My 30 Minutes with William Zinsser

May 19, 2015

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May 19, 2015

What NOT To Say To a Writer During TV Staffing Season

May 19, 2015

Well, L.A. (and some of New York), it’s that magical time of year again: TV writer staffing season aka hell week – or hell two weeks? No one really knows because network TV staffing season is like that weird flower that blooms for a day and smells like death. It’s called the amorphophallus titanium. I know that because I have to pretend to be looking at something other that Deadline 10,000 times a day while I sit at the library trying to do my other work.

For those unfamiliar with the television industry – network TV staffing “season” is the very brief period of time each year when the new TV shows are selected and rooms of writers must be hired to write said new shows. Each writers room has between 5 and 10 writers, and there are approximately 10-20 new shows “picked up” each year. Some people shift around from their old jobs opening up other jobs, but you’d still have better luck becoming a professional football player. That is a statistical fact.

As such this is a very difficult time for all the young writers of Hollywood. I thought it would be helpful to suggest a list of things not to say in their presence sos to avoid awkward moments or the continued unraveling of their already fragile mental health. Thank you for your compliance.

  • “Heeeey, how are you….?”
  • “It’s so crazy! My friend just started writing last year, and he staffed off one meeting!”
  • “Don’t feel bad. It’s just because of diversity hires.”
  • “But, did you even like any of the new shows anyway?”
  • “Have you thought about being an assistant?”
  • “Don’t even worry about it! Cable staffing is all year long.”
  • “Ugh, my heart breaks for you, sweetheart, but I don’t know why you’ve chosen this impossible career path…”

Feel free to add your favorites in comments. Together we can make this misery slightly more bearable. Just kidding!

2 comments

  1. A.MEN. Let me know if you want to drink coffee mixed with liquor while we don’t look at Deadline together…

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