Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 3/29/13

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are

  • Brian Bradley & Steven Cragg (HAPPY ENDINGS, SCRUBS) have made an overall deal with Universal Studios. (Which, as SCRUBS fans, gives us something to smile about.)
  • John Glenn (EAGLE EYE feature film) has created FIX IT MEN, a time travel drama for ABC Studios that has no network involvement yet. (But it does have Mark Gordon as producer, which could be even better in terms of it being a successful, money-making show in the future.)
  • J. Michael Straczynski is parterning with the Wachowskis on SENSE8, a science fiction drama for Netflix that already has been greenlighted for at least 10 episodes. (Anybody for a pool about how long Joe stays with the project?)
  • Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, & Matt Olmstead (CHICAGO FIRE) are working on an as yet untitled CF spinoff about the Chicago Police Department. (Wonder which of that team will be the first to “mysteriously disappear” or lost a limb or receive some other kind of gangland-style “correction” after the new show gets rolling.)

Teaming with the Smiths Pays Off

That’s Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and the guy it’s paying off for is J. Michael Straczynski of BABYLON 5 fame.

J. Michael Straczynski ‘cuz we’ve all seen plenty of Will and Jada

What we hear is that ABC has put a Straczynski-Smith-Smith series in development with a script-to-series commitment, which means that based on a pilot script alone ABC either will order/put into production 13 episodes of the series…or it won’t.

But, hey, at least there’s no pilot to diddle around with.

We’re big fans of Joe Straczynski’s and are rooting for him because – let’s get real – the world definitely needs another JEREMIAH. (We loved that show because JS took a dour future and made us want to live in it anyway. Good damn writing.)


J. Michael Straczynski Gives Great Interview

Next time you see him show everyone that you’re really cool by calling him “Joe.”

J. Michael Straczynski Talks Studio JMS, Joe’s Comics, EPIDEMIC, VLAD DRACULA, His Desire To Work With Neil Gaiman, and More – by Bill Graham

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to sit down with creator J. Michael Straczynski, widely known as JMS, to talk about his past, present, and future.  JMS has had long tenures as the creator and head writer for Babylon 5, a long and well-received run on Thor and Spider-Man, time spent as a journalist, script writer, and much more.  Straczynski was a willing participant as he fielded all manner of questions about him being a control freak, how he tried to hide from the crossover events that he clashed with in The Amazing Spider-Man by taking over Thor, and how he plans to utilize the Joe’s Comics imprint at Image Comics.  Hit the jump for a full transcript of my interview.

Collider: You’ve had a hell of a career… and it’s ongoing.

Joe Michael Straczynski: To everyone’s amazement. [Both laugh]

You’ve worked on my side of the fence where you’re interviewing people.  You’ve worked on the other side of the fence where you’re being interviewed.  You’ve worked in television, film…

Straczynski: So the fence is obviously the problem.

I can imagine you’ve had a lot of projects where you were interested—and creative people talk about it all the time where they may have a project and it falls apart and it hurts—do you have any that have really stuck in your gut?  Maybe even some you wish to get back to?

You had this very famous run on Babylon 5 where you wrote over 90 of the 110 episodes.  How would you characterize working with yourself?  To outsiders, that would seem like you are a control freak.  Would you say that that was just your baby?

Straczynski: Well, I am a control freak.  I will admit that freely.  It didn’t start out that way.  It was going to be more of a freelance oriented show.  But I did half the first year scripts, did half the second year scripts, and by the third year it go so interwoven that I couldn’t say to a writer, ‘Start it here, end it there.’  It all started to blend.  So I told Warners [Bros.] I’d just write it myself.  And they said, ‘Shit, we’re not sure about letting you do this, but take a shot at it.’  So I did it and Warners [Bros.] was very, very happy and said, ‘Can you do that again?’  Sure, so I did the fourth season on my own.  I had been chasing Neil Gaiman for years to do a script for me.  And just to make me shut the fuck up he finally said, ‘I’ll do one for you.’  I did all but one of the fifth [season], which was Neil’s script, and then I wrote the TV movies we produced.  I like writing.  It’s partly control freak, and partly I really like what I do for a living.  I have the luckiest job in the world.  I can get up every day and do what I love for a living.

Read it all

See? Great interview indeed. Such a good guy! Wonder if he’ll read our next script…

Starz Announces New Projects

For us, the cool part of this news is that Joe Straczynski’s got a project that sounds amazingly cool, and, like, we know him. Well, almost know him. Close enough!

by TeamTVWriter Press Service

As part of STARZ overall deal with “Spartacus” creator Steven S. DeKnight, STARZ is developing “Incursion,” an epic science fiction action-thriller that follows a squad of soldiers caught in a war against a hostile alien race. Each season the battle will be fought on a new, exotic planet as humanity punches deeper into enemy territory. Grittily realistic combat, darkly complex characters and intrigue on a cosmic scale will permeate the tale of fighting men and women facing the pressures of war and an enemy unlike any ever seen. In addition to his international acclaim on “Spartacus,” Steven has worked on such well-regarded series as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “Angel”, “Smallville,” and “Dollhouse.

J. Michael Straczynski is the wildly successful writer and producer whose credits include such fan classics as Thor, Underworld: Awakening, “Babylon 5,” and The Changeling. He has teamed with horror master Roy Lee, whose credits include such hits as The Ring, The Strangers and The Woman in Black in developing “Vlad Dracula” with veteran producer Rob Tapert, whose credits include the international Starz hit series, “Spartacus,” iconic “Xena: Warrior Princess,” Evil Dead and The Grudge. The project is a unique spin of the classic tale, blending the historical facts of the 15th century Prince of Wallachia, with the fictional Dracula whose story is known around the world and continues to fascinate audiences. “Vlad Dracula” traces his evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire, and his slow downfall as he struggles desperately to hang on to his humanity, his wife and his kingdom.

Managing Director of Starz, Carmi Zlotnik said “Steven DeKnight, J. Michael Straczynski, Roy Lee and Rob Tapert are legendary talents, having created some of the most groundbreaking and iconic television series with incredibly passionate fan bases the world over. We are thrilled to work with such sophisticated auteurs and producers as we grow the slate of unique Starz original series.”