When Universal’s Ron Meyer Speaks, We Listen

We really enjoyed this article on a speech by one of showbiz’s truly good guys.

No, no, not ironic. Seriously.

Ron Meyer To UCLA Showbiz Grads: “You Don’t Have To Be An Asshole To Succeed”

 Universal President and COO Ron Meyer this afternoon made an expletive-laced commencement speech to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Class of 2012. He told the graduating students that the best way to get ahead in showbiz is to ask questions. “Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups,” he told the audience. Twice. The longtime studio head also pointed out that despite the cliches “You don’t have to be an asshole to succeed.” He also stressed that finding an agent is the single most important thing a new graduate can do. Ask everyone you meet. “Just don’t ask me,” he warned. The ceremony was dedicated to the school’s founding dean and Oscar ceremony producer Gil Cates. The commencement also honored directors Penelope Spheeris and Shirley Jo Finney with distinguished alumni awards.

TVWriter™ Posts of the Week

As determined, once again, by us.

Here they are, the TVWriter™ posts TeamTVWriter likes best for the week ending today, June 15th:

Questions, Questions, Questions

THE Basic Tip for New Writers in All Media

You’ve Gotta Watch This! You’ve Gotta!

ROUTE 66 and NAKED CITY, Si. Bert Leonard? Nah

Arnold Schwarzenegger Owes Me Bigtime

by Larry Brody

40 years ago this month – OMG! OMFG! I’m fucking OLD! – I went to work as an “Executive Story Consultant” on the series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO.

It wasn’t a match made in heaven. Oh, I loved and respected the Big Boss, Quinn Martin, but the day-to-day producer of the series at that time very obviously resented my 27-year-old presence on the show. (In those days TV producers usually were in their late 40s or their 50s.) Worse, my shiny new red Alfa Romeo kept breaking down when it was time to go home.

(Told you TV writers are overpaid.)

Five years later, with Bodacious Bill Yates in charge, I came back to write one episode to guest star everyone’s favorite emoter, Ahnuld S.

Yes, it’s true. I brought him into television, and what did I get for it? Two wives, count ’em two, whose butts he groped later, in the gym.

Those of you who believe in justice, what do you say now? Huh? Huh?

FTR: I’m still absolutely certain I’m 27.

Unless I look in a mirror.

Should You Give Falling Skies Another Chance?

by Larry Brody

Why you should give Falling Skies another chance

Steven Spielberg launched two science fiction TV shows last year — in a time when science fiction seems to be a third rail of television. One was Terra Nova, a show about time travel and dinosaurs. The other was Falling Skies, a show about alien invasion and post-humans. There are two huge differences between these shows: One of them is dead. And the other one is worth watching.

As it goes into its second season, Falling Skies takes the Spielberg ethos forward, and shows genuine promise of becoming something worth taking seriously. It’s still not a perfect show, but it’s good and getting better. Here are a bunch of reasons why you should give Falling Skiesanother shot on Sunday. With basically no spoilers for season two.

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io9.Com is my go-to site for science fiction news. They’ve got a ton of info, writers who know and love the field, and they’ve even said nice things about me.

But today I’ve got to disagree with io9’s  Charlie Jane Anders, who says in an extremely well-written article that viewers should forgive the show its Season 1 trespasses and try it again when it comes back.

My disagreement is based on two tenets of professional TV drama that I’m happy to share.

  1. Steven Spielberg’s TV track record. When has his name ever been on any series worth watching? When has any series with his name on it improved enough to be worth watching?
  2. The TV people – writers and producers – who staffed this show last season, like the ones who are replacing them this season, are highly paid professionals. And I mean very highly paid. Do you really want to fill their pockets with gold while they struggle to reach an acceptable level of mediocrity? I sure don’t. Half-assed writing shouldn’t be rewarded with piles of Porsches and cash.

Find something newer and better. You’ll be doing yourself – and television – a favor.

Who Needs Publishers? Or, For That Matter, Agents?

eBooks Top Hardcover Revenues in Q1 of 2012

By Jason Boog

Net sales revenue from eBooks have surpassed hardcover books in the first quarter of 2012.

According to the March Association of American Publishers (AAP) net sales revenue report (collecting data from 1,189 publishers), adult eBook sales were $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales counted $229.6 million during the first quarter of 2012. During the same period last year, hardcover accounted for $335 million in sales while eBooks logged $220.4 million.

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