Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 10/30/14

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Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Adam Karp (newbie winner of the 2012 Humanitas Prize New Voices Award) is writing the pilot for UNNATURAL SELECTION, a CW drama about Charles Darwin’s journey through the Amazon. (Explorers! “Controversial” theories! Jungles! C’mon, admit, this is the stuff daydreams are made of. And if the network can deliver what Adam writes…well, munchkin is in, in, and in.)
  • The selfsame Adam Karp also is writing the script for a CBS pilot, MODERN GOTHIC, partnering with David Reed (SUPERNATURAL) on a series about a contemporary doctor (the character is named after Dracula‘s Van Helsing) investigates supernatural mysteries. (And, yeppers, I’m so onboard for that one as well cuz I keep thinking, “Wow, the protagonist in ye olde NIGHTSTALKER series…if he was cool. At least that’s how I’d write it…but what do I know?)
  • Roberto Saviano has turned his book, ZeroSeroZero, a thriller about international cocaine trafficking, into an English language series out of France and Italy. (Yer muncher will say this about that: At least it’s got the potential for action. “Watch the hero’s eyes glaze over. See the villain get all nuts over nothing.” I’m betting that this’ll be a big hit all over the world. But I don’t think I’ll watch it cuz…well, hell, kiddies, I can see that action in the apartment next door.)
  • Carlton Cuse (BATES MOTEL) has a new overall deal at A&E. (Cuz he’s a writing rock star, he is. So if you’re the kinda person who knows how to stay in the good graces of a diva, I respectfully suggest you hitch our wagon to Carlton’s rising star. And remember: We’re all made of stardust. Neil Gaiman told me.)

That’s it for now. Write in and tell munchilito what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 5/15/14

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Rod Lurie (LINE OF FIRE) is developing a Fox “event series” about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. (Proving conclusively to His Munchiness, AKA, me, that the Rodster has absolutely no judgment. In other words, I admit that I find this disgustingly cynical and just plain grubby.)
  • Andy Parker (newbie?) is writing the pilot for STANISTAN a one-hour drama for USA. (With, obviously a terrible title. Hope Andy can fix that. Rooting for ya, dude!)
  • Carlton Cuse (LOST in case you don’t remember) is developing COLONY, a show about aliens, for USA. (To which munchman can only say that I hope he has an ending in mind this time around…and actually goes to it over the life of the series.)
  • Dan Goor (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) has a new overall deal with Universal TV, during which he’ll continue as Exec Prod of BROOKLYN and develop some stuff (that I hope is better than the show that’s gotten him this gig.Am I the only one who thinks BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is shallow, amateurish, and just plain goofy? Oh, wait. Of course it is. But those are plusses to network TV execs. I almost forgot.)

Love & Money Dept – TV Pilot Production Deals for 1/29/13

producer sharksLatest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are – Because Their Pilots are Being Made

  • Robert Peacock (THE SOUL MAN) has gotten a 20 episode order from Nickelodeon for THE HAUNTED HATHAWAYS, a BRADY BUNCH meets a bunch of ghosts show for which he wrote the pilot. (Time to hit up your agents and get staffed, kids.)
  • Jon Bokenkamp (PERFECT STRANGER) is moving into production of his pilot THE BLACKLIST, a crime drama for NBC about the world’s most wanted man, who turns himself in to help the Feds…but there are certain conditions. (Uh-oh, we can’t think of anything snarky to say about this one. Does that mean it might actually, you know, work?)
  • Ryan Condal’s  THE SIXTH GUN, an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, is going to pilot at NBC. Think “THE LORD OF THE RINGS’, um, rings only in the old west. (Hey, Carlton Cuse will be showrunner. If he brings his A-game this could be at least as good as THE BLACKLIST.)
  • Brian Gallivan (ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?) has a  pilot deal for THE McCARTHYS, a CBS comedy about sports-crazed Bostonians. (Ooh, sports. Guess they’ve written off the geek audience. Oh, wait, CBS…of course they have.)
  • Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupinsky’s comedy PULLING, about 3 30-something women being zanily contrary is going to pilot at ABC.

BATES HOTEL’s Carlton Cuse Wants You

…To design the show’s opening “credits.” Well, the press release says “credits,” but we’re thinking it probably means “titles,” no?

Anyway, here’s the skinny. A &E Network has put out the call for fans to help create the opening title sequence for BATES MOTEL, a prequel to the Hitchcock-Joseph Stefano (hey, he’s the writer!) classic, PSYCHO.

According to showrunner Carlton Cuse, “We’re looking for an awesome fifteen-second title sequence that captures the feel of Bates Motel — not as a slasher/horror show, but as a complex, character-based thriller.”

Cuse will judge the submissions, with the winner receiving $2,500 and the possibility that the idea will become the actual title sequence. To enter the contest, which ends January 3rd, make your way to the BATES MOTEL Facebook page.

And to be prepared for the contest, wrap your heads around this delightful premise: It’s a show about the teenaged Norman Bates living with his loving momma, here called Norma.

Norma. Yeah. Right. As of this moment, we admit we’re far more interested in the potential contest entries here at TVWriter™ than we’ll ever be in watching this series.

Sigh…

 

What’s It Like to be a Showrunner/Celebrity? Carlton Cuse Knows

And, like any good celeb, he’s happy to tell all. And, because he’s a hell of a writer, he tells it very well indeed:

Carlton Cuse (right) with some dood named Damon Lindelof

Lost’s Carlton Cuse Relives Dealing With the Modern Celebrity of the TV Showrunner -by

There’s been a cultural change in television in the last few years. TV showrunners have become known entities to people who watch television in the way that movie directors have been known to filmgoers for a long time. When I started out as a writer and producer in television, I never had the slightest expectation that fame would be part of the job. There was a little bit of fandom that came from co-creating, writing, and producing my first series, 1993’s cult favorite The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. We were getting about 500 letters a week. They would show up in boxes, but they were addressed to the actors, or the show, or the “producers,” unnamed. It was vastly different from what would happen with Lost.

When Lost started, we were just trying to make a TV show that we’d watch, that we thought was cool. We truly had no idea people would become so engaged by it. By the end of the first season, Damon Lindelof and I had suddenly become the named, responsible parties for the show. I first noticed that something was different when a fan group that organized around a website called TheFuselage.com held a fund-raiser party at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, and they invited some of the actors and writers to attend. The fans that showed up were mostly interested in meeting each other, but some of them were actually very interested in meeting Damon and me. And that was really kind of shocking: Suddenly there were fans wanting to have their picture taken with us. I never expected that somebody would want to have his picture taken with a showrunner.

When we didn’t reveal what was in the hatch at the end of the finale of season one, I think a lot of people were both engaged but also frustrated. And I started noticing in the online discussions over that summer that it wasn’t just Lost that they were referring to but also Damon and me as the proprietors of Lost: “Those motherfuckers Lindelof and Cuse are leaving us hanging for four months!” There was a certain backlash to the fact that we ended the first season on this agonizing cliffhanger, and people blamed us personally. I’d created and been the showrunner for a few different series and never had this experience. Being a showrunner meant writing and producing a television show, period, but withLost, suddenly it became part of the job to promote and be the face of the brand. In a weird way, the story was as much the star as any of the actors, so people wanted to hear from us. They wanted some kind of connection with the two guys who were telling the story.

ABC fueled the idea of us as representatives of the show by asking Damon and me to host these clip recap shows before the start of every season. We also did podcasts, which were genuinely fun for us to do, and many of them ended up going to No. 1 on iTunes. And it kept amplifying. It turned out that Jimmy Kimmel was a huge Lost fan, so we were invited to go on his show as guests — and actually sit on the couch. We went on the Letterman show and read the Top Ten List. I got to be a judge on Top Chef, which was kind of intoxicating because that was a show that I loved and that we talked about all the time in the writers’ room. I did a podcast with Bill Simmons and even had the opportunity to be in the booth during a Red Sox game with the team’s announcers, Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy. Growing up a Red Sox fan, that was incredible, almost overwhelming. It all just felt sort of surreal.

Pretty soon, Damon and I began to find out just how obsessed people were with the show and how recognizable we were…

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