Tuned in: Eric Weinberger dials in 5 features for any successful TV production

“What’s on TV tonight?”

Although it’s a seemingly simple question, Eric Weinberger knows the answer is much more complicated.

The television industry has changed drastically over the last several decades. Rabbit-eared antennas and static-filled reception are a thing of the past. Gone are the days of only four local channels. Like cable television before it, streaming services offer unlimited options with only a few clicks. It’s granted access. But it’s also spawned an entirely new lexicon. “Binging” is no longer reserved for late-night snacks.

While the format and presentation are different now, Eric Weinberger knows the basic principles have remained unchanged. Creating a successful TV production is a craft. There are fundamental elements that are consistent throughout any genre.

But Eric Weinberger didn’t just acquire these from film school or textbooks. He’s learned from experience. He has developed innovative content for HBO, Fox Sports, and The Ringer Media Group. Yet the long-time producer is best known for his leadership at the NFL Network. Here, he specialized in “event-isizing” non-game content by launching the network’s off-the-field coverage. He has even won multiple Sports Emmy awards for his efforts.

Using this extensive background, Eric Weinberger knows how to build a successful TV program. Following these five guidelines, any production can earn two thumbs up.

Development

It starts with an idea. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a full-length script or a one-paragraph pitch. This initial concept will be fleshed out, developed, and explored throughout production. Consider your target audience and how to reach them. This should drive any decisions about style and genre. While the physical act of making a TV program is grueling, Eric Weinberger cautions that this mental aspect can be just as rigorous. As an NFL Network executive, he spent months of preparation and planning just for the league’s annual draft.

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Pre-Production

During pre-production, your concept transforms into something more concrete. This phase is perhaps the most impactful. Pre-production represents the tangible steps required to turn your project into a reality. Cast, crew, and logistics all need to be organized and scheduled promptly. Even with the most deliberate planning, Eric Weinberger knows that things won’t always go smoothly. Be flexible and willing to adapt, addressing each problem as it arises.

Production

All this work leads to three little words you’ve been waiting to hear: “Lights, camera, action!” While the director and producer are responsible for capturing the audio and visuals, this stage is still a collaborative process. Community is key too. When on a set, Eric Weinberger communicates clearly while developing a supportive environment where creativity can thrive.

Post-Production

Communication is critical during post-production as well. Revisions, editing, and audio mixing demand feedback and clear expectations. If the proper groundwork has been laid during previous phases, re-shoots are rarely needed. In addition to thematic choices, Eric Weinberger also encourages a review of deadlines and target dates. This ensures everyone is on the same page.

Distribution

It’s time for the world to see what you’ve created. A distribution plan should be discussed as part of your development. This plan demands a specific, straightforward strategy designed to reach the intended audience. Now, it’s time to deliver.