It's been a little over a month since NBC unexpectedly pulled the plug on the Dane Cook-starring comedy Next Caller before it even aired, but it looks like the drama surrounding the unceremonious cancellation isn't over. In a new post on his blog, series creator Stephen Falk put the network on blast for the abrupt decision, comparing it to a 10.0 earthquake and the eruption of stratovolcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD Italy.
Hey, you aspiring TV writers. It’s a hard job to crack into, but if you’re good enough and driven enough, it will happen for you. Don’t give up!
For if you work hard enough, someday you too may work on your own show for a year — from pitch to outline to script to pilot to the triumph of being picked up to series: the Golden Ticket. Then you might move across the country to actually make the show, hire a hundred actors and writers and crew members, and then in the middle of editing the 4th episode, get your show abruptly cancelled via late-night Friday phone call from Los Angeles. Then the fun part: you get to walk in shock back to your office — abandoning the confused editor waiting to lock the episode — and personally call all the actors and writers and crew and inform them the proverbial plug has been pulled and they no longer have a job, sorry. You will talk them through the tears and confusion — attempt to ameliorate the soon-to-be full-blown PTSD taking root already in them, all the while pre-knowing yours will go untreated and indeed sneak up on you weeks later. Do you clean out your office now? Do you wait — ? Shit! But first you better go see about that one prop for episode 5 you had to approve — oh, yeah. None of that matters. Everything has stopped. This is the moment after the 10.0 earthquake. Suddenly, nothing is the same. You don’t have a show anymore. Twenty minutes ago it was what took up 17 hours of your day. 24 hours of your mental real estate. It literally doesn’t exist anymore. The frozen people of Vesuvius had more warning than you did.
Falk goes on to explain his side of the story, saying he's not sure why NBC cancelled the show, but that there were definite disagreements with its creative direction. "We are monkeys who need to look into each other’s faces to gauge true intent," Falk continued in the post, "and on speakerphone with 11 people (9 of whom you haven’t met) giving you notes on something you’ve made your whole writing staff stay up until 3am working on in the room, miscommunication can be the only outcome."
It doesn't look like any bridges are too charred, however; Falk is currently working on another pilot at NBC, and one at cable network Showtime.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]