How to Celebrate Your New TV Writing Staff Job

Everybody knows what you’re supposed to do as soon as you’re staffed on a TV series. You rush over to the closest cool dealership and buy (or, if your personal corporation is paying for it) lease a new car.

What car you get depends on many factors, most having to do with what’s in fave, automobile-wise, in the biz at the time. Price also plays a part, of course. Right now, auto-ing up goes along these lines:

  • Staff writers get something Japanese
  • Story editors get baby Bimmers
  • Writer-producers get Porsches
  • Writer-executive producers get Mercedes
  • Showrunners get one of each

However, if you’re more practically minded and/or have lots of debts to pay off because you haven’t worked in a very long time (like since you first qualified for the Guild because of what turned out to be a fluke sale of an original screenplay that didn’t get made), you might want to go for something like this (especially if you’re in the Just-Under-30-Just-Getting (or Gotten)-Married/Into a Very Serious Relationship Crowd:

Why are we looking at their rear ends?

Yes, it’s a Mercedes-style pram. Designed to keep peace in the family, which, if you have or are expecting to have, a new baby, is key.

That’s better. Thanks.

Of course, if that seems like too much, there’s always this:

Doctor Who hasn’t said it yet, but he will: “Porsches are cool.” And so are Porsche strollers.

Both these items, and many more wondrously overwrought, outrageously expensive goodies at BornRich.

Watch This Deleted Scene From LOUIE

…Because we can learn just as much about television production (and writing) by knowing what the geniuses don’t use as well as what they do:

We don’t know what episode this was intended for, but don’t you think that a 2-minute version, or two 2-minute pieces as a frame for the rest of a show, would have been awesome?

EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Having just watched the LOUIE episode in which Louie apologizes to Marc Maron for ruining their friendship 10 years earlier, I’m thinking this scene would have fitted in nicely with both the theme and the format of this particular half-hour: Separate vignettes. If the material was shot for that episode I can also see why it was cut: No room.

Speaking of Satellite Services: Watch Your Backs, Doods

As true lovers of progress – or is it chaos? – we’re having trouble hiding our ear-to-ear grins:

Why pay TV operators should fear Google Fiber – by Deborah Yao

Google Inc. is reinventing the business of pay TV and broadband — and it may not need to wire every U.S. city to make an impact. Operators everywhere should be very, very afraid.

In Kansas City, Kan.-Mo., Google Fiber is offering Internet speeds 172x faster than the U.S. average, DVR storage capacity equal to a top-of-the-line TiVo Inc. box, one simple video package that includes all non-premium channels and an innovative user experience that more seamlessly melds Internet and TV.

There are no extra charges for HD TV, set-top box rentals or whole-home DVRs. Internet usage is not capped, and there are no overages. As if that were not enough, Google is offering free Internet service at average U.S. speeds and plans to connect hospitals, libraries, government offices and other institutions at no cost.

Frustrated with the nation’s broadband providers and their usage caps, prices and globally lagging speeds, Google is taking matters into its own hands to accelerate innovation and secure its own future.

Google Fiber is part of a grand plan to create highly connected societies, a place where “bandwidth flows like water, where the fastest Internet in the world is available at an affordable price and [where] people can get access to basic broadband for free,” said Milo Medin, vice president of access services at Google, one of several executives who spoke at the service’s July 26 launch in Kansas City.

“It’s not just Internet. It’s not just TV. It’s Google Fiber.”

Read it all.

Lovers of “disruption,” that’s the word we were looking for. Because in the tech world disruption is a positive thing. And we’re nothing if not positive that we’d love to see a big change. The way we look at it, the better the method of delivery, the more heterogeneous the audience. And the more wide-ranging the audience, the more openly, honestly, and adventurously we can write.


…And we mean that literally – for loving couples that watch DOCTOR WHO:

Now You Can Actually Order That GORGEOUS TARDIS WEDDING RING – by Amy Ratcliffe

It can be an eensy bit heartbreaking when someone designs a beautiful piece of jewelry that you can’t purchase. I’m sure many people felt that way about this TARDIS wedding ring we featured back in March. The design is subtle but still very reminiscent of the infamous police public call box. Luckily, this is one concept that’s become an actual product.

The designer, Pathetic Peripatetic, has made it a real ring. He’s even added sapphires because blue goes with the TARDIS like no other color. You have to email him for pricing and availability (link below). I’m sure the ring won’t come cheaply, but then again, it travels through time and space. Do other wedding rings do that?

Read it all

Sure wish we could come up with a cooler/more informative/more writerly reaction than “Awwwwww…”

Whoa, Kinda Looks Like the DISH CEO is an…Well, How Does ‘Arrogant Putz’ Sound?

Saw this on The Consumerist, a – maybe the – top consumer protection side on the web. Not a healthy way to start the day:

Know Your Enemy Dept. Meet Dish Boss Charlie Ergen

Dish CEO Says His Customers Don’t Watch AMC Because “They Live In Farms & Ranches” – by Chris Morran

To all you Dish subscribers who have to go over to your friends’ houses to watch Breaking Bad because you no longer have AMC, the satellite service’s CEO has a message for you: Stop complaining and don’t watch good TV, because he never has.

“I’ve had satellite television for as long as satellite television has been around and there’s never been one minute that I know of anybody in my family, or anybody who’s came to my house, has ever watched one second of any of those channels,” explained Dish’s Charles Ergen about the company’s reasons for dropping AMC-owned channels — AMC, WeTV, IFC, Sundance Channel.

While Ergen restated the company’s position that the main sticking point with the AMC negotiations was the broadcasters’ insistence on bundling the lower rated channels with AMC, which also airs popular shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

But, he insists, these shows are not anything Dish customers really care about anyway.

“They live in farms and ranches… They have no clue about zombies and New York.”

I suppose I should tell all the people here in Philadelphia who have Dish dishes slapped on their roofs that they are actually living on very small farms.

So here I am, a DISH subscriber for as long as the service has existed. And now I learn that the head of the company thinks I’m a clueless buffoon. Since I’m basically a bad-tempered, clueless buffoon, my blood pressure is soaring. DirecTV in our area is offering some pretty good specials. What should I do?

EDITED TO ADD: Of course, there is a negotiation going on, so, wise as Consumerist usually is, this interview still could be part of an attempt to play us. But here’s the thing – Hey, Charlie, the play is succeeding.