Monday, November 07, 2011

What's currently going on in the world of network television

Here we are in November, the new season is in full swing, and the development season for next year has begun. So here’s what’s going on right this very minute:

New shows have gotten their pick-ups for the back nine. Showrunners find that even though the workload increases, the job becomes easier because the network that touted their show as the next great thing now has a modicum of faith in it.

Every new series picked up will be promoted on air as either “the Number One New Comedy” or “the Number One New Drama” of the season.  Half will be canceled by season's end.

Producers of long running shows that changed time slots and are not faring as well are doing everything short of sending in goon squads to get their old time periods back.

Actors on first year shows are going to New York on hiatus to promote their shows. Actors on second year shows are booking flights to Hawaii and Aspen.

Networks are lobbying hard for stunt casting. Yes, your cast is wonderful, but is there any chance you could get the T-Mobile girl to guest one week?

The Kim Kardashian jokes have not stopped. Nor will they until December or when she remarries, whichever comes first.

The reality shows that will premiere next month are staging runthroughs. Cue the lasers and fog machines.

Writing staffs are counting the days until Thanksgiving and their first real break. Since production began in the summer they’ve been jamming non-stop. Now they’re saying, “If we can just get to Thanksgiving.” Then they’ll be saying, “If we can just get to Christmas.” And finally, “If we can just get to the medicine cabinet.”

At least three shows in production are imploding and will be shut down “temporarily”.

Producers of midseason shows are being told to step up production. Instead of premiering in January they might need to go on the air tomorrow.

Network development executives are looking at their slates after a wild and frenzied buying season and saying, “What the fuck did we do?”

Many of these pilot scripts have been assigned to actors and feature writers who have never written a TV pilot and are discovering, “Hey, this is hard!” This realization comes on page 3.

Development executives are scrambling to find projects with fairy tale characters.

Hang in there all! Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

26 comments:

Allen L. said...

The T-Mobile Girl (also known as Carly Foulkes) is already stunt casted. She will pop up as the deceased superhero "Retro Girl" on the tv version of the Powers comic book this fall.
Proving once again that old show biz axiom "If you wear a pink dress in a telecom commercial, big things await!"
Which was first attributed to Max Baer Jr., I believe. Although I could be wrong....

David Schwartz said...

Friday question. How do writers become "network approved." It seems there's a small window between being an unknown where the network won't let the show runner hire you and being "old news" as someone who's seen as over the hill and not having "fresh" ideas. When you're starting out as a writer, what do you have to do to become a respected, approved writer, especially when there seems to be so few freelance gigs anymore.

Retro Blog said...

"Fairy Tale Characters...." ABC Sunday night, the Evil Queen is way, WAY over the top, I'm sure she is having a wonderful hammy time.

reno said...

Wondering what you think of The Gifted Man. Margo is wasted in the role. I think it was intended that she be a sassy black woman (as in Becker), but Margo's Emmy attracted some attention. Thin gruel.

Then there's Revenge. Should be sponsored by P&G, for all its soapishness. Thinner.

DanTedson said...

I remember seeing someone on tons of commercials way back when and thinking, "I bet this guy'll be on a sitcom soon and he'll be funny as hell." He ended up being cast as Jack on Will and Grace. 1 for 2.

Weston said...

I must say I am actually enjoying Once Upon a Time. Grimm is okay but Once really has me and my daughter as well as my picky GF all tuning in.

Barry Traylor said...

It has always amused how they will promote a new show as the #1 new drama, etc. A bit difficult to have more than one #1.

Mac said...

I'm always amazed how these inside insights make working on a US broadcast comedy sound like the lowest circle of hell.
Although I'd imagine when you get a hit, it's the best job in the world, so i suppose that's what makes it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for my grand daughter's stunt cast. She's the girl dressed in pink (maybe purple) in the new Microsoft family commercials running all over TV. It was her very first audition (ink wasn't even dry on her composites) and first casting, so she must have something going......

Kevin Jq said...

I wonder when they'll cancel "Whitney", the only thing keeping it on is that she is pretty hot, not as hot as she thinks she is, but still hot.
Since she and the show seem to revel in how sexy they can make her each week she should just do it in her bra and panties, isn't that what she's selling?
Grimm sucks too, the local media in Portland are fawning all over it, it got picked up for a whole season, great.

Please Leave Name said...

I'm waiting to get a stunt writing assignment.

Mary Stella said...

Love Once Upon a Time! Clever writing, great visuals, strong performances. Unlike Lost I can follow the past and present storylines without scratching my head countless times and wondering, "Whu..whu...huh?"

Buttermilk Sky said...

Best new comedy: "Tyler Perry's Herman Cain 4 President." It was a tad predictable when they introduced a sex-scandal storyline in time for November sweeps, but who am I to tell Perry his business? Canceled by January anyway.

Frank said...

I knew one day my Richard Simmons sitcom pilot wouldn't be laughed at by those unsavory development executives!

Anonymous said...

Ah, Magenta Girl. Sometimes she forces me to halt my fast-forwarding through the commmercials.

Frank muldoon said...

I know you said you don't really follow 2 & a half men but I have a Cheers analogy for you.
Replacing Charlie Sheen with Aston Kutcher is like replacing Shelly Long with a female Woody Harrelson. Bad mojo in my opinion. Diane was astrong character replaced with a even stronger Kirstey Ally character.
Charley Sheen played himself and I think Kiefer Sutherland would have been a perfect fit. He is a strong actor that has had plenty of run ins with the law in real life.

Colleen Kelly Mellor said...

OK, no one's said the obvious, so I will. OMG, I LOVE "Revenge." After all, it's firing on all cylinders...the wicked antagonist, the boyhood love, enough amnesia for all to apparently forget who this girl really is, the new love, a decidedly delicious young woman bent on avenging her wronged Dad and her own atrophied life. Just like Count of Monte Cristo...

Anonymous said...

T-Mobile Girl is maddeningly alike Anne Hathaway...Doesn't anyone else see that? I am intrigued by the way she walks about, commands the scene wherever she is (off a billboard, mid-scene among workers)...Advertising genius has a real affinity for what will work. But then again, look at the Progressive insurance girl...

Colleen Kelly Mellor said...

T-Mobile Girl is maddeningly alike Anne Hathaway...Doesn't anyone else see that? I am intrigued by the way she walks about, commands the scene wherever she is (off a billboard, mid-scene among workers)...Advertising genius has a real affinity for what will work. But then again, look at the Progressive insurance girl...

DyHrdMET said...

very simple question - I saw your name listed in the credits to an episode of M*A*S*H as "Teleplay by KEN LEVINE & DAVID ISAACS". What does that actually mean - how did you contribute to this episode? If it helps, it was the episode "Post Op" where the 4077th has a shortage of blood and a lot of casualties.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I also really like Once Upon a Time - I think it's fun and clever, and I lvoe the casting.

Grimm I have hopes for: David Greenwalt did a lot of find work on Buffy and Angel, and there are a lot of similarities (granted, Joss Whedon's presence is not one of them).

Revenge is fun. Ringer is ridiculous, but I'm still keeping up with it.

As for 2 1/2 Men, I've liked the last couple of episodes.

wg

Harold X said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. McEwan said...

Does NBC own Whitney? Any other show so massively reviled would, at the very least, have stopped production, and begun burning off episodes, more likely cancelled and yanked, like The Playboy Club. (You called that one!)

Instead, NBC is promoting it on other nights, and working like crazy to force this bomb into hit status. It's wretched. Let it go. And I disagree that she is hot. She is strident and thus unattractive. The guy would be hot if he got a haircut and a new girlfriend.

I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying Terra Nova. Sure, it hasn't got an original bone in it's body, and the plots could most-kindly be called derivitive, but it's fun. I haven't seen a dinosaur used as a murder weapon in a whodunit before. (The killer framed an innocent prehistoric killing machine!)

I never watched 2 1/2 Men prior to this season, as it had Charlie Sheen on it, and I've had a an avoid-Charlie Sheen order in effect for many years know (It wasn't news last year that Charlie is a crazy slimeball), but I've been enjoying the heck out of Ashton Kutcher. As long as they keep undressing him, I'll keep watching. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they avoid the child-is-smarter-than-the-adults cliche by making the kid (barely still a kid) be just as dumb as his dad. This week's episode with Cryer turning into his brother may not have been believable, but it was certainly funny.

Tink said...

i also agree with that,when a new show comes up,it is always the number 1 etc.,that was kinda confusing for the televiewers.

working at virtual office manila

tahreem said...

tttttttttttttttttttt mmmmmmoooooooobbbbbbbbb

Anonymous said...

DETROIT 187, Law and Order LA among others were canceled why? Is it just me, or has this year had more new shows than normal that are horrible?

Thanks

Jeremy