Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day in Hollywood

NOTE: This is a re-post from six years ago.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. In the entertainment business it means this:

The movie industry resumes after three months of vacation. When agents submit spec screenplays there will be executives there to read them. (But only for a couple of weeks. The Toronto Film Festival is days away and they’ll all be gone for that.)

Your agent returns from his-or-her vacation. They rented a villa in Nice for a month and then met up with more successful clients than you, rented a yacht and cruised the Mediterranean, buying some amazing artwork along the way. Your vacation was an August weekend in Tucson.

Sitcoms are back in production. Show number three has just filmed and there is no script for show four. It goes into production on Wednesday. Pre-production began right after Memorial Day. What happened to all that lead time???

Showrunners on new shows are being bombarded with notes from nervous networks, studios, non-writing producers, actors, managers, and spouses.

Showrunners on new shows are also making those obligatory calls to the network crying that they’re not getting enough on-air promotion. They’ve seen one promo for their show while ads for STUDIO 60 are still running even though it’s been canceled.

Hour dramas are already way behind schedule. Upcoming scripts are being revised, slashing any scene that can’t be filmed in an hour.

Showrunners on ensemble dramas are receiving those calls from cast members’ managers complaining their clients aren’t getting as much to do as other cast members (whose managers are also complaining).

Network development people are a month into hearing pitches and they’ve heard the same one eleven times already. “What if we went home with the Joker and met his family?”

Writers who spent months preparing their pilot pitches only to be shot down in the first minute now scramble to come up with something else.

Oscar campaigns get sent upstairs for approval.

The Cedars-Sinai cardiac ward is reserving a couple of private rooms. October is just around the corner.



MikeK.Pa. said...

What a great daily writing exercise this is for you, stretching your creative muscles while trying to stay fresh. Gives you a reason to get up every morning, other than Starbucks. Since I recently discovered your blog, everything is fresh, so no complaints on re-runs from me. In my spare time I'm going to try to catch up on the past nine years of blogging.

James Van Hise said...

While Labor Day never struck me as any sort of political holiday per se, some Republicans who dislike the fact that it celebrates labor have said they they are deliberately working today to spite what the day represents. The governor of Maine has been making anti-labor comments ever since he was elected. Basically they feel that by celebrating labor it is celebrating unions, you know, those things that protect workers from being exploited by companies who don't like paying a living wage, would prefer you work 80 hours a week (some of that off the clock) and dislike the concept of paid holidays.

Scooter Schechtman said...

"Sire, the peasants are revolting!"
"I'll say!"

I was gonna take a day off my stupid commenting but with Ken giving us episodes of eurgghh..."Classic Krusty", what the hell.

VincentS said...

Ah, showbiz!

Eric J said...

“What if we went home with the Joker and met his family?”

Here it is 6 years later, and nobody has been able to sell this?

Hamid said...

Unless I missed it in last week's comments, I'm surprised there hasn't been shock and outrage over the horrendous miscasting of the unfunny and homophobic Mike Epps as Richard Pryor in a biopic to be directed by Lee Daniels and co-starring Oprah. It'll probably be called Lee Daniels' Pryor and there'll be a campaign to get Oprah an Oscar.

Epps is about as suitable to play Pryor as Dustin Diamond is to play Bill Hicks.

BigTed said...

“What if we went home with the YOUNG Joker and met his family?”

--That's basically the premise of this season's "Gotham."

MikeN said...

What if NBC just put Cheers back on the air. Would it outdraw what they are putting on now?

Lion King made $100 million in rerelease.

Then maybe CBS could try again with Becker.

Eva Parker said...

David Hyde Pierce joins the cast of The Good Wife. They've been needing a psychiatrist for several seasons.

Oliver N said...

Something completely different: I recently got the complete box set of "Cheers" and started to watch it yesterday, and I couldn't help but notice that the first two episodes (i.e. the pilot and "Coach's Daughter") had quite some parallels reagarding the plots: both featured women (Diana, Coach's daughter) that got separated from theire boyfriends/spouses over the course of 20 minutes and were better off without them afterwards.
Looking it up in Wikipedia, I saw, those episodes of course didn't air in this order. "Coach's Daughter" was episode #4 originally. Do you have any idea why they changed the order of the episodes for the boxed set? Was this the original production order wich got changed for airing? Why would s.o. choose a worse order than the one that got broadcasted?
I'm sorry if someone did ask this question before.

Johnny Walker said...

@Oliver N: That's odd because I remember reading that Earl Pomerantz's "Sam's Women" was the second script written for CHEERS on his blog. No idea why they placed COACH'S DAUGHTER second on the DVD.

MikeN said...

Are you sure that was the broadcast order?

I ask because for Legends on TNT, the second broadcast episode is clearly labeled #4.