- Benjamin Brand (BOLLYWOOD HERO) is adapting William Bernhardt’s book, Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness, into a miniseries for NBC. (Cuz…Fucking Eliot Fucking Ness, everybody knows him – if they were alive and watching TV back in what, the late ’50s?)
- David Diamond & David Weissman (THE FAMILY MAN) have sold a drama series concept, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF EMILY REED, to ABC. (Cuz let’s face it, if you’re a TV network d-person with no life of your own, the idea of anybody with two of them sounds positively scintillating, no?)
- Jonathan Abrams (your guess is as good as ours) has sold a drama called WISDOM to ABC. (Cuz it’s basically a soap about Silicon Valley and the title is what passes for clever irony to people who feel threatened by tech. Trust us on this one.)
- Daniel Knauf (NBC’s DRACULA) is developing a series based on the 1941 and 2010 feature film(s) THE WOLFMAN. (Cuz…the Fucking Wolfman, dammit. Everybody does know him.)
- Some dude named Louis C.K. just signed an overall deal with FX to develop and produce new series. (We dunno about you, but we can’t imagine any producer anywhere he could do any idea we’ve ever had or ever will have better than Louis. Time to call our agent…and pray.)
…And they sure as hell know a lot more than most TV execs!
The Future of Sitcoms According to the Creators of ‘Parks and Rec,’ ‘Enlightened,’ ‘Don’t Trust the B—’ and ‘Raising Hope’ – by Alison Willmore
Greg Garcia (the creator and executive producer of Fox’s “Raising Hope”), Nahnatchka Khan (the creator and executive producer of ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23”), Michael Schur (the co-creator of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”) and Mike White (the co-creator, co-star and executive producer of HBO’s “Enlightened”) gathered in Manhattan this past weekend for a New Yorker Festival event entitled “The Future of Sitcoms.” While the panel did not, as jokingly promised by moderator Emily Nussbaum, the magazine’s TV critic, come up with a plan for the next stage of comedy during its 90-minute run, it did cover some very interesting ground about how sitcoms are evolving in a way that may be quieter but is no less significant than what’s happening with dramas. Here are some highlights from the event:
Storytelling is getting more sophisticated. When working on his 2004 Fox series “Cracking Up,” the single-camera aesthetic was “still in its infancy,” according to Mike White, and “networks were extremely prescriptive about how it should look and feel.” White said he feels it’s since changed and opened up considerably. That said, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s ready to come along for the ride — as Garcia pointed out, “the shows that get the biggest ratings aren’t doing anything new” and that the definition for success is “what will make the most money for networks in syndication.” But Khan was hopeful, saying that what’s important is that these ideas are “percolating” and that “change takes time” — “what’s considered a hit now” is different, she said.
Everyone’s in awe of “Louie.” Louis C.K.’s FX show was brought up several times as something to admire. “Among writers, that’s the number one thing we talk about,” said Schur, while Khan called out the episode “Dad,” in which a long sequence was dedicated to Louie running away from his father, as “fantastic to me” — “It’s so raw. I find it refreshing. For me, that’s hopefully where comedy is going.” But they admitted the show wasn’t for everyone, and that it wasn’t something everyone could pull off. Garcia acknowledged that “some members of the audience could find it offputting,” and Schur cautioned about claiming the show heralds a new era: “To do what he does, you have to be as funny as Louis C.K. — and that narrows the field down to one person… It’s hasty to say everything’s different because of Louis C.K.”
…and, according to Louis C.K., recharge after the exhaustion of producing-writing-directing all those short little episodes that won LCK all those Emmy noms and the Big Statue itself for Best Comedy Writing.
Looks like LCK’s a little stressed out by his recent success. According to Jon Weisman on Variety.Com:
“The last three seasons have been this surge of fun and work and stories and it’s been great, but I want the show to keep getting better,” C.K. said in a conference call with reporters today. “That’s my goal, and I don’t want it to be making the donuts, I want it to be something that comes from somewhere important and stays funny. It’s a luxury I asked for … season four is my job right now, but I’m going to take a whole lot of time to turn it in.
“I want season four to go somewhere new, even if it’s only a slight shift….”
“You have to live as an artist in order to grow and recharge your batteries, and sometimes there’s not enough time to live when you have a really successful show.”
C.K. said that he’s “eager” to get back on the air but that the desire to make the show better superceded that, though he realized he was putting more pressure on himself to deliver.
Fair enuff, dood. Seeya in ’14, fresh as a daisy, bright, original and funny. (Ha! You thought we were going to go off on him, didn’t you? Actually, so did we…except we couldn’t find anything to go off about. Anybody got some smut about Louis?)
…but we just couldn’t work up enough interest to watch. No, wait, we don’t mean that. We mean that we’re against the idea of artists being regarded as competing for things like awards. Competing for jobs, sure, but awards? That’s soo uncreative. Anyway here are all the winners. The ones we care about, that is:
Writing for a Comedy Series
Louis C.K.: LOUIE: Pregnant
Writing for a Variety Special
Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theatre, Louis C.K.
Writing for a Drama Series
Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff: HOMELAND
Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special?
Danny Strong: GAME CHANGE
Our congratulations all these fine writers. You’ve earned our praise, our support, and our envy!
- Spot on, as true-to-life as mass entertainment has ever gotten
- All those inspiring ROCKY allusions
- This is the greatest argument ever made on television for not going into any business that has to do with showbiz
- Horrifying in its presentation of human venality/greed/arrogance/et al
- All those hokey ROCKY allusions
- This is the greatest argument ever made on television for not going into any business of any kind anywhere, or even leaving your home, or interacting with other other humans except – maybe – David Lynch
In Other Words:
I fucking loved all three episodes. A must-watch for anyone seriously considering going into the big-time Hollywood entertainment game. Because it forces you to ask the eternal question: What do you do when the dark side of the thing you love most is also its bright side?
Run, do not walk, to wherever you can see LOUIE Season 3, Episodes 11, 12, 13