Mark Burnett Productions employs 1,500, has “a commitment to not putting crap on the air”

After two years in business, Mark Burnett Productions now employs around 1,500 people, and “handles its own production, post-production, graphic title design, video bumpers and merchandising and some of its own distribution,” TelevisionWeek reports. Burnett is also now moving “to syndicate the shows through his own company.” That makes it different from other production companies in Hollywood.

Another big difference is that the company exists to produce strong television, not just to rake in cash, although it certainly does that. Mark Burnett says, “I run my business around what I think is good content and high production values. The deals I make are just to get treated fairly by the networks. That’s all. … The drive here is a commitment to excellence, a commitment to not putting crap on the air.”

Still, he’s interested in targeting niche audiences and squeezing them dry. He says, “…’Survivor,’ which has a big audience, some 20 million viewers each week. Think of how small a percentage that is of people who buy products in America-probably not even 20 percent of the purchasing public. But 100 percent of the purchasing public knows what ‘Survivor’ is. … Therefore, you can have such an awareness and marketing ability with only 10 [percent] or 20 percent of people having seen who you are.”

The story also reveals that Burnett “also is considering bringing back a new edition of Eco-Challenge,” although he’s said that before. Last year, he said it’d be back this year.

Behind the Screen: Burnett’s New Studio Model [TelevisionWeek]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.