006 – TV & Feature Writer Dan McDermott

Are you wondering whether to write features or television? To try to get a pilot produced, or to work on a staff? Or are you concerned you don’t have enough time to write because of your busy family life?

This week we meet someone who does it all… Dan McDermott, co-executive producer and writer on Fox’s Human Target, which begins its second season this Wednesday. Click image to play video; more details are below.

You’ll love hearing how Dan manages to write both features and television at the same time, with great success! While writing the action-packed blockbuster “Eagle Eye,” he also successfully sold the pilot for and executive produced the TV series “Angela’s Eyes.”

He shares many cool stories, including how he came up with the idea for “Eagle Eye,” his work on the “Romancing the Stone” remake, and why the iconic ending of the original “Soylent Green” is only the midpoint of his adaptation of the story.

Oh, yeah… and he does this all with a wife and son! He shares practical advice on how to balance family life, features, and television at the same time.

Make sure you watch Dan’s work on Human Target, airing on Fox on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Also, check out our interview with Human Target showrunner Matt Miller if you haven’t already!

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
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Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

005 – Emmy Winning Comedy Writer Rob Kutner

He’s won 5 Prime Time Emmys, a Grammy, a Peabody, and a Television Critics’ Association Award, and was even named a “SuperJew” by Time Out New York. No, he doesn’t have superpowers, but that hasn’t stopped comedy writer Rob Kutner from writing over 1000 episodes of great comedy shows “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, and “Dennis Miller Live.”

Oh, and did we mention that he’s a best-selling author too? His recent satirical end-of-times bestseller “Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times!” is one of the top 100 parodies at Amazon.com. Click image to play video; more details are below.

You’ll love hearing how he got his comedy start as the only Jewish kid in a Christian kindergarten class… How studies at Princeton led to him being deported from Uzbekistan… how Dennis Miller gave him his first break… and all his tips for getting in to comedy writing.

Rob recommends several books in the podcast — you can find them all, including his book “Apocalypse How,” in the TV Writer Podcast mini-Amazon store. Please CLICK HERE to support the podcast by buying books through the mini-store, or CLICK HERE to browse Amazon.com’s whole catalog.

Rob also takes the time to answer many fan questions that came in over Twitter… You can follow him at @ApocalypseHow.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

004 – Eureka’s Jaime Paglia & Neil Grayston

In the final part of our series on the crossover between SyFy’s hit shows Warehouse 13 and Eureka, this week Gray talks to the co-creator and showrunner of Eureka, Jaime Paglia, and the actor who made the crossover, Neil Grayston. Click image to play video; more details are below.

You’ll love hearing about how Jaime Paglia and Andrew Cosby came up with the idea for this sci fi comedy hybrid, set in a fictional small town with a Northern Exposure feel. Jaime explains exactly what has made this show a hit for SyFy, bringing millions of new viewers to the network who might not ordinarily watch sci fi. He also talks about how he and Jack Kenny came up with the idea for the crossover episode, and how a chance plane ride with Stan Lee resulted in a cameo on the show!

Then we have the privilege of hearing from actor Neil Grayston, who plays Douglas Fargo on Eureka. He shares about his process when he gets a script, how his character has changed over Eureka’s four seasons, and what it was like to shoot the crossover episodes. Plus, he tells some funny anecdotes about Terminator and Star Wars throwbacks, and working with his BFF Allison Scagliotti.

Gray also tells about some cool resources, including the new TV Writer Twitter Database, and an upcoming interview with Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak on his other podcast, at chuckpodcast.com.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

003 – Warehouse 13 Writer Ian Stokes

Continuing our series on the crossover between SyFy’s hit shows Warehouse 13 and Eureka, this week Gray talks to the writer of the crossover episode on the Warehouse 13 side, Ian Stokes. Click image to play video; more details are below.

So far we’ve heard from two showrunners… this time, we have the privilege to hear a very fresh breaking in story, as Ian has very recently made the jump from assistant to full staff writer.

You’re sure to love Ian’s story, how he went from being a P.A. for Robert Zemeckis to being a staff writer on SyFy’s #1 show, in only four years!

He also shares some interesting perspectives about working in development at SyFy Network before getting the job on Warehouse 13, and also some valuable and practical tips to writers trying to break in to television writing.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

002 – Warehouse 13 Showrunner Jack Kenny

Warehouse 13 has been breaking records for SyFy network since its launch. Today we are pleased to bring you an interview with Warehouse 13 showrunner Jack Kenny. Click image to play video; more details are below.

A graduate of the Juilliard School Theatre Center, Jack was a member of John Houseman’s “The Acting Company” and has acted on Broadway. He is also a director, and a successful show creator.

He talks about co-writing and going solo, his experiences co-creating the controversial show “The Book of Daniel,” and how he serendipitously came to run Warehouse 13.

He also shares many great stories of how Warehouse 13 came to be, the changes he made after the pilot, experiences writing and shooting the show, and what’s to come toward the season finale in September.

Of special interest is the recent crossover episode between Warehouse 13 and Eureka (SyFy). The cross-pollination was a success, increasing ratings not only for the crossover, but also subsequent episodes. Hear Jack tell how a chance meeting at Comic-Con and someone’s BFF led to the crossover.

After the interview, you’ll hear about a new database of TV writers on Twitter, and if you’re watching the video, you’ll see how you can contact any of Warehouse 13’s writers on Twitter. While you’re at it, why don’t you follow Gray?

For more information about Jack, including a list of credits, click here for his IMDB profile. Wikipedia also has a page on Jack here.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

001 – Human Target Showrunner Matt Miller

As the first of our “Countdown to Launch” promotion, this episode features not one but two interviews with Human Target show runner Matt Miller. Click image to play video; more details are below.

The first interview was done by host Gray Jones on his other show, Chuck vs. the Podcast, and talks about Matt’s career path and how he ended up on Chuck. Then Gray’s second interview with Matt takes you to the present — hear all about his plans for season 2 of Human Target.

Click here to purchase any of the writing books Matt recommended, and help support the podcast in the process! For more information about Matt, including a list of writing credits, click here for his IMDB profile.

Gray also introduces you to the podcast, website, Facebook Group, partnership with Script Magazine, and much more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

About the Podcast and the Partnership

TV Writer Podcast

Why start the TV Writer Podcast?

It’s really the same reason I created a podcast for Chuck. I looked around, and couldn’t find one.

There are oodles of podcasts about writing feature film scripts and novels. A few offer a smorgasbord, which happens to include TV writers. However, to my knowledge there is no podcast devoted exclusively to the creators of the small screen, despite the fact that there may be as many as ten times the number of writers working in television as those who write for features. Also, it helps that in my Chuck podcast, I found I especially enjoyed speaking to the writers.

My primary goal is to offer great podcast interviews with working writers in various genres and parts of the television industry. One week may feature a showrunner for a Hollywood scripted drama, and the next may feature a writer for a Canadian kids animation show.

Another very important goal is to make these “unsung heroes” into “sung heroes,” so to speak. At times it baffles me why so much media and attention is given to the cast, and yet so little attention is given to those who create the stories we love… not just showrunners and executive producers, but writers at all levels.

What does “partner of Script Magazine” mean?

I’m very proud that Script Magazine, a Final Draft, Inc. publication, has chosen to partner with me on the TV Writer Podcast. They will promote the podcast on their newly revamped website, and also assist me in contacting writers for interviews. When they feature TV writers in the print magazine, these writers will be approached for possible podcast interviews to tie in with the print articles.

What are my goals for the website?

It’s not that there aren’t great resources for existing and aspiring TV writers; it’s just that most are devoted to a particular writer, book, organization, or service. As such, they either have a specific slant, or are limited in some way.

Of course, the website will support the podcast, with enhancements related to the episodes (like bio information for the interviewees and links to their suggested resources, favorite books, etc.). However, my goal is that the site will be a hub where you can find organized links to many different resources for TV writing, as well as be a place to gather for helpful discussion.

I need you!

To accomplish these goals, I need you! I need your ideas and feedback on the site. I need suggestions for blogs, sites, books, DVDs, podcasts, and seminars you’ve found helpful. I need guest article writers and book reviewers. No suggestion is too small! Please send me an email if you have anything to say.

I also especially need writers to interview. If you are a working writer yourself, or if you know any writers who are open to being interviewed, please contact me.

TVWP and other notes

You may notice when you try to abbreviate the podcast name it is the same acronym as “Television Without Pity,” a wonderful TV-related website. My bad. I had registered the name long before this occurred to me. So… please try to abbreviate this podcast as TVW_P, and on Twitter use the hash tag #TVW_P.

Also, you’ll notice many resources on the site related to feature film writing. While the podcast will be focused on TV writers, I would be remiss if I were to leave out the wonderful wealth of information provided by authors of feature writing and general writing books, blogs, and sites.

Thanks,
Gray.

———-

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

2-page feature on Gray in Toronto Star!

Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski
Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski


“One Toronto podcaster didn’t just
talk about his favourite show.
He may have saved it from the axe”

— Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 edition of Toronto Star

Gray with Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez
Gray with Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez

I’m incredibly pleased to confirm that in today’s Toronto Star, the front page and sixth page of the entertainment section are devoted to Gray, Chuck vs. the Podcast, and Chuck’s return for season 3!

“On the outside, it looks to be about spy stuff
but it always ends up being about the relationships,
at work and at home.”
— Gray Jones

A web version with fewer photos is available online here, for fans who don’t have access to the physical newspaper. However, most bookstores in Canada sell the Toronto Star, so if you have access, I urge you to buy the paper and see the full article!

Gray on Chuck set in L.A.
Gray on Chuck set in L.A.

“Hosted along with Mel and Liz, the women behind the expansive and exhaustive Chucktv.net website…”

Mel and Liz, and ChuckTV.net all got mentions in the article. Plus, they interviewed Chris Fedak, both to comment on the podcast story and for a separate piece on Chuck season 3.

Enjoy!

———–

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

About the Host – Gray Jones

SOG-about-banner
Gray's iReport at CNN.com

Graham “Gray” Jones is a reality/lifestyle TV editor & produced writer located in Toronto, Canada. He has an honors Screenwriting BFA from York University, where he graduated with distinction in 1994, and is a voting member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

He has a very interesting history: high school class president; released an album in 1990 and toured Canada with his rock band; was a Christian minister for 6 years; won awards internationally for short film producing; released a software program that was featured in Macworld Magazine; and has worked in TV for the last 10 years.

 
In January, 2008, Gray started “Chuck vs. the Podcast” for NBC’s Chuck, which since December 2008 has been continuously voted the #1 TV-themed podcast in Podcast Alley’s TV & Film category.

Gray is proud to put family and spiritual values first, and strives always to produce material that will help people in some way.

Gray with Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez
Gray with Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez

 
He also supports shows and movies that are family-friendly. In 2009, his “Watch, Buy, Share” idea was the beginning of the renewal campaign for the 3rd season of NBC’s Chuck, that would snowball into a huge fan effort, leading to a successful renewal. His “Send a message that we need family shows” iReport on CNN led to him being chosen as a fan spokesperson, to appear on CNN with Chuck stars Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez. He was also recently featured in a 2-page article in the Toronto Star newspaper, for his work in helping to save Chuck.

 

Gray on Chuck set in L.A.
Gray on Chuck set in L.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
In 2010, guess who started the “Chuck: Declassified” fan campaign to renew Chuck, which was expanded to include the news-worthy flash mobs? Gray again — and the campaign was a success, ushering in a fourth season for Chuck.

Please check out the links on the right for Chuck vs. the Podcast, Gray’s blog, and more. You can also follow Gray on Twitter!

 

A few TV shows Gray has worked on:

 
• Property Virgins (HGTV US & Canada)
• Survive This (Cartoon Network, YTV Canada, Gemini-winning)
• Planet Echo (APTN)
• Dirty Business (HGTV Canada, Gemini-nominated)
• Ink: Alter Egos Exposed (IFC Canada, SkyArts UK, Gemini-winning)
• Second Chance: Making It Work (GlobalTV Canada)

Contact:

 
Toronto Cell/Text 416-301-0261 • L.A. Cell (no text) 818-239-4729
Email: mail@tvwriterpodcast.com • Twitter: @GrayJones