Ranter: Fortyish fellow in bowler hat and polo-shirt
Location: #2 Bus, headed west from Sunset & Vermont
Time: 7:15 p.m. On a Wednesday
Topics Covered: The lingering pain of Jay Leno at 9 p.m.; NBC's desperation; the difficulty of arranging a network-level meeting; how not to land a big deal; terribly cruel workplace mindgames.
Does Rant Include Advice About Whom You Should Not Fuck With: Yeah, this guy's co-worker.
[Bowler Hat man speaks with remarkable rapidity, sometimes with his eyes closed, never once looking at the friend beside him.]
Bowler Hat: See, NBC canceled all those scripted shows for that Jay Leno thing, and then, when that tanked like it did, they were desperate. Some executive said to everyone, “Open the gates. Anybody you know who has an idea, I want to see it.” So, I hear about this from this guy I work with, and then I get my pitches together, three of them, one I'm passionate about, a Curb Your Enthusiasm type of thing based on my life, and two others that would just be good TV.
You have to have more than one because you only get one shot like this, and you never know what they might like. I sent mine in, and I was waiting to hear, going please God give me one, and then she's interested in all three.
Twenty years of writing, and I'm finally getting in the door. My buddy, he can't believe it. He's like, “They never want to see three.” I'm pulling all-nighters trying to get this together, and I am not about to mess this up. And it's going great at first.
But I stop hearing from them. Weeks will go by with nothing. And then out of nowhere suddenly I get a message like “They're still interested.” And I'm always like, “Then bring me down for a face-to-face.” And then nothing.
Bowler Hat's Friend: What's her name?
Bowler Hat: I don't know! There's a couple I think might be her, and I'm checking them on Facebook and Linked In. What do you think, should I write to them?
Bowler Hat's Friend: You don't write to them already?
Bowler Hat: No! I've never heard anything from her!
Bowler Hat's Friend: Then who is it who's been saying they're interested?
Bowler Hat: This guy I work with! Everything's gone through him, and he won't give me her name! He says it's so I don't weird her out and mess up the deal!
Bowler Hat's Friend: And how long has this been going on?
Bowler Hat: It's been two pilot seasons already! I keep telling him, “Make them call me! I can't keep this stuff exclusive forever!” So, what do you think I should do?
[Bowler Hat's Friend just shakes his head.]