Friday, March 16, 2007

October Road

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard TV commissioners say that they don't want comedy or dramas based around the media. It's not a world the mass audience is interested in or understands, they insist.

Strange then, how many comedies and dramas are based around the media in its various forms: Extras, Alan Partridge and Ugly Betty, for example, have all overcome the perceived shortcoming of their subject matter.

A new American drama, however, looks like it might face a tougher challenge breaking into the mainstream. October Road, written by Josh Applebaum, André Nemec and Scott Rosenberg, is about an author returning to the hometown he exposed in his best-selling novel.

The pilot episode has a prime-time slot on US network ABC but Gina Bellafante in the New York Times is not impressed.
Should you already hold the view that young writers are hideously self-regarding, pillaging the intimate emotional property of their closest friends and relations, then “October Road,” a drama beginning on ABC this evening, will do nothing to change your mind even though it seems intent on trying.
But one group of viewers who, I suspect, will be watching, is writers. We all love seeing our own profession on screen, even if it's only to howl about how inaccurately it's being represented.

There's no news yet as to whether Ocotber Road will come to the UK. But another American media drama, Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, will be shown on Channel 4 some time this year. Like American writer and blogger Ken Levine, you might end up loving to hate it. But I bet you'll watch it.

1 comment:

  1. A respected agent I know (yes there is such a thing) says when a writer writes about writing, they're burned out. The problem is that many people go straight from school to scriptwriting or film courses and then straight onto writing without passing "Go." They're missing one vital element: living; having something new to say about the world. And I'm told there is a world out there that doesn't include script editors, commissioners and rewrites... Utopia!


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