If I Were a TV Writer

Which Show Would I Write For?

By Jeff Salter

When I submitted this topic for possible inclusion, I don’t think I had any particular TV show in mind. In fact, until I took an early peek at Patricia’s Monday blog (just after midnight Sunday night), I didn’t even recall that my topic was coming up.

Sometime between then and when I finally went to bed a few minutes later, I realized: I could enjoy writing for the original I Love Lucy show. Yeah, all those implausible situations that Lucy got herself into each week — not only hit my tickle bone as a viewer, but I’m sure I would have enjoyed WRITING similar episodes of the screwball comedy that made Lucy famous.

And that’s precisely what made the comedy of the Lucy show so funny — completely unbelievable situations, for which she made preposterous choices, and then finagled (or sometimes fibbed) her way even deeper. Great stuff.

And if the Lucy show’s producers didn’t have room for me on their writing staff, I think I could have enjoyed writing for Laverne & Shirley. They had a similar carefree disdain for convention… and a similar propensity for getting into preposterous situations.

I’m pretty sure I would NOT enjoy writing for any of the standard, so-called “situations comedies,” because (in my opinion) 99.9% of them are NOT funny in the least.

One possible exception would be Cheers, but their show was considerably less screwball and the humor a lot more cerebral.

Question:

What about you? If you could write one or more episodes for a TV show, which one would it be? Why?

[JLS # 504]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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17 Responses to If I Were a TV Writer

  1. jbrayweber says:

    I think writing for TV would be hard. Mostly because you share the writing with other writers. I’ve done this before and visions don’t always align. That said, I think I’d enjoy writing for the silly vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” or the much darker “American Horror Story”. Both are clearly very different, with one being a comedy and the other being horror, but both appeal to my love of the macabre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      yeah, a “mockumentary” in a genre that you like in its “real” form — would be a cool place to exercise your writing muscles.
      I don’t think I’ve heard of that shadows series… but I have seen teasers for the horror show. Some of those episodes looked to be VERY skeerey.

      Like

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I could see you writing for I Love Lucy and Laverne and Shirley. Cheers would be difficult because of the wide range of backgrounds of the characters. Now, if they made your Amanda More or Less books into a series, I’m sure you could go to town.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Salter says:

      My dear friend and colleague, Carlos Colon — now departed — once sent a script to the Cheers people. At the time, I’d never heard of “fan fiction” and I couldn’t quite imagine using a show’s existing characters and setting to create your own new story. I can’t (now) remember if there was a “call” of any kind or if he just sent it unsolicited. In any case, his script was not accepted. I read it and thought it was quite good.

      Like

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Thanks again for your assistance last night — getting that art corrected.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If I were to be asked to write for any TV show, I’d like to write for NCIS, or perhaps Magnum, P.I. It would be fun to get these sleuths and investigators into situations the audience would wonder how on earth they’d get out of this time. LOL The subplots in these series would be fun to write too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After reading your “One Simple Favor”, yeah, “I Love Lucy” and “Laverne and Shirley” would be up your alley, Jeff! It reminds me of the old Katherine Hepburn/Cary Grand classic comedies.
    I agree and also can not stand at least 99% of the past several decades worth of ‘sitcoms’. I think that “Frasier” is the best in modern times, but even that has been off for more years than I care to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Frasier was definitely an enjoyable show and very well written… but its comedy was even more cerebral than Cheers — appropriately for the main characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Salter says:

    I suppose Seinfeld would be another possible show for me to contribute to… but their humor was — in many ways — very bracketed to life in NYC and to the various families of the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’d love to be able to write for Lucy, but I’m not funny enough.I think you’d be great at it.

    Liked by 1 person

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