- Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (THE DESCENDANTS) have a new overall deal to develop series for Sony Pictures TV. (Welcome, Oscar-winning brothers! Yer friendly neighborhood munchman is thrilled that you’ve taken shelter from the storms that are feature films in the, erm, storms that are TV. Oh well, it’s good for TV anyway.)
- Kurt Sutter (SONS OF ANARCHY) has a new “first-look” deal with 20th Century Fox TV. (Which isn’t as good as it sounds cuz a first look is far from the same as a “must buy.” But at least Kurt will get paid for all his brainstorming, right? Right? Hey, Fox, munchie’s talking to you.)
- Jishnu Pablo Dey (newbie) has won the first place prize for third grade in the national PBS Kids Writers Contest with his poetry (and mixed media illustration) book, A Humble Book of Poems (With a Little Seasoning), and muncho’s here to tell you that the title just blows me away. Congrats, Jishnu. Here’s hoping one of your next mixed media is TV cuz there’s no place anywhere that can use your originality and creativity more. And to think, when I was in third grade all I cared about was my GI Joe figures.)
- Meghan Lyvers and Brianna Bennett (they’re network suits, kids) are the new Senior VP and VP, respectively, of Drama Development at CBS. (You know the drill. If you know either of these two fine peeps and are pretty sure they don’t hate you, give ’em a call and congratulate them. Take ’em to lunch! Tell ole munchberger here where and when you’re doing it so I can kinda pop in and, you know, strug me stuff!)
- Wayne Beach (MURDER AT 1600) is writing the pilot for WGN America’s suspense drama, AMERICAN DREAM about a homicide cop trying to nail a mega-zillionaire CEO. (Sounds like a cool series…if only we knew who/what WGN America was. Anybody wanna google it and tell us?)
- Kurt Sutter (a little thing called BREAKING BAD) is developing THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER as a series for Netflix. (Cuz he’s Kurt Sutter and he can damn well develop anything he wants to – and get paid. Yes, okay, we’re definitely eating our heart out here.)
- Patrick Macmanus (MARCO POLO) is writing THE INN, a supernatural drama pilot for NBC. (A classic ghost story complete with a group of strangers gathered together in a weird hotel? Execution will be everything. Wait. Did we say “execution?” Maybe Kurt Sutter will join the process with his bastard?)
- Matthew Perry (Yeah, that guy) is writing a new version of Neil Simon’s THE ODD COUPLE with Danny Jacobson (MAD ABOUT YOU). (Cuz God forbid Neil Simon should be allowed to put his stamp on his own creation. His style has been the basis for TV comedy for almost 50 years, but, you know, enough is enough.)
- Chas Smith is adapting his book, Welcome to Paradise, Now To to Hell into a Fox 21 Productions cable series about crime/murder/adrenalin and – did you guess it? – surfing. (This one might be a little iffy, cuz you know what happened to the last big surfing series on cable. No? Google JOHN FROM CINCINATTI and you’ll sadly see.)
Not just 1 or 2 but an entire Acme Mess O’TV Writing Quotes.
Cuz, you know…TVWriter™ cares:
Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.
Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television.
Television showrunners are a foolishly optimistic bunch.
I joke that I learned the essentials of storytelling from Hanna-Barbera, but I pretty much did. That kind of television is what enamored me as a kid, and that’s what really got me hooked.
You know what your problem is, it’s that you haven’t seen enough movies – all of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.
“Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.”
(Okay, so it’s only 6. Sorry. Sure felt like more while we were grabbing ’em…!)
- Melissa Rosenberg (TWILIGHT) has signed on as showrunner for ABC’s drama, BIG THUNDER. (Which, since pilots don’t get “showrunners,” they get “Executive producers,” probably means the series, based on Disney’s (and therefore ABC’s) Big Thunder Mountain ride, is in the bag.)
- Tyler Perry (TYLER PERRRY’S HOUSE OF PAIN, etc. ) has shifted his TBS comedy, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, to OWN, which will own the first two seasons and also produce a second. (Which is what happens when a smart, rich writer buys a network, which for all practical purposes is what Perry has done.)
- Emily Spivey (UP ALL NIGHT) has made a deal to develop-write-produce series at 20th Century Fox TV, starting with the animated MURDER POLICE. (Which has to be in better shape than UP ALL NIGHT, which NBC seems to have totally destroyed because, well, probably because it could.)
- Kurt Sutter (SONS OF ANARCHY) & John Shiban (HELL ON WHEELS) are developing what FX calls “an action horror drama” for the network. (Which is fine by us because it can’t be any worse than the horror of Seth MacFarlane singing, dancing, and driving all the A List stars out of the Oscars audience last Sunday night.)
…And it wouldn’t hurt the film types either.
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!