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February 09 2008

Dollhouse likely to be a priority for Fox if strike ends soon. Variety gives an update on the pilots that will given priority treatment by the networks for the 2008-09 season.

It says of Dollhouse and another show: "likely to get priority treatment from Fox, if the scripts can be wrangled in the next few weeks". Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the case with Dollhouse that Joss has the pilot script already, and then the story ideas for the other six? Or am I hallucinating?
I thought he had a provocative and fast-paced napkin but no actual scripts.
Heh, Joss does give great napkin ;). I also thought he had the premise pretty much down (like a treatment maybe ?) but no actual scripts.

OT but of all the US remakes of foreign shows (and there're a lot on the slate for this upcoming season) 'Father Ted' strikes me as one of the hardest to make work. Dermot Morgan and Ardal O'Hanlon were the sine qua non of that show IMO and Morgan at least will definitely not be appearing (he died). "Amanda's By The Sea" anyone ?
I was thinking Brighton Belles.
Hey, there's a pilot named after 11th hour! ;) It's sci-fi too. It sounds X-Filey. So does J.J. Abrams project, Fringe. What does "lensing" mean anyway?

Isn't "Worst Week Ever" the title of a VH1 entertainment news segment?

Other than Dollhouse, the most interesting pilot mentioned is Shawn Ryan and David Schulner's "The Oaks".

b!X, I also remember reading that Joss said he had a script for the first episode, and outlines for several more.
the urgency at the Peacock for new scripted tentpoles

It's language, Jim, but not English as we know it. I do find Variety's style irritating and pretentious.

But I so hope that Dollhouse can be sorted in time.
'Skein' bugs me. What does that even mean ?

I also remember reading that Joss said he had a script for the first episode, and outlines for several more.

Ah, but can you remember where you read it electricspacegirl ? Inquiring minds ... ;).

(I certainly want to believe it though)

And yep, fair point Simon, we've screwed-up our fair share of remakes too. 'Brighton Belles' isn't really on my radar though because I disliked 'The Golden Girls' with a fierce passion, from the theme song on up ;).
I think it was mentioned when Dollhouse was first announced. I'm too tired to search for the link.
Isn't "Worst Week Ever" the title of a VH1 entertainment news segment?
electricspacegirl | February 09, 10:34 CET

Not exactly, but it should be ;_)

This news made my day.
For future reference: Variety's Slanguage Glossary. I find their shorthand amusing.

Oooh, "The Oaks" does sound great! Go, Shawn Ryan, go!
I'm too tired to search for the link.

Ah forgot about the time difference, soz ;). Here's a little help from the transatlantic footoooor:
Whedon has already hammered out the basic outline for all seven segs. Barring a strike, Fox hopes to have the show in production by spring, giving the net an opportunity to be so far ahead of schedule by fall that it could potentially air a full season uninterrupted by breaks.

From this Variety article.

And
We had lunch, and a few days later I wrote a treatment, and then I wrote an episode guide, a pilot outline and even a poster. I Photoshopped a poster one night. A couple days after that I went to Fox, and a couple days later they gave us the seven. Eliza and I were dying to get onto the Internet or do something, and everyone was like, there's no deal yet so you can't say anything. So...now, when they finally close the deal, there is no more writing involved.

Wait, what? You mean all seven scripts have been written?
No, no—are you kidding? I didn't spend that much time in the bathroom. All seven scripts have been pitched, all stories have been pitched.
(my emphasis)
From Kristen's original scoop.

So none written by the sounds of it but he could probably get the pilot done in a few weeks, especially given that he may have been thinking about it for the last 3½ months.
A pilot outline. He wrote a pilot outline. Eh. Memory, you fickle thing, you. Thanks, Saje, for clearing that up.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2008-02-09 12:36 ]
Remaking Father Ted? Nooooooo!!!!!!!!!
This is great news! (Or perhaps, the earliest plausible April Fools joke that they could lay on us.)
Can we at least see the photo shopped poster to tide us over?
The strike isn't over until it's over. Carrot, dangle.
Come on, gossi! Just a little hope?
If I have to hear about one more British remake, I'm gonna pull my hair out. Couldn't they just license the originals? I much rather see that than a (likely to be) crappy American remake. The Office was the exception, not the rule.

ETA: And yes, I know that some of the cultural references don't translate as well, but it's not so horrible that you can't understand or enjoy the show.

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2008-02-09 15:53 ]
deepgirl187, I think the fear is your average FOX viewer wouldn't like Father Ted. It'd probably get about 4 viewers. Solution: add some explosions, take out the funny!
"My name is Ted Crilly and this is the worst 24 hours of my life" deet, deet, deet, deet, doooooot.

What I don't get is, whoever optioned it saw something in the original UK (or Aussie or wherever) version, what makes them think the American viewing public won't feel the same way ?

Think i'm gonna wait for analysis of the tentative agreement by wiser, more informed heads than mine cos there's a hell of a lot there. One thing that does leap out though is
Access to Information: The companies agree to provide the Guild with access to new media
deals and distribution statements, without redaction, and usage data during the term of the
contract.

because won't that by itself make a huge difference to the way the business works ? I guess the WGA may have to sign an NDA so that the information may still not become widely known but if not, sales of DVDs etc. will actually be published so that the numbers will finally be transparent.
"I guess the WGA may have to sign an NDA so that the information may still not become widely known but if not, sales of DVDs etc. will actually be published so that the numbers will finally be transparent."

Saje To quote Bones (The sexy one, not the Georgian one): "I don't know what that means."

As for remakes vs. originals - I LOVE "Keeping Up Appearances" and "As Time Goes By" (And loved Ballykissangel, which vanished, and Monarch of the Glen, which did likewise before Tony's season) and cannot imagine trying to remake those. It certainly does seem like US TV making folks can't come up with their own ideas, so they have to "borrow" from their Brit cousins.

American Idol, anyone?
It certainly does seem like US TV making folks can't come up with their own ideas,...

Overstate things much?
Many of the current big UK TV shows actually originate from the US, and are licensed for usage here.

That said, FOX are remaking Spaced. That idea Fills. Me. With. Hate.
So glad to hear a hopeful song of "Dollhouse." And I don't doubt that even if cramped for time, Joss will manage a script astonishly quickly to get his new baby off the ground. He's amazing :-)

I'm pleased to also see a few "paranormal-esque" shows getting onto TV with interesting-sounding premises. I was getting tired of doctors, detectives, spin-offs and remakes.
'Paranormal' has become so popular, one of the mainstream Dutch tv channels now has a weekly 'Paranormal Sunday' (they actually call it that!) programmed, with Lost, Medium, Supernatural and Ghost Whisperer.
Aw hell, now they're screwing with Spaced?

That one in particular makes absolutely no sense, because the writers and actors involved with that series have work that is known and liked over here. They could be giving them more exposure, but I suppose that would be way too much to ask.

The work of His Jossness aside, the newfound hope I had at the beginning of the season for innovative television is rapidly diminishing.
McG is directing the US Spaced pilot, I seem to recall. Granda own the rights in the UK -- they sold it without even telling the people who created it. They found out like everybody else, reading about it online.
I am so falling asleep here. What were you saying, Caroline?
Umm...hello, ABC? You decided to not pick up the rockuomedy "Him & Us," based on the life of Sir Elton John, even though you had a hilarious pilot already filmed. Get on the ball here, folks. What's Kim Cattrall up to these days? Hmm? And that bloke Anthony Head doesn't have anything currently in the works, series-wise at least.
And that bloke Anthony Head doesn't have anything currently in the works, series-wise at least.


He has a new BBC series called "Desperados". Our Tony is plenty busy here in the UK.
So a bit off topic...when will we know anything about the WGA vote? I tried to read the terms of the deal and my eyes glazed over.

Yay Dollhouse!!!
Simon Oh, yeah. I keep forgetting about that. Funny, since I check his news page just about every day, and that's still listed on there.

I miss him. I met him once, so I don't mean I miss him personally. I miss having him on TV. Sometimes I really wish I could afford dish so I could get BBC & see "Talking With Animals" or any of the others shows he hosted. Like that one he did for BBC Discovery, "True Horrors." I have a pic of him from the vampire episode - he's sitting at a table and there's a book lying on it that I have - "The Vampire Book: Encyclopedia of the Undead."
If I have to hear about one more British remake, I'm gonna pull my hair out. Couldn't they just license the originals? I much rather see that than a (likely to be) crappy American remake.

The problem with US series is that a "season" is usually six episodes. Four years of Coupling would last one year in the US, so the networks have to remake them to make enough to fill a season.

And ironic that the last episode of Father Ted was about Ted moving to Los Angeles. Which included my favourite line, where an American Priest is telling Ted about the church in LA: "Here's the brochure. It's a bit out of date, we've added a second swimming pool and those girls serving the drinks would now be in their twenties..."
On the O/T of American networks remaking (retooling?) overseas shows, I wonder what they are going to do with 'Kath and Kim?' (Which will star Molly Shannon and Selma Blair, both one jump from SMG if we're playing '6 degrees'.)
It's such a quintessentially 'ocker' Australian show that I can't possibly see it translating to US audiences- yet it's been picked up for 9 episodes due to NBC's new 'no pilot' system.
But 'stealing shows' works the other way, too. We imported 'Idol', 'Big Brother', 'Queer Eye' and 'Deal or no Deal' (and we'd like to return them, please!)
missb, I dont know how they're planning to work Kath and Kim in America. Every season besides the first one has been painful to watch in Australia anyway, at least I've found that to be the case. Just the same jokes over and over again.

One thing that gives me hope for the American version is that Paul Feig (the man behind Freaks and Geeks, other than Judd Apatow) is involved. Still, it will most likely suck. I dont know why Australians still watch it.

I'm very happy that supposedly Dollhouse is moving along. Even if Joss hasn't written a script yet, it's good that it seems to be at the forefront of minds.
Yeah Dollhouse! But Father Ted; I'm normally open minded to shows crossing the pond but this one seems impossible to remake.
gossi: They found out like everybody else, reading about it online.

At which point Edgar Wright supposedly went right off on one (apparently they'd mentioned in press releases how the original producers were 100% behind it when in fact they hadn't even been told).

I'd heard somewhere that the 'Spaced' remake had died a death though. Certainly hope so, that's nearly as ill-advised as 'Father Ted' and for pretty much the same reason IMO.

"I guess the WGA may have to sign an NDA so that the information may still not become widely known but if not, sales of DVDs etc. will actually be published so that the numbers will finally be transparent."

Saje To quote Bones (The sexy one, not the Georgian one): "I don't know what that means."


NDA = Non Disclosure Agreement ShadowQuest i.e. the studios might have to tell the WGA for the purposes of calculating residuals but not necessarily the world at large (so the WGA may know how many DVDs etc. are sold but we may not).
Saje, that disclosure has nothing to do with physical media (DVDs). It only applies to new media (Internet). DVDs will still be top secret.
Nalliac - I didn't know Paul Feig was involved in the American Kath & Kim. That's great news, he also directed a lot of Arrested Development - one of my favourites. Some of the team behind the US remake of The Office are also about K&K, so if any remake might work, it could be under these circumstances. Normally remakes offend me, but I am fascinated to see what they do with K&K. (And while I think this past season of the Australian show was weak, its first three years were about the same level of quality for me - above average.)
Speaking of that kind of thing, Caroline, BBC America now frequently advertises this block called "Supernatural Saturday," with Dr. Who and Torchwood and other such things.
I read the agreement... I don't know enough about the business or what I'm looking at to be able to say if it's god, bad or indifferent. I'm going to wait to see what Joss says about it. Hopefully, he will post here.

Because as Joss goes, so goes my country. :)
I read the agreement.

I think you mean the summary.
We imported 'Idol', 'Big Brother', 'Queer Eye' and 'Deal or no Deal' (and we'd like to return them, please!)

missb | February 10, 01:49 CET


Unfortunately, exporting these shows didn't get rid of them here in the U.S., we still have them too. If any country would like to take them off our TV screens totally and permanently, please step up. I mean, really. Always willing to share the wealth ;-)
I hear there is a dearth of reality/game shows in Belarus. They should take it or maybe Slovakia since Miami Vice is the number one new show there.
Shey Hey now - we need to keep Idol. That's one of the rare reasons for me to watch FUXFOX. Idol, Bones, T:SCC & Packers football. And Dollhouse when it happens.

I need my snarky Brit fix.

On the other hand, anyone who wants Bald Howie & his little spit beard are more than welcome to him. shudders And take that pack of weirdos on the island, too, please. The shipwrecked ones, I mean.

Uh...the ones without the Hobbit.
I am experiencing a Twilight Zone moment. In the short support the WGA film I finished filming Monday past, (and has since stalled big time in editing) one character says, Browncoat #1 (putting down his fork): Because nobody messes with ‘Spaced’. I freaking love that show! (Stuff here that I do not want to give away just yet) then; Browncoat #1: I mean, would you re-cast Monty Python for an American audience? It’s moronic.

Parts of the conversation here totally vindicates our scriptwriter(UK) and makes me laugh at my crew’s (friends) hour-long conversation about why the line is in the film. That being said if this were art imitating life I would have suggested a reading more like gossi’s, “…. FOX are remaking Spaced. That idea Fills. Me. With. Hate.”

I am not a FOX fan and I so love the emphases. Thanks for bringing a big smile to my face gossi. I am going to cut and clip and take it to my editor Monday as he doesn’t know about Spaced and doesn't think this is relevant to anyone(other then me)and I am too far on the fringe to count. Ha I say Ha!

Saje how could you not love the Golden Girls?
The problem with US series is that a "season" is usually six episodes. Four years of Coupling would last one year in the US, so the networks have to remake them to make enough to fill a season.

Plus, they do license the originals: they play on PBS, BBC America and other niche channels. Much like the American dislike of subtitled movies (and inability to even bear dubbed movies -- thank God), foreign product has never hit it big without Americanization. Blame the taste of the general public.

As for the assumption that American TV is creatively degenerate because of the constant stream of remakes, I'd have to remind you that Hollywood's history is one long list of creative thievery. The Golden Age of Hollywood, you had the movies ripping off material from everywhere: novels, history, plays, Broadway musicals, classic literature. Nowadays, it's comic books and British TV shows, along with novels and Broadway hits. Nothing's changed. And the act of transformation -- or reinvention can lead to great things. The Godfather movies, which I hold to be among the best movies ever made (well, the first two), were forced on Coppola by a studio looking to make money off a blockbuster (and fairly bad) novel by Mario Puzo.
Saje, that disclosure has nothing to do with physical media (DVDs). It only applies to new media (Internet).

Ah, you're absolutely right TamaraC, ta ;). For some reason I read "new media deals" as media deals that were new rather than new-media ... deals. D'oh ;).

OK, I think I can see why the AMPTP (may) have agreed to this now - new-media profits are unlikely (in the short term) to push a losing film/show into a win so it doesn't hurt them to reveal that as much as DVD sales would. Before it had seemed like a huge concession to me.

Saje how could you not love the Golden Girls?

"Thank-you for being a friend ...". Blergh. I think I may have developed diabetes just from typing that ;).

(guess I just didn't find it funny apart from anything else Tina - very subjective thing, humour)
Good news about Dollhouse if it is to be top of the pile, but damn, they CAN NOT remake Father Ted (or Spaced)!!! Gah!
It's not a question of looking up what the pretentious twaddle in Variety means, its a question of getting the pompous twits first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

As for the possible WGA agreement, Joss - what does it all mean?
I don't think so at all, Pumps - they just dabble with language. Like Joss did in all his shows.
They do it badly, though.

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