Thursday, May 03, 2007

It would be easier if I was really into CSI

It appears that Omar Epps is leaving House. Well crap. My infamous spec House episode is all about Foreman. You can use specs even after the events change, right?

(If you came looking for info on Foreman leaving, go here.)

Either way I can't really use the episode as my primary anymore. It's time I stopped resting on my laurels and wrote a new spec. I have a Supernatural but it needs another revision and that's not a show that everybody watches even though it should be.

So as far as I can see I have two shows to choose from. Friday Night Lights or Heroes. Since Friday Night Lights still has an uncertain future Heroes looks like the better option. But I might end up with the same problem I have now since you never know who'll be the next to kick the bucket.

That's the problem when you like to write shows that evolve. People change and grow and die. My House episode is now two years old. It's interesting to me that I wrote a spec that lasted that long because I don't usually like shows with that much stability. It lasted so long I got complacent and didn't work hard enough at making it a companion piece.

My first useable spec was a Lost episode that was good for about three months. I wrote it about Shannon. Then Shannon died. So much for Lost.

So now I have to figure out how to make a Heroes episode that doesn't rely on a guest cast but doesn't interrupt the flow of the ongoing story. Oddly enough I have an idea. But my idea revolves a lot around Nathan. What if Nathan dies? Then I have another useless spec on my hands.

And I know this is a picture of Peter. I couldn't find a picture of Nathan. Besides, Peter's hotter, especially in this badass I'm - nailing - a stripper - and - have - a - big - scar - on - my - head persona.

It's a risky business we deal in. I suppose, though, that if I write an excellent spec it won't matter if the main character died since it was written. So I'll just have to go with faith that my natural ability will see me through. And my desire to write about people with superpowers.

All I know is somebody's getting punched in the face. It's my trademark. In Emily's scripts, somebody always gets punched in the face. I made Foreman punch a cripple.


  1. Are you sure Omar is leaving? I'm pretty sure Foreman "quitting" is just part of the finale and that Omar is staying. I could be wrong, though.

    Heroes is such a sexy show that I'd like to spec it, too - but they've stated that it will be very different from season to season - and casts will change (not all, but enough of them).

  2. I looked it up and apparently Foreman is leaving but Omar Epps is not. Either way it changes his dynamic on the show and makes my spec out of date.

    I'll have to reasearch Heroes some more. If what you say is true I'll have to be very careful.

  3. Didn't Foreman just give notice on Tueday's show and not out-and-out quit? OK, I actually thought the episode was pretty dull and answered a phone call in the second half, but I thought that's what happened.

    If Epps isn't leaving than Foreman's gotta return at some point. I would think. But even so, it wouldn't be that drastic a change--it's not like House would suddenly become a secret agent or something.

  4. Tom Kring has said that he thinks one of the best parts of the hero's stories are the origin stories. I would suggest introducing a new character and how that character could tie into existing characters, especially if you could figure out a way to do it after the bomb (stopping of the bomb).

  5. Stargate Atlantis. Write a Tela and Ronin story. The characters are in for the long haul and they both like to punch people.

  6. I actually tried writing a Stargate Atlantis once. I was really hard. But the problem with a Stargate is that not enough showrunners are familiar with Scifi shows.

  7. You might wanna rethink your spec plan. You're better off than you think, I think, in terms of using what you have, but you might consider another route.

    Couple things:

    Thing one: a TV spec is really about showing them that you can write, that you understand specific characters, that you get the voice and style and approach of the show. Specs rarely turn into an actual episode of the show, as the season story arcs are ususally plotted out well in advance. So they don't really fall out of date when characters leave or plot shifts.

    Thing two: specs from unknowns like us won't ever be read by the producers. The most likely road is to write a kick ass spec and use it to get an agent. I'm pretty sure most of the network shows will only acccept stuff from agents.

    So if you have an awesome spec, send it to agents to get a good rep, and they'll get it to the producers. The producers will see you're a brilliant writer and add you to their stable and give you an episode to write, or bring you in on their in-house team (most shows are run like this) which write shows together...

    BOTTOM LINE: Don't throw out that script and waste that work! Use it girl!

  8. Anonymous6:11 PM

    I've heard from Industry Sources (tm) that specs with a character or storyline no longer in the show are good for 1 year after the change. Working writers and producers understand that you can't always change your spec every night after an original episode airs.

    That being said, you will have to get in a fresh round of specs if a current one has an expiration date one it. A good list of currently hot specs can be found at :

    A SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Writing Resource

  9. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Good news for you: Hollywood Reporter today said Friday Night Lights got a pick up today for next season from NBC.


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