Stephen Nathan, Bones‘ executive producer and creator/exec producer Hart Hanson’s right-hand man, has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the long-running Fox dramedy. The two-year pact (with an option for a third) keeps Nathan onBones as the second-in-command to showrunner Hanson. Additionally, Nathan will have the ability to develop new projects for the studio.
EXCLUSIVE: David Manson has come on board AMC’sLaGravenese & Goldwyn pilot (aka Philly Lawyer) as executive producer/showrunner. The untitled project is a legal thriller centered on a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case.
Why are we pimping Deadline.Com now? Because as over the top as head honcho Nikki Finke usually is, today she has demonstrated remarkable grace and good taste:
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting after 5 years of marriage. Holmes’ attorney released an anouncement. Deadline plans no coverage of this matter unless it impacts the actors’ professional lives.
If Nikki can refuse to exploit this delicate matter, than so can we.
…For a price, of course. But, no, he’s not anywhere even close to selling out.
Josh Olson Will Read Your Effing Script — For a Price
by Tony Artega
One of our all-time most read blog posts ever is screenwriter Josh Olson’s delicious rant, “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script.”
The piece has been so popular over the last three years, at this point Josh is probably better known as the “Fucking Script” guy than for being nominated for an Oscar for writing the script for A History of Violence.
Well, that’s how it goes. Anyway, when he’s not refraining from reading your script, Olson also likes to hang out at director Joe Dante’s website “Trailers From Hell,” where Dante, Olson and other filmmakers do commentaries while showing trailers from classic films. (Here’s one by screenwriter Larry Karaszewski on Coppola’s One From The Heart. And here’s director John Badham talking about his own film, Blue Thunder.)
With 750 commentaries under their belts, Dante and his crew want to increase the website’s visibility with a promotional campaign, and to pay for it they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign.
And you may be surprised to hear what Trailers From Hell is dangling as a prize to anyone who donates $5,000 or more…
If you read the headline, I guess you already figured it out.
Donate five grand, and Josh Olson will read your fucking script!
He might even like it…
Kathy Fuller returns with more about the good that can come from a bad TV show. Talk about an optimist!
by Kathy Fuller
Mistake #2: Don’t just stand there, do something!
One of the main characters on Saving Hope is Charlie, played by Michael Shanks. He’s the charming, confident chief of surgery. In the pilot episode he and his fiancée (another surgeon) are heading for their wedding when wham! Car accident. After saving the driver of the other car with an emergency procedure I’ve already forgotten about, Charlie passes out from his head wound and is in a coma. The twist is that he’s suspended between the conscious and unconscious and roams the hospital still wearing his tux and dangling bow tie.
So far so good. Conscious Charlie is a hero. We’re sympathetic to him because he’s comatose and trapped, unable to bridge the gap between life and death. Not to mention he could probably use a change of underwear. Then—
Then nothing. Seriously. NOTHING. Charlie barely tries to communicate with the living. He intersects with the mostly dead and the deader-than-dead, but he doesn’t have anything but fleeting interaction with them. The most emotion we get is Shanks’ furrowed brow and his tepid voice-overs, loaded with forty-ton platitudes that do nothing but drag the show down. The only glimpses into his character are in flashbacks, which really have more to do with his fiancée, Alex. than with him.
Questions abound—questions Charlie should be posing to himself, to the ethereal beings around him, even to his comatose body. Why won’t I wake up? Why haven’t I died? Why am I stuck roaming around the hospital? How do I FIX this?
Charlie is a prime example of a passive character. Passive characters are awkward, pointless, and above all, snooze-inducing. All the characters in a story need to be doing something—saving the day, solving a problem, being an obstacle to another character’s goal, providing important advice and insight, serving as comic relief, and in Charlie’s case, maybe helping the deader-than dead pass over and the mostly dead start living again. Even if he’s unable to do any of those things, he should be frustrated, confused, angry. Instead, he’s bored, thus I’m bored and searching for my remote.
Characters should always be active. They’re doing things, not having things done to them. Their reactions to environments and predicaments should be visceral to the point where the audience is right there with them, feeling both their pain and their triumph. When that doesn’t happen you have a character like Charlie—pathetic and forgettable.
Next: Mistake #3: Get real, already.
What feels like centuries ago, the Robert X. Cringely byline went with a couple of books/films and many columns in an otherwise obscure IT weekly whose name we forget. Cringely was kind of famous, even though he wasn’t real and was “played” by several different writers, the best of whom spent much more time talking about Cringely’s supposed relationship with a hot young babe (fun!) than about IT (not fun).
Somewhere along the line there was an intellectual property war over the byline, and the winner has a sometimes interesting blog that we sometimes get something interesting out of. Case in point:
Why YouTube isn’t the future of TV
by Robert X. Cringely
In a few weeks I’ll be launching a YouTube channel where you’ll be able to see lots of shows readers have been asking about including Startup America and even that lost second season of NerdTV. YouTube, as the largest video streaming service anywhere, is the absolute best place for me. But YouTube isn’t the future of TV.
I know this because TV is a business and this channel I’m launching is a business and I’ve spent the last several weeks talking to investors and running the numbers every which way. I’ve spent many hours with my friend Bob Peck looking at the economics of YouTube and my unequivocal conclusion is that while YouTube is great, it isn’t TV.
What’s interesting to me about the above is that it’s sooo not interesting. Everyone’s known YouTube wasn’t going to pre-empt television since the TubeThing first appeared, around the time most of us were born. (Well, that’s how it felt anyway.) But we hoped it would be a meaningful outlet for newbies/indies/truly creative peeps. On that level, I think it’s succeeded.
Which brings me to my question? Bob, what’s happened to you? Where’s the insight? Where’s Pammy? Did the wrong Cringely win?