Anybody Remember ‘Ironside?’

Over the course of 196 episodes from 1967 to 1975 on NBC, Raymond Burr and his crew fought crime on the back lot of Universal City troubled streets of San Francisco thanks to Ironside’s (Burr) wheelchair and specially equipped van. (Hey, it had room for the wheelchair.)

Among the many big name writers of that time who joined Ironside’s pool of freelancers were such luminaries as:

  • Collier Young
  • Sy Salkowitz
  • True Boardman
  • Robert Van Scoyk
  • Sandy Stern
  • Stephen J. Cannell
  • Mark Rodgers
  • Adrian Spies
  • Evan Hunter
  • Robert Ward
  • Liam O’Brien
  • Joel Oliansky
  • Hindi Brooks
  • And many others, including – wait for it – a newbie named Larry Brody

That’s right, our Beloved Leader himself. And now, TVWriter™ is proud to present the following newly discovered and highly beloved mementos of one of the 3 occasions LB ventured onto Ironside’s  turf, discovered by the King of Golden Age TV himself, the illustrious Herbie J Pilato:

Here ya go:

LB’s NOTE: Big thanks for the memories, Herbie J. And for this opportunity to show my name before the title. (Funny thing. I never even imagined this in color. Couldn’t afford a color TV set in those days and never realized Burr wasn’t really black and gray.)

Indie Video: At Last! Something That Deserves to Go Viral…Goes Viral!

You’ve probably already seen this because viral. But it’s worth seeing again:

And so is this one:

Over the last three weeks, In a Heartbeat has had over 26 million views on YouTube. During that same time span, Elders React to in a Heartbeat has garnered over 4 million. TVWriter™ salutes both sets of filmmakers. Thanks to all involved for helping us get over the crap of last week and rediscover our smiles.

In a Heartbeat Animated Short Film:
Facebook Page –…
Official Tumblr Page –
Produced at Ringling College of Art and Design by Beth David
Instagram: @bbethdavid
Twitter: @bbethdavidd
Esteban Bravo Instagram: @estebravo
Twitter: @EstebanBravoP
Music by Arturo Cardelús…
Sound Design by Nick Ainsworth
© Beth David and Esteban Bravo 2017

Elders React #118 – ELDERS REACT TO IN A HEARTBEAT (Animated Short Film)

Fine Brothers Entertainment:
iTUNES (Podcast):
GOOGLE PLAY (Podcast):
SEND US STUFF: FBE P.O. BOX 4324 Valley Village, CA 91617-4324
Creators & Executive Producers – Benny Fine & Rafi Fine
Head of Post Production – Nick Bergthold Sr.
Associate Producer – Kyle Segal
Associate Producer – Dallen Detamore, Ethan Weiser
Production Coordinator – Cynthia Garcia
Production Assistant – Kenira Moore, Kristy Kiefer, Locke Alexander, JC Chavez, Lauren Hutchinson Editor – Luke Braun
Assistant Editor – Lizzy Siskind
Director of Production – Drew Roder
Assistant Production Coordinator – James Roderique
Post Supervisor – Adam Speas
Post Coordinator – David Valbuena
Music – Cormac Bluestone
© Fine Brothers Entertainment.

Writing Gig: Reality TV Writers Wanted

Yeah, this is Stan Lee. A fiction writer who made it all real. Stan has nothing whatsoever to do with this article, but he’s definitely a real inspiration.

The heading above is the same as the heading on the “Help Wanted” ad we’re talking about. It’s unclear whether the employer is calling for more than one writer or just calling out to more than one to get the writer it needs. Hard to tell from the phrasing in this otherwise very interesting post on Flexjobs:

Remote opportunity with a part-time schedule. Will be responsible for contributing writing to reality TV shows. Must have strong knowledge of pop culture and 2+ years of blogging or writing experience. Degree in journalism or a similar field needed.

Date Posted: 08/18/17
Categories: Entertainment & MediaNews & JournalismWritingBlogging
Location: US National
Job Type: Employee, Part-Time
Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree
Career Level: Experienced
Flexibility: Part-Time Schedule, Telecommuting
Level of Telecommuting: 100% Telecommuting

Check it out HERE

And if you do look into this further, please, please, please let us know what happens!

Break a leg!

Allie Theiss: Daniel Thomsen’s Approach to TV Writing Success – Part 2

by Allie Theiss

Time now for the second part of our conversation with writer-producer Daniel Thomsen of TIME AFTER TIME, WESTWORLD, ONCE UPON a TIME, and other fine TV shows. Making it in Hollywood is hard in itself but isn’t the end of the road. You have to keep your career going too! Danny tells us how he’s handling the challenge:

What path do you recommend a budding TV writer take to get hired onto a show?

I’ve worked in a lot of writers rooms over the years, and if you’re going by the numbers, the vast majority of first-time staff writers get their gigs in one of two ways: They’re promoted from an assistant desk, or they come through a studio program. (Most of the studios have great programs that are designed to help writers from underrepresented backgrounds.) I always recommend that people try to go through one of those doors because that’s the path of least resistance.

The exceptions to this rule are writers who have a creative accomplishment in another medium — novelists, journalists, etc. Or sometimes you’ll see someone get hired who has a specialty background, like a doctor getting hired on a medical show.

I know this can be a frustrating answer to people who can’t approach the business through apprenticeship or a program. To those people, I would recommend putting all their eggs in the basket of their own creativity. Don’t waste your time on staffing — try to be a creator. Write an undeniable story. Turn it into an ebook, or a graphic novel, or learn DIY filmmaking. If you can get enough people to love your story in one shape or another, eventually Hollywood will take notice.

What is it about the writing and the personality of a person that makes he or she a good candidate to be a TV writer?

The most successful TV writers I know share a few characteristics:

First and foremost, they all have very thick skin. This is a business where, in the best case scenario, every single idea, outline, and script you generate will be subjected to layer upon layer of notes and feedback. You will be told your writing isn’t good enough, and that your ideas aren’t fresh or interesting. You can’t ignore the feedback or fight it, so the most important thing is to figure out how to accept the feedback and come up with something different that you still feel good about.

They all have a friendly, collaborative personality — or at least the ability to fake that personality for long periods of time. Because in TV, you’re probably going to be working in a writers room for most of your days. That means sitting around a table with a large group of peers for hours at a time. If you’re a loner, or do your best work locked behind closed doors,that can be a challenge. I speak from painful experience on this one.

They all live vibrant, interesting lives. The best writers I’ve worked with all have great hobbies and intellectual pursuits. They’re curious about other people and the world at large. This curiosity serves as the foundation for their writing and gives it unique life.

They’re all passionate and analytical about the craft of communication. They’re always trying to get better at the various ways we try to take the ideas in our heads and communicate them to others. They understand that, while “writing” is something that we can do for ourselves, “TV writing” is something we do for the audience.

They’re all tremendous listeners. I mean that in every context, in every situation, in every moment. Listening is a very underrated skill.

What is your definition of good writing?

Hmm. I’ve never really tried to answer this before. I think good writing happens when you combine an IDEA with the exact right FORM of storytelling. Interesting ideas can be executed in boring or rote ways. Sometimes TV shows just throw plot on the screen and try to bowl audiences over with cinematic achievement or easter eggs or whatever. To me, that’s lazy writing.

But when a good idea is executed with a structure that lets you see the idea in a new way, or unlocks an unexpected emotional response, it becomes good writing. Finding a story, and then working to find the perfect way to tell that story, is the beauty of what writers do.

What other nuggets of wisdom do you have for TV writers early in their career?

If you truly care about the quality of your writing, resist the urge to spend money. Don’t upgrade to a giant apartment or house you can’t really afford just because you want to feel like a big shot. Don’t buy a Tesla because you think that’s what all the cool kids are doing. Live comfortably and enjoy Los Angeles, for sure, but always remember that financial freedom will give you a better shot at creative freedom.

As I answer this, I’m taking a year off from staffing so I can try developing my own TV series. It means I’m making less money, but I’m passionate about an idea and I want to roll the dice. If I had too many bills, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I’d always be forced to take whatever job was in front of me just to keep up.

Thank you, Danny, for your time and your expertise. We’re rooting for your dice to keep coming up seven!

If you missed Part 1, don’t worry. You can find it by clicking HERE

Allie Theiss is a TVWriter™ Contributing Writer and one of TVWriter™’s Recommended Writers. Check out her story and marketing tips on Instagram. Learn more about her HERE

Writing Meme: The Creative Process

Found on Facebook (What? You’re surprised?)
Big Thanks to Barbara Gaillard

Stareable Wants You to Come to the Party!

Stareable is one of  TVWriter™’s favorite websites. It is absolutely the best place to learn all there is to know about web series and view hundreds – it may be thousands by now – of episodes of all kinds of great shows.

One of the best aspects of the site is its Stareable Creative Community, a forum exploding with info about web series creation and criticism. It’s also a wonderful social center for web series creators and holds regular screenings in L.A. where all interested parties can get together and watch and discuss and network, the whole megillah…including drinks and specials because the Parlour Room is, after all, a delightful bar in and of itself.

The next exciting episode of Stareable’s Los Angeles Web Series Screenings is Thursday, August 24th, and we’d like to encourage y’all to attend. Who knows, you might even get to see our very own munchman!

Check it out! And definitely tell ’em TVWriter™ sentcha. (Yeah, we get brownie points for that.)


Kelly Jo Brick: Mastering the TV Writing Meeting

Photo Courtesy of the Writers Guild Foundation

by Kelly Jo Brick

As a writer, meetings are a regular fact of life. Whether it’s sitting down with potential representation, pitching projects, taking generals or for staffing, each meeting comes with a different set of expectations and needs for preparation.

The Writers Guild Foundation brought in experts from across the industry including Jennifer Good, an agent in Paradigm’s Television Literary Department, writer and co-EP on THE HANDMAID’S TALE, Kira Snyder, Christopher Mack, Senior VP at Warner Bros. Television and the head of the WB Writers’ Workshop and acclaimed story/career consultant and former network executive, Jen Grisanti, to discuss what to do, what not to do, how to prep and how to follow up for the wide variety of entertainment meetings writers face in the pursuit of their careers.

Tips before your take your first meetings:

  • Don’t ramble. Be clear about what you want to express in regards to the outcome that you want.
  • You will be going to lots of meetings in your career. It’s important to keep records of who you meet with, because people often shift from place to place. Make a spreadsheet with details on the who/when/what of your meetings, it can help prevent you from embarrassing yourself along the way.
  • Don’t wear a suit and tie. It’s a casual business. Don’t look too professional, but don’t look like you’re coming in right off the street.
  • Be prepared and know who you’re meeting with and their background. It’s so much easier now that you can Google everybody.

Red Flags:

  • The biggest red flag is someone who can’t express emotion about any television show they’re watching or any film they loved. If you can’t express your passion for a story and you’re in a story meeting, that doesn’t work.
  • If you’re a filmmaker meeting on a TV show, don’t say that you only do TV to pay the bills.
  • Don’t be late. Be early. LA is a rough town for traffic. If you’re meeting on a studio lot, those are big. You might get lost, you might have to find the building. All the studio lots have cafes or bathrooms where you can kill time if you need to.

Building Your Connections – The Informational Meeting:

  • It always helps if you have a contact in the business and do an informational meeting with that person. Even meeting people who may not be able to help you in your journey of becoming a writer, but they’re tied to the business somehow, is good. For every person you know, they know at least three people who can help you get to your goal.

Finding Representation:

  • Meet with a number of managers and agents before you sign. Find out who you click with. The agency is important, but the person you click with is much more important. You definitely want to find the person who fits with you, gets you and your material and what your goals are, more so than any name above the door.
  • As a writer, remember you’re the one doing the interviewing. At the end of the day, the agent/manager works for you. They’re supposed to be there to help you. At the same time you’re supposed to help your rep with material so he/she can put you out there. Also remember that the agent is only responsible for 10 percent. You’re responsible for 90 percent, so it’s not on them to do all the work. You need to hustle yourself.

General Meetings:

  • It’s like a job interview, but there’s probably not an actual job on the line. You should go in more relaxed, because if you’re in a general meeting, it means an executive at a network or studio or production company has read your script and thought it was interesting and they like what your representation or other people had to say about you and they want to meet you.
  • You have to recognize there are no stakes in a general meeting. The goal of the general meeting is for you to make an authentic connection with the person you are meeting with.
  • They’ll ask you tell a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your story? Tell me about that script I read. Where did it come from? Try to approach it like an informal get to know you.
  • Know a little about the company you’re meeting with and the shows they produce.
  • Don’t make them do all the work. Don’t make them ask you all the questions. Ask questions, like this pilot you’re developing, it’s so interesting, how did it come to you guys.
  • Follow up with a thank you email the next day. These are busy people. Be polite. Thank them for their time. It helps to reference something that you talked about so it’s not just a generic thank you.

Staffing Meetings:

  • What you’re trying to get up to is the showrunner meeting, that is the one where you might get the job. There are meetings that lead up to that. If you’ve had generals, you’ll probably have follow ups, sometimes with the same executives for that particular show. You might then be handed off to the production company.
  • For the showrunner meeting you will have read the pilot and should be ready to talk about it in detail. Have questions about a choice they made in the pilot or if you’re really excited about a particular part, or like I really like this dynamic, are you planning to expand on that, those kind of things.
  • You and the showrunner are both writers and you’ll be getting in a discussion about story. They want to understand how you think about story, how you read a script, how you can talk about it in a way that shows how you would add to a room.
  • If you’re meeting on a comedy show, it’s important to be funny, to have a nice rapport, because you’re going to be in the room all day with people and go back and forth and be easy with jokes.

The Writers Guild Foundation regularly hosts events that celebrate the craft and voices of film and television writers. To find out more about upcoming events, go to

Kelly Jo Brick is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. She’s a television and documentary writer and producer, as well as a winner of Scriptapalooza TV and a Sundance Fellow. Read more about her HERE.