Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 12/21/14


Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Paul Sofer (SUPER TROOPERS) is writing the pilot for a TBS comedy called QUALITY TIME, about”four adults who have been friends since college. They’ve managed to maintain their juvenile behaviors and friendships…but are now being pushed into having children….” (Know those times when you read about a new show and think, “I could do that!”? Well, this isn’t one of those times. Not at all. Lotsa luck, TBS.)
  • James Dormer (STRIKE BACK) is developing a 13-part version of BEOWULF for ITV. (Cuz the UK wants its own GAME OF THRONES? Well, why not? Especially cuz yer friendly neighborhood muncher isn’t afraid to say that the source material for this one is a probably gobs better. Although shorter. But that short thing is about to change.)
  • Russell T. Davies (DOCTOR WHO) is developing two new series for Logo TV and the UK’s Channel 4. “CUCUMBER and BANANA are interwoven drama series that explore 21st century gay life through the lens of two disparate generations.” (I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that you don’t have to be gay to watch – and probably love – these shows. You just have to be somebody who cares about people, period. Cuz RTD is, simply, one of the best writers UK TV has ever produced. And when you look at the writers and the shows that have been on the air their over the years, that’s way high praise. Especially from a snarky little munchman like moi, no?)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Let us know in the comments if you think you’ve figured out who the blind item is about and/or what the TV and film projects are. And don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

TVWriter™ Top Posts for the Week Ending 12/19/14

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Here they are, the most viewed TVWriter™ posts during the past week:

Peggy Bechko: Writers, Writing and Writer’s Gifts For The Holidays

Peggy Bechko: Characters and Skills

Best Day Jobs For Aspiring Screenwriters

More About Writing Strong Scenes

What the Golden Globes 2015 nominations say about TV right now

And our most viewed resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline


The Teleplay


The Logline

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

Peer Production: ONE TEN


Somebody’s watched a lot of THE SOPRANOS. But this L.A. gang-style variation of the show is beautifully shot. There aren’t many live-action web series that play like lessons in the art of directing. Well, there probably aren’t any.

Except ONE TEN.

TVWriter™ congrats Braxton Smith, who proves here that he’s more than ready for the Big Time. (Whatever the Big Time is these days.)

Deston Bennett (Exec. Producer/Writer/Music supervisor/ Director)

Tyra Colar (Exec. producer/Writer)

Braxten Smith (Exec. producer/Writer/Director)

RJ Farrington (Exec. Producer)

Stephen Vanderpool (Director of Photography)

Tony Garcia (Editor)

Check out the Colar Film Group

Top UK Showrunner on How to Create TV Gold

After reading this article, this particular TVWriter™ minion has a new ambition: To get my butt in gear and move my life and career over to where excellence matters. Yep, I’m talking about the UK.

Here’s why:


by Gerard Gilbert

Sally Wainwright must be doing something right.

And I don’t mean because of the swish-looking Jaguar parked in the television script writer’s driveway when I pay her a visit at her Cotswolds home. I mean because of the viewing figures she’s able to generate for prime-time show after prime-time show.

Her self-described “feminist” buddy cop drama Scott & Bailey, starring Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp, was the most successful drama launch of 2011 and has now gone to four series. The following year, BBC1 began broadcasting Wainwright’s Bafta-winning inter-generational drama Last Tango in Halifaxabout former childhood sweethearts Alan and Celia (Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid) reunited via Facebook; returning for a third series in a couple of weeks, it has been a ratings winner on both sides of the Atlantic.

And earlier this year, her BBC1 thriller Happy Valley attracted viewers, controversy and some of the year’s best reviews with its graphic depiction of kidnap, rape and murder in Hebden Bridge; Wainwright is now busy working on the scripts for the second series.

Given her outstanding run of form, what exactly goes into creating a sure-fire television hit? Below are some guidelines from Wainwright herself:

Begin with an emotion

“My story ideas start out tiny and then I build up layers …Unforgiven [her 2009 drama with Suranne Jones as a young woman released from prison 15 years after being convicted of killing two policemen] came from somebody trying to sue me for plagiarism at the time. She thought I’d copied a play that she’d written and it was a completely ridiculous claim but at the same time it was scary and stressful and it made me think ‘how awful it must be to be on the wrong side of the law’. That was the starting point.”

Stay true to your roots

“Happy Valley was successful because it made Yorkshire sexy… it gets mentioned now in the same columns as Breaking Bad, and part of the success of Breaking Bad is that it’s absolutely true to itself. I think Happy Valley has done something similar… people were absolutely buying into Yorkshire. I was talking to a couple of American journalists and both of them said ‘I’m sorry to admit it but I watched it with the subtitles on’, and I thought that was fantastic… that they took the trouble.

“I [also] don’t like setting my dramas in fictional places… someone complained about Happy Valley that I made Hebden Bridge out to be a drugs den and my response to that is that most of rural England is a drugs den these days – I wasn’t singling out Hebden Bridge. Their point was that if you’re going to make somewhere out to be terrible you ought to fictionalise it, but for me it’s about being authentic.”

Don’t go transatlantic

“Most British [shows] base their research on watching American cop dramas – even Broadchurch, where David Tennant is supposed to be a detective superintendent and he goes out on to the street interviewing people, which really wouldn’t happen [in the UK]. [Before Scott & Bailey] I was lucky because I met Diane Taylor, a detective inspector with Greater Manchester police, socially, and she made sure the procedure in the series was absolutely correct.”

Read it all

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 12/18/14


Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Erica Messer (CRIMINAL MINDS) is writing the pilot for a CRIMINAL MINDS spinoff about an FBI division that helps people who run into trouble when they’re abroad. (Is this a real thing? Then where were they when yer friendly neighborhood munchman got into that little mix-up in Kralow last year? Who woulda thought that a little oregano in a carry-on could create such a stir?)
  • Peter Tolan (RESCUE ME) is said to be hooking up with George Clooney for a”one-hour dark comedy…[which] will reportedly explore the movie business during the early 1990s.” (Or maybe my source said Peter and George Clooney were just hooking up, period. Who woulda thought that a little oregano could have such a big effect on short term memory? Certainly not moi.)
  • Holy crap! Munchadero here just got a tip from a reliable source (What? You don’t trust a recently fired P.A.?) that the married showrunner of my favorite series currently on the air and scheduled to remain on for the foreseeable future just wrote a drama screenplay that will catapult the equally married co-star of the series to film stardom…and at the same time launch both parties into a public relationship that may do wonders for their careers but definitely will destroy their current relationships. Shades of Nikke Fink! (And, yeppers, all the language I just used is designed to give clues/hints to readers who like that sort of thing. Munchikins, of course, finds blind gossip vile, but, hey, this is showbiz and whoring is part of the gig, am I right?)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Let us know in the comments if you think you’ve figured out who the blind item is about and/or what the TV and film projects are. And don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Peer Production: RELATIONSH*T


Gotta love the title, right? And that particular quirky take on things pervades this entire series. In other words, we love its deadpan reality and sense of adventure. Anybody into creating their own web series could learn a hella lot from this one. And anybody who comes to TVWriter™ for all the various reasons folks come here will love it too.

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Visit the website

FWIW – munchman really really really LUVS this one. (Just wanted ya to know.)