Tuesday, April 24, 2007


As of today, production on The Riches Season 1 has wrapped. That means my job, along with 100+ others, has come to its conclusion.

I started this blog because I had absolutely no idea what it would take to find success as a screenwriter. I hoped that through my trial and error, my failures, my triumphs ... maybe someone would gleam some insight.

So I'll start with a short list of my misconceptions:

1) I thought that by the end of season, we would know if the show (The Riches) had either been cancelled or renewed for a new season.
(Note: By we, I mean everyone in the producer and writer offices ... which includes the producers and writers)


As of today, FX has not decided one way or the other. This may have something to do with being on cable.

The Riches has generated critical acclaim, much to the delight of Dmitry the show's creator. In addition, its ratings have been good by cable (and FX) standards.

Crazy, huh?

My best guess is that FX will renew the show. They are probably just waiting till more episodes have aired to give the final say so. But who knows?

2) Executive Producers, Producers, and Writers are NICE.

I know. Who knew?

I can honestly say that everyone I worked with in the producer's office was a genuinely nice person. Sure, they got stressed, tired, were overworked, but man ... were they a pleasure to work with.

3) The Network - Sometimes gives good notes.

Granted, they give like ... I dunno ... somewhere in the ballpark of 5 trillion notes per episode, so a couple have to be good by sheer volume, right?

But some execs do know what they are talking about. And they'll conference call the creative types with 6 other execs that have a hard time figuring out how the Mr. Coffee works.

4) Bad scripts - can make good episodes.

I know books and school and everyone tells us, screenwriters, that a great script can make a great movie, but not the other way around ... Well, that's not really true.

Granted the best episodes usually come from the best scripts (watch 111 and 112 - the season finale - 112 was my personal favorite), but oftentimes the collaborative process makes up for a deficiency in one area.

5) Television is a much different beast than film.

I knew this going in. I just did not know the extent. Let me talk about story theory here just for a moment...

A film is this self contained thing. Whether it is a blockbuster or a small indie, when you reach the end of the film there should be some huge dramatic conclusion that pays off the premise of the movie.

Television is different, in that ... you aren't looking for a conclusion. Duh, right? The point I am making is that I believe The Riches does so well because the premise itself is very open-ended.

A family of Travellers adopt the rich life of a family they accidentally killed.

The possibilities are limitless. However, the threats, the dilemmas, the payoffs, the rewards, the benefits, and the consequences are all very specific.

For Americans, we tend to like our movies closed. But we love open-ended television. Lost. Alias. Heroes.

Anyway. That's about all my brain can handle for today. Ciao.


Anonymous said...

I don't care for too many new shows, this was an exception. Good work.

James said...


Keep an eye out for the season Finale. The last two episodes of the season are imho terrific.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed the shows that have aired so far. I hope they can renew the show. I enjoyed reading about your experience with this. Most of us non-entertainment business people have no idea what goes into a TV show. We just are glued to the TV watching. (or iTunes in my case)


ChedderHed said...

I just stumbled across this blog... you have my extreme envy for landing a job on The Riches, and congrats on it's being renewed! Very much looking forward to the rest of the season.