Here’s another true story from the archives of the blog (I’m deep into writing MR. MONK AND THE BLUE FLU, so the blog has been suffering).
We had a pitch meeting a few years ago at a basic cable network, before MONK
burst on the scene. I pitched a mystery series, a blend of reality and
scripted TV, to the new development exec. He interrupted me in middle
of the pitch.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “You want to do a mystery every week?”
“Uh, yes,” I said.
“It can’t be done,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, genuinely confused.
“I mean, you can’t tell a new mystery every week,” he said. “It’s just not possible.”
“Of course it is,” I replied. “I’ve done it. Diagnosis Murder was a mystery.”
“No, it wasn’t.”
“Yes, it was,” I argued.
“Nobody can do a mystery every week,” he said. “It’s ludicrous.”
“Murder She Wrote, Law and Order, CSI, those are all mysteries,” I said.
“No, they aren’t.”
“Okay,” I said. “What is your idea of a mystery?”
“Scooby-Doo,” he replied.
“That’s an animated Saturday morning cartoon,” I said.
“Exactly,” he said.
(By the way, this was the one pitch meeting in my career where I actually lost my temper…surprising my agent, my writing partner, and a cop-friend who was pitching with us).