Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal, is planning to seize on the writers' strike to eliminate what he sees as extravagances in the way Hollywood makes and promotes television.
NBC and other companies have already used the strike to terminate millions of dollars of long-term production contracts. Mr Zucker is planning to go further by cutting enduring features of the television business, including the pilot season, in which networks develop programmes, and the splashy "upfront" presentations in which they tout them to advertisers.
"Things like that are all vestiges of an era that's gone by and won't return," Mr Zucker told the Financial Times.
He made his remarks in the midst of a three-month labour strike by Hollywood writers that has cost thousands of jobs, placed a drag on California's economy and raised questions about the future of the business.