The Storm before the Calm

It’s that time of year again – contest/fellowship/program application time.  If you are planning to enter any of the studio-run programs you are very likely trying to polish up a script or two to submit.

Of course, we all know there’s that infernal “personal statement” to be written, and your resume to be updated too.

So, guess what — a couple of changes are coming to the Disney-ABC Fellowship.  I happened to attend an information session about the annual program this weekend, and learned the following:

1. It’s no longer a fellowship.  At least, in name.  The official name is now Disney-ABC Writers Program.  This only applies to the writing, not the directing or production, which I believe are still called fellowships.

2. Yes, it’s $50k for one year working in the program.  Because there’s a salary involved here a very strong word of warning: Writing partnerships stand a very slim chance of being accepted.  The reason for this is primarily that due to the fact that they pay you in this program, they can’t split that pay between 2 people, so you are treated for the sake of the program, as 2 individuals, even if you submit together (which they still encourage you to do).  Trouble is, that means 2 writing partners, if they got accepted, take 2 slots in the program.  The word of caution delivered at the info session was that the writing sample has to be AMAZING for a writing team to be considered.  So, keep that in mind, because clearly WB and NBC do not have this restriction and seem to actually like getting 2-for-1 in a writing partnership.

3. NO MORE NOTARY!! This was greated with loud applause.  If you’ve ever applied to the program before, you know what a pain it can be trying to get your application notarized in time for the deadline.  So, this year they are moving to submissions on CD.  You’ll be asked to send your script, resume, statement and other materials on a CD-ROM (saving trees!)  You will need to print out the application so it can be signed, and they ask that you scan it back in as a .PDF with your signature and put that with the other materials to submit on CD.  Still, small price to pay (meaning, none) to now submit in a much more logical manner.

4. They still don’t accept pilots.  Do not even put them as a supplemental work (if requested).  You must submit either a half-hour or hourlong spec of an existing show (does NOT have to be an ABC show).

The application and instructions will go live on June 1st, which is the first day submissions will be accepted.  The deadline is July 1st.  You can go to their website here.

Finally, thanks to for holding the information session!

Posted under writing

This post was written by Shawna on May 26, 2010

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NBC 2010-11 fall schedule

From their press release. 

*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET


8-9 p.m. –  “Chuck”                     

9-10 p.m. —  “THE EVENT”       

10-11 p.m. –  “CHASE”      


8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”

10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”  


8-9 p.m. – “UNDERCOVERS”

9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”               

10-11 p.m. – “LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES”  


8- 8:30 p.m. – “Community”              

8:30-9 p.m. – “30 Rock”

9-9:30 p.m. –  “The Office”    

9:30-10 p.m. –  “OUTSOURCED”     

10-11 p.m. –   “LOVE BITES”      


8-9 p.m. – “Who Do You Think You Are?”/”SCHOOL PRIDE”    

9-10 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”            

10-11 p.m. – “OUTLAW”  




7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”      

8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”  

SUNDAY (beginning March 2011)

7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”

8-9 p.m. – “Minute to Win It”

9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”

Posted under tv news

This post was written by Shawna on May 16, 2010

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The 2010-11 Upfronts

Upfronts start on Monday.  This year has been a little strange — there have been a lot of early pickups, so we already know what most of the new shows are going to be, but we don’t know the schedules (or at least the proposed ones) yet.

For now, let’s recap what we know:

NBC (Upfront presentation 5/16)

New Shows:

Law & Order: Los Angeles
Love Bites
Harry’s Law
The Event
The Cape
Perfect Couples (half hr)
Friends with Benefits (half hr)
Outsourced (half hr)
School Pride (reality)


Law & Order

FOX (Upfront presentation 5/17)

New shows:

Lone Star (was Midland)
Ride Along
Keep Hope Alive
Traffic Light (half hr)
Bob’s Burgers (half hr)
Running Wilde (half hr)
The X Factor (reality)


Our Little Genius (reality, never aired!)
Past Life
Sit Down, Shut Up
Sons of Tuscon
‘Til Death
The Wanda Sykes Show

ABC (Upfront presentation 5/18)

New Shows:

187 Detroit
Off the Map
No Ordinary Family
My Generation (was Generation Y)
Body of Proof
Better Together
Happy Endings (half hr)
Mr. Sunshine (half hr)
The Six
Strictly Ice Dancing (reality)
The Whole Truth (reality)


Lost (ending)
Witches of Eastwick
The Deep End
Better off Ted
The Forgotten
Ugly Betty
Romantically Challenged
Flash Forward

CBS (Upfront presentation 5/19)

New shows:

Mike & Molly


Three Rivers

The CW (Upfront presentation 5/20)

New shows:



The Beautiful Life
Melrose Place
Blonde Charity Mafia

We’ll update after the official upfronts.

Posted under tv news

This post was written by Shawna on May 16, 2010

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TV Series news for 5/13

Ok, a lot of info at the end of the day, let’s tally up the results:


Picked up “Mike and Molly” from Chuck Lorre.  That’s his third series on CBS.


May or may not have canceled “Law & Order”.  Early word was that it was gone, but late afternoon word came down that the network wasn’t officially axing it yet.  Also hanging by a thread: “Heroes.”

Saved to fight another day – “Chuck” – gets a 13-episode order for next season.


Most of the news was ABC today.  They picked up 3 comedies: “Mr. Sunshine,” “Happy Endings,” and “Better Together.”  They also picked up 3 dramas: “My Generation” (was “Generation Y,” and one of my personal faves), “The Whole Truth” and “Detroit 187.” Apparently “Wright vs. Wrong” is looking likely as a pick up too, though no official word on it yet.

ABC has also renewed “V” for a second season.  Which probably means “Flash Forward” is done.  “Cougar Town” may get a name change…that was the only other major series news today that I can find.

Posted under tv news

This post was written by Shawna on May 13, 2010

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TV News for 5/12

Fox renews “Human Target,” “Lie to Me”; picks up “Traffic Light” “Keep Hope Alive” “Midland” and “RideAlong”

Fox picks up ‘Running Wilde’ – Was ‘Wilde Kingdom’, this is the Will Arnett pilot. I read it – it’s good.

Having read MIDLAND and RIDEALONG, I can say those were ones I was expecting.  Haven’t caught up on all the half hour shows, so not sure about those two.  Really surprised that both HUMAN TARGET and LIE TO ME got picked up, as most people were thinking only one of the two would live.  I guess losing 24 does leave an action gap.

FX picks up comedy pilot ‘Wilfred’

NBC picks up ‘Perfect Couples’– I won’t be watching this show for one reason: OLIVIA MUNN. Though you may watch it because of her.

NBC has already picked up “The Chase”, “Undercovers,”  “Love Bites,” “The Event” and “Outsourced.”   “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (LOLA) is pretty much a done deal too, from what I’ve seen.

ABC picks up “No Ordinary Family” – stars Michael Chiklis, written by Greg Berlanti and Jon Feldman.

ABC hasn’t announced any other pickups so far.

 “Hawaii Five-0” appears to be a go on CBS, as does the “Criminal Minds” spin-off.  The CW has already picked up “Nikita.”

Upfronts are next week.

FINAL NOTE: I am now writing reviews/articles for Seat42F.  I’ll start linking you guys to my articles.  If anyone would help out the cause by starting/contributing conversation over there (even if you need to trash me) – feel free.  Need to earn my keep.

Okay UPDATE WITH FINAL FINAL NOTE: I’m posting this stuff primarily to keep everyone updated on shows coming back.  So, if you have a LIE TO ME spec, you’re good for another season.  HUMAN TARGET can now be specced (though its value as a spec is still somewhat debatable –is anyone in town watching it?)

Posted under tv news, watch list

This post was written by Shawna on May 12, 2010

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Dear Mom,

I screwed up.  Seemingly every year this “holiday” sneaks up on me and I become “the bad daughter” for a day.  I didn’t send you a card or flowers or an edible arrangement.

Consider this my public apology and attempt to make amends.


Your Daughter (the mostly good one) Shawna

Folks, I know everyone’s mom is amazing.  But my mom is…amazinger.  Yeah, that’s right.  I used a non-word to describe how awesome my mom is.  She’s made of win.  And stardust.  And rainbows.

First, I’m sorry for what birthing me and my sister did to your body.  Because you were HOT.  I know, I shouldn’t think of my mom as ‘hot’, but look at her!


See?  To think that we ruined her for a lot of years…well, I understand the sacrifice.  So, thanks for that.  I know you endured a lot of health issues for about 20 years, and I’m so thankful that you are in good health now.

So, there’s that.  My mom is awesome because she gave birth to me.  Everyone can say that.

Not everyone can say their mom is a star.

Sure, it may not have been the “national stage” or the hitmakers of Nashville, but my mom’s a singer…a GOOD one.  Before we destroyed her dainty little figure, she was in a band.  That picture above is her from her country star days.

So, she can sing.  That’s pretty awesome.  But, wait!  There’s more!!

She’s an ARTIST.

"Downtown Horse and Buggy" by Londie Benson

"Jean Harlow" by Londie Benson

I mean, look at these.  They are ridiculously good, and completely different in style and composition.  But that’s my mom.  She doesn’t know what she can’t do, so of course, she can do anything.  By the way, the ‘Horse and Buggy’ is a wall mural.  The ‘Jean Harlow’ is, I believe, a watercolor.  But her best work is with pencil.

"Feeding Time" by Londie Benson

The crazy thing about this one, in my mind, is it isn’t even her best one.  Sadly, I don’t have any images of some of the other work she’s done, but trust me — it’s breathtaking.

Now, my mom, of course, will tell you that she’s not that great; that she’s not doing anything new or different.  Right.

"Pagliacci" by Londie Benson

Might take a second or two to realize it, but that’s me.  No, I did not dress up like a clown.  She took a regular, random photo of me and created this trippy piece of art.  She’s just that good.

Of course, having such a good eye, she’s a wonderful photographer too.

"Orchid" photo by Londie Benson

It does make me a little crazy that she can snap a picture of an orchid or a half-naked squirrel as if it’s no big deal, but then when I get them in my email, they aren’t just photos.  They’re statements.

Naked Squirrel

Speaking of statements, she has taken some really wonderful photos of people too.  I don’t know why, but there has always been something about this photo she took of my grandmother (her mom) that always strikes me as poetic:

"Grandma" photo by Londie Benson

Oh yeah, as a side note: my grandmother was HOT back in the day, too.  And how adorable is my mom as a child?

She writes.  She sings.  She tweets.

When I was in grade school, my friends knew my mom as the cool “art lady.”  She’d come in and talk about art to my class.  Kids came over to our house to HANG OUT WITH MY MOM.  I was far from cool back in those days (though there is an ongoing argument over this between my mom and I, of course).

Now my friends get to know her from Twitter.  Lord help me, it is probably the single worst/best thing I’ve done, introducing my mom, first to online karaoke and then to Twitter.  But mom has quite a following.  In fact, she has 4 times as many followers as I do.  So clearly, she must be doing something right.

Yes, that’s right.  She hosts a karaoke channel for Kelsey Live! She got the gig through all of her online karaoke and twittering.  Go figure.

So, here we are.  My mom and me.  Yes, I’m really that much taller than she is, but I don’t hold it against her.  I can’t express how proud I am of her and all she’s accomplished so far in her life.  I know there are the down moments as well as the ups, and I may roll my eyes when my friends tell me about something she’s tweeted, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you, Mommy.  With all my heart.

Londie and Shawna, 2005.

Posted under randomness

This post was written by Shawna on May 9, 2010

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Movie #22 – UP

Movie #23 – The Talk of the Town

Movie #24 – Kick-Ass

Movie #25 – Iron Man 2

Movie #26 – I Love You, Man

Movie #27 – Taken

Movie #28 – Twilight: New Moon

Movie #29 – The Princess and the Frog

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Shawna on May 2, 2010