Is TV in India “Creatively Bankrupt?”

Sure hope so. Cuz why would Indian creators want to be different from the rest of us?

For a change of pace, we thought we’d bring you some harsh words not from those of us here at TVWriter™ but from…well, from a TV star named – we kid you not – Harsh:

harshchhayastoryby Indo-Asian News Service

The “creatively bankrupt TV scenario” has driven Harsh Chhaya, an actor with over 20 years’ experience, into re-exploring his love for scriptwriting and the aspiration to direct. To this extent, his endeavour is that fresh storytelling, often slated as “the other cinema”, takes centrestage in filmdom.

“I would say I am now giving serious attention to writing. I did write on and off even earlier,” Harsh told IANS.

He emerged successful at a time when satellite television was at the nascent stage but had qualitative and mature content to offer shows like Tara and Hasratein in the 1990s. Now, he says he is “better off away from TV, unless of course it comes down to my very survival”, and so is giving “serious attention” to writing.

What’s come as a bonus is a chance to get guidance in professional screenwriting under eminent filmmakers and writers as part of the second edition of Asia Society India Centre’s New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters (NVFS) 2013-2014.

He’s the only celebrity among seven independent screenwriters who have been chosen for the programme, which identifies, encourages and supports such talent to develop their feature film scripts.

This is not his first brush with writing – a little over 25 years ago, he first attempted to write fiction scripts inspired by popular serial Malgudi Days. That apart, he also wrote corporate film scripts to earn extra money as a student while pursuing his master of arts degree in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia.

He however admits, “I was far more drawn into acting then to think of seriously pursuing writing. Not that I mean to cry about my woes here, but of late, the absolute frustration of being an actor in the now creatively bankrupt television scenario drove me to writing once again because as an actor, I feel my motivation and excitement can only come from the written word that comes in front of me.”

So far he has penned two scripts. Apart from Dulhan 420, which he submitted for the NVSF, he has another story, the final script of which is ready. However, the stumbling blocks come in the form of “finding funds” and in being able to tell any “human story” without always conforming to stereotypes.

In fact, finding funds for his project is a challenge he has already faced.

“I wrote Dulhan 420 as a reaction to not getting money for my previous script. It’s a different matter that I was fortunate that despite putting in what I believed to be popular elements, I still could manage to write a story that has a strong human element and a certain gravity to it. In fact, that is what I would endeavour for, if and when I ever get to direct even a so-called commercial potboiler,” he said.

Harsh, whose roles in films like Corporate, Bheja Fry, Mithya, Fashion and Jolly LLB are also reflective of his unique taste of content, hopes that “fresh storytelling” gets a deeper meaning in the industry.

“Fresh storytelling is still at a very nascent stage here and mostly, I would say, sidelined as the other cinema. I hope to see it take the centrestage. I’m not sure how I would define the freshness that I aspire to bring, but as of now, I feel that anything that is not star-driven with item numbers, cars blowing off all around, the bad men flying by the mere touch of the hero, remakes of old films or regional films, would qualify as fresh.”

The 73rd Annual Peabody Awards Have Been Announced


by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

And there are zillions of winners.

Well, not really. It just seems that way. But know what? We actually agree with many more of the choices than we ever thought we would. Especially BORGEN.

Cases in point:

 73rd peabody award winners

Wait! There’s MORE!

munchman: Some Late Summer TV Schedule Announcements

Oops, wrong pic. Close enough, tho.

Oops, wrong pic. Close enough, tho.

by munchman

Actually, they’re late coming from TVWriter™. We got the info awhile ago but…other stuff got in the way. Other stuff always gets in the way, which is probably why yer ever-lovin’ mud-eyed munchman isn’t doing as well as I should be.

Where was I? Oh, right. Summer TV shows:

ABC Summer 2014 Schedule

Thursday, April 24
10-11 p.m. Black Box (new series premiere)

Sunday, May 18
8-11 p.m. The 2014 Billboard Music Awards

Monday, May 19
9:30-11 p.m. The Bachelorette

Wednesday, May 21
10-11 p.m. Motive

Monday, May 26
8-10 p.m. The Bachelorette (regular time period premiere)

Tuesday, May 27
8-10 p.m. Extreme Weight Loss

Saturday, May 31
8-9 p.m. Bet on Your Baby

Monday, June 2
10:01-11 p.m. Mistresses

Thursday, June 5
8-8:30 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night

Thursday, June 19
8-9 p.m. The Quest (new series premiere)

Sunday, June 22
7-9 p.m. Wipeout (special two-hour premiere)

Sunday, June 22
9-11 p.m. Rising Star (new series premiere)

Tuesday, June 24
10-11 p.m. NY Med

Sunday, June 29
8-9 p.m. Wipeout (regular time period premiere)

Thursday, July 17
10-11 p.m. Rookie Blue

Thursday, July 24
9-10 p.m. The Astronaut Wives Club (new series premiere)

Monday, Aug. 4
8-10 p.m. Bachelor in Paradise (new series premiere)

Fox Summer 2014 Schedule

Thursday, March 27
9:30-10 PM – SURVIVING JACK (Series Premiere)

Tuesday, April 1
9-10 PM – THE MINDY PROJECT (One-Hour Spring Premiere)

Friday, April 11
9-10 PM – KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Season Premiere)

Monday, May 5
8-10 PM – 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY (Two-Hour Series Premiere)

Monday, May 12
9-10 PM – 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY (Time Period Premiere)

Tuesday, May 13
9-10 PM – RIOT (Series Premiere) Hosted by Australian comedian/talk show host Rove McManus

Monday, May 19
8-9 PM – MASTERCHEF (Season Premiere)

Thursday, May 22
9-10 PM – GANG RELATED (Series Premiere)

Saturday, May 24

Tuesday, May 27
8-9 PM – I WANNA MARRY “HARRY” (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, May 28
8-10 PM – SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Season Premiere)

Monday, July 21
9-10 PM – HOTEL HELL (Season Premiere)

NBC 2014 Summer Schedule

Tuesday, May 27

Thursday, May 29
9-10 PM – UNDATEABLE (Back-to-back half-hour episodes each week)

Friday, May 30

Wednesday, June 25

Thursday, July 10

Tuesday, July 22

Posted with loving gratitude for our sources: The unprincipled, disgusting, anything-for-a-bunch class of people also known as adorable little imps working as P.R. Agents for various major networks. Thanks, folks!

The Transforming Hollywood Conference has its Heart/Mind in the Right Place

Transforming Hollywood Captureby Team TVWriter™ Press Service

If you’re not part of the future you’re doomed to be as forgotten as the past.

And being part of the future of entertainment is what the Transforming Hollywood Conference being held at UCLA on Friday, April 4th (all day!) is all about.

Here’s the skinny, direct from the Transforming Hollywood media futurists/P.R. team:

When future generations of historians write their accounts of the evolution of the American television industry, they will almost certainly point to the 2010s as a moment of dramatic change: We’ve seen the entry of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube as major players shaping the production of original programming, gaining critical praise, courting industry awards, and perhaps, most dramatically, starting to compete, in terms of number of subscriptions, with the top cable networks. We’ve seen Kickstarter emerge as an alternative means for “crowdfunding” television content, allowing fans to exert a greater role in shaping the future of their favorite series. We’ve seen a continued growth in the number of independent producers creating and distributing their content through the web. With these other changes, we are seeing the industry and academia struggle to develop new insights into what it means to consume television content in this connected and yet dispersed marketplace. This conference will bring together key creative and corporate decision-makers who are shaping these changes and academics who are placing these shifts in their larger historical and cultural contexts.

And here’s what your $40 entry fee will get you:


More info is HERE

Get tickets HERE

Hallmark Movie Channel is Changing Its Name

Hallmark Movie Channel LogoCaptureby Team TVWriter™ Press Service

Cuz, we assume, nobody was watching it as the Hallmark Movie Channel. In October, though, it’ll be called Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and then, boy, will we ever see a jump in popularity.


Especially with the new logo it’s gonna get.


And the new tagline.


The thinking behind this move seems to be that there’s no point in improving the programming when all they have to do is give us – the mouth-breathing viewers they need but despise – some new branding to attract our attention. Here’s how Hallmark is spinning it:

Crown Media Family Networks announced today plans to realign Hallmark Movie Channel ’s brand across platforms with a new name, tagline, and logo. Beginning in fourth quarter 2014, Hallmark Movie Channel , one of the fastest growing networks in cable, will enter the next chapter in its evolution becoming Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The brand transition comes as the network ups the stakes in the mystery genre with plans to introduce its first-ever Mystery ‘Wheel ’ in 2015, featuring a rotation of 3 distinct movie franchises, each consisting of 3 to 4 movies following the same primary characters and playing out over the course of several months. The Hallmark Movies and Mysteries ‘Mystery Wheel ’ will join the network’s unique and compelling mix of original movies, offnetwork acquired series, and presentations from the award-winning Hallmark Hall of Fame library. In addition to a new name, the network rebrand will include a dynamic new look, logo, and tagline, which are scheduled to be unveiled in October.

“Movies and the lighter side of the mystery genre exemplify what Hallmark Movie Channel has always represented – great, compelling stories that keep viewers engaged and wanting more, ” said Crown Media Family Networks President and CEO, Bill Abbott. “Coming at a time when the network features more fresh, original content than ever before, the re-imagination of the brand as Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is designed to more fully realize the network’s essence, while elevating its position as one of the most unique destinations on cable for viewers and advertisers, alike. ”

To become a cornerstone of the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries slate, the network’s first Mystery Wheel will launch in early 2015 with Garage Sale Mystery, a series of movies – a continuation of the storyline from the original Hallmark Channel movie of the same name that debuted in September 2013 – starring Lori Loughlin (Full House). The second movie franchise in the wheel stars Dylan Neal “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”) who will star in and executive produce, The Gourmet Detective, based on the series of books by Peter King. The third film series in the Mystery Wheel will be announced shortly.

Launched in 2003, Hallmark Movie Channel is currently in 53.5 million homes and rapidly growing.

Well, evidently not growing rapidly enough or we wouldn’t have this nonsense, would we?