500 Scripted TV Series Rocking On-Air This Season

That we’re living in The Year of Peak TV is indisputable, but we here at TVWriter™ do have a question: Is the fact that all these shows exist and are in need of writers (whether they realize it or not) the good news? Or is it the bad?

FX Networks Honcho John Landgraf

Scripted Series Tally Brings Viewers and Networks Another Record Year
by Michael Schneider

Peak TV still hasn’t peaked. According to FX Networks chief John Landgraf, as of August there have been 342 scripted programs via broadcast, cable, and streaming services this year – up from 325 at this time last year.

That puts the year’s tally racing toward a landmark 500 scripted shows in 2017, up from 455 in 2016. (There were 216 series in 2010, so the number has already doubled.)

But here’s where things might still explode before the end of the year: Streaming services have run 62 series to date (up from 51 this point last year), but have announced an additional whopping 79 shows. It’s unlikely all of those series will premiere before the end of the year – but if they did, the number would be 141 streaming shows, up from a total of 95 last year.

If that’s the case, Landgraf projects that the full series tally could rise to 534 – and, he pointed out, that’s before Apple even announces its TV plans under its new programming bosses.

“Yeah, it’s going to continue to grow,” Landgraf told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.

Among other year-to-date numbers, the broadcast networks have aired 127 scripted shows this year, up from 118; premium cable has run 25, up from 23; and basic cable has had 130, a tick down from 131 at this point last year. (The broadcast network rise seems to be from the increased addition of short-order series at the broadcasters, which have increasingly borrowed the limited-run series strategy of its cable counterparts)….

Read it all at Indiewire

And Now a Few Words from Lou Stone Borenstein…

…About Lou Stone Borenstein, and why not?

by Lou Stone Borenstein & TVWriter™ Press Service

Tickets are now available for the remaining dates of my latest L.A.  show “A History of CENSORED in America”!

I have some free tickets available to the Aug 11th show. Let me know if you’d like any.

The show starts at 9 pm at iO West Theater – 6366 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Find out more about it HERE

Tickets to the Aug 17th show are only $5, and if you can make that one, it really helps as it’s a very tough time to get an audience for a show. Thanks!

Tickets are now available for August 17 5:30pm at UCB Sunset – 5419 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Learn more HERE


EDITOR’S NOTE: For those not in the know, Lou Stone Borenstein is an all-round cool kind of guy who has been writing and performing comedy since 2007. His writing credits include co-creating and writing the web series “Is This Thing On?” and writing for the DreamWorksTV digital show “Human Bowling Showdown.”

He was the face of Deep River Rock water in an international ad campaign and of evology.com in an online campaign. He performed stand-up regularly at the New York and Broadway Comedy Clubs in New York and now performs in L.A.

Other accomplishments include winning on Wheel of Fortune and publishing a crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Lou is a TVWriter.com Recommended Writer and a guy who really knows how to entertain.

New YouTube Series Gives Us Untold Tales of Star Wars

Whoa, an authorized Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a YouTube web series…ands it’s canon!

Mother of mercy, is this the end of TV?

Yeah, the question was rhetorical, but the practical, all too real answer most probably is, “You betcha.”

Spend some time – not all that much because the episodes are roughly two and a half minutes each, binging on all 8 episodes HERE

Give thanks to Our Overlords at Disney in the comments. This TVWriter™ minion things the series is barely competent, artwise, and completely childish when it comes to the writing, but WTH? I think all the same of all the SW films and TV shows. Well, except for Star Wars Rebels. It’s awesome.

More about SWR is HERE

Nielsen’s TV ratings now include Hulu and YouTube TV

The end of “real” TV is, um, nigh. Very nigh:

by Anthony Ha

Nielsen is taking a big step in measuring streaming TV today with the addition of Hulu and YouTube TV to its ratings.

Nielsen’s President of Product Leadership Megan Clarken said that the company’s ratings (the best-known measurement of TV viewership) have included some streaming data before, but it was usually when “traditional networks … distributed their content onto digital platforms” — like when CBS launched its streaming service CBS All Access.

“This is the first time the biggest digital-first, TV streaming companies have come into the fold in terms of being included in TV ratings,” Clarken said.

She added that this move reflects how viewership has moved beyond the traditional “TV glass.” It also comes just a few months after Hulu and YouTube launched their live TV services.

More specifically, Clarken said data about Hulu and YouTube TV will be incorporated into Nielsen’s C3/C7 numbers, which are used by TV ad-buyers and reflect viewership during a three- and seven-day time window….

Read it all at Techcrunch.Com

Bryan Fuller Gives Us the Lowdown on his Exit from ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Not so mad (actually kind of gentle) Genius Bryan Fuller has actually talked to Entertainment Weekly, of all places, about leaving his gig as showrunner of CBS’s new version of Star Trek. We found it on the interwebs…and we also found it “fascinating.”

Hehe. This show’s initials are STD. Hehehe.

Bryan Fuller on his Star Trek: Discovery exit: ‘I got to dream big’
by James Hibberd

Bryan Fuller candidly discusses his exit as showrunner from Star Trek: Discoveryin this week’s Entertainment Weekly — including his original ambitious pitch to CBS All Access.

The Hannibal and Pushing Daisies showrunner initially wasn’t envisioning a single Trek series, but multiple serialized anthology shows that would begin with Star Trek: Discovery (a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series), journey through the eras of Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard, and then go beyond to a time in Trek that’s never been seen before.

“The original pitch was to do for science-fiction what American Horror Story had done for horror,” Fuller says. “It would platform a universe of Star Trek shows.”

CBS countered with the plan of creating a single serialized series and then seeing how it performed. Still, the project was a dream come true for Fuller, who worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager and long publicly lobbied for a return of the franchise to television — specifically with a woman of color at the helm.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about how many black people were inspired by seeing Nichelle Nichols on the bridge of a ship [as Lt. Uhura in The Original Series],” Fuller says. “I couldn’t stop thinking about how many Asian people were inspired by seeing George Takei [as Sulu] and feeling that gave them hope for their place in the future. I wanted to be part of that representation for a new era.”

Yet after starting work on the show, Fuller’s relationship with CBS became strained. He objected to the network’s choice of David Semel, a veteran of procedurals like Madam Secretary and Code Black, to direct the Discovery pilot (Baby Driver director Edgar Wright tells us he was among those Fuller approached instead).

There were also squabbles over the Discovery budget, with the production eventually going over CBS’ original plan to spend $6 million per episode (a number that’s either on high side for an original drama series, or a bit lean for an ambitious genre show, depending on who you ask). But perhaps the toughest issue was trying to launch Discovery by February 2017, a date which some felt was unrealistic given the unique world-building demands of a premium sci-fi show….

Read it all at EW.Com

Keely MacDonald Named Fox Writers Lab Fellow

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Fox Inclusive has named a fellow for its Fox Writers Lab.

Writer Keely MacDonald has been selected from the sixth annual group of finalists and has received a script development deal with Fox Broadcasting Company. A 2012 grad of Duke University, MacDonald became an intern on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow in 2013, eventually graduating to full-fledged writer on show with the season four episode, “Insatiable.”

Launched in 2011, Fox Writers Lab (formerly known as the Fox Writers Intensive) is an initiative designed to nurture writers who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences in an effort to create a strong pipeline of talent for potential staffing on Fox television shows and films.

During this year’s program, the Lab writers each developed and wrote an original pilot script, working with producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor of Practical Pictures and Kelly Kulchak, head of current programming at Dreamworks Animation. The writing culminated in a “Pitchfest” in which writers pitched their original ideas to network and studio executives.

Other writers who participated in the lab were Arielle Diaz, Brad Marques, Elizabeth Oyebode, Erick Castrillon and Esteban Arango, Jennifer Graham Imada, Lauren Tyler, Mellori Velasquez, Nicky Young, Pilar Valdes, Tania Lotia and Yasemin Yilmaz.

All the writers are being promoted throughout the Fox creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future Fox Entertainment productions. This year’s 12 writers were selected from a pool of nominations submitted by showrunners, talent representation and arts organizations across the country, so if you aren’t already a kind of junior showbiz insider, be aware that this may not be the program for you.

TOLDJA! – Web Series ‘Stupid Idiots’ Now has a Genuine TV Deal

Stupid Idiots (not the people, dammit, the show!)

Just a couple of weeks ago TVWriter™ gave the web series Stupid Idiots a review that included the following:

So how damning is it if I say that the two leads in this very funny web series aren’t merely perfect recreations of people I know but in true fact are perfect recreations of, well, of me, dammit? Me!

If that isn’t a rave, what is it? In other words, we knew this show was going to take off, but even the smartest, bravest, and boldest of TVWriter™ minions never imagined that before the end of the month Stupid Idiots would have a genuine, supercool, real big-time development deal with the likes of Paramount TV and Anonymous Content?

According to Deadline:

In a competitive situation, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have acquired rights to Stupid Idiots, a comedy web series written, directed by and starring Stephanie Koenig, to develop as a TV series. Koenig (PopTV’s Swedish Dicks) is set to write the adaptation and star in the potential TV series, described as a (trying-to-get-out-of-the-) workplace comedy about two underachievers who consistently fail upwards. Koenig and Brian Jordan Alvarez star in the web version, which launched earlier this year.

We love it when something we love gets even bigger love. We keep saying this and we’ll say it again: Web series are the perfect proving ground for new talent. There isn’t a better place in the Biz to hone your craft and prove your project’s appeal. Go forth, young dreamers, and conquer!

Oh, and while you’re at it, take a look at Stupid Idiots HERE

Oh, and in case you missed it in the headline: “TOLDJA!”