AL (if I may call you that)--I've noticed the high number of playwrights since Mr. Balcer's days as executive producer on LOCI. I just wondered if this was a deliberate move on Mr. Balcer and Mr. Leight's part, and if any other show on television used so many writers from the theater. There's some wonderful direction on LOCI, but it's always struck me as a writer and an actor's show.
Post by dragonsback on Aug 1, 2008 22:59:08 GMT -5
In the interval between your question and AL's as-usual informed reply, here's a little light reading on the subject of TV and playwrights - "Teleplayers". There have been a few articles in the past three years on the trend in dual citizenship in legit theatre and televison; this one looks fairly fresh.
Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 4, 2008 7:11:46 GMT -5
Terrific piece, DB. Many thanks.
Though Balcer included playwrights on his CI writing staff (Gina Gionfriddo, Diana Son, and Warren Leight come to mind), I believe the explosion of theatrical dramatists did not happen until Warren Leight's showrunner tenure.
Was it deliberate? I don't know. Balcer isn't himself a playwright, and my impression that one of his favored CI (now mothership) writers is Stephanie Sengupta, also not a playwright.
However I think the article DB posted raises (and answers) some of the questions I have about the advantages and disadvantages of playwrights writing TV scripts.
In fact maybe I'll print it in full to start off a new General Discussion thread called "When playwrights write for TV" (or something like that) because I think it's a particularly interesting topic for many of us right now, with unknown changes to come at CI -- don't you think, Patcat?
Or better yet, PC -- why don't you start the thread? It's really your idea.
I've always suspected the emphasis on writers is one reason LOCI doesn't get nods for things like Emmies--which to my mind are television industry awards--but does pickup awards for writing like Edgars.
-- George Clooney's 2005 award-winning Edward R. Murrow bio-drama sprang from a 1997 script he wrote with Walon Green called "Murrow and Me."
-- Aside from his show business credits, Green's "other occupations" are listed as "plumber" and "construction foreman." So before films and TV this man had a real life! ;-)
Seriously -- the more I dig up about Walon Green the more I realize that he's a writer of great depth and breadth, and that we fans should have no worries about CI turning into an ordinary, forumulaic police procedural.
Post by dragonsback on Aug 13, 2008 14:46:12 GMT -5
Depth and breadth says it all. And edge and wit, and some darker sophistication. Michael Chernuchin - now I'm bumping into his name every time I look up a favorite L&O ep - in the mix just makes the next season something to look forward to.
LOCI needs more than a shake-up, it needs a work-out. Muscle tone doesn't come with endless hand-wringing. With a few exceptions, this season's portfolio of scripts has been self-indulgent and flabby IMO. Too many plot holes, too little energy, weak reliance on red herrings to add intrigue (yawn). Less pudding, more fibre, that's my hope for S8. The procedural framework doesn't impose a straitjacket on things, it gives it a discipline and pace. Faster, Higher, Stronger....
Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 13, 2008 15:05:43 GMT -5
We're in harmony, DB.
Perhaps you'll be interested in the new Michael Chernuchin thread that I'm getting ready to post.
Twenty years in show biz and Chernuchin clearly has never had a publicist. Finding out about him has been something of a scavenger hunt. Yet he'll be Green's #2 and a critical creative voice in the direction of Season 8 G/E episodes.
Once I post I could use your help (and that of other members) in reading the tea leaves of Chernuchin's career. Even you, my pal Patcat -- come and speculate. For all of your protests you're actually quite good at it. ;-)
Dragonsback, your assessment of CI is right on the money and I completely agree, couldn't have said it better. I also appreciate your analogy to the Olympics and how the show's scripts, mostly the G/E episodes, have been so lacking in depth--and relevance. I am totally in favor of a complete shakeup, with new showrunners and writers who (hopefully) will right the CI ship and restore it to its former glory as an important and high quality TV crime drama. Jettisoning the melodramatic angst will help.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Post by annabelleleigh on Sept 26, 2008 15:18:59 GMT -5
New G/E showrunner Walon Green has received a green light from TNT for the pilot of a new police procedural, "Bunker Hill" (formerly known as "Morse Code"). According to the news, Green will learn at the end of this year whether the pilot provokes a series order from TNT.
P.S. The newly-posted Eric Bogosian Australian interview (see Bogosian thread) indicates that, in Season 8, Green will move CI back to a focus on the criminal mind. --------------------------- TNT has eyes on two shows Cop-themed procedurals would add to net's originals slate
By Kimberly Nordyke and Nellie Andreeva The Hollywood Reporter Sept 26, 2008, 01:00 AM ET
"As part of its effort to ramp up original programming, TNT has its sights set on two cop-themed procedural dramas, one from the "CSI" duo of Jerry Bruckheimer and Danny Cannon and the other from Donnie Wahlberg and Jon Avnet...
...TNT has given a pilot order to "Bunker Hill" (formerly known as "Morse Code"), which is set in the Bunker Hill section of Boston and will explore the crime, corruption and deceit there. Boston native Wahlberg stars as Mike Moriarty, who left his Boston home for a covert job overseas and never expected to be back home as a cop protecting the streets he grew up on.
Avnet is directing the pilot, which was written by Walon Green. Wahlberg, Avnet and Green are exec producing.
The projects, both from Warner Horizon, are part of TNT's strategy to move toward a Monday-Wednesday primetime schedule of all-TNT product by 2010, running fresh episodes and reruns of original TNT scripted and reality series year-round."
Post by annabelleleigh on Oct 23, 2008 9:46:04 GMT -5
If Walon Green is scouring Boston for his new TNT project next week, who's running the show at the G/E camp of CI?
I note that the biographical material for Mr. Green in the squib below doesn't even mention CI -- just the mothership. Huh.
NAMES The Boston Globe October 23, 2008
Just so you know: Jon Avnet, not Jerry Bruckheimer, is producing "Bunker Hill," the Boston-based pilot costarring Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Brady's ex Bridget Moynahan. The Hollywood Reporter got it wrong, but Walon Green, who wrote the script for the TNT cop drama, called to set us straight yesterday. Green, whose credits include "Hill Street Blues," "Law & Order," "ER," and "NYPD Blue," said he and Avnet will be in Boston next week to take a look around.
"I spent a year in Boston doing 'The Brink's Job,' and I really loved it," said Green, whose writing partner is Quincy native and former assistant Suffolk County DA Pam Wechsler. Green said he has high hopes for the show in part because of the cast. "We did a test with Bridget and Donnie and they look great together," he said...."