Herbie J Pilato wants us to get ready for his new book

Coming in the Summer of 2018!

We loves us some Mary Tyler Moore and some Herbie J Pilato as well, so we here at TVWriter™ are ready as all get out for what promises to be a great read.

In fact, we’re looking forward to this so much that it’s all we can do to keep from foaming at our mouths. (Mouth? My mouth? His mouth? Her mouth? Damn, why didn’t Miss Grundy teach us anything instead of just messing with us back in the day?

Apologies for the CW in-joke.

Everything You Need to Know About Writing for Actors

Yeppers, kids, here’s another amazingly helpful video from a genuine showbiz Insider. If anybody knows how stars feel about scripts, it’s Emma Thompson. Watch and learn, gang, watch and learn. (Cuz it’s easier than having read and learn, yeah?)

Found on the BAFTA Guru Channel

The First ‘Doctor Who” Christmas Trailer is Here for You

Speaking of Doctor Who, this is without a doubt the most important thing you’ll see on the interwebs this week.

Unless you aren’t a Doctor Who fan.

But you are, aren’t you? We mean – you’ve gotta be, right? Cuz otherwise, what’s the point of – yikes! -being alive?

‘Doctor Who’ Exit Interview with showrunner Steven Moffat

The Moff speaks…and Doctor Who fans should welcome his words. (Notice that the previous sentence contains no value judgments. None. Zip.)

by Graham Kibble-White

It’s the end of an era. On Christmas Day, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor will regenerate into the character’s 13th incarnation, to be played by Jodie Whitaker. But he’s not the only person leaving the show. The story also marks the departure of showrunner Steven Moffat, who’s been in the role since 2009. TV Choice caught up with him to look ahead to the upcoming special, Twice Upon A Time, in which the Twelfth Doctor meets the First, and to look back at his time steering the Tardis…

David Bradley steps into the role of the First Doctor (originally played by William Hartnell) in the Christmas special, and there doesn’t seem to have been any resistance from the fans to that. Has this pleased you? 
I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t really think about it. I thought people would just be quite excited. There’s a huge section of the audience – and when I say huge, I mean as close to 100 per cent as makes no practical difference – who will be unaware it wasn’t David Bradley in 1963. He looks sufficiently like him that we actually start with footage from the old show and blend it in with Bradley. It helps massively that he played the part in An Adventure In Space And Time [2013’s drama about the creation of Doctor Who]. I think that sort of sanctifies him in a strange way. I don’t know why that should be the case, but it’s true, you feel, ‘Yes, he’s allowed to be the First Doctor’. Also, he pays tremendous respect to William Hartnell. He’s not impersonating him, but like Chris Pine does with William Shatner in the Star Trek films, he’s riffing on it. He’s respecting it.

Did the fact that the Star Trek films had already done something similar help? 
I’m actually vaguely obsessed with this. Why does it sometimes work, and why does it not? One of the most fascinatingly effective recasts was when they replaced Dr Watson in the Granada series of Sherlock Holmes – David Burke into Edward Hardwicke. They’re manifestly different people, but when Hardwicke came along, he recreated enough of David Burke that I accepted it was the same person almost instantly. And I don’t normally. I’m quite twitchy about recasts. In fact, I’m not a fan of them. I always think, ‘Well, why doesn’t everybody notice this person has changed?’ I was very resistant to the idea of a new crew of the Enterprise, I have to say. But throughout that film – throughout all those films, in fact – they so cleverly riff on the original performances you somehow go with it as the same people. And they get away with showing you photographs of the other cast within the film! So, they’re obviously doing it well.

Would you stop short at recasting other former Doctors? Do you think it only works with the first?
I don’t think there’s anything special about the First Doctor in that sense. Except maybe the wig helps. It was more of a calculated look, in a curious way. It’s one of the most distinctive looks the Doctor’s ever had. If you had somebody who could do a brilliant Patrick Troughton [the Second Doctor], who was really spot on and captured the essence of that performance, I think, yes, you would accept it in the same sort of way. It’s tough – it really has to be spot on. But I bet it happens someday.

There’s a school of thought that this story has been conceived as a particular treat for the hard core fans because, from next year, the show will be trying appeal to a broader audience. Is this a last hurrah for a certain style of Doctor Who?
Not really. Because we shed everything for series 10 [the most recent] as well. We just started again there [with no ongoing storylines, and a new companion]. But Doctor Who is allowed to be self-referential. Where you have to walk carefully is, you have to use Doctor Who as the generally accepted mythology that everyone in Britain has imbibed since they were born, rather than the meticulous detail that we fans live in. What I mean by that is, it’s okay for Daniel Craig to mysteriously have Sean Connery’s old car in the Bond movies, for reasons that cannot withstand any analysis at all, because we all know about that car. It’s the same with Doctor Who. I mean, ‘real’ human beings don’t know all the actors who played the Doctor, and can’t rank them in order, or anything like. But they absolutely know – they absolutely know – that Jodie [Whittaker] is the 13th. So, it’s fine to bring an old Doctor on. Of course, you have to clarify who it is you’re meeting, and I spent a lot of time trying to make that clear in The Doctor Falls [the final episode of last series]. If you look at it from the point of view of a kid who doesn’t really know the old show, they will still think, ‘Oh my goodness, this is incredibly exciting – that’s the very first Doctor Who! The very first one came back!’ That kid already knows that Peter’s the 12th, that Jodie’s the 13th, so he knows there’s a number one. Works perfectly for a brand-new viewer.

Are Doctor Who fans conservative about the show being reinvented? 
I don’t know how conservative Doctor Who fans think. I honestly don’t. Why did you choose this show? Why did you choose the show that depends, thrives and exults in change? Why this one? It’s just bonkers. I think they’re the bonkers, loud people on the internet. Most people go, ‘Wow!’ when you do something radical. When you say, ‘Ah ha! John Hurt was the Doctor as well!’ [as revealed in 2013] Folk bloody loved that. That’s what I think the audience wants Doctor Who to do from time to time. It’s just to say, ‘Do you know what? We’re doing this now. To hell with it.’

Read it all at TVChoiceMagazine

Have You Read Captain Picard’s Autobiography Yet?

Did you know that everybody’s ideal father, Jean-Luc Picard himself, has written an autobiography? We’re guessing not because let’s be real. Anybody who did know would have read it already, right? Here’s the skinny about Picard and a host of other TV legends, straight from the mouth of the captain’s ghostwriter, David A. Goodman, himself:

David A. Goodman, the man behind The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard

by Adam Dileo

David A. Goodman is, among other things, a Star Trek TV writer and a lifelong fan. He’s also written for shows like The Golden Girls, Futurama (he wrote the great Star Trek episode “Where No Fan Has Gone Before”), and Family Guy, where he was also the head writer for years. But now he has a new book out, The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, which serves as a follow-up to his James T. Kirk “autobiography” from a couple of years ago.

I jumped on the phone to speak to Goodman about the Picard book, and along the way we discussed the parts of Picard’s life not depicted in the show and movies, the captain’s greatest achievements and biggest regrets, and even the merits of the latest descendants of Trek on TV — The Orville versus Star Trek: Discovery.

IGN: You’ve written for Star Trek: Enterprise in the past and now you’re working on The Orville as an executive producer and writer. Have you been watching Star Trek: Discovery?

David Goodman: Yes, I think it’s great. They clearly have a reverence for the canon and Star Trek has gone through a lot of iterations and I appreciate what these writers are doing. I think this is interesting; these are really smart, talented writers and a great cast doing something really interesting. I’m enjoying it.

IGN: Some fans who are not thrilled with Discovery so far have been saying things on the internet like “The Orville is the closest thing to Star Trek on TV right now, not Discovery.”

DG: The older Star Treks, The Original Series and Next Generation, were obviously enormously popular with Star Trek fans but they were also television for general audiences. You could turn on those shows with no knowledge of Star Trek and jump in and understand what was going on and enjoy it. And that’s what The Orville has in common with those shows. Fans are actually picking up on something but it’s not the idea that it’s just like Star Trek. It’s that it’s a show in this vein on a spaceship, which has some similarities, but that is also meant for a general audience.

IGN: You’ve written three Star Trek historical fiction books: Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years, The Autobiography of James T. Kirk and now The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard. What’s your approach to creating these stories?

DG: In the Kirk book it was about his father and being a father. And in the Picard book it was his relationship with his father and brother and then his longing for Beverly Crusher, which was only mentioned in a seventh season episode, that he was in love with her….

Read it all at IGN.Com

Peggy Bechko: Writers vs. The Demon Named Negativity

by Peggy Bechko

There’s a whole lot of psychological stuff associated with being a writer. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough and a host of other self-defeating head games we might play with ourselves. But of them all, probably the worst is some kind of self-sabotage. And self-sabotage can be hiding in a lot of places. It’s kinda tricky to pin down.

One time where it gets drawn out of hiding is when the intrepid writer decides to offer his or her work to the world. First of all, that’s a big step. There are many writers who hide their work away. Some never let it see the light of day. But, for those who do, they’re frequently confronted with the “I’m not good enough” syndrome.

Part of that writer, and I think we’ve all been there, knows darn well he’s possessed with the skills and talent to create amazing worlds. To tell stories in a powerful way. And yet, there’s that other part of the born storyteller, the part that tries to convince her she can’t possibly succeed. Not really. She’s not worthy, not a good writer of novels or scripts or whatever, not really.

It’s a bummer. And, the inner critic who just won’t shut up can eventually paralyze the unwary writer.

It’s up to the determined and talented writer to put a stop to all that. When that inner critic attacks, it’s time to pause and consider. What if (we all love ‘what if’ don’t we?) that inner critic is full of it you, the writer, can retort. What if what you’ve written is bestseller material or a movie blockbuster script? Hmmm. That ‘what if’ is just as plausible as the one that tries to make you think you’re not worthy. Talk back to that inner fear-monger and tell him/her/it to shut up.

And here’s another thing. Are you selfish? Yeah, I know, our mothers taught us to share, to give of ourselves, our time, our money, whatever, and to put others ahead of ourselves. Women are even more restrained by this idea of a ‘good girl’ than a man is hindered by being unselfish.  Now, here’s another aspect. Writers, generally are intuitive, sensitive, and very conscious of the world around them. As writers, we frequently find ourselves in situations where we just naturally give. And all that is good.

But, we need to be a little selfish, to preserve chunks of ourselves to allow for great writing. We need to teach ourselves that it’s okay to say no and to set boundaries. It’s not possible for a person to always put themselves last and to have something left over to actually pursue things important to them.

The “everybody comes first” attitude means that the writer is left with the very least. There’s little writing time allowed. Errands not really our own consume energy needed for great thinking. If, as a writer, you’re not being selfish enough to let others around you know your inner resources are limited and you must put a stop to those many demands that sap all energy, creativity and time, then you’ll be left with nothing.

The solution is both difficult and simple. Difficult because of our little inner voices that complain when we decide to do something hard like saying no, but as simple as just saying that no. Keep in mind that tending to your own needs isn’t a negative thing. You’re not a ‘bad’ person because you say no and speak up for what you need.

Work at becoming conscious of what you’re doing and directly fend off psychological traps. Nurture your creativity and yourself.

Finally, I’ll give a little wave and a nod toward that all-time favorite of writers – procrastination. Come on now, we’ve all been guilty of it. Nothing eats up writing time like it. I’m not going into a long definition and all the details of self-help. You know what you’re doing when you’re doing it. So stop it. Focus. Write.

My advice after all this? Take a few moments to really analyze what you do, then take definite action to fend those psychological demons off.

You can do it and your writing will soar because you did.

Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Washo’


In the late ’90s I wrote a few episodes for a TV series called Walker, Texas Ranger. The star, Chuck Norris was very good friends with a friend of mine, and Chuck was a friendly, personable guy back in those days – plus I didn’t have much else to do – so I figured what the hell, why not dive into the money pit again. The following touches on an element of that experience that most television writers never encounter.

by Larry Brody

The last time I saw My Friend The Wild Indian

(I can still hear the bells!)

Was on the Lakota rez at Pine Ridge.

He was pointing at me and saying,


And his friends were laughing and nodding

And pointing as well.

“Washo,” they said, whooping and whirling,


So I was Washo and didn’t know what it meant,

I’d been there a month this time,

Trying to learn about life and death and the ever-blessed way.

I’d sweated and prayed and danced.

(Listen, oh, listen, can’t you too hear the bells?)

And worked and waked out on the range, and,

Visions or no, miracles or not,

“Washo” had become my real name.

It was the pointing and the laughter that got to me,

From people I thought were friends.

I was being mocked, ridiculed,

And, finally, I’d had enough, and I left.

No more Washo, not for them, not for me.

No more Friend The Wild Indian

(but forever the bells!),

The silvery, pretty-voiced hawk.

No more.

Washo retreated, a bad memory covered by false hopes

That reshaped the past.

But then, a couple of months ago, I heard it again.


But not for me.

I was sitting in the office of a television producer,

And he leaned forward and said,

“We’ve got to find out what ‘Washo’ means.”

One of the members of the cast of his show was a Sioux,

He explained, who had begun using the word onscreen.

The actor was a Lakota medicine man and singer,

And I’d met him around Pine Ridge once or twice,

But he’d never said, “Washo” to me. Now he was calling the

Star of the show Washo and grinning and carrying on.

The lawyers, the producer told me, were getting nervous.

What was the guy saying?

I had never asked about Washo when I was on the Rez,

Because I was afraid. I feared its meaning would be even worse

Than I already suspected, and that I would be hurt even more.

Now I had a chance to learn the

Truth for someone else. In a way, this was a test of my own courage.

A test I’d already failed once.

I went home and drank a lot of coffee, very dark, very thick,

Like I used to drink in Pine Ridge,

Then called the Indian School nearby.

I asked the woman who answered what Washo meant,

And at first she was silent. Then, like everyone else,

She started to laugh. “It’s guy talk,” she said,

“Although I use it too. I call my husband ‘Washo.’

In Lakota, it means—well, it means ‘well-hung.”

Now the silence was at my end of the line.

Finally, I thanked her, and I

Called the producer and said, “It’s okay.”

Then I picked up the phone again,

Ready to call My Friend The Wild Indian

(and praying I’d hear the bells!).

I wanted to apologize. I wanted to rush back to him.

I wanted to be close.

But I hung up without dialing, and haven’t made that call yet.

So long have I lived with my ignorance

That I’m still afraid.



If you enjoyed this poem, you probably would like my book of poetry, Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog, available at Amazon.Com for an unlimited time for exactly $0.00. Yes, you read that correctly. Unlimited time. Free. More than a Christmas present, this is my life present to you all.

Go straight to Amazon and avail yourself of all the delicious goodness simply by clicking HERE. (And if you like it, it would be great if you wrote a review. No pressure, but eventually someone’s got to, right?)

Many thanks.

Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.