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Entries in tv (3)


We Will Miss You Dearly Kristen!


Well we all witnessed the last SNL episode with Kristen Wiig as a feature cast member. They’re losing an unbelievable comedienne with comedy chops for days. She’s one of those performers who just always had that funny spark. First watching her perform was comparable to the first skits I saw with Chris Farley and Will Ferrell - that rare magical moment in comedy where you knew this person was going places.

As with Ferrell and Farley, Wiig was so fucking funny no matter what the size of the roll. One litmus test of comedy brilliance is when someone who only has a line or two, or not even a line maybe just in the background and you can’t take your eyes off them. Wiig did this is countless skits. I always had my eyes on her to bring the funny.

She had some amazingly funny and ridiculous characters at SNL, The “Babe” as one of the two a-holes, the “target lady”, creepy Lawrence Welk performer “Junice Merill,” movie reviewer “Aunt Linda,” “Shana” the sexy and gross siren, “Penelope” the one upper, “Judy Grimes,” the travel writer, and the weirdly lovable “Gilly.” I could go on and one with the great stuff she has done. But I am sure we all have our own favorites.

I will definitely miss her on Saturday nights. But she is one to bigger and better things and we wish her the best. I am sure a new shining star will rise from SNL again. My money so far is on Jay Pharoah, who is probably one of the best impressionists on there since Dana Carvey. He Just needs to find his voice as an sketch actor and performer and he’ll be unstoppable in the next couple years.

I can’t embed from Hulu as NBC and SNL are very protective of their little comedy show. But here is a link to the brilliant Two a-holes.


TV Network Upfronts ( In not boring language)


It’s that magical time of year where the giant corporate monster, known as the TV industry whores itself out to the giant corporate wildabeast, the advertising industry. The point of all this is for the TV networks  to get as much upfront cash as they can before advertisers actually see how crappy all the shows are - a beautiful game of slight of hand. Usually, this is when the networks make their big announcements as they try and position themselves as the next hottest channel.

As of now, these are the Wall Street predictions via Credit Suisse’ Spencer Wang predicts this morning that CBS will record commitments (advertising dollars) of $2.8B (+4%), followed by ABC at $2.4B (+2%), Fox at $2.0B (+2%), NBC at $1.7B (no change), and CW at $477M (-1%).

Most of this boring insider stuff is more effective for sleep than an ambien and a glass of wine, so I’ll just mention other cool stuff in network news:

* Television ratings are falling everywhere, and with the economy still hovering around toilet level, advertisers won’t be spending the big bucks on TV advertising at the moment.

* ABC renewed Modern Family and Happy Endings. Yeah for both of those, which are just be getting better and better.

* NBC renewed 30 Rock for a 7th and final season. I need to pause for a moment and shed a tear. Okay I’m back. Tina Fey put an amazing show together with her stellar writing as the foundation. NBC also renewed Up all Night, and Parks and Recreation to my delight - although there are rumors that there will only be one more season of Parks which makes me extremely angry. There’s so much they can still do with those characters. For some reason, NBC also renewed Community and Whitney. Whitney is just not funny, and while Community has rabid fans, it seems like only a good sitcom if you are on coke. It is so bipolar and inconsistent, like its bipolar coked up creator Dan Harmon. Harmon also went overboard in his fight with Chevy Chase recently and has lost my respect completely. You don’t talk about one of the Three Amigos like that dude.

* Fox renewed New Girl. It had no other choice for this charming breakout hit. Zooey Deschanel could not be any more adorable. Well she could, but it would probably be illegal in most southern states.

Think that’s about it on fun TV news for now. I am going to make some hot tea, cry and read over some old 30 Rock Scripts. I am going to miss you Kenneth Parcell.


E! True Hollywood Story Presents - Sex Drugs and Jazz

We’re overdue for an update on our comedy series Sex Drugs and Jazz, as this project has meandered in and out of consciousness for the past couple years. So what is Sex Drugs and Jazz you ask?

Originally when I went to New York, I had it in my head that I wanted to do a project about Jazz. And I wanted to do comedy. Pretty much my two favorites things, besides Sophia Vergara’s bosoms. So I got to New York, and explored the music and film scenes and the city itself as much as possible.

At first I actually wrote a feature film script for the project, revolving around a piano player who puts a band together in one night to try and save a famous old jazz club. That was around the end of 2009. I can remember it clearly now, as we sat with our investors, right after the financial collapse having cocktails. Laughing is all I remember. Laughing at the thought of investing in independent film in these economic times. “Independent film as we know it is dead my friend,” lamented my producer.

I took a month or so to regroup, and concluded the future would be in tv/web content a la hulu, netflix, and the Youtube’s out there. So I decided to make the Sex Drugs and Jazz project into a comedy series. I took some of my favorite characters from the film and went into production on this comedy show.

The first season of Sex Drugs and Jazz follows the brilliant jazz gypsy guitarist Neptune played by the charismatic Ashley Springer. Neptune is really a super dumb narcissistic stoner, but also one of the most talented jazz guitar players in New York. Neptune finds it hard to make a living as a jazz guitarist in NYC, and gets into the business of marijuana. We follow along as Netpune balances his life, friends, family, musicians, and ladies.

Where the hell are the episodes? Great question. Although we shot the series quickly, post production has been a brutal mofo. It has dragged on and on, not unlike your drunk racist uncle at Thanksgiving. Good things were happening, but at a snails pace.

Thanks to the addition of an additional superstar editor to our team (Big ups to my girl Viva), we are back on track to get all these episodes out throughout this year! The episodes will be coming out on the first of the month each month starting in May, and go until 2013.

I will be writing more in depth about the Sex Drugs and Jazz project as we move along to each episode with pics, anecdotes, and dirty uncensored behind the scenes stories. This week, we’ll release the first single from the soundtrack, the trailer and the Pilot episode. Check it.

Below posted is the lead single from the soundtrack entitled “Sex Drugs and Jazz”. It’s spliced together with clips from the first season. I produced the track along with my brilliant producing partner Taylor Ryan at AM studios. It was written by Rick Russell, Shaun Manley, and Todd Woodward. The emcee on the track is Woodz, and vocals are by Angela Workman.