Monday, August 01, 2005

Situation: No Comedy?

So I'm watching "Situation: Comedy" on Bravo. Here's the background info about the show. The producers of Situation:Comedy (Sean Hayes from "Will & Grace" being one of them) scoured the country (read:set up a website and advertised) looking for the hottest new and undiscovered writing talent. Toni and I entered this contest (Check out for more info). Each candidate submitted an original sitcom script and over 10,000 scripts were submitted. After reading the submissions the producers and experienced show-runners narrowed the field to five semi-finalists. We weren't chosen... okay, I can accept that. They did receive over 10,000 scripts, after all. Maybe we wouldn't be the 5 funniest people in a room of 10,000 comedy scriptwriters.
Thankfully, Dan Kammer thought that the people at Bravo were nuts and decided that he wanted to direct our pilot and put it on film for submission to networks, film festivals, whatever so that we can get it "out there".
Back to the show, the lucky five writers selected then submitted their ideas to NBC network executives who green-lighted two of the scripts to go into production as 15-minute presentations. The writers will now have to cast their pilot and film this presentation that America will see and vote on as their favorite.
With me so far...? Good.
Toni and I had to cast our pilot, too. When we were casting the pilot episode (from which we finally cast a ridiculously talented group of people) we needed to provide "Sides" for the auditioning actors to read from when they came in. A Side is taken from your script and is meant to highlight the strong aspects of your show so that the actors who read them are actually interested in being a part of your project in the first place. So, basically, if you're producing a comedy then you should provide Sides with something FUNNY for people to read, right?
Okay, so here I am watching the 2nd episode last night (god bless my DVR) and I watched as the team involved with "My Sperm Donor" (don't ask) were called in to meet with the show runners who basically told them "Your script isn't reading well because we don't have any funny sides to work with. WE (the show runners) are going to have to take your script and punch up a few lines to make it palatable to actors to get them interested in reading for it."
And I sat there thinking to myself, "This is one of the TWO scripts that were picked from FIVE scripts that had been picked from a field of TEN-THOUSAND submitted scripts to make a new COMEDY show for NBC and you have NOTHING FUNNY to print in the sides that are given to potential actors?"
It may not mean much but I do know that when the actors read OUR Sides at the auditions for "The Six Fifty-Seven" that they were laughing.
Suddenly being in the Top 5 finalists for "Situation: Comedy" didn't seem like such a big freaking deal after all.


Blogger Summer Ryan Doyle said...

As one of said actors I have to express my extraordinary relief that you, Toni, and Dan will have a chance to bring your vision to life without the interference of reality TV.

There's always the chance you could have created a Kelly Clarkson of a sitcom, but it's much more likely you would have had a William Hung on your hands.

3:50 PM, August 01, 2005  

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