Painting With Shotguns #52

Shit Sonofabitch Shit Fuck Crap Sonofacrap

News came in last night: our TV pilot with TNT is no more. TNT instead chose a Dallas reboot (or update? or sequel?), a detective show, and a sort-of-also-maybe-detective show. We’ve been hammering at this for a good year now (you’ll remember my trip to LA to pitch this thing) and I think we really refined it into something pretty damn awesome, and the team assembled for the thing was really, genuinely top-notch.

So, it is with great sadness to see this door close on us.

Today will certainly be a day of mourning. So, y’know, if you have any good news, send it my way. Hell, make some up. I’m not above delusion and invention. I’ll take whatever succor one can offer. Or, if anyone wants to invent work for me to perform? I’ll take it. Any professional boost? C’mon. You know you want to. Hire me to write your epitaph. Your menus. Your street signs. I’ll take anything.


The show itself isn’t dead — we’re looking to repackage and we have some other options. It’s a great show, very original (perhaps that’s its problem, ha-ha-ha *sob*), not at all about cops or doctors, not at all a reboot or a rehash, so I still have hope it’ll find a way to be birthed into existence.

Even still.

Shit. Goddamnit. Shit.


Speaking Of The Tube For Boobs

Fall television season is nearly upon us.

I find myself less excited for many of the shows this year? In years past I’ve always found a lot to be excited about (usually to have my hopes kicked to the curb once I actually, y’know, watched the shows), but this year, not so much. Maybe that means I have room for pleasant surprises?

What are you excited about? Anything in particular?

The Event, maybe? It has a Lost-ian vibe, but so far, none of the previews have really caused me to jizz in my britches. But again, maybe that’s an open door for a pleasant surprise?

I recorded but have not watched Terriers on FX last night, and that looks pretty great, actually. Donal Logue has long been one of my favorite underutilized actors. Tao of Steve? C’mon. Yeah.

I admit to being curious about Nikita, which is on tonight. Of course, that might also be because Maggie Q is just crazy hot. And a real asskickstress. See her in the last (underrated) Die Hard? Mmmmm. Kicky.

No Ordinary Family… geehh? I dunno. Could go either way. Love the players. Love that it might have a fun family dynamic. Execution looks a little pedestrian. But it might soar if given solid writing, performances.

Lots of great returning shows, of course. Modern Family, Dexter, Chuck, Community.

I think though that for the Golden Age of TV (if this is really that), the new fall schedule is a little thin, a little feeble, a wee bit pale.

Could also be that I’m suddenly cynical, though.

Go figure.

(shit shit shit shit)

Hey, Good News, Maybe Kinda Sorta!

The other day I wrote my, “Want To Be A Freelancer? Just Punch Yourself In The Face, Instead” post, and I had noooo idea that I was apparently tapping into something. I was just, y’know, doing my terribleminds thing: yammering into the void with my standard rant-and-ramble. I did not expect that post to become, by a country mile, the most viewed post on this site.

In just three days, I’ve had over 12k unique visitors to that page, and people are mysteriously still checking it out. I’ve seen it do the rounds on Twitter, even coming back into my feed without attribution (which is fine because, hey, it comes here anyway), and I’ve seen some very surprising professionals pass this link around like Cherie Priest and Jill Thompson (and, possibly, Mike Mignola? Is that true?) Then you have comic book pros like Christopher Moeller and Gene Ha, which is very exciting. And Jane Yolen? Jane Yolen? My jaw on the floor. Really. What an incredible visitor. So, so honored to have someone of her caliber even think about this space.

So, all that’s very exciting.

And it turns out, the Internet is home to a lot of freelancing professionals.

It’s given me a sudden crazy boost to my Twitter list, too — I think I gained 50-60 new Twitter followers (aka “tweeps”) in the last couple days. (Sorry, new followers: prepare for disappointment and profanity.)

I’m pretty geeked about it, it’s very cool.

Thanks all who looked at it and who spread the love (and who are continuing to spread it).

WordPress Is Acting Like A Cranky Jerk All Of A Sudden

Really, the header says it.

For some reason, my plugins continue to work as described, but now my plugin list is only populated by only by three plugins. Which is simply not possible, as I have more than three up and operating.

Anybody have this happen?

Also, the auto-update now fails to work.


Links In The Great Internet Chain

Pimp myself? Why, never. Except, shut up. Because, hey, look, I have another Escapist article up! “The 12-Year-Old English Kid Who Carried Us To Victory.”

Steven Belledin, artist extraordinaire (and kind of almost my cousin or some iteration of a cousin) has a blog that I did not know about. You should go and visit it.

Do shooter and sims offer better roleplaying opportunities than MMORPGs? Could be, rabbit, could be.

Fine. There you go. Links.

Hell, you know what? You give me some links.

Toss at me some stuff I should be reading.

Do it.

Don’t make me stomp my feet and pee on things.


  • The link up above to the freelancing post goes to the wrong post. Just FYI.

    You want good news? You’re still a Dude of Legend. With a beard. Did you know there are children in Bangalore that can’t even grow a beard? Man up, boy! Rejection is just the universe’s way of saying, “Your awesomeness has blinded me, and I must push it away before it consumes me in fire like Dionysus’ mother was when confronted by the full glory of Zeus.”

    Besides, you know you want that show to be on AMC, anyway. That’s where all the cool kids are these days.

    I’m not sure about the new TV schedule. For one thing, we’re going on vacation just as most of the networks are rolling out their premieres. I’m also cranky about the fact that Castle, Hawaii Five-O, and Chase are all on at the same time, and our DVR can only record two at a time. I think this may be the year to try out Hulu or Netflix on the iPad.

  • Dude, that’s lame. So lame. Give me names, numbers, addresses. I’ll break into the headquarters of TV-Land and lay some justice, Codpiece style.

    (Speaking of Codpiece…)

    Your freelancing post was full of awesome that awesome would call awesome if it wasn’t blinded by the awesomeosity (awesomeocity? awesomitude? awesomeageddon?) I’ve actually got some feelers out for some more work (the boring kind – like, no imagination writing) and I’m dreading and looking forward to it.

    As for TV… yeah. The shows I am looking forward to are Supernatural (I hear it’s going to be more like Season 1, which I think kicks ass. It kind of bookends the series.) I don’t know what they can do to follow last season, but I am cautiously optimistic. I am really looking forward to the new seasons of House, Stargate Universe, How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory. The Office, not so much really. I also want to see how they wrap up Smallville, but the last two seasons haven’t exactly been Must See TV.

    Seriously, I’ll break kneecaps for you. Most likely my own. Because I am clumsy.

    • @Rick:

      If you break your own kneecaps, I will at least laugh. That will help. So, y’know. Do that. Get on it. Chop-chop!

      … ahem. No, it’s all good, we have other options, it’s just — hey, look! A year’s worth of work! Gnuh!

      But, that year has made a stronger show, too, for when it comes time to run it through the gauntlet once more.


      The Office — this last season sort of sucked. Not excited.

      House — I’m into it still.

      The others — don’t watch yet.

      — c.

  • Good news: You have a metric buttload of people (and some very high profile people it seems!) tuned in to your blog. Never know where things like that can lead.

    I’m sorry about the show. I have no idea what it even was, but I’m dying for good TV over here. Can’t believe they picked up DALLAS. What’s next – Dynasty? (Or, pitch it to USA. They have better shows anyway.)

    There’s no new shows I’m excited for. We DVRed Terriers too but haven’t watched it yet. Being FX, I hope it delivers. But, also being FX, it might get canceled before it can really get off the ground. Thinking about it, the only thing I’m all that excited for is the second season of Glee. Can’t help myself on that one – I’m a girl and I was in choir and theater as a teen. It’s a show aimed directly at me.

    Oh no, wait. I lie. I’m am practically wetting myself over here for The Walking Dead. Halloween might be a huge freakin’ deal in Chapel Hill, but I’m going to stay in (and not get molested by drunk dudes in costume) for once just so I can see it. I was skeptical when it was first announced, but the trailer really turned it around for me.

    • @Kate —

      *smacks head*

      Duh! Duh. THE WALKING DEAD. Yes, absolutely.

      TERRIERS — I’m hopeful. Also, FX isn’t really the “Cancel-cancel-cancel!” network. They usually let their shows breathe. It’s Fox proper that gets aggro with the cancel gun.

      And did you guys hear that King’s THE DARK TOWER is coming to both… film and TV? Man, that is either going to be brilliant, or a brilliant fuck-up. Either way? I’m there.

      — c.

  • I’ve seen some good stuff about H50. I really like Daniel Dae Kim, and feel like he’s never quite gotten the part he deserves. Also James Marsters is a recurring villain.

    Chase is about a US Marshal chasing down fugitives. Not sure what the “plot B” is yet, but that’s enough for me to give it a look-see.

  • I’m still sort of made at FX for giving The Riches the axe and never resolving anything there. The only Irish person they seem to like is Dennis Leary. (Though, how can you not love Dennis Leary? Yeah, exactly.)

    Oooh, I hadn’t heard about The Dark Tower. I’ve been sort of avoiding too much tv news lately so I’m still doing a happy dance about Avatar: Legend of Korra. I should rectify this problem.

  • TV pilot season is a constant, steady heartbreak. Once you understand that in your bones it only hurts a butt ton, as opposed to a fuck ton. I’ll put it this way: i turn to writing rejections to FEEL BETTER after auditioning for a few weeks for various shows, what does that tell you about the brutal nature of TV?

    But seriously, this stuff is cyclical (not to mention mid season replacements.) If you don’t have a non-compete clause, test that shit out over at HBO or A&E. They’re all about original ideas this year. (Or FX. Now that’s a network that is producing some kick ass new shows.)

    I’m sorry for your loss, it really really sucks in Hollywood.

  • That sucks man, and I’m sorry to hear it, but I know it to be a speedbump, not a wall.

    Also, I am not certain it’s _possible_ to underrate the last Die Hard sufficiently, and I really like Olyphant!

    Terriers and Nikita are both in my Tivo’s net, but no idea when I’ll get a chance to see them. I’m skeptical about both, but what the hell, why not? As to The Event, I gotta say I can kind of smell the stink of desperation from here, though it was interestingly informative of something else entirely. The whole super-teaser advertising thing is a lot less compelling when my list of decisions is “Read the Internet the next day and see what the hell it was about”.

    I really want No Ordinary Family to be better than it’s going to be.

    I’m torn on Hawaii 5-0 – the cast looks great, except it’s got Scott Caan, and every time I see Scott Caan, some part of my brain goes “Ah, someone went and hired Jimmy’s son again”. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that he just always seems to occupy a space that might be used by an actor.

    All of which is to say I have basically no hope for this season. Thankfully, old episodes of Terminator are proving WAY better than I expected.

    -Rob D.

  • It’s still a project you have all of the pieces to. Pitch it around some more, and eventually it will be caught.

    TV favorites this season? The season three opener for Sons of Anarchy was fantastic. That damn show gets better every season. Highly recommended.

    Other than that, I’m cautiously optimistic for Dexter, the last season of Supernatural, and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

    Until then, I just started watching The Shield from the beginning and after that, will finally sit down with The Wire. Not enough time in the day to absorb so much TV.

  • Well, goddamn it. My respect for TNT just went down a bajillion points. Don’t we have enough detective shows on, for crying out loud?

    Best of luck with the repackaging. And, for good news, I can confirm that Mike Mignola was referring your essay to others. That’s right: MIKE MIGNOLA thinks you’re cool.


    • I’m a little bummed with TNT (and the one show of theirs I like, Leverage, has been too hit or miss this season), but hey, they gotta do what works for them. Maybe we’d be better somewhere else, somewhere willing to take risks on inventive programming. I’ve no sour grapes, they have to attend to their scheduling needs however it plays out.

      As for Mike Mignola —


      My jaw continues to be on the floor.

      Plus, I should also thank Dan Abnett and Aaron, since both of them referred an alarming number of visitors my way.

      — c.

  • Good News: You were (and still are) in the mix in ways 99.5% of creatives NEVER will be. One door closes, another door, window or secret passage awaits. (Pretty sure you’ve got a +5 Spot, yes?)

    More Good News: I might have a transmedia angle for you, related to a project that might have some $$$ attached to it. Look for an email soon. 🙂

    As for Fall TV, my kids are looking forward to No Ordinary Family, so if it’s even half as good as it could be, it’ll be a step up from iCarly and Zeke and Luther. (KILL ME!!!)

    As a longtime Donal Logue fan, I’m also intrigued by Terriers; having Michael Raymond-James in the mix doesn’t hurt, either, as he was a True Blood fave.

    Final Bit of Good News: In the immortal words of Frank Miller’s Batman, “You’re the goddamned Chuck Wendig!” Chin up!

  • I am officially boycotting TNT on your behalf. Forever. I may know someone who may plan to egg their office next time they are in town. My prediction is that you guys will repackage this and get a better deal anyway. Then, after it’s first season, the Dallas-decision-maker from TNT will wind up getting committed because he’ll be beating himself up emotionally and physically over his poor decision.

    And if your looking for freelance work, and would entertain a small fluff piece, I know someone is still looking for a bio and company description….he’s just lazy about getting to the details.

    • Becky Becky Bo Becky —

      No egging necessary. But thank you for the potential promise of vandalism. 🙂

      As for the freelance work, I suppose this is the Most Excellent Woodworker In The World? Because, as you know, I just need the details. 😉

      — c.

  • September 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM // Reply

    Well, goddamn. Clearly, as has been shown time and time again, TV executives have no taste. Dallas?! You’re fucking kidding me. That show blew moose in the 80’s and that’s when Big Oil wasn’t seen as a bunch of baby raping, puppy chewing nightmare turd monkeys.


    The freelancing article was awesome. And the feedback just added to it.

    Dude, shit’s gonna work out. I’ll buy you a strong alcoholic beverage at BCon you can quietly weep into. But you’re paying for your own hookers.

  • As Guy said, you got farther than 99% with the pitch, Chuck. You’ve probably made some good contacts, if nothing else, and you still have the material. You have every right to be bummed, so take a little (a little) time to be bummed, then attack again. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, this time.

    As for fun links, I usually throw this one out when asked that question:

  • WordPress sometimes just decides to be a jerk. I haven’t found any real fix for it, maybe you need to update it manually or something? Or maybe when you updated it (if you did) your plugins were out of date? Were you wearing pants when you tried to update it? Maybe we need to perform some sort of ritual on it to get it to behave.

    I have a bit too much TV to keep up with this season given that we don’t *actually* have a television in our house that isn’t being used as a video production monitor. Uh. Not helpful. I also am about two seasons behind on Dexter, but thank you for reminding me to catch up!

    As for things to check out, I am going to be shameless for about .38 seconds and suggest that you keep on the radar. I will be doing some cool things over here. (I hope.)

  • Hey Cheers! on getting so far with the TV thing. From what I have read and understand (admittedly little) you got farther with this show than some “big” name writers have with other projects. And I know of at least a few great shows that TNT turned their back on before, so..yeah eff’m.

    Also, you should add Laura Martin to your list of incredible comic creators who visited, commented and retweeted/posted your freelance post. She is perhaps my most favorite comic creator and amazing artist.

  • Sorry about the TNT thing. Gotta do what freelancers and writers do best, endure. Keep at it sir.
    You’re right on the money with Chuck and Community. But for a GREAT show, you’re better off waiting for Archer to come back (funny how that show seems eerily similar to this blog),

    Louie on FX is also great. I find myself telling people that he’s as good at chronicling the getting older/family man schtick as Franzen is as good at chronicling families.

    • @Mayowa —

      ARCHER is freaking awesome. Miss it already. Will be back, what, midseason? Jan?

      Louie — I need to try again. I love his comedy, but his shows always end up on the less-funny more-dreary side of things, and that’s hard to watch sometimes.

      — c.

  • Archer: lana…Lana…LANA….LANA!!!!!!
    Lana: WHAT???????
    Archer: Daaaannngeeeerrr Zoooonnnnne.

    That still cracks me at random moments. I think the show’s back in January, I can’t wait. Oh yeah Louie is what I call weary comedy…i love it though.

    I just thought of something else you might like.,..Spartacus on HBO, It’s as graphic (language, sex, violence) as anything the deer see in that home office of yours…seriously.

  • I did watch the premier of “Terriers” last night and found it to be sortof entertaining. I’ll probably DVR it b/c that’s what the damn DVR is for. It reminded me of the short-lived “John From Cincinatti” (which I absolutley LOVED), but w/o the twin-peaks supernatural vibe, oh and detective-noire thrown in for conflict and plot.

    Have you seen “Rubicon” on AMC?
    I watched a marathon last weekend to catch up. Me likey!

  • Yeah, I got the link to your freelance post from Tony Parker (, so it’s going around the professional comicking community, at least. 🙂 I’m one of the new visitors. Added you to my feeds, for you are terribly amusing.

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