Love & Money Dept – TV Biz Happenings of the Week Ending July 22

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGLatest News About Writers & Other Mostly Living Things That Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

Uh-oh. Last week’s return of yer friendly neighborhood munchman’s formerly adored column, Love & Money, tanked even worse than Katherine Heigl’s new Netflix series will if it ever actually makes it to the air.

We know why nobody wants to see Ms. Heigl’s next project. It’s the same reason nobody wanted to see her previous failures – nobody fucking can stand her onscreen persona.

But this is me, Timothy Tyler Muncher my very, very, very loved self. How in the name of all that’s holy, unholy, and whatever’s in between did last week’s launching get exactly one (1!) recorded view between last Thursday and yesterday?

Have I become that obsolete already? After only a 4-year absence? Am I cursed? Reviled? Or, or – omg, I think I’ve got it – forgotten?

‘Scuze me while I – choke – sob….

Our Beloved Leader, Larry Brody (the guy with the highest Amex Black Card limit on the planet who after all these years of occasionally faithful service, still refuzez to pay me) sez that the only reason I’m even here this week is that the WGA-ATA war hasn’t had any major developments (although this particular occurrence and the thinking expressed here may end up more important to future writer/agent relationships than it seems).

LB also has opined that the problem last time out was that I spent too much talking about the Arch Enemies Known As Executives instead of writerz.

I’m not sure LB is right (actually I know that he’s a lefty, physically, psychologically, and strategically), but just in case, here’z the latest writerz only info.

Oh, sorry Ms. Heigl, guess that means I can’t talk about the travesty of Firefly Lane cuz although you’re the star and executive producer (does the term “oy vay!” mean anything to you, my singular reader whoever you are?) you at least haven’t claimed to be writing this tale about, as Deadline.Com put it:

Tully, a force of nature: magnetic, ambitious, reckless, and fiercely loyal. Still bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood, she is dogged by inner loneliness, even as she goes on to fabulous fame and fortune as a journalist and talk show host. Her saving grace is her best friend and soulmate, Kate, with whom she shares an unshakable bond.

Why am I so sure you aren’t the writer? Mostly because even this facile trash seems way too deep for somebody who called her own starring vehicle, Knocked Up “a little sexist.”

I mean, little? Yikes.

So, moving on without her, munchaderamus is proud to present the latest about the following chazari (Um, that’s a Yiddish word for the kind of crap it takes one Acme Ton O’Chutzpah to ever mention to another human being.

Anyway:

THE MUCH LOOKED FORWARD TO (by cinema illiterates and utter morons in general) TV version of Snowpiercer seems to gathering, you know, steam, at TNT, most likely because Graeme Manson, co-creator of Orphan Black has been brought on to save the series from itself.

Gotta admit I’m more than a mite puzzled about how that’s going to be done, especially since the trailer shown at Comic Con seems to follow the abysmal original so loyally. Maybe all the characters will be clones of Tatiana Maslany? Now that’s something this munchhauser would watch!

SPEAKING OF HIGHLY RESPECTED WRITERS, the Stan Lee created series Restless is being developed by David Greenwalt and James Dalessandro. Greenwalt is a veteran of Grimm – a sort of not-too-bad series that lasted about a million and a half years (well, 5 years anyway) longer than it should have, so the dude must have some special writing powers, yeah? – and James Dalessandro known for the historical novel 1906 and the TV movie Citizen Jane, about a woman who goes after a brutal murderer even though he’s also her bf.

Will these guys turn Restless, a concept featuring a “Native American homicide detective [who]…begins to inherit the mystical powers of his…ancestors after his father’s death” remains to be seen. But like so many of us demented outsider, munchterbator lives in hope.

ANOTHER SHOW I’M PSYCHED ABOUT (yepperz, I’ve got a very soft definition of “psyched,” I admit) is Tina Fey’s unnamed series starring Ted Danson as “a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of L.A. for all the wrong reasons.” Gotta love any show mocking zillionaire politicians, amiright? Especially when the mockingest bird I’ve ever met (yeah, and worked with, but that’s neither here nor there…or iz it?) Tiny Fey her consumate self, is the creator along with Robert Carlock of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reknown.

ROUNDING OUT THIS WEEK’S DELIGHTS is the newz that Greta Gerwig is co-writing and possibly directing a film based on everybody’s favorite advert for plastic surgery at the earliest age possible, Mattel’s deliciously inappropriate albeit delightful Barbie Doll herself.

I know that strictly speaking I’m not talking about TV here, but even with the genius Oscar nommed writer-director of Lady Bird in charge and the so often scatologically evil Margot Robbie playing the – ahem – titular role, let’s face it, boys and girls, moms and dads, and terrifyingly unctuous uncles and gramps, doesn’t it seem to you that no matter what approach Grets (yeppers, know her too and can call the lady what I damn well please) takes to this material it’s still going to be something more suitable for midnight showings at home than a MeToo fundraising permiere?


That’s it for now, munchalados. Here’s hoping I’m talking to more than one of you this week. Don’t let me down now. I’m looking forward to an avalanche of comments showing that you caught on to which of the above bragged-about relationships above I was being truthful about and which were outright frauds, lies, and boobymeisses.

Seeya next week, munchadiddlehoppers, with more chazari about what the writers we’re all most envious of are up to! Unless LB pulls the plug–

Oh Christ, waitaminnit. He wouldn’t do that, would he?! Would you? LB, I love ya like a brother, you know that. LB–

Love & Money Dept – TV Biz Happenings for the Week of July 15th

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGLatest News About Writers & Other Mostly Living Things That Are Doing Better Than We Are
by Munchman

Whoa, first Love & Money since 2015. How time flies when you’re scaling the ladder to sucksess. Mama told me there’d be decades like this, but the Evil Angel of Ambition wouldn’t let yer friendly neighborhood munchero fly toward the light.

Well, wtf, this little muncher is still alive, well, and getting into as much trouble as possible. Now if only that $$$-grasping old gomer who calls himself LB would loosen his hold on the Amex Black Card he pretends he isn’t carrying and pay me now and then, all would be almost right in this world.

So. Onward and upward…and downward too. We shouldn’t go in that last direction because it’s the kind of commentary that attracts lawyers just when you need them least – i.e. most of the time – but munchacockaderio here always had a soft spot for being slapped in the head.

ONWARD

MOST POSITIVE TV related bit this munchperson has heard in awhile (like since 2015) is that The Fabulous Furry Freakbrothers, one of my grandpa’s faves back in the early 1970s when his brain still worked well enough to let him muddle through pretending to read underground comix in his college’s student union, has been given the go-ahead for eight TV episodes on one or another of the thousand and six streaming or maybe even broadcast channels nobody ever watches next year.

Why is putting something this  long past its prime selling date worth cheering about? Well, it’s a paycheck for writers Alan Cohen, Alan Freedland, John Altschuler and David Krinsky, who deserve to be working more than they’ve been. And of course there’s the Nostalgia thing . Now showbiz titans can wave this little green light around and say, “Who says we don’t make shows for old farts? Of course we do, see?”

AND HERE’S a positive thought for Stranger Things fans who’re crying in their CBD oil because Jim Hopper AKA actor David Harbour dies in Season three’s finale while helping close the gate between Upside Down and the real world. Harboureeno’s Stranger Things contract says they own him till the end of Season Four, which means a miraculous reappearance is in sight. At least till we read about him having been signed for a whole nuther Netflix series the Duffer Brothers are secretly finalizing Right This Very Moment.

What’s that you say? Munchenhaus should of warned you about the above spoiler? Fuck that. Real men don’t watch TV to be twiddled and twaddled around every badly plotted and unbelievable twist and turn of the storyline. We watch it so we can be amazed by how much better even the least impressive entertainment can be while we’re on pouring Johnny Walker down our over-aggressive throats. Man up, you snowflakes! (Heh, I originally typed “snotflakes.” Maybe I shouldn’t correct it next time.)

upward

A+E NETWORKS AKA The Networks Formerly Known as A&E has promoted Patrick Vien to Group Managing Director of International. What does a Group Managing Director of Anything do over at A+E? Smart question, mein freunde. Good thing you asked the right dood. After a little digging, munchenheimer has discovered that Group Managing Directors oversee strategy in specific geographical areas where whatever group they’re part of “holds sway.” Yeppers, that’s what the PR person said. “Holds sway.” So now you know and we’re good here, yeah? As long as nobody asks what kind of strategy and WTF holds!#@ingsway means.

If you’re saying to yourself, “My friendly neighborhood munchadoodledoo dodged a pretty tricky bullet there,” you’re right. C’est la vie, n’est pas?

SPEAKING OF people being named Bosses, Netflix has named Jackie Lee-Joe its (their?) Chief Marketing Officer. For those not in the know (yes, I’m so sad for you not being as inhipandfriendly as moi), Jackie Lee-Joe is in fact a woman (probably even a CIS woman) no matter what her name suggests. Another victim of POS – Parental Overcuteness Syndrome, not that other phrase this acronym usually means – perhaps?

Anyway, Ms Lee-Joe used to be CMO AKA Chief Marketing Officer at BBC, where quality instead of marketing or sales has always been the name of the game, so arriving at a company where despite all appearances insiders know damn well that marketingmarketingmarketing rulez definitely is a big step up for her.

downward

Chloe Dan is out as Senior Vice President of Drama at 20th Century Fox TV after two years on the job. Rumors say she was let go before her contract was up, but so many different reasons have been given for why she was shitcanned that the gossip seems as likely to be malicious as it is to be true.

Ah, Hollywood! A place where everybody’s a high school mean girl regardless of age, gender, job description (or acronym), or personal preference. Consider yourselves warned, children! Stay on the interwebs, where nobody has any reason to try and screw with you because you work for free just like me!

According to various sources, Edward Sabin of A+E Networks (you remember them, yaz?) has decided to leave his gig as Co-Executive Managing Director, International, his partner in co-ness having been none other than Patrick Vien, whom you also should remember considering that his name came up only about 700ish words ago.

The press release about this event seemingly having been written by the A+E powers that be, all we know is that Monsieur Sabin has departed to launch a new business. Sounds like a dood who could need some cheering up. Whaddaya say we all chip in and take him to The Original Pantry? After all, Google gives the place 4 1/2 stars. Have your people contact my people to make this fine thing happen.


That’s it for now, munchalados. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly of any and all showbizjj-related positional changes in yer life. Cuz yer fave TVWriter™ Influencer can’t wait to writewritewrite the next episode of this column on accounta I lurves me every chance I get to work for -goddammit – free!

munchman: How to Pitch to Asshat Showbiz Execs

by munchman

The original title of this post was the less inflammatory “How to Approach ‘Confident-Beyond-Competence’ Executives as a Creative,” but we here at TVWriter™ made the unilateral decision to, you know, cut to the chase.

Although, as your friendly neighborhood muncher thinks about it, I don’t believe you need this whole article to know how to deal with execs who don’t know nearly as much as they think you do. You just have to know how to do what everybody else in your position eventually learns: Pucker up, drop to your knees, and plant a few on their little hipster tushies.

But what the hell. We’re in for it now, so:

supplicants

by Pen Densham

I’ve met some people in my film career who don’t know, what they don’t know. They “do” know they are not doctors. So, they don’t invite you into their office and remove your heart to see if it works better when stuffed in your rectum.  But, when it comes to story they have no qualms about asking us to do that to a script, despite not being writers.

I call people like this, Confident-beyond-Competence (C-B-C).  They seem oblivious to the finer skills that we word-toilers and scene jugglers seem to understand.  I used to have difficulty dealing with these characters. There are no tests and licenses to be in our business. If they were plumbers, all their pipes would leak and they would put a toilet in every room because they saw one in last weekend’s hit movie.

But, sometimes being C-B-C is not a bad thing. We intricate thinkers may be debating ourselves to paralysis, while the C-B-C person will blithely sweep forward with a flawed concept and succeed, course correcting as they bang off walls.  So my position is not so much sour grapes, but the seeds of a truth.

Creativity comes in layers. The act of origination may be deeply subconscious and precious but when surfaced it responds to the tests of clarifications and additional insights, even from the apparently “less” gifted.  I have heard other writer’s put  it this way- one or two opinions are just that but several prove a “fact” that must be dealt with.

At some point in every creative endeavor we will have to sell our ideas.  It is inevitable, we are dreaming up experiences that cost millions to capture. Everyone is an audience. To succeed we have to be prepared to use as much creative problem solving in selling our work to those who do not yet understand it as they are brought to the task of creating it and course correcting so they have their questions answered. Even if not by rote, but by comprehending their underlying cause which can often be a very simple clarification.

Read it all at SSN Insider

munchman: Life Lessons from Power Rangers

If you’re just reaching the neighborhood of being 30 years old, chances are that there was a time in your life when you watched the hell out of POWER RANGERS while your mother shook her head sadly and muttered something like, “Such a terrible waste of time….”

Well, we’re here to tell you that it wasn’t a waste of time at all. It was awesome prep for your future. (Whaddaya think of that, Ma? Oops, no, I didn’t say anything. Nope, not me. This guy, OTOH:

power rangersby Eric Ravenscraft

Kids shows are pretty cheesy. Power Rangers, doubly so. The idea of learning real, adult life lessons from the shows we loved as kids sounds silly, but sometimes things stick with you. Here’s what the Power Rangers taught me that actually stuck around. Seriously.

Don’t Let Other People Make You Feel Like Crap

Bullying isn’t a new trope for kids shows. In my day, though, there was no one who epitomized the nerdy stereotype more than Billy, the Blue Ranger. His role on the show was to be an egghead, despite the show’s heavy emphasis on solving problems by punching them. In the early episodes, people couldn’t even understand the way he talked. He needed someone else to translate his geek-speak into human words.

Being a nerd came with a lot of self-esteem issues, especially in the 90s, before being “geeky” became cool. The Rangers addressed this often, but it was especially poignant in an episode called Dark Warrior. In this episode, Billy gets bullied by the disgustingly lovable Bulk and Skull (again). Finally, he’s had it. He decides to learn martial arts to defend himself. At the end of the episode, though, he doesn’t use his newfound skills to take down the bullies (Trini’s invisible uncle takes care of that). Instead, he says, “I really just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.” In the end, what he felt about himself was more important than what others felt about him.

This was one of the hardest things to learn once I started writing professionally. Writing for the internet is extremely public. For a long time, I wanted to write, but I was terrified of putting myself out there. Best case scenario, my work would be read by a lot of people, many of whom would probably hate and mock it. Worst case, it wouldn’t get read at all. Neither felt like it would be good for my self-esteem. It would be a lot safer to just do my boring office job and keep my work to myself.

Billy never would’ve done that, though. Billy wanted to be part of the team, to make himself better and take chances. For a shy, scrawny nerd, he did rather well for himself. As the show went on, Billy became a better fighter and a better communicator. Oh, and he invented all kinds of gadgets the team needed, including their communicators, teleporters, and a freaking flying car. Rather than let the opinions of other people push him around, he used his skills to make the team better. Sitting out the fight wasn’t an option.

This lesson took on an even more sombre note when I became an adult and found out why David Yost, the actor who played Billy, eventually left the show. Off screen, David was bullied for his sexuality by producers and other crew members. Knowing that he was bullied off screen just as much as on screen hurt the child in me. At the same time, it made the lesson I learned from him all the more powerful. Despite the abuse, he stuck around for nearly 200 episodes and a movie. He was the only ranger to appear in every single episode of the Mighty Morphin series, and he was the second-longest running ranger ever. Being pushed around, insulted, and mocked never convinced him to stop doing his best work.

Read it all

WGAW March 2015 Calendar of Events

MUNCHMAN’S NOTE: Here ya go, WGAers, all the ways the Writers Guild of America, West can come up with to keep you happy, healthy, and wise this month.

Whoa, munchikins almost wrote “…this mouth” instead of “month” above. What can that mean?

Anyway:

wgaw-march-calendar

Read the clickable version HERE