With so few comedies on the air, what sitcom should an aspiring writer spec as a sample of his or her talent? Veteran comedy writer/producer Ken Levine tackles that question this weekend on his blog.
current show you like and think you know the best. “Current” is the key word
here. Once a show is cancelled the shelf life for your spec is about six months.
So don’t start that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT you’ve been developing. And I hope you
didn’t pour a lot of time and effort into a spec KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL. When
RAYMOND went off the air everyone was sad but show runners. No more reading
fifty RAYMONDS a day when trying to staff! And for that same reason, please let
this be WILL & GRACE’S last year! The good news is if you’ve got a spec
FRASIER you can just change the names and send it out as an OUT OF PRACTICE. And
of course you never have to worry with a SIMPSONS because they will go on making
new episodes forever…
…Unfortunately, there are not a lot of great shows out there at the moment. What
I think we’ll see this year is everybody writing a MY NAME IS EARL. It’s clearly
the best of the new crop. The only caution I give you is that EVERYBODY will be
writing one. If that doesn’t concern you (or you’ve written it already) I say go
for it. If it does then some suitable alternates might be SCRUBS, TWO AND A HALF
MEN, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, or HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (a far cry from the CHEERS,
TAXI, MASH, COSBY days).