I prepare for the Memorial Day Weekend by answering some Friday Questions.
The Bumble Bee Pendant starts us off:
Ken, as you know British shows do not have Writers Rooms, mostly because they have shorter series runs, and the penchant for Sorkin-type showrunners, plus a couple of freelancers to write everything. However, BBC is considering it. Would you prefer something like this if you had a limited Netflix type series or do you feel that comedy has to be done by the Writers Room?
I’d like a combination of both. I would like to write all of the scripts (along with my partner David Isaacs), but then when the show is in production I’d like a few writers on staff to help rewrite and fix the mess we had made. I also really enjoy the camaraderie of a writing staff. So I would not choose to go it alone even if I could.
Is the age of the classic miniseries like "Roots" and "The Winds of War" long gone? Or is the format still alive today in a different look, like a 10- episode season like "Better Call Saul" our "Agent Carter" have had?
I wouldn’t call those two shows miniseries. They’re “series.” (AGENT CARTER is a former series. It was cancelled.)
Networks still do them, but more on a limited basis. And now there are so many other avenues for miniseries. But they’re around. Every year on the Emmys there are five nominees and I’ve never heard of any of them.
Neal Grinnell asks:
I see that a stage adaption of "Cheers" is coming to Boston in September. Were you or David Isaacs involved at all?
No. We also don’t know if any of our scripts are being used. But we are looking into it. Or should I say our representatives are looking into it?
Justin Russo queries:
Can you choose a favorite joke or scene that you wrote (from any series) that you are most proud of writing?
Sam is in the poolroom with Diane and says something to the effect of: “I should have known. One time on the road we were in a piano bar and he requested a show tune.”
For some reason that got a five-minute laugh. The laugh was so long that the director ordered the cameras to stop rolling. We were wasting too much film. For a comedy writer that’s a walk-off home run in a World Series game.
And finally, Stoney wonders”
Allright Ken; let's say your phone rings. You open it and see that it's James Brooks calling. "Hi Jim" "Hi Ken; we've decided it's time to end THE SIMPSONS and we need you to write a finale for us." Well?
I would have the characters wake up and suddenly be their real ages. And I would have the episode dedicated to Sam Simon.
What’s your Friday Question? Have a great and safe holiday weekend.