Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 11/18/14

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

  • Jonathan Nolan (INTERSTELLAR) is developing Isaac Asimov‘s FOUNDATION series of books into a series for HBO. (And yer munchiness is curious as hell re what Asimov, who was all about the word, would think of whatever script Jonny boy comes up with. Anybody want to venture a guess. Give it a go cuz, after all, nobody will ever be able to prove you wrong.)
  • Bryan Cranston & David Shore (if you need to ask who these dudes are there’s no reason for you to read any further here) are co-writing SNEAKY PETE, a CBS drama about a con man who hides his past by taking the name of his cellmate. (Cuz, I gotta assume, the protagonist’s crimes are much worse than the other guys…but what would Isaac Asimov have defined as “worse” anyway?)
  • David Kohan & Max Mutchnick (WILL & GRACE) are co-writing a Fox comedy series about a single mother, her kids, and her grifter (as in con man?) father when they move from New Jersey to L.A. (Whatcha think, Asimov fans? Would the good doctor have gone for this one? Why? Why not? Huh? Huh?)
  • Andrea Newman (CHICAGO FIRE) is writing the pilot for a “supernatural thriller in a realistic tone” for NBC. (Leading yer favorite munchhausen to turn to the late Mr. Asimov and wonder – aloud – “If they want realism, why use a writer from CHICAGO FIRE? Whaddaya think, Isaac?” Uh-oh, Dr. Asimov is frowning. Guess you’d have to be one of the 4 people in the universe who watched CHICAGO FIRE to know what I’m talking about. Oh well….)

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….)

The Hudsonian Sees PARTNERS

by Josh Hudson

This new CBS comedy originally aired on September 24, 2012. Considering the time slot, it was a rather dismal ratings performance. Much like the acting and the writing.

4 people, 3 couples. That’s the unofficial tagline of this show. If you can’t read between the lines, I’ll translate:

This show won’t be on the air long.

Partners is a semi-autobiographical story about its creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. One’s gay, one’s straight, and they spend a lot of time working together, but also have their significant others to tend to. Sure. Sounds like something no one in America wants to see.

There are good actors involved in this project, with Michael Urie and David Krumholtz playing Joe and Louis – the Partners – and Brandon Routh and Sophia Bush playing their significant others Wyatt and Ali, respectively. I mean, one of those guys was Superman!

Maybe if he put on a red cape, he could save this show.

There are some bright moments (I believe every comedy that hits the air has at least one or two decent jokes in the pilot) but it mostly fell flat. The worst part? Not a lot of chemistry between the actors. And when the show revolves around relationships, that can’t be a good thing.

There were a lot of high hopes for this show, especially because of where CBS placed it on its schedule (Monday nights, between ratings darlings How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls) but when it’s not topping out at 7 million overall viewers, and it’s on CBS, that’s a recipe for cancellation.

I write this with optimism. And no, it’s not that I think that Partners will some how survive, but that CBS will bring back one of my favs, Rules of Engagement, earlier than expected. There’s always one show every year that has high hopes and fails to deliver what Rules always does.

Sadly, two of the last three years, it’s been shows from KoMut (Kohan/Mutchnick) Entertainment.

“The Fien Print” on CBS’s Upcoming PARTNERS

Take Me To The Pilots ’12: CBS’ ‘Partners’ – by Daniel Fienberg

The Pitch: You know that show that aired on FOX in the ’90s about the two friends who are architects and co-dependents? That show that was created by the guy who used to work on “Will & Grace”? That show that was also called “Partners”? Well, this show is nothing like that. Except for the ways it is. Which you won’t recognize anyway. Because nobody watched that “Partners.”

Quick Response: “Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, masters of exploiting the really, really obvious differences between gay folks and straight folks for very, very broad multi-cam laughs are back with what might be their most autobiographical show to date. It’s also possibly their broadest show to date, which is saying a lot. I’m not really comfortable judging “Partners” solely off its pilot, which is aggressively unfunny, but is also over-invested in establishing a premise that isn’t nearly complicated enough to require this much set up…

The premise is repeated over and over and over again, underlined at every opportunity. I got it. And I wasn’t all that amused. But because of the belaboring, I don’t know how stories are going to be told in subsequent episodes, so I’m going to have to watch again, against my better judgment. The flaw in the structure of the pilot is that at least in the first 20 minutes, Krumholtz and Urie don’t really have all that much chemistry, or at least their characters don’t. I’d have sacrificed the repetition in the pilot for just one or two effective illustrations of why these guys are friends and one or two positive examples of their friendship at work. It’s the kind of thing that could have taken place through their work at the architecture firm, except that the profession isn’t even an afterthought in the pilot.

Read it all

And people complain that TVWriter™ is harsh! DF, you’re our kinda guy.

WILL & GRACE Creators Get Some Sh*t About Their New Show

…Which, kinda like WILL & GRACE, happens to be all about them, except now they’re both men. Well, the writers always have both been men, but now the characters are too. Only there’s this other show, see, created by somebody else they used to work with, that’s also all about them. Or else they’re all about it? Whatever.

‘Partners’ Co-Creators Talk About Putting Themselves in New CBS Comedy – by Michael O’Connell

Max Mutchnick and David Kohan explain how much of their own relationship informs their return to TV and why comparisons to similar series with the same name are “unfortunate.”

Partners co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the duo behind Will & Grace, spoke a bit more personally than most showrunners during their Television Critics Association summer press tour panel. Though the stars of their new CBS series did field some questions, most reporters targeted the Emmy-winning duo’s decision to focus their latest collaboration on their own history.

The series follows two best friends and business partners, one gay (Michael Urie) and one straight (David Krumholtz), and the various issues their close relationship create in their respective love lives.

“What we’re writing is a dynamic,” said Mutchnick. “We’ve been friends since we were 14 years old. We’re in a relationship.”

Mutchnick went on to give a rather detailed and hammed up recap of their meeting in high school — Kohan, an athlete who dabbled in drama, and Mutchnick, a boy who had framed photos of Bette Midler in his room — and his decision to come out of the closet to his best friend.

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All this is fine and dandy, but here’s the problem:

Once upon a time there was another series called PARTNERS. Jeff Greenstein, who also was a writer-producer on WILL & GRACE, created this “similar series,” which not only had the same name, but a whole lot of other similarities as well – way back in 1995. Here’s how Greenstein tweeted it the other day:

“So I guess it’s OK to rip off the title, premise, pilot story, characters’ jobs and pilot director from a colleague’s series and claim it as your own. Have fun!”

We love the smell of burning lawsuits early in the morning. And, considering his use of the magic words, “rip off” in his tweet, so will Jeff Greenstein. (As for the same director – Jimmy Burrows – shooting both pilots, can you spell w-h-o-r-e? all we can say is “Hmm…”)

Are we really terrible people for looking forward so eagerly to the sideshow?