At one point Gary (Jason Alexander), a grizzled veteran, is asked the same question by a young writer (Matt Letscher) whose first upfronts has been a nightmare.
You do it my friend, because more people will see one episode of television you write, even if it finishes dead last in the ratings, than have ever seen all the productions of "Thousand Clowns" put together. And among those millions and millions of viewers there have to be at least one or two of the girls from high school who wouldn't sleep with you. That's why we do it. That's why we'll continue to do it.
Touching words I know. Truthfully, writers in television still have way more influence and creative say than screenwriters. And if you’re lucky enough to somehow catch the brass ring, create a show that works – it can be a spectacular (and lucrative) experience.
With UPN merging with the Frog this week -- a further example of how huge conglomerates, swallow up, own, and control everything in their path -- I thought I’d post another excerpt from my play,
Here is Walter, the network president’s justification for this new corporate model. Picture Kurtwood Smith as Walter, Jason Alexander as writer Gary and Wendie Malick as writer Beth.
So you guys merge with Haleburton and Enron yet?
You worried about it?
No. I just see the trend and worry that someday I'll be living in the "United States of Google".
Yeah, yeah. Corporate America, the ultimate evil. Ruining this great country of ours. Here's the story I like to tell. Let's say there's this small town -- real Americana -- Hooterville or Pixley or one of them. They got a nice little Main Street with all these ma and pop businesses. And everyone is real friendly. The owners all know everyone by name. "Becky's getting so big", "I heard little Skip got a telescope", that sort of shit. And then Wal-Mart opens on the edge of town. And everyone goes "who needs Wal-Mart with their big city ways? We're just fine." Well, let me tell you, the first thing Wal-Mart better stock is two-by-fours because that's what the Main Street merchants are going to need to board up their shops. Because the minute Wal-Mart opens people are going to discover that hey, there's more jobs, a much better selection, and at cheaper prices. So what if they don't know my kid's name? I'm saving money!" And what do they do with that extra money? Well it's their choice but they can build better schools, and parks, and roads. So at the end of the day, you look back, and Wal-Mart didn't destroy Hooterville, it saved it.
That's beautiful. It's like if Michael Milken wrote a children's book.