LB: 2nd Thoughts on my 1st Thoughts on the PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Competition Entries


by Larry Brody

Last week – on November 5th, to be precise – I posted my preliminary thoughts about this year’s PEOPLE’S PILOT entries.

I still can’t go too far beyond that because I’ll need to have read all the entries to make valid comparisons and judgments about PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 in relation to previous runnings of the competition, but I do have a couple of things to add in response to some questions that have come up.


To those who’ve been wondering about the gender of the writers who have entered, here’s what I’ve got:

  • Comedy Series Writers
    Women 27%
    Men 73%
  • Drama Series Writers
    Women 30%
    Men 70%


The PP doesn’t ask for gender and probably would be breaking the law if it did, which means that the above figures have to be regarded with caution because they are only estimates based on pretty darn flimsy data – the writers’ names and my probably naive interpretation of the gender they usually are used for.

Similarly, I have no idea of how many of the entrants have eschewed binary gender identification and regard themselves in another way altogether.

In other words, my apologies for what seems to me to be a most inadequate response.

While we’re on the subject, I have to say that the percentage of women entrants has surprised me. I always assumed it was much higher because over the 5+ years I’ve been holding Larry Brody’s Master Class a full 64% of the students have been women.

Why do women account for almost 2/3 of my students yet less than 1/3 of the contest entrants? Anyone out there want to venture a guess? You can get in touch with me via the comments or email me at .

To those who’ve been wondering about how successful TVWriter™s attempt to encourage Web Series and Audio Fiction Series, here are the stats:

  • Web Series Entries
    5% of the total entries were marked and paid for as web series.
  • Audio Fiction Series:
    2% of the total entries were marked and paid for as audio fiction series.
  1. Note:

I think this low turnout sucks and take full responsibility for it. I’m open to any and all suggestions for how to improve the “intended-for-emedia-response in next year’s PP.

Well, that’s not quite accurate. I’m open to more than suggestions. I’m ready and willing to accept genuine help in getting more of those involved in what I think of as next-gen TV into PEOPLE’S PILOT 2020.

If you’re interested in getting involved in this aspect of the competition – or any other aspect of it for that matter – by all means leave a comment below or email me at .

Thanks to everyone who has been interested and excited enough to get in touch with me about the contest and, of course, to all those who entered.






Last Week’s Most Important Cord Cutting Developments

Cord Cutters News’ Luke Bouma gives us the latest on the cord cutting front. One thing we can count on whether we watch it or not: The battle for our entertainment $$$ is getting bigger everyday.

You can find more from Cord Cutters at:


Oh, and you can even buy a nifty coffee mug so you can settle back and sip while you watch

WGAW on the Danger of Talent Agencies Owning studios and Production Companies

For those who continue to ask why we’re “so upset” about the conflict of interest aspect of the current disagreement between talent agencies  and their former clients, the writer-members of the Writers Guild of America.

This could easily be titled Why We Fight.

In a nutshell, from the Writers Guild of America, West:

Agency studios are production companies that are owned or jointly owned by an agency and their parent corporation. Watch the video to learn about their evolution and why, if left unchecked, their existence will increasingly undermine compensation for all talent.

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #71 – “An Act of Great Daring”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

I committed an act of great daring yesterday.

I got a haircut.

Not just any haircut—oh no. As I write this my hair is shorter than it’s been in more years than I can face remembering.

It’s so short it makes the head of a USMC boot camp recruit look shaggy.

What happened was I woke up with an overwhelming need to change something about myself.

I do that from time to time, mostly when things are going too well and I feel a need to start something new. To find a reason to struggle. The last time I went through that I quit my job, got divorced, and ran off to live with “Wild Indians.”
In comparison with that bit of work deciding I no longer wanted to present myself in a way that made people nod and say, “Oh, aging hippie, I get it,” shouldn’t have been a very big deal. My goal was to look more like the real me…formerly an aging hippie but now—

Now what?

I didn’t know, but I was hoping my neighbors would help me find out.

My plan was to drive over to the Paradise Barber Shop, tell Hank the Barber I wanted a change, and see what he’d do. I’ve been in that shop before, and I can tell you this: Clippers rule. I’ve never seen a customer leave there needing to use a comb.

But when I got into town I discovered I’d miscalculated. The barber shop was closed. So I walked across the street to the shop where a friendly divorcee named Melissa cuts Gwen the Beautiful’s hair and told her I wanted the $10 “Men’s Special.”

“Are you sure?” she said. “I set the clippers all the way down to ‘Two’ for the Special.”

“’Two’s’ pretty far down there, huh?”

“Well, not as far as ‘One.’”

“How’s this?” I said. “Set it for whatever you want. Give me any haircut you want. I’ve got total faith in your judgment.”

“You mean that? Really?” And before I could answer she fired up that clipper and cut the first swath.

Fifteen minutes later my hair formed a gray and silver and various shades of brown-colored pile of fluff on the floor. With a flourish, Melissa swiveled me around to face the mirror. “What do you think?”

I stared at my new reflection. “What do you think?” I said.

“I love it,” she said. “Honest.” Melissa nodded, more to herself than to me. “You look good. Like a man. Not an old man, and not a kid. Like an adult. Like I wish the man I’m dating over in Morning Star looked.”

Melissa reached out like she was going to hug me. Stopped herself. “Now tell me what you think,” she said.

I wasn’t sure what to say. I looked different, that’s for sure. Felt different too.

I felt the way I’d wanted to feel when I set out from the ranch.

I felt new.

I was walking a new road. At the beginning of a new adventure with a new me. The real me as seen by someone who had no ax to grind, no statement to make, nothing to gain or lose by not revealing the truth.

I thought, “Ah! Beginnings!” and felt my whole body stir.

I thought “Beginnings keep me alive!”

“I like it,” I said. “I like it fine.”

Melissa sighed with relief, and gave me that unfinished hug.

Half an hour later I was pulling up in front of our house. Gwen came rushing onto the front porch. Stared. It wasn’t her half-blind thing. It was something more.

“Who’s this?” she said. “Who’s this man standing over by that truck? When you left here I knew you. Now I’m not so sure.”

“Neither am I,” I said.

Gwen laughed. “That is so cool!”

I came up onto the porch so she could see me better. “I’m not sure I like this,” she said. “But I’m not saying I don’t.”

“That’s all right. We’re on the same page.”

“I’ll tell you one thing though,” Gwen said. “Whoever you are, you’re an adult. Wonder what it’ll be like after all these years, being married to an adult.”

“That’s the great thing about this,” I said. “We get to find out.”

We walked into the house, two familiar travelers taking a new road together.

An act of great daring indeed.

Writers Guild of America Announces 2020 Negotiating Committee

Preparing for another battle.

Because that’s what TV and film writers do.

Last Friday’s announcement from the combined Writers Guild West and Writers Guild East:

November 8, 2019
Dear Members,

The WGAW Board and WGAE Council have appointed the members of the MBA negotiating committee for our upcoming contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). WGAW Executive Director David Young will serve as chief negotiator.

The members of the committee are:

Michele Mulroney, Co-Chair
Shawn Ryan, Co-Chair
Betsy Thomas, Co-Chair
Liz Alper
Arash Amel
John August
Amy Berg
Ashley Nicole Black
Adam Brooks
Francesca Butler
Patti Carr
Robb Chavis
Meg DeLoatch
Travis Donnelly
Kate Erickson
Dante W. Harper
Eric Heisserer
Melissa Hilfers
Elliott Kalan
Chris Keyser
Adele Lim
Peter Murrieta
Luvh Rakhe
Dailyn Rodriguez
Erica Saleh
David Slack
Lauren Ashley Smith
Amy Sohn
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone

David A. Goodman, Ex-Officio
Marjorie David, Ex-Officio
Beau Willimon, Ex-Officio
Kathy McGee, Ex-Officio
Bob Schneider, Ex-Officio

Our current Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) expires on May 1, 2020. In anticipation of the upcoming negotiations, Guild staff has prepared research, data and potential negotiating proposals for leadership and members to consider as we begin the process of setting priorities. Next week the Guilds will send out a member survey where you can identify the MBA issues that matter the most to you. The negotiating committee will begin meeting this month.

Member meetings will commence in early 2020 to give further opportunity for writer feedback, and a pattern of demands will be put to a vote prior to the start of spring negotiations.

In Solidarity,
WGAW Board and WGAE Council