‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase says quality TV is “dying”

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As his Emmy-winning series passes its 25th birthday, David Chase, the guy who created The Sopranos, says the golden age of TV that his show started is over.

Speaking to the U.K.’s The Times, Chase called that golden age, which also saw shows like The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad flourish, a mere “blip.”

He adds, “[A] 25-year blip. And to be clear, I’m not talking only about The Sopranos, but a lot of other hugely talented people out there who I feel increasingly bad for.”

“We’re going back to where we were [before Sopranos],” he lamented, saying he was recently told by a TV executive to “dumb … down” a project he was pitching.

And while executives haven’t changed their ways, viewers have, Chase argues, saying “audiences can’t keep their minds on things, so we can’t make anything that makes too much sense, takes our attention and requires an audience to focus.”

And as for streaming executives? “It is getting worse.”

When he was asked about the success of HBO’s trophy magnet drama Succession, Chase argues that show had been given the green light many years ago, and its success “is a funeral. Something is dying.”

Before Sopranos, Chase recalled, “the networks were in an artistic pit. A s******. The process was repulsive. In meetings, these people would always ask to take out the one thing that made an episode worth doing. I should have quit.”

Instead, The Sopranos‘ success “made them regret all their decades of stupidity and greed.”

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