Which means that they’ve greenlit one for 13 episodes and have commissioned a pilot script for the other.
The greenlit (-lighted?) series is called TITANS, created by Peter Mattei, who the last el munchero heard, was a writer for CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL, a ’90s Nickelodeon series that, well, was in fact my favorite show of that era. Ah, Melissa Joan Hart, who suspected you’d grow up to become not only a teenage witch but also
an adult bitch the most politically right wing actor since Charlton Heston?
But munchy digresses. TITANS is about some yutzes in Appalachia who, according to the Hollywood Reporter, seem to be the vilest set of heroes since the hillbillies in DELIVERANCE. (What? The hillbillies weren’t the heroes? They were when I saw it at a midnight show in West Virginia in the backroom of a dingy pool hall.)
WGN’s other attempt to cajole us away from the interwebs is a would-be series called UNDERGROUND, created by Misha Green (SONS OF ANARCHY) and Joe Pokaski (HEROES), and it’s about all those well-meanin’ white folks who helped all those desperate, um, non-white folks get outta the South and live the lives of free men. FWIW, I’d much rather see a series with real heroes doing really heroic deeds than one with off-the-grid ignoramuses who think they’re really the Illuminati, but, hey, UNDERGROUND just didn’t have the pull on the execs’ minds/hearts/souls/wallets? that TITANS did.
But be that as it may, for us starving TV writers, here’s the important thing: These shows are gonna need writers, for either on-air eps or backup scripts, so start dialing your agents’ phone numbers now!
While you’re waiting for an answer, why not settle back and watch this classic film, where the underground railroad types were the $#@!ing bad guys, believe it or not:
Nah, neither would I. But Starz is hoping that writers Gonzalez Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Nicolás Giacobone and Armando Bo, who last collaborated on BIRDMAN, which munchman predicts will be the second coolest feature film of the season (behind GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, of course) will make this thing they’re calling THE ONE PERCENT pay off.
According to Deadline, THE ONE PERCENT is about “a downtrodden farmer [struggling] to hold onto his family and his farm, when a bizarre twist of fate [reveals] a life-changing secret that will either save them or ruin them.” (Yeah, I had to edit this quote cuz otherwise the sucker made like absolutely no sense.)
Since there are no pix or videos from THE ONE PERCENT to show ya, how about the BIRDMAN trailer. I mean, what the hell?
Spike TV is developing this ancient but exciting story as some kind of undetermined limited series thing, and yer munchy one, for, um, one, is unimpressed. The pic above is from the 1934 film version starring Robert Donat.
There was no WGA to make the studios put writer’s names on the posters back then but the writers of this, the first talking version of the novel to go to film, were Philip Dunne, Rowland V. Lee, and Dan Totheroh, who may or may not have been household names back then.
I’ve seen most of the versions of ze Count and have even read the book, which is loong, let me tell ya. This particular film probably is the best telling of the story ever, and because of that I’d planned on doing a rant about how worthless re-tellings are.
But then I realized that I’m always attracted to re-dos, whether I want to be or not. When it comes to stories of any kind, yers truly is like a 2 year old who wants his (can’t say “her” if it’s about me, can I?) daddy to read the same book the same way every night. So why should I be surprised that studio executives and, yes, it’s true, audiences go in for the same thing?
No writer is attached to the Spike project yet. Who knows? One of us could even end up with the gig. If you get it, promise you’ll try to make it good, okay? I’ll do the same. Because you asked for it, or would’ve if you could, here’s a taste of the target we want to outdo:
- Jim and Steve Armogida (CRASH & BERNSTEIN) are developing a TV version of SCHOOL OF ROCK for Nickelodeon. (And Yer Friendly Neighborhood Muncher can’t wait to see how that works without Jack Black in the lead. Mebbe we’ll get the once and for all answer to the question: “Is it the writing or the star that makes a big hit?” I think I know which way this’ll go. What about you, fellow, ahem, writers?)
- Max Landis (CHRONICLE) is adapting the sainted Douglas Adams‘ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels for TV (network to be, you know, named). (This is a U.S. first, but in point of fact there already has been a BBC series version, which to mine adoring eyes was terrific. Kind of like BORED TO DEATH except with a totally amoral and devious conman hero. That version was heavily criticized for its departures from the books, so it’ll be interesting to see how close Max stays to St. Douglas’ original.)
- Andrew Bluestone (newbie) is developing his spec screenplay, PILLS, into a web series through a deal that is, in effect, a prize for kicking ass in a contest held by The Black List website and WIGS, a prodco specializing in sophisticated web stuff. (Congrats, Andrew! And, nope, the munchman has absolutely nothing sarcastic to say. Not yet anyway.)
- Jake Thornton & Ben Lustig (WINTER’S KNIGHT) are adapting John Scalzi‘s s-f novel, Old Man’s War into a series for Syfy. (And with producer-director Wolfgang Peterson supervising, I’m thinking this could be kinda cool. If the show can survive Syfy’s paltry budgets and eternal quest for “the cute,” that is. Good luck, dudes!)