Per The Verge, Spielberg pointed out that with so many viewing choices vying for audience attention these days, the studios see giant projects as the safest bet to cut through the noise rather "than make a whole bunch of really interesting, deeply personal -- and even maybe historical -- projects that may get lost in the shuffle because there's only 24 hours."
Both Lucas and Spielberg pointed toward cable as being able to have more interesting, risk-taking programming than the multiplex because the measure of success is not tied to pulling in a mass audience. "All you need is a million people," said Lucas. "Which in the aggregate of the world is not very many people," adding that "I think eventually the 'Lincoln's are going to go away and they're going to be on television." Spielberg responded that "Lincoln" actually had been "this close" to landing at HBO rather than in theaters.
While, implosion or not, Spielberg's got plenty of film projects in the works. He's no stranger to TV -- he directed episodes of "Night Gallery" and "Columbo" early on, and "Duel" was one of a few TV movies he did for Universal. He's also produced everything from "Animaniacs" to "Band of Brothers," having recently signed on to produce a "Halo" series for the Xbox.
Lucas, meanwhile, has seen his work adapted to the small screen in series like "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."