The Best Way to Pitch to Netflix or Amazon

And now, an excellent  answer to one of the most common questions asked by TVWriter™’s talented visitors.

Heed these wise words…and please let us know how it works out for you.

More highly instructive videos from Stage 32’s channel

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #85 – “Nothing’s Over Unless You Give Up”

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

Elaine the Not So Wild Mustang lives her life with the utmost care. She’s almost twenty years old, and moves slowly and stiffly most of the time. When she’s startled, though, Elaine moves like a streak. Her survival instinct kicks in, and she’s gone with the wind.

The two things sure to send her running are angry nips from her soul mate, Huck the Spotless Appaloosa, and the sound of something heavy scraping along the ground. I always understood her reaction to the nips—even love bites from a 1400 pound Casanova hurt!—but it wasn’t until last winter that I learned the reason for her other big fear.

No, not from Elaine. Even after all these years she doesn’t talk much to people. It was Huck who explained things one day after she’d sprinted to the farthest corner of the corral while I dragged a garbage can full of firewood to the house.

Huck’s ears flicked toward the garbage can. “You’re bringing back bad memories,” he said. “Causing my girl pain.”

“How?” I said. “What happened?”

“The sound reminds her of when she was captured. A group of men dragged bales of hay into her herd’s territory, and the horses who went to eat it were roped and netted. They kicked and fought, but in the end all of them, including Elaine, got dragged away.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “If I could pick the can up and carry it to the house I would. But I’m just a human being—“

“And not strong, like a horse.” Huck nickered. It sounded like a laugh. “Maybe if you brought over some carrots she’d feel better. I know I would.” He laughed again.

I thought about that conversation this morning as I brought the horses their hay and saw only Huck, standing protectively in the wooded part of the corral. Looking closer, I saw that he was beside Elaine, who lay on her side.

I slipped through the wire fence and hurried through the cleared part of their area to the trees. Elaine’s head rested on the ground, her face angled toward me. I waited for her to blink. To lift her head. To get to her feet.

It didn’t happen.

Not even an ear twitch.


My chest started to tighten. A feeling of dread.

I slowed down. Moved closer.

Heard her ragged breathing. Still alive!

But in a mode I’ve seen before with animals. The Near-Death Mode. The peaceful acceptance thing where they’re not thinking about life anymore, just preparing for whatever comes after.

Looking past Elaine, I saw why. Sometime in the night she’d lain down at the back end of the corral. Probably she’d rolled around a little—a horse’s equivalent of a shower is to roll in the dirt—and then tried to get up.

Except that she couldn’t get up. Because her hind legs had gotten caught in the “barbless barbed wire” Gwen the Beautiful had insisted we put in. Because of this, Elaine wasn’t cut or torn, but she was trapped. Probably had been all night.

Long enough to make her give up.

I walked around her. I wanted to get outside the fence and see if I could move the wire, or her legs, or both, to free her. I worried that she’d panic and kick at me and twist or break a leg.

Maybe her leg. Maybe mine. But she wasn’t going to make it unless I did something.

Huck watched me closely. Blew softly. Seemed to nod.

Suddenly I heard barking. Two of our dogs, Decker and Belle, had been in the trailer with Burl Jr. The New Groundskeeper. Now they were out…and running into the corral.

Huck reared.

Elaine squealed—

And in a burst of adrenaline forgot all about the fence and the reason she was down. I threw myself to the side just in time as Elaine rolled and leapt and kicked and pushed and—

Yes!—made it to her feet and ran, ran, ran as though she was young again, and sound.

Huck charged at the dogs. They’ve never read Shakespeare, but are smart enough to know when the better part of valor definitely is discretion. Off they scurried, back to the trailer.

When the dust settled, Elaine and Huck and the dogs and I, and even the fence, were safe. Intact. Doing fine.

A crippled old mare taught me a wonderful lesson today.

Nothing’s over unless you give up.

10 Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – Feb 24, 2020

Good morning! Welcome to another new week at TVWriter™, starting with our latest look at the most popular blog posts and resource pages during the  last week.

They are, in order:

How To Write The Perfect TV Series Review To Captivate Your Readers

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Writing the Dreaded Outline

Corporal Punishment and Primetime TV



Herbie J Pilato On How to Give Your Life (and Your Ambition) More Meaning

Stream ‘Doctor Who’ Audio Dramas – Free!!!TV Writers: How To Navigate Staffing Season

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Contest

TV Writers: How To Navigate Staffing Season

Big thanks to everybody for helping us have another terrific week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Troy DeVolld on the TV Writing Waiting Game

TVWriter™ pal Troy DeVolld returns to TVWriter™ today to remind all of us in the Hollywood writing biz  about one of the game’s most overlooked aspects.

Know how our teachers kept nagging us about getting our work done on time? Well, guess what? There are more than just a few people who haven’t listened.

Is “Waiting for Godot” really a showbiz metaphor?

by Troy DeVolld

[New TV writers] who follow me here: Please understand the speed of show business, which is seldom covered in film school.

Nothing breaks or budges an inch for days, months, even years… but when it does, everything is a three-alarm, git-r-done emergency with nary a minute to spare. That is, unless the person at the top suddenly decides to go to Cabo for a wedding and can’t find time to review and note the stuff you pulled a week of all-nighters to deliver.

This isn’t meant to be funny, but practical advice. If that kind of stuff bothers you, get over it.

Start dates on projects can also be ultra-fluid. I’ve often been told that a project starts the next day, and just as often that they expect to move forward within two or three months, depending on cast availability or some other pending element of business. Sometimes, the project evaporates during the inbetweenwhile. Sometimes, a 24-week gig goes up in smoke in week six.


You’ve got to learn to be patient and stay loose, while still creating your own ground rules… like not being scared to have a life during the time between gigs. Maria Bamford used to do a bit about wanting to go out of town for a week, wherein her agent chides, “Maria, I had a client who went out of town for a week once. Do you know what he does now? He drives a rickshaw.”

Troy DeVolld is a Larry Brody buddy, former senior story producer of Dancing with the Stars, and all-around true master of the reality TV genre. He knows whereof he speaks,  which is why we heartily recommend his bestselling book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market

Want to be a TV Showrunner? Here’s What You Really Have to Do!

From TV critic to showrunner, Andy Greenwald has learned more about the TV writing biz than most of us have ever realized existed to be learned. Now he’s giving back!

by Steve Greene

Former TV critic Andy Greenwald had seen the demands of being a showrunner firsthand. When he finally got the chance to call the shots on the USA Network series “Briarpatch,” that opportunity brought everything that comes with overseeing the production of 10 hourlong episodes of TV.

“There was a day in the airport when I was flying back to Albuquerque because we had to crash [Episode] 2 through post to get it to Toronto,” Greenwald told IndieWire. “I think we’re filming 5 and 6, and we were prepping 7 and I was writing or rewriting 8, 9, and 10 and I was at LAX at 6 in the morning and I was like, ‘This…This is awful.’ And then I thought, ‘The only thing worse than this would be not doing it.’”

Despite that occasional solitary heavy workload at an airport boarding gate, Greenwald was far from alone in this process. After he wrote the pilot — the making of which he called “a graduate school in a couple months” — putting together a writers room became a blending of interests and perspectives that helped flesh out the world of the Ross Thomas novel the show is adapted from.

“This is a woman’s story. I am not a woman, nor am I a woman of color. So it was vitally important to me that we had a really strong and robust diversity of voices in the room. I’m pretty proud I was the only white dude in there,” Greenwald said. “It was great to have people from not just different backgrounds, but also different interests. Haley Harris loves cop procedurals, which is really important because I want people who like procedurals to like the show. We have someone like Eva Anderson, who’s an immersive playwright and works on comedy shows, because the comedy is vitally important to me. So the writing room was really the dream for me across the board, the opportunity to work with brilliant, creative people and just talk about story all day.”

In between an established career as a music writer and rejoining a writers room path that would eventually lead him to this latest gig, Greenwald served as a full-time TV critic, most notably at Grantland. Over his time as a writer and podcast host, he’s looked at the ongoing question of who has authorship within the TV space. While he says that the “Briarpatch” process crystallized some of his previous ideas and challenged others, he was quick to point to TV making as a shared pursuit….

Read it all at IndieWire.Com