Bill Prady at Banff, Part OneComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Screenwriting, TV and Game Writing Blog


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

May 2021

June 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2022

February 2022

August 2022

September 2022

November 2022

February 2023

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023

July 2023

September 2023

November 2023

January 2024

February 2024


Friday, July 02, 2010

Bill Prady showruns the incredibly highly rated comedy series BIG BANG THEORY. He had some interesting things to say about the genesis of the show at the Banff Worldwide Television Festival.

The show originated out of misery: Prady was unhappy. “Marta Kaufman [FRIENDS] had been blackmailed by the WB into running a 1 hour drama about four sisters called RELATED. I was her third choice for the number two writer. She wasn’t happy. It was awful. We were working a mile north of the WB lot. I started walking south down Hollywood Way, and I wound up in the office of Chuck Lorre.

“Now Chuck has no need for any more money. He’s created TWO AND A HALF MEN. I’ve told him, ‘Has no one explained to you how wealthy you are?’ But he’s passionate about his work.

“We decided to work on a pilot together. We wouldn’t pitch the show, we would just figure it out ourselves. We went through a bunch of ideas. Chuck had read a science fiction novel, and we tried that for a month adapting it until we realized it wasn’t a good idea.

“There was an actress famous for indie films who wanted to do TV. We developed a show for her about a woman who’s tough on the outside but out on her own for the first time. That didn’t work.

“Then we thought, let’s put these two charcters together. The original version of the show was about Leonard and Sheldon and this very tough version of Penny.

“So we wrote the first two scenes, and brought in a couple of actors and had them perform it for the president of CBS, and they commissioned the pilot.”

(Okay, let’s just stop there a moment. Remember how Ian Brennan was a theater actor before his gym buddy took his spec feature of GLEE to Ryan Murphy? Remember how Vince Gilligan created BREAKING BAD because he had no idea how to feed his family? Stories that give you hope that your long dry spell could just be the prelude to earthshattering success? Okay, this is the opposite. Somehow I suspect that if you were buds with Chuck Lorre, and he developed a show with you, and took it to the president of CBS, you could probably get a pilot commitment, too.)

“The original female character was envisioned as tough as nails but with a sweet inside, and it would take a while to break her down. Now I’m not a big fan of focus group testing, but the company that focus grouped BIG BANG had never seen such a gap between a score for a show and a score for a character. They loved the show. They hated Penny.

“Supposedly you never watch the men in a focus group. They’re dull, they don’t say much. Watch the women’s conversation. And all they were talking about was how they could get rid of this woman on the show and keep the guys.

“Generally the decisions on pilot pickups are made on Mother’s Day. This is to ensure that you have an absolutely miserable Mother’s Day. The first half you can’t focus on anything because you’re waiting to hear. And then you hear you didn’t get picked up.

“In this case, though, the network did an almost unheard of thing. They said, ‘we don’t want the show but we’ll do another pilot because we like the guys.’

“They thought it was a casting issue. But we thought it was a writing issue – no actress could play the part we’d written sympathetically.

So we brought in Kaley Cuoco. She’d actually auditioned before, but she was all wrong for the tough version, and it turned out she was perfect for the nice one.”

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.