The 2015 Spec Scriptacular Countdown


OMG! AARGH! The last day to enter the 2015 Spec Scriptacular Competition is tomorrow, by 11:59 pm December 1. Don’t miss your shot at over $10,000 worth of prizes and blue down arrowbonuses, including free feedback on all entries. For more info, CLICK HERE 

For our latest posts and articles – just scroll on down.

BONES EP Sues Fox, Accuses Top Execs Of Cancellation Threats

It’s a harsh world out there in TV Land, boys and girls. For example:

BONES: L-R: Guest star Jay Thomas, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the "The Promise in the Palace" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Kevin Estrada/FOX

by Dominic Patten

EXCLUSIVE: Bones executive producer Barry Josephson and his lawyers have done the forensics on the long-running Fox series and claim they’ve found something rotten financially. In a detailed breach of contract and fraudulent inducement complaint filed today in L.A. Superior Court (read it here), Josephson says the “unrelenting” broadcaster stiffed him and others for potentially millions in promised profit participation….

Detailing “underreporting” of more than $19 million from license fees in Europe, “misclassifying” of more than $3.75 million in integration and product-placement deals and “misallocated revenue” from Fox-owned Hulu, among other focused examples, Josephson’s eight-claim lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Corporation, Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Entertainment Group also asserts that take-it-or-cancel-it threats from high-level Fox executives including now co-Fox CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden were used over the years to get Josephson — plus showrunner Hart Hansen, producer Kathleen Reichs and stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, who also serve as producers, and their WME and ICM agencies — to agree to a reduction in episodic license fees….

Read it all at Deadline

Find Your Dream Writing Gig on Craig’s List


If you live in New York and this job is on the up and up, the world could be about to become your oyster.

Or, you know, not:


compensation: DOE — Please read the ad carefully. 90-day wage reviews.
employment type: part-time

You must live within a 40 minute (maximum) commute to Times Square. We verify this via Google Maps utilizing the mass transportation option. Please… Pretty please… New York City Metro Area ONLY. ALL of the Boroughs qualify as acceptable as do certain parts of Northern New Jersey (i.e.: Hoboken, Jersey city, etc). PLEASE do not waste your valuable time by applying and corresponding if you do not live in the Greater Metro NYC area. WE DO NOT WORK REMOTELY — our office is in Midtown and most trains are just a few steps away from our front door.
Someone with the charisma to make people laugh if only just to placate a difficult client, co-worker or both at the same time. Your job… is to be the mischievous devil (creative) in disguise.

Your responsibilities would include:

1. Conceptualizing clear and concise video/commercial concepts and video scripts.
2. Pitching commercial scripts.
3. Anticipating the eyes of clientele who will be remarking on your every word and tempo.
4. Be present every step of the way from conception to fruition (production/editing) of the project.
5. Reaching out to talent, crew, and clientele.
6. Keeping clients and talent informed, updated and happy overall with the workflow of the project. Making sure the project is indeed flowing.
7. And more if you can handle it!

Your Characteristics:

1. Adept screenplay or video writing abilities. You know the format and you know the poetics.
2. Slightly off-center from other artists and writers. You are considered irreverent and funny.
3. You are passionate about video advertising. You love the people and personalities you encounter and love the process of writing.
4. You have a sturdy ego that isn’t easily bruised. You aren’t bothered when it gets hot in the shop and critics chop your ideas to pieces. After all, that’s the advertising game.


You must be LEGALLY authorized to work in the USA and over the age of 18.

If you join us, you will NOT be able to do outside commercial marketing/script copywriting (freelance or otherwise). You CAN bring work in-house and receive most of the revenue from the project, but team members may NOT compete with the agency. We utilize a non-compete agreement.

Our starting compensation ranges from $12 – $19 per hour and is dependent on experience. If you have limited advertising experience, please don’t expect $19/hour to start. We offer salary/performance reviews every 90 days with an opportunity for performance-based revenue increases every 90 days!

Getting our attention is easy:
1) Submit a resume with a city/state location in it. We get loads of resumes with just a phone number in them. We won’t be able to figure out if you are in the NYC metro area with just a phone number.
2) Submit writing samples and/or links to commercials on YouTube that you have written.
3) Take the time to tell us why this is a good fit. Almost everyone romanticizes about ad copywriting but VERY few are willing to put in the hard work. In your email — tell us why you desire the slot. No introduction in your email is a sure way to get passed over by us. . . You’re a writer — write something that shows us that you care!

Thanks for reading!

  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers
  • OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities

Go to Craigslist


A permanent part-time position?! Whoa. Be still our throbbing, um, heart.

John Ostrander revisits NERO WOLFE


by John Ostrander

My mother once told me that an odd pleasure she had in growing older was that she could go back to favorite books, particularly mysteries, and enjoy them all over again because she didn’t remember the ending. She knew she liked it but she could discover it anew.

That’s happening a bit to me these days. I’ve recently started re-reading Rex Stout’s mysteries featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin (not to be confused with the late, great comics writer and editor with the same name, although that would have been an interesting pairing as well). I read quite a few of them a few decades back but not all of them; that would be a monumental task since Stout wrote 33 novels and about 40 novellas about Wolfe and Goodwin.

Rex Stout (December 1, 1886 – October 27, 1975) was born of Quaker parents in Indiana and was raised in Kansas. He served as a yeoman on Theodore Roosevelt’s presidential yacht. In 1916, he created a school banking system that paid him royalties and made quite a bit of money. He described himself in 1942 as a “pro-Labor, pro-New Deal, pro-Roosevelt left liberal”. A man after my own heart. He was denounced as a Communist during the McCarthy Era but denied it. He told House Committee on Un-American Activities chairman Martin Dies, “I hate Communists as much as you do, Martin, but there’s one difference between us. I know what a Communist is, and you don’t.” J. Edgar Hoover was not a fan and Stout wasn’t a fan of his or of the FBI and that figures prominently in Stout’s very famous Nero Wolfe mystery. The Doorbell Rang.

The Nero Wolfe stories are an ingenious pairing of a cerebral detective (Wolfe) and hard-boiled detective (Archie). I love narrative alloys like this; myGrimJack stories are a combination of hard-boiled detective and sword-and-sorcery. Suicide Squad melds The Dirty Dozen,  Mission: Impossible, and The Secret Society of Super-Villains.

Wolfe is fat. He is more than stout, he is obese. He’s been described as weighing a seventh of a ton, fluctuating between 310 and 390 lbs. He lives in a beautiful brownstone on West 35th Street in New York City that he owns; Archie lives there as well, having his own room. Wolfe takes on detective work only as a source of income to indulge his passions, which includes orchids, fine food, and beer. He keeps to a very strict daily schedule and does not even allow the investigations to meddle with it. He is brilliant, fastidious, idiosyncratic, arrogant, demanding, and filled with wonderful character tics.

Archie is Wolfe’s “legman”. He does the physical stuff, tracking down things and witnesses, bringing suspects to the office for Wolfe to question, acting as secretary as needed. He’s also a wise-guy, quick with a quip and good with his fists. One of his jobs is to needle Wolfe, keep him on the job, make him relatively human, and just be a pain in Wolfe’s sizable ass. He’s also the narrator of the stories; we know what we know through Archie and Wolfe sometimes deliberately doesn’t tell him everything, often just to annoy him.

The stories also have a stable of supporting characters, each with their own well defined personality tics and traits. One of the real pleasures of the series is the interaction between Wolfe and Archie; Stout tells a good story and can plot with the best of them but it’s the interplay between the two leads that drives the series. Like any serial fiction, including comics, it’s how you play the expected tropes that keeps the series fresh. Stout does endless and inventive variations of the expected notes; it feels a little like jazz to me. That’s a lesson I need to keep learning; how to take what is expected and make it surprising, fresh, and entertaining.

I don’t know if I’ll go through all of the Nero Wolfe cannon this time; I doubt it. There’s just too many other things to read. However, what’s nice is that I know I will enjoy what I’m reading. I did the last time even if I don’t exactly remember why. Such are the blessings of aging.

John Ostrander is one of LB’s favorite writers in any medium. This post originally appeared in his blog at ComicMix.


Satire is alive and well on the interwebs, especially when it comes to peer production/indie video. Here’s a thought-provoking case in point:

YouTube Preview Image

From We The Internet

Sarah Marsden
Victoria Portsmore

Written/Directed/Edited by:
Austin Bragg
Meredith Bragg
Hunter Christy……

“Mary Richards,” Feminist Icon?

Noted comedy writer Earl Pomerant (THE BOB NEWHART SHOE, TAXI, MAJOR DAD, BEST OF THE WEST, etc) has been thinking, and we here at TVWriter™ are happy indeed to share this recent thought:

Do you know this woman?

Do you know this woman?

Looking for Heroes
by Earl Pomerantz

Was the “Mary Richards” character from the beloved The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77) a feminist icon?

It seems to me she’s been called one.

But does she actually deserve to be?

It was a question that interested me.  I don’t know why.  I guess it troubles me when people believe stuff that is not accurate, even if it’s fictional characters achieving unearned recognition.

“So Hansel and Gretel were not heroes?”

They burned a woman in a stove!

Okay, so I’ve got too much time on my hands and I’m looking for controversy.

Anyway and whatever…

Before DVD’s and before Hulu, if you wanted to find out something about a TV episode, you had to find the original script and actually look at it directly.  So that’s what I did.  I dug up the pilot episode ofThe Mary Tyler Moore Show, because I wanted to verify something for myself.

That “something” being…

Mary’s intention when she appeared at WJM for her job interview.

My recollection was unclear on the matter.  Was Mary Richards alwaysinto television news?  Did she study journalism in college?  Now unencumbered from her long-term relationship, was she now taking the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream of investigating malfeasance and wrongdoing, exposing sordid transgressions to public scrutiny?

It turns out that she wasn’t.

Reading the script reminded me that Mary had come there to interview for a secretarial position, which had already been filled, and after a marginally appropriate interview with Lou Grant, she was hired as an associate producer – the joke being that the associate producer job paid ten dollars less than the secretarial job….

Read it all at Earl Pomerantz’s fine blog