How many times as LB told his students, “No matter what your job title, you’re a salesman?” Thousands of times, that’s how many. Still, many talented and hard working writers refuse to accept that basic tenet. Okay, salesperson deniers, whaddaya say about this:
AMC Network Narrows Field Of Drama Pilot Contenders With Producer Meetings
by Nellie Andreeva
With a renewed focus on original dramas as AMCjust exited the unscripted space, the network is ramping up development. It had been an AMC tradition to hold annual script showcases, called by the network producer meetings, where the writers/producers of scripts that had been identified by network brass as top pilot contenders, lay out their vision for the shows beyond the pilot. Those producer meetings, which continue to be referred to as “bakeoff” in agency jargon, have traditionally been taking place in the spring, followed by pilot pickups. Sometimes, there has been a second round of producer meetings in the fall, which is what happened this year.
I’ve learned of seven projects from AMC Studios that were featured at the meetings held this week. Their settings span from present-day Birmingham and Mumbai to 1950s Argentina, and they tackle issues ranging from civil rights and pandemic to alien contact.
Additionally I hear that Preacher,Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin’s adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s controversial 1990s comic book series, from Sony TV, was not part of the presentations but also is heating up for a potential pilot order.
In case you’ve been wondering what the Writers Guild of America has been up to, interwebwise, wonder no more, bunky. The Guild is proud to announce it’s gotcha covered.
But, see? It’s a good “sorta.” If you’re just on the web, doing your own thing, nobody from the Writers Guild of America, West is gonna bug you. And if you end up working for the BigMediaMeanies, hey, they got your back.
EDITOR’S UPDATE: More to come on this from other voices of TVWriter™, we’re sure.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This just in from Contributing Editor/Classic TV Fanatic Herbie J Pilato (AKA Our Man at the Front Lines:
by Herbie J Pilato
Congratulations to NBC for landing Sony’s new take on Bewitched!
According to Variety, the network has granted the green light for a pilot production commitment to sequel to the original classic series that featured the iconic Elizabeth Montgomery as the lovable “house-witch” Samantha Stephens who married advertising mortal man Darrin Stephens (co-played by Dick York and Dick Sargent).
The new series will center around Samantha and Darrin’s granddaughter, an idea conceived by writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, and overseen by the talented team of Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, who head Red Wagon Entertainment.
Do you think that Big Media companies are about to blow up one of the greatest rackets in American business – one that accounts for the vast majority of their profits? The New York Times apparently does based on its geewhiz front page storythis morning (in sync with a lot of trendy commentary this week) pegged to new initiatives by CBS and Time Warner’s HBO to offer some of their programming online to people who pay them monthly subscription fees.
The announcements indicate that a “new era of à la carte television arrived in earnest this week – seemingly all at once and more quickly than many industry executives and television fans had expected,” the Times says. “And with it, the virtual monopoly that cable, satellite and telecommunications companies have had over TV programming is dissipating.” It adds that the “moves signal a watershed moment for web-delivered television….Rapidly fading are the days in which people pay an average of $90 a month for a bundle of networks from a traditional provider.”
The slippery wording keeps it from being technically inaccurate. But the main thrust of these observations represent a fantasy. HBO and CBS want to strengthen the status quo, not help to tear it down.
The companies — and other powers including Comcast, Disney, Fox, Discovery, and Viacom — thrive because they act as an oligopoly. They help themselves, and each other, by insisting that distributors only offer channels in bundles. Consumers justifiably hate having to pay for channels they don’t watch. They grudgingly pay the ever-rising monthly bills because that’s the most efficient way to keep up with news, sports, and the latest entertainment.
Execs don’t want to mess with that: If consumers had the freedom to choose, about half of the revenue in the TV ecosystem, about $70B, “would evaporate and fewer than 20 channels would survive,” Needham Co analyst Laura Martin concluded in a widely read analysis last year.
Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
Joe Robert Cole (movie guy who wrote a script for a film based on Marvel’s THE INHUMANS so yer friendly State Farm Insurance Agent munchman’s gotta love him) is writing the pilot for a CBS cop show about a black L.A. cop who’s a Republican. (Well, hey now, kids, that’s what it sez here, and if that’s enough to sell a series to CBS, well, we’d all better get over there and pitch before their D-peeps take the needles out of their arms.)
Paul Downs Colaizzo (a genuine New York playwright!) is writing a CBS pilot about “New York City’s wildest and most brilliant doctors as they start their second year of residency in the city’s most prestigious hospital.” (Wow, did you hear all those buzzwords? This show has everything TV shows are supposed to have – and absolutely nothing to do with reality. Looks like CBS has another hit coming. Did I say “wow” already? Cuz…wow!)
Mark Heyman (BLACK SWAN) is writing an adaptation of George Pendle‘s book, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life Of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside for AMC. (Speaking of “wow,” do you suppose they’re going to stick with the book’s title? Cuz if they do…”Wow!” Oh, no wait, I mean, “Woe.” Ouch. Hey, they can’t all be winners. Time to move on to:)
Scott Silveri & Shana Goldberg-Meehan (FRIENDS) have a new comedy in development at NBC about “an uptight family man and his boomer parents who are attacking their golden years like it’s spring break.” (No letter pleeze, asking who the hell loves this junk enough to pay most people’s yearly salary for just one script on the subject. If I knew that answer I’d be one of them…so maybe it’s just as well that I don’t?)
That’s it for now. Write in and tell munchilito what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)