061 – David Barlow (King, Nothing Too Good For A Cowboy)

As a production manager, David Barlow got his break into writing by a very unusual method… pitching jokes on set! Since then, he has created two series, including the long running ‘Seeing Things,’ and has over 30 years experience writing in LA, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Mostly recently, David Barlow was a co-executive producer and writer on the Showcase series ‘King.’ Previously, he was a producer-writer on the CBC series ‘The Border‘ – twice nominated for the Best Dramatic Series Gemini. He has co-created two television series – ‘Nothing Good Too for a Cowboy‘ (with Charles Lazer), and ‘Seeing Things‘ (with Louis del Grande). His series credits as a story editor and/or writer include ‘Durham County,’ ‘Blue Murder,’ ‘Cold Squad,’ and ‘North of 60.’

Barlow may be the only producer to receive Gemini nominations for both Best Dramatic Series (‘E.N.G.‘) and Best Sports Program in the same year. The documentary was ‘Chasing the Dream,’ produced with Peter Raymont and William Thomas.

Barlow has received two Gemini Awards for Best Comedy Series (‘Seeing Things’), a Gemini for Best Writing in a Dramatic Series (‘Max Glick‘), the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s Margaret Collier Award for his body of work as a screenwriter, and the WGC’s Writer’s Block Award for service to Canadian screenwriters.

He is also a faculty member of the Advanced Television and Film and Media Arts programs at Sheridan College, Oakville and has conducted professional screenwriting workshops across Canada, in Singapore, and in Dublin.

David has lots of great tips on how to break in… you don’t want to miss this one!

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.

055 – Jana Sinyor (Dark Oracle, Being Erica)

She won an International Emmy Award for her series Dark Oracle, and received 16 Gemini Awards for her series Being Erica. This week, we meet Canadian series creator and showrunner Jana Sinyor!

After attending McGill for religious studies, it was an epiphany after a tough shift at a call center that led Jana Sinyor to pursue writing for the screen.

In her interview, Jana shares how her time at the Canadian Film Centre and attending screenwriting functions and parties led to her first freelance script for ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation,’ to writing for a children’s series, and then to create her own original series, ‘Dark Oracle,’ which won an International Emmy Award for Best Youth Drama.

Next Jana created the CBC critically-acclaimed one hour drama ‘Being Erica,’ on which she served as Executive Producer and Showrunner. Temple Street Productions produced the series, which subsequently sold to ABC Soapnet and many territories around the world. Being Erica has been nominated for 16 Gemini Awards – winning three. Jana is in active development on a new one hour series for ABC, as well as a new show for CBC with collaborator Aaron Martin.

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.

034 – Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz, Defying Gravity)

Within 7 years of graduating from film school, Sheri Elwood had not only created her own successful TV series, but had written and directed a feature film starring Kirsten Dunst and Lynn Redgrave. Fast forward to the present: her current series, Call Me Fitz, which was inspired by her own family, has just won 7 Gemini Awards.

After graduating from Ryerson University’s Film Program in Toronto, Sheri Elwood was awarded the National Apprenticeship Award from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television. This launched her to many seasons of comedy writing for networks such as Disney, Fox, The Family Channel and YTV. By 1999, she had created her own series for tweens, “I Was a Sixth Grade Alien,” which went two full seasons.

In the off season, Sheri wrote and directed a Gemini nominated short film, “Eb and Flo,” and her first feature film, the romantic teen drama, “Deeply,” starring Lynn Redgrave, Kirsten Dunst and Brent Carver. Deeply premiered to a 4-star review at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was also nominated for four Genie Awards.

Elwood teamed with Lionsgate TV to create the comedy series “Beta Males” for the CW Network, and also wrote for the 1-hr ABC/CTV drama “Defying Gravity” for Fox Television Studios with creator James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy).

Fulfilling a dream to capture the spirit of her loving and unique family on TV, Elwood created the edgy cable series “Call Me Fitz,” starring Jason Priestly, for TMN/Movie Central. They have just begun shooting season 3, with Elwood writing, directing and showrunning. You can catch Call Me Fitz on HBO Canada, or in the US on Netflix or DirecTV.

Elwood has just signed a blind development deal with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Sheri splits her time between Los Angeles and Nova Scotia where she and her family spend time at their century old schoolhouse and love to ring the bell.

Follow Sheri on Twitter: @elwoodink

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.

Special – Ink Drinks Toronto (HD)

In episode 012, writer-producer Karen Walton told us about the online group she founded, called “Ink Canada,” and their “Ink Drinks” events. This week, Gray had the opportunity to bring a video camera to Ink Drinks Toronto. It was a blast, and Gray has put together a special mini-episode highlighting the event.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

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.

008 – Ali Adler (Chuck, No Ordinary Family, Supergirl)

As we begin our Women TV Writers series, we are excited to have two interviews with Ali Adler, Co-Executive Producer and writer of ABC’s exciting new show, No Ordinary Family. [Sep. 2015 note: she is now the showrunner of Supergirl on CBS!]

Gray kicks off the episode with a discussion on the current employment statistics for women and minorities in TV writing.

Then, we feature an interview Gray had with Ali in February 2009, when she talked about how she got started writing, her career path, her work with the Young Storytellers Foundation, and also much about the process of writing Chuck.

In Gray’s latest interview with Ali, they discuss her experiences on various staffs, her opinion on how to motivate women to break in, and much about her experiences on her new show, No Ordinary Family. She answers many fan questions, and teases about what’s to come in what she promises are some very strong upcoming episodes.

Make sure you watch ‘No Ordinary Family’ on ABC, Tuesdays at 8/7c!

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