- Frank Spotnitz (THE X-FILES) is adapting Phil Dick‘s mucho-kudo’ed masterpiece of fiction, The Man in the High Castle into a pilot for an Amazon Studios series. (There is so much wonderfulness in that sentence that I just have to sit back and taste it for a beat. If this comes anywhere near yer friendly neighborhood muncher’s expectations, I promise to stop mocking Amazon and except it as, oh, almost a genuine, professional studio-network-whatever. And who knows? Maybe I’ll toss out the “almost” bit too.)
- Warren Ellis (currently a big deal comic book writer, don’tcha know?) has a deal with Universal Cable Productions to write an as-yet-untitled pilot about an as-yet-unspecified bunch of characters engaged in as-yet-unspecified, um, stuff. (I can hear the Warren Ellis fans celebrating already. As well that should.)
- Taylor Elmore (JUSTIFIED) has a new overall deal with CBS TV Studios to develop and write and produce and all that good stuff that we all want to do. (And while I’m not a member of the JUSTIFIED Rave Society, I wish the Tayman all the luck and success in the world. Cuz I just can’t help meself. Y’all know how positive a nature the munchman has.)
- Charlie Kaufman‘s (INSIDE JOHN MALKOVICH) FX pilot isn’t going to series after all. (Proving that even the A+ listers can get crapped on. Sorry, Charlie – and believe me, I mean it. Cuz if they can reject Charlie Kaufman, what chance do the rest of us writerly types have?)
- Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi & Bruce Campbell (if you don’t know at least 2 our of these 3 names you shouldn’t be reading this anyway) are writing-developing a TV series based on the EVIL DEAD series of films. (And if that isn’t the most interesting thing the San Diego Comic Con has to offer so far, then what is? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Ha!)
- Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD) is adapting his comic book Outcast for a Cinemax series. (And if that isn’t good news for exorcism lovers everywhere, then what is? Huh? Huh?)
- Nick McDonell & John Dempsey (yer friendly neighborhood munchaddict never heard of ‘em but the press releases says Nick’s a journalist and John’s a “politico”) have written an AMC pilot called WHITE CITY about the crap going down in Kabul, which is set to start shooting any second now. (And if that ain’t the best news in the world for right wing extremist war junkie fruitcakes, then what is?)
- Big deal best-selling novelist James Patterson is adapting his thriller, Zoo, into a series for CBS. No pilot necessary on this one. It’s going straight to series. (And if that isn’t the the most exciting news any novelist with a few notches on his belt ever heard, than…well, you know the drill. As the munchman’s dear old daddy used to say, “Success brings success, kid, so keep on sucking!” Yeah, he was clever that way, he is.)
…or, uh, something like that.
In other words, yer friendly webby munchman isn’t sure what the hell this thing is, but it features the SAILOR MOON crew and shows off their new animation style, and, well, I’ve got this friend, let’s call her Amorous Adele, and she – God, this is painful – she’s a big SM fan (Sailor Moon, doods, what were you thinking?) so letting her know that I’ve posted this for could be, you know, a good thing for me.
Unless she hates the new animation style…
Crap! Wish I hadn’t thought of that–
- Billy Eichner (BILLY ON THE STREET) has a deal to write an untitled “comedic take on Hollywood and pop culture…as a book for Hachette Book Group. (Hachette, you may recall, is the publishing house that Amazon’s been slugging it out with. Congratulations, Billy, on getting your big writing op with a book that nobody will be able to buy from the world’s largest bookseller. Oh, dear, that didn’t come out quite right, did it?)
- Dustin Lance Black (MILK) is adapting A. Scott Berg‘s Pulitzer Prize winning bio, Lindberg, into a limited TV series to be produced by Paramount TV. (Cuz Nazi sympathizing one-shot wonder manly man flyers are the kind of thing the TV audience just loves to eat up. My munched-up self can’t help but think that this ain’t gonna be the hit somebody’s thinking it will. But what do I know?)
- Cris Cole (UK’s MAD DOGS) has written the pilot for a U.S. version of the series for Amazon Studios. (Cuz why make crappy $$$ writing for the best TV system in the world when you can make slightly less crappy $$$ writing for what yer friendly neighborhood munchman would bet his soul on – if I had one – will end up the worst?)
- This is a serious and very well-intended book packed with useful tips
- It breaks the late-night TV genre down to its basic elements and tells the reader exactly what to prepare for when writing monologues, desk bits, sketches, parodies, audience bits, remotes and the like – the staples of late-night TV
- In other words, you won’t find anything anywhere that’s more complete
The Not So Good:
- This thing is so serious and well-intended that it’s only available as a paperback. That’s right – no Kindle version yet, which means it’s kind of expensive ($20.69 at Amazon as ze munchedman writes this)
- Joe spends a lot of time telling us what he’s going to tell us until he finally gets around to actually telling it, which if you’re a ADHD kinda person can getcha kinda…restless
Buy this book. It’ll go down easy with some legal recreational pot in Colorado, say, or Washington State. And, almost as importantly, it’ll give you the best grounding you can get in short comedy. At least until Mel Sherer (look him up) gets around to writing his own tome.
A lot has been written in the past week about James Garner and his illustrious career. But probably the most complete – and completely entertaining – obit/bio the TVWriter™ minions have seen appeared last weekend from the sometimes hemorrhagic but always magical keyboard of Our Favorite Brit Blogger, Keef Telly Topping Himself:
by Keith Telly Topping
The film and TV legend James Garner has died at age eighty six, TMZ has reported. The star of The Rockford Files and The Great Escape was found dead when an ambulance arrived at his Los Angeles home around 8pm on Saturday evening. Amiable and handsome, James Garner obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the same charming anti-hero or conman persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat Western series which shot him to stardom in the late 1950s. ‘I’m a Spencer Tracy-type actor,’ he once noted. ‘His idea was to be on time, know your words, hit your marks and tell the truth. Most every actor tries to make it something it isn’t looks for the easy way out. I don’t think acting is that difficult if you can put yourself aside and do what the writer wrote.’ Born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma in April 1928, James was the youngest of three children. His two older brothers were the actor Jack Garner (1926 to 2011) and Charles Bumgarner, a school administrator who died in 1984. Their mother, who was said to be of part Cherokee descent, died when James was five years old and James grew to hate his stepmother, Wilma, who allegedly beat all three boys. When he was fourteen, Garner had finally had enough and after a particularly heated battle, she left for good. James’ brother Jack commented, ‘She was a damn no-good woman.’ Shortly after the break-up of the marriage, James’s father, Weldon, a carpet layer, moved to Los Angeles, while Garner and his brothers remained in Norman with relatives. After working at several jobs he disliked, at sixteen Garner joined the Merchant Marine near the end of World War II. In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate from The University of Oklahoma, in his home town. When speaking at the event he took the opportunity to remind the officials who had invited him to speak, of the circumstances of his original departure. ‘It’s nice to be invited back as a VIP after being run out of town on a rail!’ At seventeen, he joined his father in LA and enrolled at Hollywood High School where a gym teacher recommended him for a job modelling bathing suits. ‘I made twenty five bucks an hour,’ James recalled. ‘That’s why I quit school. I was making more money than the teachers. I never finished the ninth grade!’ He never did graduate, explaining in a 1976 Good Housekeeping magazine interview: ‘I was a terrible student, but I got my diploma in the Army.’ He served in Korea for fourteen months with the Fifth Regimental Combat Team. He was wounded twice, firstly in the face and hand from shrapnel fire from a mortar round and secondly in the buttocks due to ‘friendly fire’ from US fighter jets as he dived head first into a foxhole. James was awarded the Purple Heart for the first injury (and not, as often inaccurately reported, for ‘getting shot in the arse’, a story which James himself reportedly enjoyed telling gullible journalists). He did, finally, receive a second Purple Heart in 1983, thirty two years after his injury. Garner was a self-described ‘scrounger’ for his company in Korea, a role which he later played in The Great Escape and The Americanisation of Emily. In 1954 a friend, Paul Gregory, whom James had met while attending school, persuaded Garner to take a non-speaking role in the Broadway production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, where he was able to closely study Henry Fonda in the lead role. Garner subsequently moved to television commercials and eventually to TV drama roles. His first movie appearances were in The Girl He Left Behindand Toward The Unknown both in 1956. After several further minor movie roles, includingSayonara with Marlon Brando, Garner got his big break on TV playing the part of the professional gambler Bret Maverick in the comedy Western series Maverick. James was earlier considered for the lead role in another Warner Brothers Western series, Cheyenne, but that role went to Clint Walker because the casting director reportedly couldn’t reach Garner in time (this, according to Garner’s autobiography).
For more about James Garner in what may be the interweb’s longest paragraph, ya gotta go HERE.