The TV Thing

I have been engaged by the American cable company AMC to write the half-hour pilot for a TV series I created. The contract calls the show “black comedy/science fiction.” Christina Wayne at AMC, who, along with Vlad Wolynetz have just been unreasonably good to deal with, recently described it as a “sf/entertainment-industry ‘dramedy’.”

As with all TV Things, everything could go horribly wrong. But this is the deal I’ve been waiting for, with people who understand the project and format I want to work in. And you know something’s going right when people in TV are telling you to go more experimental and take more risks. This isn’t your US network tv experience.

I’m writing the pilot at the moment. (And I should particularly thank Joss Whedon and John Rogers for their insights into the process.) More details will hopefully follow as the project progresses. Or, you know, a tearstained screed if it doesn’t.

42 thoughts on “The TV Thing”

  1. AMC as in American Movie Classics, who began their move into scripted TV last year. Turns
    out that running old movies 24/7 for a decade amassed a certain amount of capital for their Sekrit Plan of commissioning and producing original material. Clever, no?

  2. Okay. Linked. I wasn’t missing anything. Always good to know, that.

    This is now even more interesting to me, “The TV Thing,” now that I know where it’s ending up and the approach they’re taking (“more experimental and take more risks”)

  3. This is great news.

    It is heartening to hear that there are people in the TV industry that have realized that there’s a segment of the viewing public that will eagerly watch stuff that isn’t dumb as a bag of hammers.

    Um, sheeahtt, just remembered that AMC isn’t on my cable service’s basic plan. Fah.

  4. Awesome! It will be very nice to see a new Sci-Fi program on the air that isn’t a retread or continuation of a previous property. Of course, this statement excludes Firefly.

  5. Can you give us the tiniest hint as to what its about? Remember: when you get the Sin City people to to ptto produce one of your properties be a responsible billionaire and become the West’s anti-Rupert Murdoch. Bad Side: You’ll probably be killed. Good Side: You Could Rule the World.

  6. First…those girls in the T-Shirts are hot!!! 2nd Joss Whedon is the new
    Rod Serling…and 3rd, Whedonesque.com is an unfair web site that throws anyone
    off of their web site who forms an opinion separate from their own. If
    You believe in freedom of speech…well, that’s good, because they don’t!

    -Signed, Blue Gloves

    You can’t stop the signal!!!!

  7. “And I should particularly thank Joss Whedon and John Rogers for their insights into the process.”

    You couldn’t ask for better help. Both are very talented and experienced TV writers. Good luck Warren, I look forward to another awesome story. Oh and if the pilot doesn’t get picked up/aired, I hope it leaks to the net like Rogers’ Global Frequency did. Why WB didn’t pick that up is beyond me. Stupid TV execs.

  8. It seems to me that AMC has been trying to become the new TNT for a while now. I remember watching Luchino Visconti’s “The Leopard” for the first time on AMC; now they play some questionable classics. Original material sounds good.

  9. Congratulations! You will be made to sign in blood, so MILK THOSE FUCKERS FOR WHAT YOU’RE REALLY WORTH. So, if they rape and distort your ideas, at least you can cry all the way to the bank. Or a titty bar for a weeklong, at the very least.

  10. From the AMC FAQ: “Like most advertiser-supported networks, AMC edits programming for certain “objectionable” content, including nudity and offensive language. As a national network available on basic cable, AMC adheres to standards that will be acceptable to the majority of our viewers, our sponsors and our cable and satellite affiliates.”

    I’m guessing that just means fuck and tits are off limits–but I think that means we won’t be seeing much in the way of re-tooled Bad Signal.

  11. Now all we need is for Sorkin to follow Whedon on Astonishing, and for Moore to write an original script for a 6 part BBC miniseries, and the circle of life will come full… circle, I guess.

  12. On an only slightly related topic, Warren, did you work on a western with Nick Cave (I’m assuming the musician Nick Cave) that just got released here in the states? I swear I saw your name in a newspaper ad for it, but I’ve forgotten the movie’s title…

  13. corsairbear — thanks, I feel really stupid for asking now. I didn’t even know there could be more than one Warren Ellis. That’s definitely the movie I was thinking of. Just opened in Seattle, apparently.

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