Regular readers know we love TV for entrepreneurs. The WSJ reports that hollywood is now thinking of producing TV shows and movies centered around the life of tech entrepreneurs and engineers. From Jessica Vascellaro, Entrepreneurs Get Big Break — on Screen:
Comcast Corp.’s Bravo television network is launching a reality show based on the lives of little-known Silicon Valley entrepreneurs this year. In Hollywood, two movies about Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs are in the works. One, an independent film, will star Ashton Kutcher. Sony Pictures is developing another based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the technology pioneer.
Michael Lewis, author of popular nonfiction works like “Moneyball,” may write a TV pilot about Silicon Valley, according to people he has spoken to about it. Mr. Lewis says he hasn’t committed to it.
“Geeks are the new royalty,” says Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Style Media. Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi Zuckerberg, is an executive producer on the Bravo reality show, which is currently called “Silicon Valley.” Ms. Zuckerberg, through a spokesman, declined an interview request.
“Two 20-somethings just sold their company for a billion dollars,” says Ms. Berwick, referring to photo-sharing service Instagram, which Facebook announced last week that it had agreed to acquire. “There is something there that plays to the American dream.”
Media executives didn’t use to be so eager to chase the digerati. Even as businesses like Google Inc. and Facebook drew millions and made billions, Hollywood—itself upended by these two technology innovators—kept its distance. The concern: How to dramatize wonky technical breakthroughs and the often unrelatable characters behind them.
The 1999 made-for-TV movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley” chronicled the birth of Apple and Microsoft and their quirky co-founders Mr. Jobs and Bill Gates, though it generated little mainstream buzz.
But more recently, hot tech companies such as Apple have made technology cool. Hit shows about geeks, notably CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” about physicists, proved to media executives the category could sell.
Then came “The Social Network,” the 2010 film about the origins of Facebook. The movie, written by Aaron Sorkin, topped the box office its opening weekend and won a plethora of awards.