What Not To Do To Get Your Book On a Store’s Shelf

For once, we’re speechless. No, wait, here’s our speech: “Long live Chutzpah!” Yeah, it’s a showbiz thing.

Joan Rivers says Costco book ban like ‘beginning of Nazi Germany’ (L.A.Times)

Television personality Joan Rivers created a little mayhem Tuesday at a Costco in Burbank, chaining herself to a shopping cart and shouting from a bullhorn as part of a protest that also happened to promote her new book.

Clad in chunky jewelry and oversized dark glasses, Rivers went onto Costco’s property to denounce the fact that the wholesale giant does not sell her book, “I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me.” Police officers were called to the scene but no citations were issued.

Rivers ultimately left, but only after speaking extensively with television reporters. She said her book had been banned by the chain because it has cuss words on the back cover.

“People should have the right to have the literature they want,” the nasal-voiced comedienne told KTLA News. “This is the beginning of Nazi Germany.”

Rivers had her own film crew in tow for her protest, said Burbank city spokesman Drew Sugars. “She had a whole entourage,” Sugars told The Times. “Sounds like a staged media event.”

Rivers made no mention of her protest on her Twitter account, instead sending tweets about the stretch bangle bracelets and the QVC shopping network. But she did tell KTLA she wasn’t entirely satisfied with her publicity stunt.

“They kicked me out without giving me any free samples,” she told the station.

Everybody’s Talking About How Much TV Stars Make

…Because money, you know, has always had kind of a loud voice:

The highest paid star on TV. Hi, David!

Who Earns What: TV’s Highest Paid Stars – by Stephen Battaglio and Michael Schneider

Drama (per episode)
Mark Harmon (NCIS): $500,000
Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy): $350,000
Kevin Bacon (The Following): $175,000
Lucy Liu (Elementary): $125,000
Stephen Amell (Arrow): $30,000

Comedy (per episode)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men): $700,000
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory): $300,000
Modern Family
 Adult Cast: $175,000 each
Lea Michele (Glee): $75,000
Crystal the Monkey (Animal Practice): $12,000

Late Night (per year)
David Letterman: $28 million
Jay Leno: $25 million
Jon Stewart: $16 million
Craig Ferguson: $8 million
Chelsea Handler: $8 million

Daytime/Syndication (per year)
Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $45 million
Joe Brown (Judge Joe Brown): $20 million
Kelly Ripa (Live! With Kelly): $20 million
Sherri Shepherd (The View): $1.5 million
Mario Batali (The Chew): $6,000 per episode

Mariah Carey (American Idol): $17 million per season
Howard Stern (America’s Got Talent): $15 million per season
Pauly DelVecchio (Jersey Shore): $175,000 per episode
Betty White (Off Their Rockers): $50,000 per episode
Landry Family (Swamp People): $25,000 per episode

News (per year)
Matt Lauer (Today): $21.5 million
Bill O’Reilly (The O’Reilly Factor): $15 million
Diane Sawyer (ABC World News): $12 million
Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360 and Anderson Live): $11 million
Robin Meade (HLN anchor): $750,000

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This article contains a lot of verbiage we’ve cut out, mainly analyses of current showbiz economics and why in an era of big cutbacks everywhere some stars still are getting huge raises. We admit that, regardless of circumstances and reasons, we’re more than a little impressed by David Letterman’s $28 million paycheck. (Plus, we’re sure, added moolah in the form of commitments to his production company/reimbursement for expenses, etc.)

But, for writers, here’s the good news: There are showrunners who make more. Can’t name any names, but there are more than one. So if money’s your thing, don’t despair. WRITE!!!

And if money isn’t your thing, remember: The Great Thinkers whose thoughts have endured for thousands of years tell us it isn’t the money that counts, it’s the art. And those guys (Sophocles, Jesus, Stan Lee) knew.

Now if I could only convince my parents (and my landlord and…).

LB: Alas, Poor Aaron…

by Larry Brody

…Sorkin, that is. Looks like everyone’s after him these days, and not in a good way.

And a short while ago he was such a golden boy. Screenwriting Oscar winner! Beloved creator of THE WEST WING! Toast of what we used to call “the Intelligensia” with his cult fave SPORTS NIGHT.

Now, though, he’s getting creamed in the press/on the web by critics and viewers alike. It isn’t just a case of, “Oh, dood, we’re so disappointed. THE NEWSROOM has really let us down,” but of, “Jesus, Sorkin, you phony, arrogant sonuvabitch, you lied to us, man!”

On the surface, the problem is Sorkin’s appearance at the TV Critics Association press tour, during which he unequivocally denied that he’d fired most of the writing staff of THE NEWSROOM, and then proceeded to equivocate about it. Even formerly vocal fans have been jumping all over him on this one, as though delighting in having caught the emperor without his clothes on.

And, I think, that’s what it’s all about. We love to catch people out, to expose the mighty, even those we’ve made so mighty with our approval/praise. By “we” I mean all humans. I’ve seen it so many times that the syndrome seems hard-wired.

Remember how much everyone loved Stallone back in the ROCKY days? Until he accepted his Oscar, thanked all “you little Rockies out there” and immediately distanced himself from his fans. Told us that he saw himself as special. As elevated. All it took was one word: “You.”

Sorkin’s sin is similar. By running a series in which its characters are constantly making moral and ethical judgments that by both implication and overt statement set them up above everyone in not only their TV universe but the viewers’ universe as well, he has for all practical purposes installed himself as the Godlike Arbiter of All Things Just and Good and True.

I’m not saying he did that deliberately, but that’s the result of all his deliberate decisions about the show. That’s the effect on everyone who watches it. We all get the same message: “Aaron Sorkin has set up certain standards of human wonderfulness and is holding each and every one of us up to them.”

And the immediate human reaction to such a message is: “Asshole.”

By making himself a god, Sorkin automatically creates a new set of standards to be used by us judging him. He wants us to be so much better than we are? Fine. As long as he seems better than the average bear too.Much better.

And, of course, he doesn’t. Because he isn’t. No one is. We’re all just people, trying to do our best. All of us fail, a hundred times a day, every day. And, at this point in his career, Aaron Sorkin’s professional/personal failures simply cannot be tolerated, even by those who once adored him.

Sorry, Aaron, but you don’t have a prayer of surviving this. No one in your position does. Because the truth is that the real, hidden, all-too-true-and-human reason we build pedestals and then place people upon them is so we can pull our idols down later and Hulk-smash ’em.

(In case you wondered why the Hulk is so popular. Hmm, gonna be hard to pull him down, isn’t it? But that’ll just make it so much more fun.)

Check out ‘Moses and the Golden Calf’ and other fine work by ~garadrobe


NBC Buys Another Procedural – From Kelsey Grammar

Not a pic from the upcoming series, but pretty damn freaky, for sure.

Well, from his company anyway. Gramnet Productions and Lionsgate have sold the most active network buyer in town (the town being L.A., okay?) a drama series called PARIAH.

Written by Kevin Fox, whose credits include LIE TO ME, LAW & ORDER: SVU, the feature film THE NEGOTIATOR, and the novel Until Next Time, PARIAH could well be the weirdest project on any network’s development list: A cop show based on the various “Freakonomics” books and website, created by economist authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

According to Deadline.Com, the series premise boils down to this:

[T]he Mayor of San Diego appoints a rogue academic with no law enforcement background to run a task force using Freakonomics-inspired alternative methods of policing. This causes an uproar within the police department as the morally conflicted, conspiracy-minded academic solves crimes by conducting his controversial experiments on citizens of the city.

You don’t get it? Neither do we, but think about that for a moment. How wonderful is it that a broadcast network is actually considering a series so out there that even we, the hippest of the hip, are scratching our heads? You got it.Very wonderful indeed.

We’ll definitely be talking about this one in weeks to come. (Unless Bob Greenblatt or some other genius at NBC wakes up in a cold sweat and kills PARIAH before it gets started.)

Write Kevin Fox doesn’t look either a freak or a pariah

Clyde Phillips Signs New 2-Year Pact With Lionsgate

We like this article because it pays attention to the rest of the writing staff Clyde’s brought in. Oh, and also because Clyde looks so much like TVWriter™ pal Stan Berkowitz, another formidable slinger of words. (Maybe that’s why Stan and Clyde are such good friends?) But we digress…

Clyde Phillips Inks New Deal With Lionsgate TV, Talks About Rebooting ‘Nurse Jackie’ – by Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Clyde Phillips has signed a new two-year overall deal with Lionsgate Television. Phillips recently joined Lionsgate’s dark comedy Nurse Jackie, and his duties as executive producer/showrunner on the Showtime series will fall under his new pact with Lionsgate, which also covers development.

Phillips was already talking to Lionsgate about renewing his overall deal when the opportunity to take over Nurse Jackie came up when original showrunners Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius stepped down. “All the stars aligned,” Phillips said. “I thought Nurse Jackie was really good, and I thought it could be great.” He also liked the prospect of working with Nurse Jackie star/exec producer Edie Falco and the fact that he was not asked to just come in and “babysit” an established series. “I was asked to reboot the show, and that’s a challenge I willingly and happily accept.”

To do that, Phillips has assembled a team of writers, including bringing in longtime friend, comedy veteran Tom Straw, as an executive producer. The two first worked together on Phillips’ Fox comedy series Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, on which Straw served as co-executive producer. Straw’s credits include Grace Under Fire, Cosby, Whoopi and most recently, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Phillips’ team also includes Michael Davidoff & Bill Rosenthal (Men At Work) as co-executive producers; Cindy Caponera (Saturday Night Live), current Nurse Jackie scribe and playwright Liz Flahive as supervising producers; Daniele Nathanson (CSI: NY) as executive story editor; Gina Gold & Aurorae Khoo (Running Wilde) as story editors; and Abe Sylvia (Dirty Girl) as staff writer.

Despite the fact that Nurse Jackie was given a fifth-season order with Phillips at the helm at the tail-end of the traditional staffing season when many sought-after writers are already locked in, “we got everybody we wanted from the highest echelon to staff writers,” Phillips said. He has spent the past month in the writers room and is getting ready to pitch their ideas for next season. Because he hasn’t discussed them with the network yet, Phillips was hesitant to reveal much about Nurse Jackie‘s fifth season, but said that it will focus on “the aspect of the newly sober Nurse Jackie character facing the consequences of what she has done to herself and others.” I hear that, in addition to the writer additions, the show’s cast will also likely undergo some tweaking.

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