WGAW’s Strongest Statement Yet Against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

Found on the Interwebs

Found on the Interwebs

In a statement the other day, Writers Guild of America, West president Chris Keyser got on the FCC’s case in a demand to “put a stop to this spate of merger madness,” speaking for the WGAW as the Guild submitted its formal opposition to the Comcast-Time Warner Cable, um, “madness” indeed.

The whole document is 71 pages of legalese, a language totally alien to writers and other creatives. But here’s the official gist:

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Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 9/1/14

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

  • Jordan Belfort (the “inspiration” for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET) is developing a series described as “a MAN MEN-style TV show about the excess of WALL STREET in the 1980s for Brett Ratner’s company. (Cuz if there’s one thing TV needs in the 21st Century teens it’s a show projecting the values of an infamous drug consumer and convicted con artist. Nice to have such a bright light to help us get through these difficult times, eh?)
  • Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker (SURVIVING JACK) have sold a comedy based on a memoir by Col. Chris Hadfield, the well-known astronaut/internet video sensation. (Yeppers, it’s all about how much harder normal life on the ground is than being an outer space celeb. My enthusiasm is, um, well, how’s “nil” sound?)
  • Amy Holden Jones (BLACK BOX) is writing the drama pilot 10 BEACON HILL for ABC, described as “a medical procedural…about a brilliant team of doctors who take on the most difficult cases. (How does this differ from HOUSE? Dig it – the head of the team is an ultra-caring medical genius instead of a dick. Hmm, munchikins thinks that could be a welcome change.)
  • Andy Stern (newbie?) is writing a pilot for ABC about a female police psychologist who used to be a “real” cop herself. (And if that makes you wonder why your slightly more original ideas – whatever they are – keep getting turned down to the networks, keep this in mind: The producer of this series, and, I’m thinking, it’s intended star, is Ellen Pompeo, the star of GREY’S ANATOMY. Why aren’t I best buds with somebody who can get such a great vanity deal?)

Write in and tell me what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 8/30/14

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

  • Matt Venne (BAG OF BONES) is writing the pilot for a TV version of the 1997 film THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE for NBC. (And you betcha I’ll munch on this. I couldn’t find anything to complain about when I saw the Keanu Reeves-Al Pacino film except the casting, and neither one of those guys is going to be in the series, right? Right? God, I hope so.)
  • Paul Webb (SELMA) is adapting No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s Pulitzer Prize winning book about Franklin D. Roosevelt (he was a U.S. president back when presidents had, you know, status) into a mini-series for Fox TV. (And, nopers, I probably won’t watch this cuz…10 #$@! hours? And no hobbits or dragons in sight? Sorry, history buffs, but this ain’t for me.)
  • Peter Knight (BIG WOLF ON CAMPUS) is writing the comedy pilot THE SOUND OF THE SUMNERS for Fox. (The plan is for this to be a “musical family comedy,” which means that it’ll never make it to anybody’s schedule and even if it does – don’t set your DVR for more than 6 episodes. Would the munchman steer you wrong?)
  • Ashley Pharoah & Matthew Graham (LIFE ON MARS) are writing a new BBC America series called THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, about the conflict between ways of life in late 1880s England. (I’m thrilled about this because not only did Ashley and Matt create the sensational UK version of LIFE ON MARS – not the crap U.S. go-round – they’re the only writers in today’s report whose credits include something I’ve heard of or, for that matter, that sounds even vaguely real. BAG OF BONES? BIG WOLF ON CAMPUS? WTF?)

Write in and tell me what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

From TV Comedy Writer to Street Artist

Uh, wait. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

kaleurselfby Jennifer Swan

Like many Angelenos, Carlos Herrera spends a lot of time in his car. His iPhone email signature even taunts, “Sent while driving.” When we speak by phone one afternoon, he’s driving to an art supply store on Fairfax to pick up spray paint for his next project. But 27-year-old Herrera, who once described himself in an Instragram photo as “Zac Efron without the hair,” is not an artist. 

If you’ve spent any time driving the streets of Hollywood, Echo Park and Fairfax, you’ve no doubt seen his work. A comedy writer by trade (though he’s currently unemployed), Herrera recently took to the streets to make fun of the industry that’s constantly rejecting him. 

In one of his more self-deprecating pieces of graffiti, spray painted on a temporary construction wall outside a new clothing boutique on Beverly Blvd., Herrera wrote the purposefully-misspelled “Just Looking 4 a righting JOB.” Next to that, he put an x next to each of the words “SNL” and “Conan,” both TV shows for which he had been turned down for writing gigs. 

Lately, he’s found other ways to get his writing seen: short, witty phrases painted on discarded mattresses (“Rest Coast” reads one on a Hollywood Blvd. sidewalk; “I want celebrities to sleep on me” reads another outside Paramount Pictures) and scribbled across the ubiquitous white wooden fences that shroud construction sites all over the city. (“I miss Mad Men” is written on Beverly Boulevard.) 

“Imagine you have this wall on Beverly Boulevard to write anything you want, and a million people are going to drive by it like three hours later, what would you do?” he asks, in a rare moment of artistic reflection. “I want to make fun of people.” 

One of his graffiti pieces, for example, makes fun of an unnamed comedian whom he’s got beef with. “She’s really into yoga but she does a lot of drugs, and she tweeted or instagrammed her vision board one day,” he says, forgetting where he had first seen the inspirational collage. “So I wrote down ‘vision bored.’” 

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Admission: We here at TVWriter™ love this idea, and we really hope Herrera scores big.

The Dangers of Creativity

What is it about our public school systems? They just can’t seem to understand what creative people are all about – especially creative students. LB has stories about how every time he wrote a short story for an English class in middle school and high school he had to defend himself against his teachers’ accusations of plagiarism because, they said, “It’s written too well.”

But that was then. Now, it’s worse:

OperationATeam-arrestHigh School Student Arrested for Writing About Shooting a Dinosaur
by The Times-Union

School is back in session and a creative writing assignment already has led to the suspension and arrest of an imaginative 16-year old South Carolina high school student.

Alex Stone’s teacher asked him and fellow classmates to write something about themselves and their current status — like something you might write on Facebook.

Stone wrote a fictional account in which he slew a dinosaur. He used the word “gun.” He also used the words “take care of business.”

“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur,” he said he wrote. “And, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” he told Charleston TV station WCSC.

Stone’s teacher contacted administrators of Summerville High School, who suspended the student. School officials notified police of the incident Tuesday. Stone explained his writing about the extinct species was imaginative.

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