It’s a Mystery

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).

1 thought on “It’s a Mystery”

  1. Of course, Scooby-Doo and its many sequels were mysteries, albeit fomulaic and seldom fair-play mysteries. But did this guy not register that even Scooby-Doo came out weekly?


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