Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 10/8/14

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

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

  • Scott Gold (Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the L.A.Times) is writing THE LION AND THE LAMB, a Lifetime drama about “a notorious drug cop who busts an All-American college student for pot and “flips” her into becoming a narc.” (Wow. There’s never been anything relevant or even credible about Lifetime, which means that premise will fit right in. C’mon, Scott, you’re a really fine writer, but if you keep doing this kind of thing…well, you might think about holding onto that day job.)
  • John Rogers (LEVERAGE) is writing the pilot for NBC’s ENDGAME, which claims to be “a high-octane thriller about a former intelligence officer who…is wrongly accused of the brutal murder of this wife.” (Oh, crap, John, the only thing new about that sentence is the word “brutal”. Speaking as somebody who genuinely loved the first couple of seasons of LEVERAGE, all I can say is, “Give us a twist, dude. Puh-leeze?)
  • Chris Black (MAD MEN) is writing the pilot for TNT’s fantasy series, LUMEN, which sounds a lot like THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE except better – to moi anyway – cuz it also sounds a bit like one of my favorite fantasy novels, Jonathan Carroll’s THE LAND OF LAUGHS. (In other words, I’m keeping my munching eyes on this one…while hoping that someday soon a broadcast or cable network with some class picks up THE LAND OF LAUGHS and hires somebody a lot like me to adapt it. Well, more than a lot like me. You know what I mean.)
  • Shawn Wines (THE OFFICE) is writing a to-be-titled comedy pilot about “the exotic and lucrative world of NYC garbage collection.” (And all I can say is that I am so in for that. Cuz New York? Garbage? A writer from THE OFFICE? That, boys and girls is my kinda world.)
  • Woohoo, this just in. The abovementioned John Rogers has indeed come up with a twist for ENDGAME. Turns out that the hero ends up saved and bankrolled by some “powerful people” who send him out to stop high stakes crimes – as part of “a hundred-year-old tradition where the rich and powerful bet on the ultimate ‘game’: crime in our world.” Whatcha think, munchkins? Better? Worse? The same?)

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….)

Dean Devlin on LEVERAGE Season – Or Is It Series? – Finale

(Um, it’s the series finale. See the note added to the end of this post.)

leverage

We at TVWriter™ started out as big LEVERAGE fans. It was fast, it was fun, and the cast totally captivated us. Over the show’s 5 seasons, however, the pace has slowed, the fun has become verbal instead of visual, and the actors have seemed bored with the stories and themselves.

This season the show has been at a real nadir. Dumb meaningless goody-two-shoes storylines told with huge gaps in plot logic have prevailed. So much so that almost every episode has smelled suspiciously like a bottle show. In other words: Either somebody yanked a ton of bucks away from the budget, or the actors are being paid so much that the show can’t afford to have them, well, do anything.

Last week’s semi-final episode showed a change, however. Timothy Hutton and company seemed more engaged than they’d been in a couple of years, and the story, although tediously educational at times, was for the most part brisk, logical, and funny. Things were looking up.

Now, though, come indications that this week’s season finale episode may, in fact, be the finale for the entire series.  Showrunner/co-creator Dean Devlin has hinted at this before, and in a recent Hollywood Reporter interview he told the trade mag, “I wasn’t expecting when we started the show to have [so much fan] support. So that fandam is always in our minds when we’re making this show and we just had this horrible feeling. What if this ended up being the last year and we didn’t put the baby to bed?”

This pretty much tells us that the season finale was created to be a series finale as well, which is why “…we’re going out with a big bang…I hope that [fans] feel this is the right way to end it,” Devlin is quoted as saying.

As far as we’re concerned, this show definitely has run its course. We’re sorry that Devlin and the rest of the cast, crew, and staff are – probably – about to be unemployed, and we look forward to the projects to come from everybody involved. But this series died at the end of Season 3, folks, and has just been zombie-ing forward ever since.

Still, if last week’s episode was any indication, the LEVERAGE team has its A-Game on for a powerful ending, and we’re going to steep ourselves in every delicious minute.

We hope.

EDITED TO ADD: This just in. Dean Devlin and TNT have announced that LEVERAGE has been cancelled and that Tuesday (Christmas) night’s season ender episode is indeed the end of the series as well. Thanks, LEVERAGE gang, for giving us so much pleasure over the last 5 years!

 

Read Dean’s letter

 

Good TV Isn’t an Accident. Good Showrunners PLAN…

…factoring in even that most dire of circumstances: “What if we get cancelled?” For example:

A letter from Dean Devlin

Dear LEVERAGE Fans,

As of the writing of this letter, we still do not know if there will be a season six of our show.  Just as we didn’t know when we created the last three episodes which are about to air.  Because of this uncertainty, John Rogers and I decided to end this season with the episode we had planned to make to end the series, way back when we shot the pilot.  So, the episode that will air on Christmas is, in fact, the series finale we had always envisioned.

This is not to say we would not do a season six should we get the opportunity. Everyone involved with the show, from the cast, the crew, the writers and producers, would like nothing more than to continue telling these stories.  But, in case we do not get that opportunity we felt that, creatively, after 77 episodes, we owed it to you, our fans, to end the show properly.

I sincerely hope you watch these last three episodes.  They build to our conclusion.  And the finale, I believe, is the most powerful episode we’ve ever done.

From all of us who make the show, thank you for watching, supporting and encouraging us.  I’ve never experienced a fandom as intense, loyal and wonderful as you all.

Let’s go steal a series finale!

Dean Devlin

Executive Producer/Director LEVERAGE

The One Film Every New TV Writer Must See

…And it wouldn’t hurt the film types either.

Some showrunner type you may have heard of – Damon Lindelof of LOST

If you want to know what it’s really like to toil in the diamond mines of episodic television, run, do not walk, to SHOWRUNNERS, a documentary that tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Directed by Des Doyle, the full-length film features the most powerful cast of superstar TV showrunners this side of, oh, Venus, including:

Kurt Sutter, David Shore, Steven S. DeKnight, Mike Royce, Terence Winter, Jane Espenson, Andrew Marlowe, Chris Downey, John Rogers, Bill Prady, Hart Hanson, Matthew Carnahan, Mike Kelley, Dee Johnson, Ronald D. Moore, Jonathan Nolan, Ali LeRoi, Shawn Ryan J.J. Abrams, and Joss Whedon.

If you can’t get a deep sense of what TV writing and production are all about from these doods, well, you ain’t never gonna get.

Oh, there is one itty, bitty hang-up. This baby isn’t finished yet. It needs our help. So get thee over to Kickstarter.Com and cough up a buck or two. You won’t regret it!