know how that can be done for the older episodes, which are more about God and less about values. Since he wrote many of those shows himself, my guess would be that it probably can’t be done.

On the other side of things, I still can’t comprehend why NBC would want this show. It would be like a Christian radio station wanting to run Howard Stern, but with all the dirty parts edited out. Ok, assuming that could be done: Who is going to want the edited version of the show?

But the real discovery for me was Vischer’s epic 7-part series, “What happened to Big Idea?” Big Idea went bankrupt! I had no idea. It’s hard to imagine, but the mistakes are easy to spot with the aid of hindsight. What troubles me about what happened was how familiar all of his mistakes were. Phil has the same view of management that I do: Hire smart people, then get out of the way and trust them to do their job. I could see myself making all of the mistakes Phil Vischer did. And some of them were pretty bad. The story is painful to read. I went through the dot-com thing myself, and so I know what it’s like to see a company grow and burst. Even though I kept my job, it was painful. What happened to Big Idea is the same thing, only on a grander and more destructive scale. What a shame.

Comments (1)

  1. BeckoningChasm says:

    Vischer’s story makes fascinating reading. I, too, had no idea Big Idea was out of business, since I seem to see Veggietale stuff everywhere.

    (I’ve never seen one of the videos, but to quote Leon from Bladrunner: “Never seen a Veggietale video. But I know what you mean.”)

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