Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 5/27/13

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are

  • David Fury (24) is back as a writer-producer on Fox’s new series 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY. He also has a new 2-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, which should tide him over nicely as economic Armageddon draws nearer. (Wait! Did we really write that? Where’s the cross-out key? Damn, we can’t find it. How embarrassing….)
  • David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf (GRIMM, BUFFY, ANGEL) have signed a new overall deal with Universal TV and will be continuing as Exec Prods of GRIMM as well as doing, you know, other stuff. (Or not, because GRIMM’s the studio’s big cash cow here and if anybody can protect it, it’s David and Jim.)
  • Gretchen Berg & Aaron Harberts (REVENGE) have a new overall deal with ABC Studios which includes becoming Exec Prods of REVENGE. (No, they aren’t the new showrunners. That honor goes to Sunil Nayar, who is replacing series creator Mike Kelley.)
  • Carol Barbee (TOUCH) is a new “consulting producer” on FALLING SKIES, the first hire of new showrunner David Eick. (Nope, we don’t know what a “consulting producer” is either. Would some distinguished Old Pro or another like to clue us in?)
  • Steven Soderberg is directing and producing a new Cinemax series called THE KNICK, about a downtown New York City hospital in the year 1900. (No word on whether he’ll do any official writing. Unofficially, however…doesn’t he always?)

Someone We Don’t Know Reviews GRIMM’s Season 2 Premiere

…And he seems to have liked a lot about it. Which makes us smile because we like it too:

Review: NBC’s ‘Grimm’ returns, improved, for season 2 – by Alan Sepinwall

I stopped watching “Grimm” after the first few episodes last year as part of my inevitable fall season triage. Outside of Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, and whatever residual trust David Greenwalt had built up from the “Buffy”/”Angel” days, I didn’t see enough there to merit making the long-term investment on an inconvenient night, and the one episode NBC sent out later in the year didn’t do much for me, either…

But given Greenwalt, and given that this is a relatively slow time of year, I decided to give “Grimm” one more chance. As mentioned on the podcast, I asked the show’s publicist to highlight a handful of season 1 episodes I could watch to A)see examples of the show at its best, and B)be able to follow things when I watched the second season premiere…

And having watched those four hours, I can say that I did see a clear improvement from the show I had witnessed last fall. The supporting cast was better used, there were occasional touches of humor beyond Monroe, they mythology didn’t just feel like a retread of bits from “Buffy,” “Angel,” etc., and I even thought leading man David Giuntoli had gotten better — not to the point of being an asset, necessarily, but at least to where I no longer looked at him as a poor man’s Brandon Routh. He doesn’t have a ton of range, but he also doesn’t seem like a charisma vacuum.

Still, Giuntoli rising to a level of adequacy doesn’t solve the problem that I would enjoy “Grimm” more if it were centered around virtually any other character in the ensemble: Monroe obviously (“Angel”-esque piece, with more humor, in which a monster is forced to go against his own kind), but also Hank (a cop who doesn’t even have the Grimm bloodlines has to engage in this business), Captain Renard (story told from the villain’s POV), maybe even Juliet (veterinarian by day, monster-fighter by night!). “Buffy” had snappy dialogue to carry us over those early rough patches, but it also had Sarah Michelle Gellar doing transcendent work at the center of the show…

Unless Giuntoli continues to get (significantly) better, I feel like he limits the ceiling of “Grimm.” Over time, it’s turned into a much better example of the show it wants to be, but how much more room does it have to grow?

Read it all

Actually, we like this review even more than we like GRIMM because how often does a critic heap praise on the writer of a show and condemn the leading man? The opposite is more likely. So congrats to David Greenwalt from those of us who loved not only BUFFY but ANGEL as well…and really, really want to love GRIMM just as much.