vince gilligan's island

Indie web series star, writer, director, producer, and and all around super-creator Travis Richie does it again:

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Thanks, Travis!

Go to the Travis Richey Channel!!!

Best-Performing TV Shows? Look To Ad Revs, Not Ratings

It’s long been known that creativity isn’t necessarily grounds for a TV show’s success. We’ve all known that the key to staying on the air is ratings.

Except – it’s starting to look like ratings no longer tell the story. Enter a more specific analytic: Ad revenues, boys and girls. Here’s what we mean:


by Wayne Friedman

TV networks would love for business reporters to stop writing about TV ratings — especially stories that only look at next-day ratings.

Networks all want media executives to consider viewership totals that include not just one overnight airing — but three, seven, 30 days, as well as digital and SVOD airings. All that can get — what else? — a bigger number.

But I’ll go them one better. We should speak to a metric everyone can understand: dollars and cents. (Yes, “sense” as well.)

What were the best TV programs on Monday?  Those shows that pulled in the most revenue: specifically, advertising revenue. (We’ll leave other revenue associated with TV shows aside for the moment).

This Monday, July 13, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” took in the most: $8.37 million. ABC’s “The Bachelorette” was next, with $8.30 million; NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” was in third place, at $5.83 million, according to iSpot.TV.

Other good performers with original content: NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” with $3.13 million, while ABC’s “The Whispers” took in $2.5 million.

CBS had all repeats: “Scorpion” was at $1.3 million; “Mike & Molly,” $1.3 million as well; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” $1.14 million; and “2 Broke Girls,” $1.02 million.

I know what you’re thinking: Why is iSpot.TV’s estimated research efforts better than Nielsen’s national panel of 25,000 TV homes?

Well, all things being equal (maybe less than equal for some industry watchers), we need to shift our gaze, and consider outside-the-box metrics for a clearer view of how TV shows are performing.

Read it all at Media Post

BETTER CALL SAUL Writer Tells Us How His Emmy Nominated Script Came to Be

From producer’s assistant to Emmy nominated writer. These are the kinds of stories we love:

bcs“I Broke My Boy”
by Alan Sepinwall

In show business, it’s often better to be lucky than good. Better Call Saul writer Gordon Smith has been both.

Vince Gilligan’s assistant for the latter half of “Breaking Bad” — a job he got in part because a friend of a friend was on the “BB” writing staff — Smith was promoted to full-time writer when Gilligan, Peter Gould and company moved on to “Saul,” then wound up with the best possible assignment for the prequel’s first season: “Five-O,” the episode that detailed the tragic story of how Mike Ehrmantraut came to leave his job as a Philly cop and move to Albuquerque. It got Smith the show’s lone Emmy nomination for writing for its first season, and could well getJonathan Banks the acting Emmy he never won on “Breaking Bad.”

I spoke with Smith a few minutes ago about the experience of being a first-time nominee, making the adjustment from writers assistant to writer, the origin of Mike’s memorable “I BROKE MY BOY!” exclamation, and a lot more.

Were you expecting this? “Five-O” was one of the most celebrated episodes of TV this season, but was a nomination even in your imagination before today?

Gordon Smith: Not really. People were saying, “No, no, maybe you will.” I was terrified at the prospect. I’m still a little terrified. It was kind of overwhelming, really. I was not expecting it. My reaction was kind of shock. Pretty much shock.

Vince is among the nicest and most magnanimous people in his position in the business, but you did get the show’s only writing nomination. Has there been any tension today at the office, or is everyone just happy for you?

Gordon Smith: Honestly, our assistants and our team here has decorated the office. If there’s tension, they’re hiding it from me. We often will say, “It’s a team sport.” Writing for TV is a team sport, so no, I think everyone has a good amount of ownership and pride in all of the episodes. I hope that they all feel that. I haven’t seen anyone coming for me with the knife yet. But you never see it coming.

How did you get the job at “Breaking Bad”?

Gordon Smith: I was very lucky. My friend from film school Nicole Phillips, who’s writing on “The Blacklist” now, was also friends with (“Breaking Bad” writer) Genni Hutchison, who helped get my name in front of people. I’d gotten out of film school about eight months beforehand, I was out of work. I loved the show, she put me forward, and I was able to bamboozle them into hiring me on. They said, “This guy’s not a horrible person to be around.” I was an office PA starting in season 3, with the idea that I would be filling in in the writers office. I became the writers PA and Vince’s assistant in season 4, and the writers assistant in season 5.

Read it all at Hit Fix

Brian Helgeland on How It Feels to Win an Oscar & a Razzie on the Same Weekend

We’re publishing this just to make sure everybody gets a taste of what it’s like to, you know, succeed:

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TVWriter™’s Top Posts of the Week Ending July 31st 2015


The posts TVWriter™ visitors clicked on most during the past week were:

2015 PEOPLE’S PILOT Winners!

2015 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists!

Five Common Screenwriting Mistakes Made By Film Students

Steven Spielberg Tells Us Why He’s a Great Director

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

And our most visited resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline



The Teleplay


Big thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to read what you missed, re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!

Indie Film & VIdeo: THE PAVEMENT

Sploid logo Capture

Here’s a short film that works…because its narrative is unique. And wise.

Yes, it’s all visual. But guess what? It’s still about the writing:

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A Sploid Short Film Festival Official Selection