Yes, it’s true. Another indie web series has moved upward and onward to the Big Time, this time via BET. Lena Waithe’s series the truth, the whole truth, and – almost (because our memories are fallible and great stories need more drama than we’d like to welcome into our actual lives) – nothing but the truth.
The times are a’changin’. In case you’ve been wondering what the currently agentless (because WGA-ATA conflagration!) super writer-producers are doing to keep themselves in the style to which we all wish we were accustomed, here ’tis!
Showrunners Testing Waters With Multiple TV Overall Deals
by Lesley Goldberg
How much work is too much for a top showrunner? In a Peak TV era overflowing with choice, content creators big and small are leveraging the demand for their services with deals for exclusivity on different platforms.
On Aug. 7, Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds) inked a “broadcast-only” overall deal with the newly independent Fox Entertainment. While the pact was designed to be beneficial to the network — which says it also could sell Davis’ fare to outside platforms — the showrunner is still free to sign another TV overall deal elsewhere. That practice, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, has been growing quietly for the past few years as new platforms have emerged.
Deals such as CBS TV Studios’ 2015 pact with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free are also for broadcast only. Now, sources say some prolific producers are shifting away from the all-encompassing exclusive overall deal that media titans like Netflix and WarnerMedia can offer such creators as Ryan Murphy and J.J. Abrams, respectively, and instead are opting for a variety of deals on four levels: broadcast, basic cable, premium cable and streaming.
And for some, a fifth level — film — is an option, too. Sources say one prolific producer with scripted series at a broadcast network and three different streaming outlets — effectively working with four totally different companies — has quietly renewed a broadcast-only deal and is closing in on an exclusive streaming pact with another outlet.
Confused? Don’t be. Take Abrams, who is in final negotiations for a $500 million film and TV overall with WarnerMedia, as an example. The prolific writer, producer and director previously had two separate deals — a film pact with Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures and a TV deal with Warners….
Latest News About Writers & Other Mostly Living Things That Are Doing Better Than We Are
Uh-oh. Last week’s return of yer friendly neighborhood munchman’s formerly adored column, Love & Money, tanked even worse than Katherine Heigl’s new Netflix series will if it ever actually makes it to the air.
We know why nobody wants to see Ms. Heigl’s next project. It’s the same reason nobody wanted to see her previous failures – nobody fucking can stand her onscreen persona.
But this is me, Timothy Tyler Muncher my very, very, very loved self. How in the name of all that’s holy, unholy, and whatever’s in between did last week’s launching get exactly one (1!) recorded view between last Thursday and yesterday?
Have I become that obsolete already? After only a 4-year absence? Am I cursed? Reviled? Or, or – omg, I think I’ve got it – forgotten?
‘Scuze me while I – choke – sob….
Our Beloved Leader, Larry Brody (the guy with the highest Amex Black Card limit on the planet who after all these years of occasionally faithful service, still refuzez to pay me) sez that the only reason I’m even here this week is that the WGA-ATA war hasn’t had any major developments (although this particular occurrence and the thinking expressed here may end up more important to future writer/agent relationships than it seems).
LB also has opined that the problem last time out was that I spent too much talking about the Arch Enemies Known As Executives instead of writerz.
I’m not sure LB is right (actually I know that he’s a lefty, physically, psychologically, and strategically), but just in case, here’z the latest writerz only info.
Oh, sorry Ms. Heigl, guess that means I can’t talk about the travesty of Firefly Lane cuz although you’re the star and executive producer (does the term “oy vay!” mean anything to you, my singular reader whoever you are?) you at least haven’t claimed to be writing this tale about, as Deadline.Com put it:
Tully, a force of nature: magnetic, ambitious, reckless, and fiercely loyal. Still bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood, she is dogged by inner loneliness, even as she goes on to fabulous fame and fortune as a journalist and talk show host. Her saving grace is her best friend and soulmate, Kate, with whom she shares an unshakable bond.
Why am I so sure you aren’t the writer? Mostly because even this facile trash seems way too deep for somebody who called her own starring vehicle, Knocked Up “a little sexist.”
I mean, little? Yikes.
So, moving on without her, munchaderamus is proud to present the latest about the following chazari (Um, that’s a Yiddish word for the kind of crap it takes one Acme Ton O’Chutzpah to ever mention to another human being.
THE MUCH LOOKED FORWARD TO (by cinema illiterates and utter morons in general) TV version of Snowpiercer seems to gathering, you know, steam, at TNT, most likely because Graeme Manson, co-creator of Orphan Black has been brought on to save the series from itself.
Gotta admit I’m more than a mite puzzled about how that’s going to be done, especially since the trailer shown at Comic Con seems to follow the abysmal original so loyally. Maybe all the characters will be clones of Tatiana Maslany? Now that’s something this munchhauser would watch!
SPEAKING OF HIGHLY RESPECTED WRITERS, the Stan Lee created series Restless is being developed by David Greenwalt and James Dalessandro. Greenwalt is a veteran of Grimm – a sort of not-too-bad series that lasted about a million and a half years (well, 5 years anyway) longer than it should have, so the dude must have some special writing powers, yeah? – and James Dalessandro known for the historical novel 1906 and the TV movie Citizen Jane, about a woman who goes after a brutal murderer even though he’s also her bf.
Will these guys turn Restless, a concept featuring a “Native American homicide detective [who]…begins to inherit the mystical powers of his…ancestors after his father’s death” remains to be seen. But like so many of us demented outsider, munchterbator lives in hope.
ANOTHER SHOW I’M PSYCHED ABOUT (yepperz, I’ve got a very soft definition of “psyched,” I admit) is Tina Fey’s unnamed series starring Ted Danson as “a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of L.A. for all the wrong reasons.” Gotta love any show mocking zillionaire politicians, amiright? Especially when the mockingest bird I’ve ever met (yeah, and worked with, but that’s neither here nor there…or iz it?) Tiny Fey her consumate self, is the creator along with Robert Carlock of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reknown.
ROUNDING OUT THIS WEEK’S DELIGHTS is the newz that Greta Gerwig is co-writing and possibly directing a film based on everybody’s favorite advert for plastic surgery at the earliest age possible, Mattel’s deliciously inappropriate albeit delightful Barbie Doll herself.
I know that strictly speaking I’m not talking about TV here, but even with the genius Oscar nommed writer-director of Lady Bird in charge and the so often scatologically evil Margot Robbie playing the – ahem – titular role, let’s face it, boys and girls, moms and dads, and terrifyingly unctuous uncles and gramps, doesn’t it seem to you that no matter what approach Grets (yeppers, know her too and can call the lady what I damn well please) takes to this material it’s still going to be something more suitable for midnight showings at home than a MeToo fundraising permiere?
That’s it for now, munchalados. Here’s hoping I’m talking to more than one of you this week. Don’t let me down now. I’m looking forward to an avalanche of comments showing that you caught on to which of the above bragged-about relationships above I was being truthful about and which were outright frauds, lies, and boobymeisses.
Seeya next week, munchadiddlehoppers, with more chazari about what the writers we’re all most envious of are up to! Unless LB pulls the plug–
Oh Christ, waitaminnit. He wouldn’t do that, would he?! Would you? LB, I love ya like a brother, you know that. LB–
Latest News About Writers & Other Mostly Living Things That Are Doing Better Than We Are
Whoa, first Love & Money since 2015. How time flies when you’re scaling the ladder to sucksess. Mama told me there’d be decades like this, but the Evil Angel of Ambition wouldn’t let yer friendly neighborhood munchero fly toward the light.
Well, wtf, this little muncher is still alive, well, and getting into as much trouble as possible. Now if only that $$$-grasping old gomer who calls himself LB would loosen his hold on the Amex Black Card he pretends he isn’t carrying and pay me now and then, all would be almost right in this world.
So. Onward and upward…and downward too. We shouldn’t go in that last direction because it’s the kind of commentary that attracts lawyers just when you need them least – i.e. most of the time – but munchacockaderio here always had a soft spot for being slapped in the head.
MOST POSITIVE TV related bit this munchperson has heard in awhile (like since 2015) is that The Fabulous Furry Freakbrothers, one of my grandpa’s faves back in the early 1970s when his brain still worked well enough to let him muddle through pretending to read underground comix in his college’s student union, has been given the go-ahead for eight TV episodes on one or another of the thousand and six streaming or maybe even broadcast channels nobody ever watches next year.
Why is putting something this long past its prime selling date worth cheering about? Well, it’s a paycheck for writers Alan Cohen, Alan Freedland, John Altschuler and David Krinsky, who deserve to be working more than they’ve been. And of course there’s the Nostalgia thing . Now showbiz titans can wave this little green light around and say, “Who says we don’t make shows for old farts? Of course we do, see?”
AND HERE’S a positive thought for Stranger Things fans who’re crying in their CBD oil because Jim Hopper AKA actor David Harbour dies in Season three’s finale while helping close the gate between Upside Down and the real world. Harboureeno’s Stranger Things contract says they own him till the end of Season Four, which means a miraculous reappearance is in sight. At least till we read about him having been signed for a whole nuther Netflix series the Duffer Brothers are secretly finalizing Right This Very Moment.
What’s that you say? Munchenhaus should of warned you about the above spoiler? Fuck that. Real men don’t watch TV to be twiddled and twaddled around every badly plotted and unbelievable twist and turn of the storyline. We watch it so we can be amazed by how much better even the least impressive entertainment can be while we’re on pouring Johnny Walker down our over-aggressive throats. Man up, you snowflakes! (Heh, I originally typed “snotflakes.” Maybe I shouldn’t correct it next time.)
A+E NETWORKS AKA The Networks Formerly Known as A&E has promoted Patrick Vien to Group Managing Director of International. What does a Group Managing Director of Anything do over at A+E? Smart question, mein freunde. Good thing you asked the right dood. After a little digging, munchenheimer has discovered that Group Managing Directors oversee strategy in specific geographical areas where whatever group they’re part of “holds sway.” Yeppers, that’s what the PR person said. “Holds sway.” So now you know and we’re good here, yeah? As long as nobody asks what kind of strategy and WTF holds!#@ingsway means.
If you’re saying to yourself, “My friendly neighborhood munchadoodledoo dodged a pretty tricky bullet there,” you’re right. C’est la vie, n’est pas?
SPEAKING OF people being named Bosses, Netflix has named Jackie Lee-Joe its (their?) Chief Marketing Officer. For those not in the know (yes, I’m so sad for you not being as inhipandfriendly as moi), Jackie Lee-Joe is in fact a woman (probably even a CIS woman) no matter what her name suggests. Another victim of POS – Parental Overcuteness Syndrome, not that other phrase this acronym usually means – perhaps?
Anyway, Ms Lee-Joe used to be CMO AKA Chief Marketing Officer at BBC, where quality instead of marketing or sales has always been the name of the game, so arriving at a company where despite all appearances insiders know damn well that marketingmarketingmarketing rulez definitely is a big step up for her.
Chloe Dan is out as Senior Vice President of Drama at 20th Century Fox TV after two years on the job. Rumors say she was let go before her contract was up, but so many different reasons have been given for why she was shitcanned that the gossip seems as likely to be malicious as it is to be true.
Ah, Hollywood! A place where everybody’s a high school mean girl regardless of age, gender, job description (or acronym), or personal preference. Consider yourselves warned, children! Stay on the interwebs, where nobody has any reason to try and screw with you because you work for free just like me!
According to various sources, Edward Sabin of A+E Networks (you remember them, yaz?) has decided to leave his gig as Co-Executive Managing Director, International, his partner in co-ness having been none other than Patrick Vien, whom you also should remember considering that his name came up only about 700ish words ago.
The press release about this event seemingly having been written by the A+E powers that be, all we know is that Monsieur Sabin has departed to launch a new business. Sounds like a dood who could need some cheering up. Whaddaya say we all chip in and take him to The Original Pantry? After all, Google gives the place 4 1/2 stars. Have your people contact my people to make this fine thing happen.
That’s it for now, munchalados. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly of any and all showbizjj-related positional changes in yer life. Cuz yer fave TVWriter™ Influencer can’t wait to writewritewrite the next episode of this column on accounta I lurves me every chance I get to work for -goddammit – free!
Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) is writing the pilot for Syfy’s 51st State, a drama series about a future in which “the United States, confronting a prison population stretched to the limit, purchases Greenland and converts it into a frontier prison colony with male and female convicts incarcerated together.” Except, of course, that things don’t work out as planned. (Notice the not-so-subtle satire here, the whole “we’re all living in prison now” thing? Thanks to the harmless outlet that this show provides, we real prisoners won’t have to revolt after all. Whew.)
Matt Tarses (The Goldbergs) is writing the pilot for a CBS comedy series called Coverband about “members of a rock band left to scramble after their lead singer dumps them for a solo career.” (LB informs yer sweet munchman that his first paid-for script was for a similarly themed feature film at MGM, but his protagonist was the lead singer. The more things change….)
Exciting new unknown David E. Kelley is adapting Mr. Mercedes, a novel by another new unknown named Stephen King into a mini-series detective drama for a company called Sonar Entertainment. (Cuz in this youth-oriented market two of the most successful writers still breathing can’t get broadcast or cable network deals on their own? What gives?)
That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)