Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our proudest nomination

The Writers Guild Award TV nominations have been announced… with the usual major fanfare. Check your local paper, page twelve, in small print.

Congratulations to all. Each and every nomination is well deserved.

Here is the list of this year’s nominees.

One year my partner and I were nominated for an episode of OPEN ALL NIGHT. You’re probably saying, “OPEN ALL NIGHT? What the hell is that? I’ve never heard of it.” Well, don’t feel bad. Neither did our other nominees.

OPEN ALL NIGHT was a short lived 1981 ABC series about a ma & pa 24 hour convenience store. It was created by Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses, two exceptional writers who had guided THE BOB NEWHART SHOW and later went on to create BUFFALO BILL. We wrote two episodes that season and since it was a strike year (aren’t they all?), those were the only two episodes we had. So as a lark we submitted one.

Months went by. Finally our agent called one morning to congratulate us. The nominations were out and our OPEN ALL NIGHT made the cut. We played along, thanking her, never for a minute thinking this wasn’t just a joke. The next morning I picked up the paper to see who really was nominated, and son of a bitch, there were our names. I think there were a couple of TAXIS, BARNEY MILLERS, MASH…and our OPEN ALL NIGHT.

By the time of the ceremony our show had been long cancelled and the production company disbanded. We had to pay for our own tickets. They sat us with the HILL STREET BLUES bunch who kept asking, “what was that show again?” A quick poll around the table – no one had even heard of it.

When it came time for our category and our names were announced among the list of nominees it actually got a laugh. What a proud moment.

Believe it or not, we lost.

At least this year’s nominees have cleared that major hurdle. They’re all on shows people have heard of. Even the ones on TNT. Anyone can win. Everyone should win. Best of luck to you all! At least the dinner will be free.


Anonymous said...

I can only imagine how much blushing Jessica Biel would do while announcing these nominees..."Penn & Teller: Bullshit!"

Poor Veronica Mars. Completely overlooked. Well, the second season wasn't their strongest year. The comedies were all great nominations.

As for Open All Night, I have a hazy, almost in utero memory of a flashing neon sign and a Lennon Sisters type group singing "We're open all night. Open all night!" Ah? Do I win something?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

There's an award for best writing in a promo?

Anonymous said...

Go Lost!

Boo Gray's Anatomy!

/end fanboy

(I will concede that the writing on Lost has gotten a bit weaker recently, and it probably won't win.)

Charlie Kennedy said...

Open All Night, starring George Dzundza as Gordon Feester "born in Ohio just before Easter". dhppy's right about the song.

I'm ashamed I know that!

Anonymous said...

"Open All Night?" Didn't David Letterman do a cameo in one episode?
That was a funny show, very nicely done.

EditThis said...

Studio 60 got a nod. You must be so proud.

Also, do you make the daytime soap "writers" sit in a designated area?

Diane said...

I'm rooting for Deadwood - one of my favorite shows.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Open all night. Have always wondered over the years if it was a real show, or just a figment of my imagination. It was off the air so quickly and NO ONE has ever mentioned it in the many years since.

My favorite line from the show, one I have shamelessly used a few times over the years..."Amazing strength for a vegetable"

Anonymous said...

Ken - how come you don't have an interview online at the Archive for American Television, but there is a four hour interview with one "Dr. Walter Dishell the medical advisor on the entire run of M*A*S*H."

Or have you already done one, it just isn't online? Would love to see it.

Anonymous said...

Let's focus on the important things. That has got to be the best looking award statue I have ever seen. Makes Oscar look like and out of work dildo.

Anonymous said...

Sigh - trying again ...

Let's focus on the important things. That has got to be the best looking award statue I have ever seen. Makes Oscar look like an out of work dildo.

Anonymous said...

Open All Night had a character named Larry "Bud" something. i am pretty sure this was prior to Larry Bud Melman on Letterman....some shared writers, perhaps?