The great thing about original material is that it continues to have shelf life for many years, so you can always revisit it and find new markets to sell it.
What follows are some pilots and other projects I’ve written, both solo and with talented collaborators. I love each and every one of them, and hope to make them sometime soon…
ROD SERLING’S AFTER TWILIGHT
A new show narrated by Rod Serling, from recently-discovered audio material. You can read the pilot script, series proposal – even hear Rod’s opening and closing narration.
Elaine had an idea about two blue-collar guys who die and end up in the Hell of Endless Small Irritations, find a back-door that’s been inadvertently left open and escape back to our world (Hell’s Kitchen in New York) then start surreptitiously sneaking some folks out for a second chance (and sending others who deserve it downstairs ahead of schedule). A really cool and funny idea, we wrote the pilot and series bible together. It’s still one of our favorites.
I’m a huge fan of science fiction detective movies like BLADE RUNNER and I, ROBOT. Michael Reaves, my good friend and collaborator on STAR TREK “World Enough and Time,” teamed with me to write up a series bible for DANTE’S STATION, a show about a NY cop sent to a colony world/mining operation near the center of the galaxy. Optic Nerve, the makeup company with whom I worked on BABYLON 5 (and who also did X-FILES and BUFFY) drew up some sketches of the cool aliens. I’d love to do this show, either as a TV series or feature.
Tom Fontana was running both HOMICIDE and OZ when I wrote a spec HOMICIDE script that got his attention. Elaine and I flew to New York to pitch a TV series idea she had about a brilliant, neurotic Truman Capote/Dominick Dunne-style investigative journalist who helps the underdogs out of trouble, but is an endless trouble to himself and those who love him (our line about him during the pitch was, “He burns his bridges while he’s on them”).
Elaine and I ended up writing and executive producing a 20-minute pilot presentation of THORNFIELD (which we originally called REAL STORY) in association with Tom Fontana. Our good friend Armin Shimerman (Quark on DEEP SPACE NINE and the Principal on BUFFY) starred in the project.
For several years, I’ve been a guest on COAST TO COAST, one of the top-rated night-time radio shows on the air. George Noory, its host, is a wonderful guy and a terrific character – so much so that we thought there was ample material there for a weekly hour drama. We ended up getting deals with Universal and Twentieth Century Fox, but nothing’s come of it so far. Thought you might like to see several of the different versions we came up with.
STAR TREK CAPTAIN SULU
After I co-wrote, directed and executive produced STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES “World Enough and Time” starring George Takei, I thought it would be great fun to develop a CAPTAIN SULU TV show. I teamed up with Michael Reaves, with whom I’d written “World Enough,” and Winston Engle, a talented writer-producer (and now publisher and editor of the new THRILLING WONDER STORIES) to create a series bible and pilot outline. So far, I’ve had meetings with CBS and Paramount but nothing’s solid yet. Hell, it’s a show I’d pay to see! Think you’ll like it, too.
SAVAGE DONUT PARADISE
This is something I’m working on now, about an all-night coffee house on the Sunset Strip and the counter-culture husband-and-wife team who run it and are essentially a Nick and Nora Charles for the 21st Century, helping people out of jams and otherwise being a force for good. Several things inspired me – the Industry round table I run of over 1,000 people, the fact that a mile or two in each direction from that spot on the Sunset Strip you have entirely different communities who might congregate or land there (Hassidic Jews, gays, Beverly Hills nouveau (and old) riche, intellectuals, rock and rollers, the works), the Los Angeles mix of everyone coming here to make their dream come true (every waiter and waitress really is an actor or writer) and the hopes and desperation that stirs up.
Here’s the beginning of that script, in its gestation phase. Enjoy…