November 7, 2006 5:11 PM
The series premiered. The party with cast and crew was wonderful and festive. The sting of the horrible review from one Hollywood trade magazine has found it's appropriate place, forgotten after 24 hours as the collective conscious of the 4th estate around the country has pretty much found good to say about the show. The network is relieved for a moment. I am more concerned with the audience reaction, but I'll take the good reviews over the bad ones any day. As I was telling a particular network president on Friday, the bad reviews are wrong and the good ones are 100% accurate.
I am amazed the show is actually on the air. After all, all shows are impossible to get made. This past one was, I believe, my 19th series which I created or co created that has gone to air. I still am not quite sure how it happens.
I believe without a doubt if I want to make a series, I will and can. It's not always true, but if I don't believe that every step of the way, then I will not be able to make the journey. It creates many psychotic episodes in my life on a fairly regular basis, but it is always worth it when, like this morning, at about 7am I'm paddling out into the surf and smiling, because, yet again, against all odds and common sense, another one of my series has premiered. There is no better feeling that I know of professionally and (not to sound too corny, but...) spiritually.
Moving on, the next few weeks ratings will be watched closely and decisions made about renewals, time periods, promotions, etc. It is all good and what one has to do to keep their series on the air. Yes, just making them is not enough. They have to be watched, nurtured, protected, defended and disciplined. Series are like children, you don't know what will happen to them next.
My office is planning and figuring what shows will be renewed for next season, what pilots we want to get picked up, which ones we want to have made, which ones will we personally finance. Those are the ones that are always the scariest, but if no one wants to put up the money for one of our shows we believe in, then we have to. I won't let a good idea go on the shelf just because no one likes it. While all the above is going on I fall into my cocoon of my next show. It is always my favorite time.
What will I make next?
I am currently sketching one out. As is my practice, I clear off everything on my desk at the office and home, I read a lot, watch movies and listen to the sounds of people. I have the idea already and will start to lay out the characters and world, from that, if I STAY aware, stories will follow.
Great stories that will illuminate the magic of the human experience.
Stories that I hope will make the audience laugh think and cry, both tears of joy and empathy.
That is the beauty and gift of writing for me. To make an emotional connection with an audience and bring light to another, slightly different perspective, of a common experience.
I love family shows, and I think I saw the best one I have ever seen this weekend. It was a film that starred three young women, who because they said what a lot of people in this country were thinking, were subjected to financial hardship, banishment from radio, death threats and a public assassination that was way beyond the commentary. But what these three wonderfully talented, strong and independent women, who are also mothers, and wives did was what I believe to be at the heart of the Family. They stuck together and faced the extreme outrage with grace, honesty and dignity. A lesson all of us can learn from. It was a wonderful movie and made me believe in the American family even more than ever.
Off to write...