Is There Really “Too Much Television?”

NOTE FROM LB: Once upon a time, my life was changed by a book called The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth in which a judge uttered a very important line of dialog. “You’ll get the best justice you can afford!”

Now, one year shy of 60 years later, I’m thinking about these two short sentences written by Libby Hill about not justice but television. “The average Joe doesn’t care about The Morning Show. They already have all the TV they need – and can afford.”

Ah, high culture, wherefore art thou, high culture?


Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in “The Morning Show.”

Peak TV Is Only a Concern in the Gated Community of Hollywood
by Libby Hill

Let’s just cut to the chase. Yes, there’s too much television. Not only is there too much television, but there’s been too much television for quite some time. Not only has there been too much television for quite some time, but there is more television on the way, whether you like it or not.

But here’s the thing: Outside of Los Angeles and New York, very few people care. As passionate as I feel about HBO’s “Succession” and as much as it seems as though the entire world is obsessed with it, but the show’s spectacular Season 2 finale had just 1.1 million viewers between first run showings, encores and digital platforms. Or, approximately, the whole of the entertainment industry. That’s it.

There’s a disconnect between those inside the TV industry and the rest of the world. Look at Netflix’s earnings report this week: The company is still reeling after upping its price to $12.99 a month earlier this year. Analysts once anticipated people subscribing to “three or four” streaming services; that now seems horribly naive.

While it feels like Disney and Apple joining the streaming lineup are game-changers – or backbreakers, depending on how much TV you need to watch professionally – the reality is that your Kroger cashier doesn’t care, because her cable got too expensive and now she exclusively watches Netflix and that’s it for the forseeable future.

The TV industry needs to get out of this gated community. It’s been more than four years since Chairman of FX Network and FX Productions John Landgraf bemoaned this very concept. In 2015, the executive coined the now infamous phrase “Peak TV” and predicted that the market would see its peak that year or the next. Months later, an FX study revealed that television had boasted a record 409 scripted series.

Last year? There were 495. Honestly, maybe that’s enough television for now….

Read it all at

What’s a “Fuck you” or two between friends?

Ever wonder just how valuable everyday politeness is? By which we really mean, ever wonder why the hell people keep telling you to be polite to strangers?

Productivity’s what our lives are all about this days, amiright? Well, how does politeness help you get your creativity out there and your work done? Huh? Is being polite going to get your work done? Should it?

Be Less Polite
by Nick Douglas

The nicest thing you can say to your friend is “Fuck you!” Not when you’re actually mad, but when you’re goofing around and they just got you good, and you’re acknowledging that yeah, you’re owned. That “fuck you” says “We are in a circle of trust and intimacy, and because of this we do not need to be polite.”

“Polite” is good, it’s how strangers and acquaintances and fellow professionals keep things running smoothly. But it has limits. To be polite is to maintain distance. It’s the tiny apologies we whisper when we accidentally brush against a stranger. It’s the “dear” that starts an email and the “sincerely” that closes it. It’s the invasive questions we don’t ask during small talk.

Dropping the politeness is an honor. It doesn’t mean being a dick. It means you trade “hello” for “hey.” You pee with the door open and you poop when your partner’s at home. You ask “Are you two planning to have children?” because you’re close friends and they could ask the same of you. You let them pick up the check sometimes.

It doesn’t mean you start being a dick—no, it means you’re nicer to the other person. All the pretenses you drop, they drop too. You let them ask you nosy questions. You let them impose. You still respect them, but now you also bring them closer.

CD Baby founder Derek Sivers calls it being meta-considerate. Being considerate, he says, means showering someone with attention and gifts to win their love. Being meta-considerate means treating them like your much-beloved equal, letting them chase you back.

There’s a balance, of course; there’s always a balance….

Read it all at

Climate Strike Day

It’s time to walk our talk about a certain impending doom that way too many people are burying their heads in the sand about.

Today is Climate Strike Day, worldwide, and while it has nothing to do with TV or film writing, it has everything to do with Real Life. As the Ohio Sierra Club put it in a recent tweet:

Today people everywhere will walk out of their schools & workplaces to join young strikers in the streets. We know governments won’t act on climate & justice on their own, so we’re on  to show, what people power is capable of.



by TVWriter™ News Service

The Writers Guild of America West’s nominating committees have announced the initial list of candidates for the 2019 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election.

The Officer candidates are as follows: President* – David A. Goodman (inc.); Vice President – Marjorie David (inc.), Carl Gottlieb; Secretary-Treasurer – Michele Mulroney, Evette Vargas.

*The second nominee designated by the nominating committee for the office of President declined the nomination.

There are 17 candidates running for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors as follows: Angelina Burnett (inc.), Alvaro Rodriguez, Rasheed Newson, Liz Alper, Nicole Yorkin (inc.), Luvh Rakhe, (inc.), Meredith Stiehm (inc.), Ashley Edward Miller, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Dante W. Harper, Robb Chavis, Chris Roessner, Zoe Marshall, Craig Mazin, Rob Forman, Mike Mariano, Ayelet Waldman.

*Note: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.

In addition to the candidates selected by the Guild’s nominating committees, eligible members may also be nominated by petition. Members seeking nomination for the office of President, Vice President, or Secretary-Treasurer must obtain 25 member signatures in support of their petitions. Members seeking nomination for the Board of Directors must obtain 15 member signatures in support of their petitions. The deadline for submitting signed petitions to the WGAW is Tuesday, July 23, at 12:00 p.m. (PT). Members may download online nomination petitions by visiting the members-only section of the Guild’s website.

The WGAW will host its annual Candidates Night forum, where Guild members may meet and pose questions to the candidates, on Wednesday, August 28, at WGAW headquarters.

Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate, and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may distribute additional campaign materials at their own expense. The voting period concludes at Monday, September 16, at 12:00 p.m. (PT). Members may vote online or by mail. In accordance with labor law, proxy voting is not permitted.

7 Screenwriting Tips from – Oh, You Guessed! – Screenwriters

The mother and father of all showbiz trade maags, Variety.Com comes up with a winner for writers. In other words, this is about writing because that’s how we and our viewers win, yeah?

Here’s what Variety has to say about this vid:

Variety recently sat down with some of our 2016 Writers to Watch, including the scribes behind “Moana” and “Sully,” at the Whistler Film Festival where they gave us a few tips on how to become a successful screenwriter in Hollywood.