One of TVWriter™’s Birds Has Left the Nest and is Flying On His Own

You may or may not remember TVWriter™ loyal Posting Minion Josh Hudson, who posted here as “The Hudsonian” and demonstrated a passion for NIKITA that “surpatheth all understanding.”

Josh was a stalwart who helped us out just when we needed him, but, alas, it turns out he also has needs of his own. To wit:

Sports from the recliners we all love to preach from.

This is the basis of  TheArmchairElite.com. Everyone who watches sports has something to say, whether it’s cheers for their favorite team or criticism of the refs or the so-called “experts.” We present to you those opinions – the thoughts and musings of the Average Joe.

We cover everyone’s favorite sports, from baseball, football, and basketball, to soccer, hockey, and MMA. We even have a wellness expert who’s there to provide the best tips to getting into shape, and features a new guest every week who is a respected athlete or trainer in the world of sports.

There are blogs and columns to read and podcasts to listen to. There is a little something for everyone, as we build a network of Armchair Elitists who are not scared to share with the world how they really feel.

Come join us, as you kick back with a cold one and begin your sermons in angst of the figures on your TV screen.

Be one with The Armchair Elite.

Good luck with the new site, Josh, and remember, if things go wrong – don’t come crawling back to us, man, you ungrateful @^$#!

Speaking of start-ups, we found this peer produced pilot for an interweb series that addresses the very situation you’re in:

And Now a Treat for LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT Fans

…Totally unrelated to writing. Except that as major fans we’ll always be grateful to the current crop of L & O: SVU writers for bringing back our favorite sidekick:

Law & Order: Criminal Intent‘s Kathryn Erbe to Reprise Role on SVU – by Robyn Ross (TVGuide.Com)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent‘s Kathryn Erbe is heading over to Law & Order: SVU, TVGuide.com has learned.

Erbe will reprise her role as Det. Alexandra Eames and will cross paths with the SVU team when its investigation into a sex trafficking ring uncovers a connection to terrorists, according toTVLine, which first reported the news.

Law & Order: SVU arrests Revenge’s Roger Bart, Veep’s Anna Chlumsky

The actress will likely appear in the fourth episode of the season, slated to air Oct. 17, executive producer Warren Leight tweeted.

Erbe spent eight seasons on Criminal Intent before returning for its 10th and final season in 2011.

The new season of Law & Order: SVU premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c.

Now if we only could see this guy:

Lee Aronsohn and Bill Prady on Showrunning

Alex Epstein reports on a panel we wish we’d been at:

I had a chance to attend a panel discussion on “Showrunners” at July’s Just for Laughs Conference with TWO AND A HALF MEN co-creator Lee Aronsohn and BIG BANG THEORY showrunner Bill Prady, moderated by Variety‘s Steven Gaydos. A few takeaways:

Lee likes to cast “people I can’t stop looking at.” Talent and charisma are two different things. You can’t teach charisma. But it’s not enough. You need talent and professionalism. Charlie Sheen might have been the star, but “the engine that is Jon Cryer” powered the show.

Some standups are terrible sitcom actors. On BIG BANG, there’s only a single standu, Melissa Rauch. Everyone else are professional actors, many with theater degrees, or who were child actors – all serious veterans. A day player can get by on charisma, but a recurring role needs chops.

(I cast a standup once. He could not memorize his lines for the life of him. And he wouldn’t rehearse, either. We had to make cue cards.)

Bill Prady says he lets his casting director filter actors, but he hires writers without a filter. “Sitcoms are made by writers,” he said, and agents are terrible filters. He told a story about an agent who insisted he put a script on the top of the heap. It was terrible. He called back and asked what the agent liked about the script. The agent couldn’t answer. Because, you see, he hadn’t read it.

Bill read 400 scripts to make the BIG BANG THEORY room. He didn’t read them all the way through, of course. But he read each one enough to know whether he wanted to work with the writer or not. “Only I know what I’m looking for, and I generally find it in the first five pages.”

Lee Aronsohn said he’s also hired people into the room based on their standup act, or their plays. He hired a woman based on her blog once. 2 ½ MEN does “gang writing” – 9 people in a room at once – so not everyone has to be a structure person.

Read it all

Even the Writers Guild Understands How Important Contests Have Become

…Especially for TV writers:

I got the above email yesterday and really was amazed that the WGAw has actually been holding a contest – for members only – for four years. It took me completely by surprise.

To be sure, this email isn’t exactly using the word “contest,” but let’s be real here. “[W]riters selected as honorees have found the experience beneficial to their writing careers” is another way of saying, “Winning (or being among those whose work got a gold star) has been good for the winners,” is it not?

Unfortunately, this Not-A-Contest won’t help non-WGAers. But there are alternatives. Including a certain PEOPLE’S PILOT and its sister contest, the SPEC SCRIPTACULAR, which have been going since 2000 and 2002 respectively. I really hope you’ll check ’em out.

LYMI,

LB

How SYFY made a show based on a Stephen King story and didn’t tell anyone.

by Robin Reed

Well, they didn’t tell me. I am the target audience for any show with a science fiction, fantasy, or horror premise. I will watch anything in those genres. And Stephen King – I have two shelves devoted to his books. I haven’t caught up with “The Colorado Kid” yet, a short novel of Mr. King’s from a few years ago, but if I had heard a hint of a TV show being made that was based on it, I would have been there to check it out.

Instead, I discovered “Haven” due to insomnia, by which I mean I couldn’t sleep, not the title of another Stephen King book. I got up and watched TV, switching to Syfy (still hate the new name) because that’s where I always start a TV session. I move on only when I have seen the show or movie already or if even I can’t stand the particular CGI monster that appears before my wondering eyes.

“Haven” is set in a coastal Maine town, but I knew that these kinds of shows are never shot in the U.S., and indeed the long and detailed Wikipedia article (someone knew about this show, and wrote a long and very boring article about it) says it is produced in Nova Scotia. Seemingly it was first developed for E!, which as far as I know doesn’t do scripted shows at all. (E! is one of the channels that produces an autonomic thumb movement on my remote to get past it as fast as possible.)

Stop me if you have heard this before: An outsider (FBI agent Audrey Parker) arrives in a small town (Haven, Maine) on a routine case (or to solve a murder, or is brought there by a son she didn’t know she had) and discovers that a lot of strange things happen in that town. There may even be clues about her own identity. When the first case is wrapped up, she is offered a job as a sheriff’s deputy (or something) and stays on. You should have stopped me, that’s “Once Upon a Time,” and several other shows the titles of which don’t leap to mind.

So I watched two and a half episodes, and when I got some sleep and then looked it up I found that this show has been running since 2010. It is distributed all over the world. I have never heard of it. I have never seen an ad for it. We’re going into the third season and it has escaped my SF, fantasy and horror addled brain entirely.

Now that I have discovered it, I will watch it again. The next time I can’t sleep. The stories weren’t that exciting or original. The Stephen King story must have been better.

The last episode I saw involved men in the town aging and dying in three days after making it with a mysterious hottie. At the end we find that said hottie has a baby every time she seduces a man. One of the series regulars (and possible love interest for Audrey) Duke Crocker starts to age and just before he perishes from all the latex in his old age makeup, Audrey tries to place the baby in his arms to see if the life energy will go back into him. No, it hurts him to bring the baby near him. But he recovers and the baby is shipped off to be adopted somewhere. The logic of the story is completely blown. We know either the baby or Mr. Crocker has to die. It has to have been written that way. Mr. Crocker is one of those characters you know won’t die because he’s in every episode. The baby is just a prop wrapped in a blanket. Someone intervened and told them you can’t kill a baby. So they reshot a little and made them both survive. Then why did the other two men die? Why does the story matter?

I will go read “The Colorado Kid” and see if it bears any resemblance to this show.