Greetings from the Grannery Pub in Hay-on-Wye, the Disneyland for book lovers. This tiny village is devoted almost entirely to bookstores. I have shown super-human restraint and have only bought about a dozen books, which I have shipped back to the US by goat and freighter…the package should arrive in six months. This pub is apparently the only place in town with an Internet connection, so I am sitting here, eating an amazing Chicken Pie, catching up on 200 emails and trying very hard not to dribble gravy on my keyboard. Tomorrow it’s off to London and, after three days there, on to Stockholm.
The third Writers Room seminar has ended and, at least from my point of view, was a great success. The writer/producers I worked with here not only enthusiastically embraced the four act structure, but were eager to put it to use in their current series and pilots. Coincidentally, one of the major German newspapers reported yesterday that, with the exception of Action Concept’s ALARM FOR COBRA 11, home-grown German shows are bombing. American shows are thriving here — the highest rated programs on German TV are HOUSE, CSI MIAMI, MONK and CRIMINAL MINDS. The networks believe one reason for the failure of German drama programming is that their series aren’t structured and run the way American shows are. As a result, Pro7/Sat1, one of the biggest networks here, announced yesterday that they would no longer buy any series that isn’t run using the American "showrunner/writer’s room" system. That’s a seismic shift for the German TV industry…and I think my friends at Action Concept can take a lot of credit for that, thanks to their very aggressive efforts over the last six months to convince all the networks here that the "showrunner/writer’s room" approach is the only way to go.
Tomorrow I am off for six days in the UK…where I may or may not have Internet access…and then on to Sweden for another session of "The Writers Room" seminar next Saturday.
I may also have some very good news (for me!) to share with you by then…