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Home » Archives » October 2006 » And That's Our Blog Entry!
[Previous entry: "How to Write Jokes That Aren't Funny"] [Next entry: "More Final Draftiness"]

10/18/2006: And That's Our Blog Entry!

Did you watch Studio 60 this week? Apparently not, according to the ratings. However, those of you who did got to see a lovely example of irony. During the last episode, they showed a pitch. A Mark Burnett type reality show creator pitched a show to the network. The irony is that while the show was being held up as an example of all that's wrong with television, it was, in fact, an example of an excellent pitch.

It was polished, confident, short and precise. The guy explained the basic premise: a reality show in which committed couples find their relationships tested. He explained what made it unique, and made it clear that it was *about* something (i.e. a premise that love can triumph over everything but full disclosure). He gave an example of a sample episode to give an idea of the kinds of issues the show would tackle. Then he wrapped it all up with a big, confident, "And that's our show!" (That's my favorite part. I always do this as well... otherwise there can be a tendency to let a pitch kind of dribble out at the end.)

In an amusing straw man argument, Sorkin then spends much of the episode pointing out that something is wrong with a television culture that celebrates homewrecking as entertainment. But simply as a student of the form of the pitch as separable from the content – that was a good one. Very comparable to a non-reality show pitch, too, if you were wondering about that.

In real life, in a pitch for a scripted show anyway, the meeting continues past "And that's our show," with the network asking a lot of questions about the characters and the arc of the season and tone… but the front bit of the meeting? The presentation part? Well, those of you who saw the episode got to see a rare example of natural writer-executive behavior rarely captured on film.

Lunch: sushi at Echigo, the place with the warm rice. Heaven!


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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