munchman: Nikki Finke New Fiction About Showbiz Website is Now Open for Beeswax

Hollywood Dementia Capture

No longer so infant but still muy terribe, famed Hollywood gossip columnists Nikki Finke, outsted creator of Deadline.Com (yeah, that’s a whole nuther story for a nuther day), is back with Hollywood Dementia, a new website presenting original fiction about all aspects of the Industry.

We could go into all kinds of detail about the site, but Nikki herself does that very well on its opening page, HERE. What’s more important to us, and to those of you who frequent TVWriter™ is this:

Hollywood Dementia is buying. It’s not paying a lot – an attempt at creating a paywall got so much negative response that reading everything’s free – but there’s some dinero to be had via visitor contributions.

Wanna get your Hollywood fiction published online? At a site that attracts the kind of audience that’s most open to your kind of work? With visitors who, if they’re so inclined, do in fact have the power to make you a star? Then don’t just sit there, CHECK IT OUT.

Oh, and if you do submit material to Ms. Finke, let us know what happens, okay? So we can report it right here on your favorite TV writing site, terrific TVWriter™.



munchman: How to Pitch to Asshat Showbiz Execs

by munchman

The original title of this post was the less inflammatory “How to Approach ‘Confident-Beyond-Competence’ Executives as a Creative,” but we here at TVWriter™ made the unilateral decision to, you know, cut to the chase.

Although, as your friendly neighborhood muncher thinks about it, I don’t believe you need this whole article to know how to deal with execs who don’t know nearly as much as they think you do. You just have to know how to do what everybody else in your position eventually learns: Pucker up, drop to your knees, and plant a few on their little hipster tushies.

But what the hell. We’re in for it now, so:


by Pen Densham

I’ve met some people in my film career who don’t know, what they don’t know. They “do” know they are not doctors. So, they don’t invite you into their office and remove your heart to see if it works better when stuffed in your rectum.  But, when it comes to story they have no qualms about asking us to do that to a script, despite not being writers.

I call people like this, Confident-beyond-Competence (C-B-C).  They seem oblivious to the finer skills that we word-toilers and scene jugglers seem to understand.  I used to have difficulty dealing with these characters. There are no tests and licenses to be in our business. If they were plumbers, all their pipes would leak and they would put a toilet in every room because they saw one in last weekend’s hit movie.

But, sometimes being C-B-C is not a bad thing. We intricate thinkers may be debating ourselves to paralysis, while the C-B-C person will blithely sweep forward with a flawed concept and succeed, course correcting as they bang off walls.  So my position is not so much sour grapes, but the seeds of a truth.

Creativity comes in layers. The act of origination may be deeply subconscious and precious but when surfaced it responds to the tests of clarifications and additional insights, even from the apparently “less” gifted.  I have heard other writer’s put  it this way- one or two opinions are just that but several prove a “fact” that must be dealt with.

At some point in every creative endeavor we will have to sell our ideas.  It is inevitable, we are dreaming up experiences that cost millions to capture. Everyone is an audience. To succeed we have to be prepared to use as much creative problem solving in selling our work to those who do not yet understand it as they are brought to the task of creating it and course correcting so they have their questions answered. Even if not by rote, but by comprehending their underlying cause which can often be a very simple clarification.

Read it all at SSN Insider

munchman sees BOJACK HORSEMAN

Whoa! An absolutely atypical BOJACK HORSEMAN flashback frame. Cuz that's how yer friendly neighborhood munchman rolls.

Whoa! An absolutely atypical BOJACK HORSEMAN flashback frame. Cuz that’s how yer friendly neighborhood munchman rolls.

by munchman

Like our Beloved Leader, LB, I’m smitten by Netflix’s BOJACK HORSEMAN series, which has just been picked up for a third season of heavy truth-telling, inventive visual puns, tragedy, and even a little humor.

Wait. Truth to tell, the show is funny as hell if you’re the kinda person who enjoys seeing other people’s deepest, most hidden fears come roaring to the surface to confront well-placed banana peels that you yourself aren’t tripping on.


  • Best depiction of Hollywood people, places, situations and general, all-round life ever. Let me repeat: Ever.
  • In case you aren’t getting it, BOJACK could also be the best written “sitcom” currently in production. Wait, forget the “could be.” It fucking is.
  • Terrific voice acting by a host of luminaries. Munchalito’s fave, of course, is Margo Martindale, who plays Unsung Supporting Actress Margo Martindale.
  • This is one of those shows where Netflix releases every episode at once each season, plus it’s only twenty-something minutes long, which means it’s perfect for binge-watching.


  • Nada.
  • More Nada.
  • Still Nada.


  • Yer munchikins identifies with every single moment of every episode of BOJACK HORSEMAN, but I get an extra good feeling when I see the character of Todd sacked out on Bojack’s couch as a permanent house guest. Reminds me of when I used to crash at LB’s house in the late ’90s. Good times!


Goddammit, you know what the conclusion’s gonna be: Watch this damn thing!


yer friendly neighborhood muncher!

munchman: Read Troy DeVolld’s New Book

by munchman

troy's bookThe book is called “And Another Thing” and it’s all about every TV writer’s least favorite part of the job, whether you’re working in scripted or unscripted television – NOTES.

Here’s LB buddy Troy DeVolld’s description of what he’s up to, in his very own words and everything:

Just wanted to let readers…know that AND ANOTHER THING, my e-book on the television notes process, is finally available at

The book takes aim at the notoriously contentious television notes process, wherein execs and creatives often bump heads.  The intention here is to get both sides of the equation on the same page with early-career advice on how to give constructive notes, checklists for assistants and new execs to consider during the notes process, and much more.

So if you, as writers, want to learn how to handle the ego-crushing rigmarole obviously designed by all the demons in hell to reduce you to ash before you even enter the final inferno, or if you’re thinking that someday you might want to do the creative executive thing and want to make amends for centuries of soul-crushing, misinformed, stupid, and just plain ignorant critiques from people who’ve spent their lives hiding behind desks and trying to second-guess their bosses’ -but not necessarily their audiences’- desires, “And Another thing” is for you.

Don’t just sit there and marvel at my venom, check out HERE.


munchman: Life Lessons from Power Rangers

If you’re just reaching the neighborhood of being 30 years old, chances are that there was a time in your life when you watched the hell out of POWER RANGERS while your mother shook her head sadly and muttered something like, “Such a terrible waste of time….”

Well, we’re here to tell you that it wasn’t a waste of time at all. It was awesome prep for your future. (Whaddaya think of that, Ma? Oops, no, I didn’t say anything. Nope, not me. This guy, OTOH:

power rangersby Eric Ravenscraft

Kids shows are pretty cheesy. Power Rangers, doubly so. The idea of learning real, adult life lessons from the shows we loved as kids sounds silly, but sometimes things stick with you. Here’s what the Power Rangers taught me that actually stuck around. Seriously.

Don’t Let Other People Make You Feel Like Crap

Bullying isn’t a new trope for kids shows. In my day, though, there was no one who epitomized the nerdy stereotype more than Billy, the Blue Ranger. His role on the show was to be an egghead, despite the show’s heavy emphasis on solving problems by punching them. In the early episodes, people couldn’t even understand the way he talked. He needed someone else to translate his geek-speak into human words.

Being a nerd came with a lot of self-esteem issues, especially in the 90s, before being “geeky” became cool. The Rangers addressed this often, but it was especially poignant in an episode called Dark Warrior. In this episode, Billy gets bullied by the disgustingly lovable Bulk and Skull (again). Finally, he’s had it. He decides to learn martial arts to defend himself. At the end of the episode, though, he doesn’t use his newfound skills to take down the bullies (Trini’s invisible uncle takes care of that). Instead, he says, “I really just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.” In the end, what he felt about himself was more important than what others felt about him.

This was one of the hardest things to learn once I started writing professionally. Writing for the internet is extremely public. For a long time, I wanted to write, but I was terrified of putting myself out there. Best case scenario, my work would be read by a lot of people, many of whom would probably hate and mock it. Worst case, it wouldn’t get read at all. Neither felt like it would be good for my self-esteem. It would be a lot safer to just do my boring office job and keep my work to myself.

Billy never would’ve done that, though. Billy wanted to be part of the team, to make himself better and take chances. For a shy, scrawny nerd, he did rather well for himself. As the show went on, Billy became a better fighter and a better communicator. Oh, and he invented all kinds of gadgets the team needed, including their communicators, teleporters, and a freaking flying car. Rather than let the opinions of other people push him around, he used his skills to make the team better. Sitting out the fight wasn’t an option.

This lesson took on an even more sombre note when I became an adult and found out why David Yost, the actor who played Billy, eventually left the show. Off screen, David was bullied for his sexuality by producers and other crew members. Knowing that he was bullied off screen just as much as on screen hurt the child in me. At the same time, it made the lesson I learned from him all the more powerful. Despite the abuse, he stuck around for nearly 200 episodes and a movie. He was the only ranger to appear in every single episode of the Mighty Morphin series, and he was the second-longest running ranger ever. Being pushed around, insulted, and mocked never convinced him to stop doing his best work.

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munchman: TV Viewership Down 10%; Industry Blames Streaming Video

Blame? Fuck “blame.” This TVWriter™ minion thinks streaming video deserves the credit:

oldtvby Chris Morran

Even though many of us have hundreds of channels to choose from on cable or satellite, we’re choosing to watch less live TV. But it’s not just because we’ve all decided to go outside and take up steeplechase; it has a little something to do with the availability of subscription streaming services.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent talk held by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau in which the trade group tried to assign blame for the drop-off in TV viewership over the last two years.

The reportedly CAB explained at this gathering that around 40% of recent ratings drops are a result of competition from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Over the last few quarters, year-over-year viewership declines range from 9-12%. A recent research report from Nielsen claims that “the U.S. television industry is entering a period of prolonged structural decline,” due to consumers moving away from traditional commercial TV to streaming services with no, or fewer, commercials.

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