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Old 03-27-2020, 07:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 289
Default Friday Questions

Self-quarantining and answering Friday Questions. Whatís yours?

Troy McClure starts us off.

I've often wondered if directors, writers and stars ever watch one of their own works when relaxing at home. Like, does Steven Spielberg ever chill out by putting on a blu ray of Jaws. So, my question is when was the last time you put on an episode of Cheers or Frasier you wrote or put on Volunteers? I'm guessing you've never felt like putting on Mannequin 2.

No. Havenít seen MANNEQUIN 2 in twenty years. I know how it ends.

I did watch VOLUNTEERS a couple of years ago. I talk about that this week in my podcast (listen by clicking on the big gold arrow above). I was pleasantly surprised. I like it more now than when it was released. I actually recommend it while we are all on House Arrest.

If Iím doing a commentary track for my podcast I will seek out episodes I co-wrote. Otherwise, if Iím channel surfing and come across one of my episodes I will probably check it out. As you can imagine, there are episodes I like better than others. I tend to stay with those, and the ones I wish I had back I click over to Sportscenter.

Brian wonders:

In the (five-star!) podcast, you and Jay Kogen mention a "Put Pilot Penalty". What is that?

In truth, itís bullshit. It means the network guarantees theyíll make the pilot. If they donít they agree to a financial penalty. But itís rarely enforced and usually just rolled over to another project.

From cd1515:

If a studio or network told you today that they needed a coronavirus related episode of óó- ASAP, how long would that take to write and ultimately get on the air?

And how different would it be for a half hour comedy versus a one hour drama?

There are so many variables it would be hard to say. Certainly a half hour show would be easier than an hour. Itís shorter. But especially today, with shows serialized, would I have to deviate from the season arc? Are there restrictions on what sets I could use or which actors I could use? Will I have to create my story around those roadblocks? Will I able to set aside my other duties to just write this episode

And not every writer writes at the same pace. Some could knock it out overnight; others would need a week. I could probably write a draft in two to three days of a half hour, especially if I already knew the characters and series intimately.

But at the moment it's a moot point. Everything has been shut down.

And finally, from longtime fan of the blog and successful graduate of THE SITCOM ROOM, Wendy M. Grossman:

It seems to me that it's going to be a really tough job for sitcom writers mapping out the next season. I remember that after 9/11 every show had to decide whether the attacks had happened in its world; the NYC shows that included the WTC in their credits imagery had to decide whether to keep it or not . I was watching the latest episode of BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA, for example, and there were scenes of loads of people jammed in together in church. My immediate reaction was to marvel: "Look at all the *people*." In a few months, audiences may be uncomfortable looking at a scene like that. How does a writer's room start to think about this?

My sincere hope is that within my lifetime people will be able to be packed together again. This current pandemic is a topic that will be explored and referenced on most shows, but as time moves on so will the public and entertainment.

I remember after 9/11 people predicted that American audiences will change forever and no more will they want to see stupid trivial entertainment. How long until DUCK DYNASTY, HONEY BOO BOO, TEMPTATION ISLAND, THE OSBOURNES, THE KARDASHIANS, Jessica Simpson, Jenny McCarthy, 2 BROKE GIRLS, and FEAR FACTOR came along?

Stay safe.

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