Monday, May 14, 2007

Remember a little show called ‘Kingpin’?

Mid-May is a bittersweet time of year for me. This is when the TV networks announce their new upcoming fall shows. You’ll be hearing about it all week in the entertainment news.

I’ve been trying to create my own TV drama series for the past nine years. Every summer, I’ve pitched an idea, sold that puppy, then written a pilot script.

And by January it’s all over when the network rejects what I’ve written. Nice try, Dave. See you next go-round.

The one time I got outta the starting gate was in 2002. That’s when I jumped every hurdle, my “Kingpin” pilot script got produced, that pilot rocked, and NBC ordered up a six-episode “limited series.” It was broadcast in the spring of ’03.

Alas, “Kingpin” didn’t go any further than that. And I haven’t had a pilot script produced since then. It’s like a milk-bottle ring toss at a carnival run by Satan. Feels impossible to win.

Still, “Kingpin” happened, and it was the thrill of my life producing that show. I am so grateful to have had that adventure. I haven’t watched the show in years. But it turns out actor Shay Roundtree (“Junie”) – or his people – have put up a 7-minute reel of “Kingpin” clips on YouTube.

Check it out, won’t you? Get a taste of what I’m about as a storyteller.

Shay was great in the show, and so was Brian Benben.


Dan Coyle said...

I LOVED Benben on Kingpin. Not that the other actors weren't good, but Heywood Klein was a delightrul little weasel.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ And he played the serious, dark moments so real as well... I love his reading (in the last YouTube clip) of "I want to see it."

Thanks for the note, Dan.

S.O.L. said...

I loved Kingpin. Great characters, wonderful writing. As close as the networks have ever gotten to the HBO type of storytelling in my humble opinion. And a really amazing soundtrack -- thanks to my insider connections, I have an unofficial version of it.

I've read most of the pilots that David has written for the networks and I'm witness to how good they were. My favorites -- "Mayor of Baltimore" and the one about journalism -- would be classics by now if only the networks would have seen the wisdom of putting them on the air.

Seriously, folks. As great a blogger UBM is, he should be running his own t.v. show. We'd all be better for that.

SJ said...

When was the last time we saw a black lead in a hit network TV show?

Andrew said...

I don't follow the ratings aggresively or anything, but isn't The Unit a hit? Dennis Haysbert is definitely the lead on that show.