Big News from Bri Castellini & Undead Burrito Productions – @BrisOwnWorld

This just in from Bri Castellini and :

Sam And Pat Are Depressed  has been renewed!

In Ms. Castellini’s own words and a pic:

Sam And Pat Are Depressed will triumphantly return to your screens with season 2, premiering fall/winter 2018! The series, created by Bri Castellini, is excited to expand the universe of these two wacky depressed roommates, with season 2 featuring two episodes written by co-star and fellow executive producer Chris Cherry (Relativity)! Andrew Williams will return to direct, and more cast/crew announcements are coming soon! Principal photography begins early August 2018, and in the intervening months we’ll be announcing ways you can help us make it way weirder than season 1! Keep an eye on your inboxes and get hyped!

In other news, two of Undead Burrito’s award-winning web series, Brains and Relativity, are now subtitled on YouTube, and Brains’ captions will also be coming to SeekaTV.

Watch the subtitled Brains.

Watch the subtitled Relativity.

More Undead Burrito Projects

Buy In | Short Film (2018) (in post production)
Sam and Pat Are Depressed | Web Series (2017-)**
Ace and Anxious | Short Film (2017)
Brains | Web Series (2015-2016)**
Relativity | Web Series (2016)**
dusk of the dead | Mini Series (2017)
Apocalypse Yesterday | Short Film (2016)

**closed captioned

EDITOR’S NOTE: As y’all can see, we’re big fans of this outfit, and we think y’all will be too. (No money or other gratutity has changed hands in return for this plug. Foolish as we may be, we here at TVWriter™ have given it our own bloody own.

How to Cope with Grief Over Your Canceled Fave Show

Given all the recent and often unexpected series cancellations, we consider this article to be a true Public Service Announcement. Oh, and for you, erm, oldsters, this way of looking at things also works if you’re grieving about getting old:

by Laverne McKinnon

Let’s talk about grief. After all, it is the end of pilot season. I’m intimately familiar with the subject having worked at CBS and Epix and made countless pass phone calls. And as a producer, I’ll admit that I’ve been on the receiving end of more passes then I’ve given out. And if I’m really honest, there have been several times in my career where I’ve thought, “There must be something wrong with me because I can’t move on.” The grief got me stuck.

Rejection is literally a daily occurrence in this business, complicated by an expectation that one needs to have a “thick skin” or “get over it.” If you don’t, then you don’t belong in entertainment because you’re not tough enough. The rejection stories are not just about pilots that don’t get greenlit — there are firings, down-sizings, missed auditions, pitches that no one buys, ideas that aren’t optioned, writers replaced, actors recast, shows canceled, etc., and etc., and etc.

What’s still a taboo in our industry, though, is talking about the grief that occurs in the professional realm. Grief is typically reserved for death. What we do is just entertainment so why should we be sad?

Acknowledging the loss and the grief that occurs in professional situations is a critical part of the human experience. We can’t choose to deny aspects of our life and also expect to feel connection and belonging. And if we don’t feel connection and belonging, then our communities fall apart. The stakes are that big.

Part of the taboo around expressing grief also comes from the importance placed on perception in our industry, and our own shame if we aren’t at the top of our game. We don’t want to appear weak, or that we’re not always winning. So we mask our feelings of loss and soldier on … but the grief hangs on like an anchor, either slowing or stopping us completely….

Read it all at The Hollywood Reporter

How Recent Pilot Scripts Managed to Make Hurtful Choices Empathetic

The EVERWOOD and 13 REASONS WHY pilots show how to make hurtful choices empathetic
by The Bitter Script Reader

The three best ways to learn more about writing for TV are to read more professional TV scripts, watch more successful TV show episodes, and last but definitely not least, write your own episodes. Here, via one of the most underappreciated writing blogs on the interwebs is an example of how this works:

I’ve been preparing to address the notes on my teen drama pilot and it brought to mind two pilots that were touchstones for me as I wrote: Everwood and 13 Reasons Why. And I hadn’t noticed before they not only share similar scenes, but they’re KEY similar scenes.

13 Reasons Why’s pilot has two moments that I think are essential to getting the audience invested in the story. The first is an interaction between Hannah and Clay at the basketball game. There’s a little bit of banter exchanged that halts when Clay realizes she’s there to check out one of the players. “Don’t be jealous, Clay” she teases. It’s clear on the page he’s pining for her, but the way the scene is played is essential. Hit just the wrong note, and her teasing seems mean-spirited. Instead, it’s a cute moment.

The second moment is when she seeks refuge with him at lunch when rumors spread lies about her being promiscuous. Instead of being supportive, he’s cold and hits her with a jealous barb about how “maybe it’s better to wait.” Clay looks like a dick there, but THAT was the moment that made me lean forward and say, “Go on…”

You get a lot of notes in a pilot warning how you need to keep your characters “likable” but having someone be clearly wrong for human reasons is often more effective. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s having a teenage boy reaction. he was rejected, he’s hurt, he’s jealous, and in a moment he instantly regrets (also an important component), he does what a lot of boys would do in the same situation: act like an immature dick….

Read it all at The Bitter Script Reader’s Blog

More about the 13 Reasons Why pilot HERE

More about the Everwood pilot HERE

Larry Brody: Of Course TV is Childish. Here’s Why.

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: Another heartwarming tale, both personal and otherwise, from Turning Points in Television, the little history book that could’ve but didn’t. Enjoy!

Chicago. A blustery December day in 1948.

One year to the month after a People-and-Puppet Show that was renamed The Howdy Doody Show after its first week on the air, a four year old boy sat on the floor of his living room, looked up at the tiny (but oh, it seemed sooo big screen of his family’s TV set), and watched Clarabell the Clown sneak up on Bob Smith (who hadn’t yet become the legendary “Buffalo Bob”), and get ready to blast him–and anything or anyone else within range–with seltzer water.

Also watching the action, but from his vantage point on the puppet stage that was part of the set, was the marionette star of the show, Howdy Doody himself. Howdy’s mouth opened. He was about to shout a warning. But Clarabell put his finger to his lips and shook his head as though pleading, his entire demeanor wordlessly saying, “No, please, let me do it, just this once…”

It was Big Decision Time for Howdy, but he never had to commit. Because from the “Peanut Gallery” of kids from toddlers through pre-teens who comprised a live audience that was also part of the show, shouts went up. “Look out!” “Duck!” “Oh no!” and Bob Smith whirled and saw what was about to happen and did look out and duck–just in time for the spray to shoot out over his head and almost hit Howdy!

The Peanut Gallery went wild, and on the floor of that Chicago living room the four-year-old looked up at the ceiling and prayed. “Please, God, don’t make me get older than four. Because when I’m older I won’t like Howdy Doody anymore. And I love him so much I don’t ever want to lose him!”

That’s how much this seminal television children’s show meant to that four year old boy.

That’s how much it meant to me.

But although The Howdy Doody Show had a huge effect on its viewers, it had an even bigger effect on television, an effect that’s still reverberating through the medium–and our culture as a whole.

The Howdy Doody Show was one of those legendary rarities, an instant success. Starting as a one-hour show on Saturday mornings, it soon became a half-hour show on every weekday afternoon from 5:30 to 6:00 Eastern Time. This made it the first television show ever “stripped,” as this kind of programming is called in TV Land, by NBC, and it couldn’t have found a better time slot.

Children had the perfect activity to engage in while waiting for dinner. What could be better for any kid than watching–no, hanging out with, because that’s what it felt like–a bunch of crazy folks like Howdy, Mr. Bluster, Dillydally, Flub-a-Dub, Princess Summerfallwinterspring, and the rest of what became known as the “Doodyville Gang?”

And moms had the perfect babysitter so they could get that dinner made. What could be better for any dedicated homemaker (we’re talking late ‘Forties and ‘Fifties here, don’t forget, when being a housewife was an honored profession, with no mockery or irony along for the ride) than to bear down on your pot roast knowing your child was safe, sound, and delighted–and quiet!–in the living room while you worked?

An argument might even be made that Howdy, who was created and voiced and owned by Buffalo Bob, was the lynchpin in a Sociological Turning Point: The much-mocked and even more abused grand tradition of parking your kids in front of the TV set so you can get a few moments respite from the responsibilities of parenthood.

Other offshoots of the popularity of the show are easier to pinpoint. The Howdy Doody Show proved that television commercials worked, with the sales of its best-known sponsor, Bosco (a chocolate syrup to be added to the kids’ milk) skyrocketing. Especially direct, personal commercials, integrated into the show and featuring its puppet star.

The FCC later banned this practice on children’s shows, acknowledging that four-year-olds like Little Chicago Brode were defenseless prey. However, The Howdy Doody Show also proved that prey or not, we, the youthful Baby Boomers, had more than our share of marketing muscle. Looking back at my beloved show I see it as the beginning of what became a regular Baby Boomer practice –the manipulation of our loving parents into buying whatever we wanted.

The Kid Clout of the time was so obvious that in the early days of Mad, before it became and magazine and was still a comic book, the group the masthead called “the usual gang of idiots” ran a parody called Howdy DoIt, featuring a commercial where the camera moved in ultra close on Howdy’s freckled, All-American face as he exhorted his viewers to scream and shout and hold their breaths and make their parents “BUY!!!”

Modern merchandising, the morphing of TV shows into products, began with the Doodyville Gang as well. There were Howdy Doody coloring books and Howdy Doody dolls and clocks and drinking glasses and mugs. My personal favorites were the inexpensive little marionettes based on the puppet characters.

My collection today, inconveniently stored at the bottom of a pile of boxes in a shed on my property, consists of Howdy, Clarabell, Dilly Dally, Flub-a-Dub, and Princess Summerfallwinterspring. Are these pristine-in-the-box-collectors’-specials?

Hell no. They’re used. Played with. Faded. And beautiful nevertheless.

Oh, and if anybody has one, I still long for an affordable version of Mr. Bluster!


Sometimes it feels as though TVWriter™ has been enamored with Doctor Who since even before most of us here were born, and the love affair has become even stronger with the almost-imminent advent of Jody Whittaker as the newest Doctor.

Which is why we were delighted to run across the following morsel of ultra cool news:

Courier News, Blair Dingwall story. CR0001110 An Abertay student has recreated a working K9 (from Doctor Who) robot for his coursework and took to the streets of Dundee with the robot. Pic shows; Abertay University student, Gary Taylor with K9. Tuesday, 8th May, 2018.

The caption above pretty much says it all (well done, The Courier!), but it you’re a true DW lover you’ll waste no time whipping over to the longer article and a video HERE