It’s Friday Question day!!
scottmc kicks it off:
A question inspired by a NY Times article on the remake of 'Arthur', starring Russell Brand and Helen Mirren. Hopefully this won't misfire like 'The In-Laws', but it isn't promising. My question: what two or three movie comedies would you least like to see remade?
Well, first of all – ARTHUR. Making that movie without Steve Gordon’s brilliant script is like buying a Rolls Royce with a Kia engine.
I’d hate to see any of Woody Allen’s early movies like TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN and BANANAS remade. Knowing Hollywood, they would probably get Michael Cera to play the Woody Allen roles. Don’t touch anything by Billy Wilder or Preston Sturgess. Keep THE GRADUATE away from Judd Apatow. Keep any comedy that doesn’t have a thousand shit jokes away from the Ferrelly Brothers.
Hollywood loves to change genders in remakes. Don’t redo TOOTSIE but with a woman.
Don’t remake any Jewish themed comedies such as HEARTBREAK KID (a vile reboot) or GOODBYE COLUMBUS and then take the Jewish element out of it.
Billy Wilder had a great line. He said, “Why remake great movies? Why not remake movies that didn’t work and do them better?”
Remake the last six Kevin Smith movies.
From Doug Barry:
Shouldn't a good spec run about 20 or so pages for a show like MODERN FAMILY?
Just confused on how many pages a spec script should actually be and what's acceptable in the industry.
It depends on the show. But there’s an easy solution. Get a copy of a script for the show you wish to write. This can be accomplished in several ways. Write the show and ask if they’ll send you a script. Check on-line and see if scripts from that series are posted.
There are some Hollywood bookstores that sell scripts, usually at bargain prices.
And if you live in Manhattan, there are always two or three guys selling scripts at the entrance of Central Park. I think one of my BECKER scripts was going for $5.
Judith has a FRASIER question:
I just wondered: were there rules, formal or informal, about how episodes treated the main character, Frasier, in terms of how much the story line revolved around him, for example? Or was it just more common sense, we know who the star of the show is?
Frasier had to be integrally involved in every episode. Most of the time the stories revolved around him but not always. Martin, Roz, Daphne, and Niles could be the focal point of an episode but Frasier always had to be pivotal.
But this was not a chore since Frasier was such a great character with strong attitudes and moral positions.
And finally, from Stephen:
The subject of Saturday night TV has been brought up in this blog before, but I wanted to ask, why can other countries make it a viable night for original programming? In the UK, Saturday is by far one of the most watched nights of television. So why is the US failing on a night others thrive on in your opinion?
I’m just speculating, but US television is geared primarily to the 18-34 demographic. They’re the group most likely to go out on Saturday night. And have DVR’s and computers to watch shows whenever they want.
This is certainly a sea change from the 70s when CBS’s biggest night was Saturday. ALL IN THE FAMILY was so popular that people stayed home until it was over to go out. And the other shows that followed (MASH, MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, BOB NEWHART SHOW, CAROL BURNETT SHOW)all finished in the top 10.
But that was even before VCR’s. Appointment television really meant something. And networks were striving to capture the largest audience they could. I’m guessing at the root of the difference between the US and UK now is that in Jolly Olde they still covet old people in their 40s.
What would you like to know? Please confine your questions to the industry and sexual advice. Thank you.