Monday, July 31, 2017

The new TV season begins

With August almost here, network shows are going back into production. New shows are hoping for November pick ups, returning hits see the horizon as March.

And believe me, for the writing staff, March seems like five years away.

But hiatuses are done. Pre-production is done. Long lunches and leaving early is done. Here come the actors and it’s time for cameras to roll.

I have to say, honestly, when I was on staff of a show, by this point in the process I was ready to start production. It’s all prep until the cast and crew go to work. But once you get going you start making headway through the season.

And I never got over that excitement of writing something one day and seeing it performed the next. That’s one of the things I love most about television. As opposed to features where it can take years before your script gets made (if ever), in TV you serve it while it’s hot.

And you’re making something. Sets get built, actors get hired, stuff as a writer you envision in your head suddenly comes to life.

Of course, along with all the positives come production problems, actors balking at scripts, network notes, technical snafus, weather issues, and unforeseen emergencies. Who hasn’t had a set swept out to sea in a hurricane? We’ve all been there.

But for all the frustrations, I suggest everyone associated with a show going into production this week just stop, take a second, and appreciate the fact that you’re making a network television show and how cool is that? Enjoy every minute of it… that you can.

And one last thing: Just get to Thanksgiving. You can worry about the rest of the season later. Just get to Thanksgiving.

5 comments :

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I just read an interview with Tig Notaro, where she talks about freely writing scripts for ONE, MISSISSIPPI, and then realizing she has to perform the stuff in them.

btw, Ken, you will be glad to hear you're ahead of a trend. The Guardian today has a piece arguign that *everyone* should try stand-up comedy at least once: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/31/everyone-forced-stand-up-counted

wg

Peter said...

Damn. Another good one gone.

Sam Shepard RIP.

VP81955 said...

It was two years ago tonight I went to Warners and saw the first produced episode of the third season of "Mom." It wasn't much of a story line -- Christy and Bonnie host a dinner for Violet and her Jewish professor beau -- and while watching, I thought it didn't have enough heft to open a new season. As things turned out, Chuck Lorre and CBS waited a few weeks into their season (which didn't start until November because of the network's NFL commitments) before airing it.

Charles H Bryan said...

Just wanted to offer condolences on the 2028 Olympics. The traffic. The traffic.

Donald Benson said...

I remember when it was all a matter of picking up the TV Guide Fall Preview Issue, with its jokey blurbs about each show.

One I remember was for "T.H.E. Cat", about a professional cat burglar of that name: "He hangs out at a joint called Casa de Gato (no, Herbie, it's not what it sounds like) ..."

And for "Star Trek": "Spock is half human, half Vulcan, and all business (Vulcans are notoriously unemotional) ..."

It was almost as important as the two-page comic book ads and prime-time specials introducing the new Saturday morning cartoons.