Fox Experimenting With New Sitcom Format

…And we think it’s kinda cool:

Fox Developing Short-Form Comedy Series – by Kimberly Roots (TVLine.Com)

Next summer, Fox will give comedy the short end of the schtick.

Taking a cue from Web comedy troves like Funnyordie.com and Collegehumor.com, the network will bundle four short-form sitcoms and offer them in each episode of The Short-Com Comedy Hour. These scripted mini-masterpieces will feature well-known actors and comedians as well as up-and-comers.

The multi-camera series also will serve as an incubator to find the best vignettes, which the network will order to series.

“We are basically ripping open the traditional scripted comedy development process with The Short-Com Comedy Hour,” Fox president Kevin Reilly said in a statement. “Our end goal is to provide distinct comedy voices with a world-class platform to experiment, grow and perfect their ideas and to hopefully build them into mainstream comedy hits in the future. We’re looking forward to seeing what the untapped comedy community has to offer.”

Only problem we see here is that next summer is a long time from now, and here in TV land, even the best of intentions tend to, well, kind of wander away…

A Web Series with International Appeal

…And a great lesson in writing w/o using words:

Further evidence that the international language is: Comedy.

The whole series is here

Particle Physics and Reality TV

by Robin Reed

Physicists say that you can’t observe an atom or subatomic particle without changing it. I have begun to wonder, in the cable reality TV shows that I watch, how TV changes its subjects. Is a fur trapper in Alaska in danger when his plane won’t start? What if he has a TV crew with him? Surely they have their own plane and can give him a ride.

The Ghost Hunters were plumbers when the show started, but they haven’t mentioned that for a while. How much does the show pay? Do the American Pickers really need the small profits from each item or is the TV show paying more than their original business ever could?

These shows are low budget and probably start out paying little or nothing, but when one is a hit, they must start paying pretty well. The Cake Boss is building a factory and is going to sell cakes in grocery stores. Did he get the money for that from his show? Or was he able to get a loan because the show made his cakes famous? Either way his business was changed by TV.

I have thought of trying to buy storage units and selling what I find, but is that business really viable or does it just look good on TV?

I have a friend who recently visited the Pawn Stars shop. She said it’s smaller than it looks on TV, and the now-famous cast are only there when the show is being shot. Does the production company pick the customers for the show because they have the most interesting items or look interesting? Does it have to get signed releases from everyone in the store?

Are some of these reality stars now really actors, who pretend to be in their original business, then get in expensive cars and drive home to mansions? I can’t imagine that a reality show doesn’t pay at all, no one would put up with having the cameras there unless they expected to benefit. Sharon Osbourne pushed her way into celebritydom via the reality show about her family.

Do any of these people have agents? Managers? Do they refuse to do the next season unless they get more money? Does someone who wrestles snapping turtles and has several teeth missing have a contract that says he can’t get his teeth fixed while the show is running?

I do wonder about these things. But I keep watching the shows.

There’s a TINY APARTMENT in Comedy Central’s Future

The web as a springboard to the Big Time? Really? Who woulda thunk? All of us at TVWriter™, for a few. We love it when this kind of thing happens.

Comedy Central Picks Up ‘Tiny Apartment’ Pilot Based On Web Series – by Nellie Andreeva

Comedy Central has handed out a pilot order toTiny Apartment, executive produced, written by and starring Jessie Cantrell, Mike O’Gorman and Pat Driscoll. Based on the trio’s Web series of the same name, Tiny Apartment centers around a young couple, Jessie (Cantrell) and Mike (O’Gorman), living in a rundown apartment in New York City. Though their building is not structurally sound, and their eclectic neighbors can often be difficult, they make the best of their situation with a little help from beer, take out, and their best friend, Pat (Driscoll).

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Silliness Makes DOCTOR WHO Go ‘Round

Can it be? Do people criticize The Doctor for being silly? When that’s what makes him bearable to some, and lovable to so many? Silly critics.

This isn’t silly. It’s smut, I tell you. Smut!

Doctor Who: a celebration of silliness – by Andrew Blair

*This article contains Doctor Who spoilers (and one about the result of the Trojan War).*

“Doctor, as I remember telling you at the Academy, you will never amount to anything so long as you retain your capacity for vulgar facetiousness.” – Cardinal Borusa, The Deadly Assassin (1977).

Borusa is, of course, dead wrong. It is said propensity that makes the Doctor who he is.

Mention silliness in the context of Doctor Who and there is a danger of incurring wrath. Burping wheelie bins, having the loyhargil, Tom Baker yelping “My arms! My legs! My everything!” all leap to mind. Occasionally, the programme can go too far, and the result? Bewildered viewers.

Sometimes you have to explain to a child that the concrete paving slab and the man are just kissing. Sometimes you have to explain that, even if the Doctor has just done it, it is best not to blow into any stray phallic appendages you may find on other lifeforms (reactions in such circumstances vary). In extreme cases, you might have to explain that reading slash fiction – “Turlough eased open the roundel, and watched…” – is not the sort of thing you gave your offspring permission to use your forum account for…

If you aren’t used to it, Doctor Who can seem silly, but that’s missing the bigger picture. That scene in Love & Monsters is simultaneously an insight into the narrator’s character, a fun moment of silliness, and a meta-reference aimed straight at the people who dismiss it as idiotic. If you don’t like one, there are two more options to choose from.

It’s entirely worth having the occasional moment of excess silliness so that we can revel in the rest of the ridiculousness. You’re allowed to have fun and take Doctor Who seriously. Indeed, that is rather the whole point, which seems as good a time as any to end with this quote from The Time Warrior.

Sarah-Jane Smith: Are you serious?
The Doctor: About what I do, yes. Not necessarily the way I do it.

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EDITED BY LB TO ADD: It’s definitely worth going to the source of this article and reading the bits munchman and his minions edited out. The only thing the writer says that I don’t totally agree with is his analysis of Tom Baker. What I remember from my youth is that Baker’s Doctor drove me crazy because, yes, he looked silly as hell, but he acted, not silly, not even intense, but angry, regardless of what the writers had written.

And that, to me, is just silly.