It Ain’t Easy Being New

How many times have you been told to “get it in writing” when you make any kind of writing deal? Written guarantees are important, sure, but they don’t always stick…even in the Big Leagues, especially when you’re a noob:

ABC Series Dumps Rookie Showrunner (TVBizwire)

An ABC series has changed showrunners, with the network and the studio reportedly dissatisfied with the original showrunner’s inexperience. reports that Bobby Bowman has stepped down as executive producer and showrunner of the midseason comedy series “The Family Tools.” Bowman, who adapted the show from the British comedy “White Van Man,” will be replaced by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia of “That ’70s Show,” the story notes.

ABC and ABC Studios wanted showrunners with experience, as the project marked Bowman’s first series as a creator or showrunner, the story notes.

What do you suppose Dan Harmon would say?

NCIS Marathon on USA Network Sunday

…And we’re going to watch. Because, hell, man, it’s Gibbs. And his mother hunchin’ rules!

The only thing better than watching Leroy Jethro Gibbs use his inhumanly astounding sniper skills is listening to him spout his life rules. Which often comes just before he amazes us with the aforementioned sniper skills. Fortunately for NCIS fans, somebody with some power at USA  realizes this, resulting in a:

Starting Sunday, August 19th, at 12:00 Eastern Time.
(Check your local listings to see if that’s A.M. or P.M. because as unbelievable as it sounds the silly press release doesn’t say.)

We don’t need a press release to tell you that NCIS is the highest-rated drama show on television these days. (Yes, it’s a loose definition of “drama.” Deal with it.) Or to fill in the sadly unwashed on the fact that the show stars Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant now a special agent for NCIS. Gibbs’ team includes special agents Anthony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly), Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), who are supported by forensic specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) and medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum), and it’s their interaction that makes this show work.


A Comic Book Pro Comes Thru with Insight About TV

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees Dept: Martha Thomases, co-creator of Dakota North for Marvel Comics, analyzes something we didn’t even notice: The increasing abundance of “shit” on TV. (No, we’re not talking quality here, we’re talking “shit.” Wait, that didn’t come out right either. Uh-oh, neither did that…)

Martha Thomases Is Talking Dirty – by Martha Thomases

They say “shit” on cable now. And “ass.”

And not just pay cable where not only has this been going on for decades, but it’s often a selling point. Need proof? Watch the reruns of The Sopranos on A&E, where they bleep so much that it sounds like having the hiccups is a requirement for being in the Mafia.

I don’t know when things changed. So many people in my daily life say “shit” and “ass” (and lots of other things) on a regular basis that I don’t really notice. This is how people talk in 2012. It’s how people have talked for the last 50 years, maybe longer (my memory is limited to my lifetime).

Still, when Ellen Burstyn said “Shit” on Political Animals. I had to pay attention. I think it’s in her contract that she has to say “shit” at least five times per episode.

Next up, I noticed they say “shit” on Suits, a show I started to watch becauseGabriel Macht struggled so nobly in Frank Miller’s The Spirit that I rooted for him. I don’t think anyone says “shit” in Don Quixote, but if someone did, he would sound like Macht.

I didn’t notice if they said “shit” on Common Law, but they do say “ass.” I wonder if there are rules on the USA Network that you can say one word formerly deleted on basic cable, but not all of them.

On Louis, I think I heard them say “fuck.” I also saw a scene set in my local drug store, so I may just be projecting the neighborhood ambiance.

All of these shows (except Louie) are on in prime time. Louie is on at 11. So isthe Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but they are still bleeping “shit” and “ass” on that show. I don’t know why there is a difference.

It’s also possible that, on scripted shows, the writers insist that “shit” and “ass” are necessary for the artistic integrity of their work. I’d agree that it’s hard to imagine back-room politics, high-powered law firms, or Los Angeles police departments where such language isn’t used. And the life of a stand-up comedian is an f-bomb waiting to happen.

Read it all

Ms. Thomases is right as can be. And wait’ll you see her conclusion. (In other words, we really hope you’ll keep reading.)

Another Interweb Series We Like

Hey, kids, it’s BLUE CHIMP!

Okay, so it’s really called JUNGLE BRAWL, but – note to creator Lee Daniels – the character name is more compelling and should be the name of the show.

That’s however, is the only thing we can see wrong with this delightful endeavor. Hoping tosee many more eps.


We found NAOC kind of irritating but admit it probably was because we wanted Christine to be more like – yeah, we know it’s silly – SEINFELD’s Elaine.

CBS Buys Kari Lizer Comedy As Put Pilot – by Nellie Andreeva

Kari Lizer is back at CBS. Two years after the cancellation of her CBS comedy The New Adventures Of Old Christine, the network has given a put pilot commitment to a new multi-camera comedy project from the writer-producer. It marks a departure for Lizer as it is her first show that doesn’t have a female lead. The untitled sitcom centers on a guy who finally meets the woman of his dreams but she happens to be his cousin’s fiancée. Warner Bros. TV, where Lizer is based, is producing with her Kari’s Logo Here banner.

For the two development cycles after the May 2010 cancellation of Old Christine, which came down to the wire and didn’t allow Lizer to give the five-year comedy a proper ending, she opted to take her projects elsewhere. She pitched CBS, which had been courting her for while, earlier this week. In a great meeting, CBS execs bought the project in the room, bringing Lizer back to the network where she has had her biggest success to date.

Read it all

“In a great meeting, CBS execs bought the project in the room….” Not exactly the language of journalism, but, hey, if makes us feel like we’re part of something, right? We like to think that the web is a lot like quantum mechanics. Web-writing about reality automatically changes it – just like observing reality changes that.

And you didn’t believe TVWriter™ was dee-eep.