"It’s horrifying. It’s like a freaking nightmare."

For those not in the know, Gilmore Girls is a show about two women, a mother and her daughter with only sixteen years separating them.

It’s been running for six years now, and has performed variably in the ratings. But it’s done well enough to be renewed year-on-year, and a six year run is nothing to be sneezed at.

This year, showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino asked for a few things. A director on staff. A two-year deal. And an extra staff writer or two. These are not unreasonable requests.

The show was renewed.
Their contract was not.

TV Guide interview here.

It makes interesting reading.

Write On – Part the First

The Arts Council of the UK have introduced this new website called YouWriteOn. You can blame them for the lack of spaces.

The idea is that up-and-coming prose writers can put up the first three chapters of their novels, where they’ll be read, reviewed, and rated by members of the public.

So far so blah. But read on…

The top five rated opening chapters each month get read a free critique by a literary professional (a talent pool currently made of three published novelists and a literary agent).

And if that isn’t good enough, the highest-rated chapters overall in the year will result in a prize – publication of the novel. Course, that could go tits-up if the rest of the novel isn’t as good as the opening chapters. But I’m sure they’ll assign an editor. I hope they’ll assign an editor. They’ve got to assign an editor, right?

So it’s a prize. Big whoops.

But here’s where it gets really interesting:

They’re working on a facility so that everyone can self-publish their book. Which will include an ISBN and distribution.

So if you like someone’s opening chapters you can immediately order their book from Amazon, or place an order at your high-street retailer.

This is as risk-free as it gets for novelists. You don’t have to self-publish until you know that there’s a demand for it, and if you’re getting high ratings you get introduced to the publishing industry anyway.

One to watch.

Pretty Pictures

It’s just possible that someone other than me may be interested in this. It’s a breakdown of UK primetime TV by genre.

Data is from the Independent on Sunday TV guide, sampled as of the week 2-8 April 2006. I’ve defined primetime as 7-10pm Sunday to Saturday and have assigned my own genres as there didn’t seem to be a simple way to get the data from anyone else. It looks like RT have some sort of feed at http://xmltv.radiotimes.com/xmltv/92.dat, but I didn’t think it worth writing a parser for a one-off analysis. Still, it’d be nice to have this sort of info exportable to CSV direct from the source… some kind of API maybe..?

OK, back now.

Couple of interesting points came out of this.

1) There’s a hell of a lot less Soap than I was expecting (I’m counting The Bill, Holby, and Casualty as drama mind… you could take issue with that.
2) Rumours of the death of primetime comedy have not been exaggerated in the slightest – come on, people, what the hell happened there?
3) Reality and Makeover shows together make up about 7% of primetime. Passed their heyday, or is it just that Big Brother isn’t on at the moment?

Anyhow, if anyone wants to play further, here’s the data.