Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lone Star Loves You, Even From The Grave

Wednesday was the first time I'd been in Austin on a weekday in almost six months. One of the twins woke me by saying "No one watch Daddy's show?" I said, no, I'm afraid not. The other twin said, "Not even a little people?" Sorry. No. And then one said, "So this means you be here now?" And I thought, yes, yes I will.


So see, even a mushroom cloud has a silver lining.

The truth of the matter is, shows come and go every year. Good ideas, bad ideas, whatever. They all get a run, people find them or they don't, and the world keeps turning. I'm incredibly grateful that we were given an opportunity to try a premise that, as the numbers seem to confirm, was perhaps a little riskier than I estimated. But I enjoyed every minute of it and would gladly do it all again and just the same, because, well, I'm just that stupid.

Except, well, I lied when I said I enjoyed every minute of it. There were a few minutes there at the end which I didn't enjoy. Moments that will bother me for a long time to come. Moments I guess I never really thought I'd have to deal with.

When you're just a guy in a room thinking 'wouldn't it be cool if...' everything is theoretical. But when your 'if' becomes a show, it gets very real. There's a cast and crew and... like, accountants and things, all showing up everyday to make that 'if' a show. And those are the people I had to face and apologize to for the fact that my 'if' had been such a spectacular failure that they were now out of a job a mere two weeks after we hit the air. Again, it happens all the time, but that didn't make it easy. At all.

So here's the thing. We made a good show. Not Shakespeare. Not MASH. But something I was proud of. I can't really speak to anyone else's reaction, I can only be honest about my own. We assembled a staff, a cast, and a crew that I think was committed to telling interesting and thought provoking stories and who were excited about where we'd planned to head. And now it's over. The part of me that feels awful that these people are now out of work wishes they'd done anything other than join this show. The part of me that's so excited about what we did can't thank them enough for signing on and making it happen.

As for the show's future, if you read the news you know what I know. We're actively looking at other homes for it, but those situations are rare. Imagine trying to just jam the engine from a Toyota in a Chevy and you get some idea how hard it is to take a show from one network to another. These things are custom jobs and what looks simple on the surface requires an incredible amount of engineering underneath. Whether we'll pull something like that off is anyone's guess. But we're certainly trying.

Lastly, I literally don't have the words to thank those of you who participated here and on twitter and facebook and, you know, the real world, in supporting the show. I've been in the habit of writing incredibly inane things in this space for some time and have to say that I was blindsided by the scale of the reaction to my last post. Of all the incredible and unexpected things to come out of this entire process, those last few days were perhaps the most incredible and certainly the least expected. I feel like we tried to get a write in candidate elected president together, and while we were completely and utterly destroyed when the votes were tallied, I've never felt such an odd and full connection to a group of people I've never met and likely never will. Given all that, 'Thank you' seems woefully insufficient to convey my gratitude. Perhaps I can just mow all your lawns for the hell of it.

In the meantime, from the bottom of my everything-

Thank you.

74 comments:

Kevin said...

Thanks for making my TV a little bit greater for two weeks.

(And you'll do something which sticks big one day. I'm calling it).

The One True b!X said...

"I've never felt such an odd and full connection to a group of people I've never met and likely never will."

Welcome to fandom in the age of social media.

Steve said...

"Perhaps I can just mow all your lawns for the hell of it."

Sorry, I pay a kid $5 to do that.

Kimberly said...

"Thanks for making my TV a little bit greater for two weeks."

Mine too. Lone Star was wonderful. Thank you for it.

Anonymous said...

I worked as an extra on the show and am very sad to see it end. I looked forward to working on the set with that group of people more than any other show that I've worked on. I didn't know much about the plotlines until it aired, but was happy to see that it came together so well. Sadly, good work and a quality product aren't always rewarded.

Courtney said...

Sorry your Midland let some of the bad stuff get in. But you didn't let the great stuff out, and for that we thank you.

The Kharma Initiative said...

Do you weed flower beds too? Let me know if you're ever in Nashville.

Rachael said...

Thank you for trying to make better than average television. There really are some of us out here looking for that. I loved the show and look forward to hearing more from all involved in the future. :)

Colleen said...

Welcome to that select club, Brilliant But Cancelled. Wish it was a different club, but so it goes. There's always next time! It's October, the season for haunting, so I hope you haunt the halls of Hollywood until you get a treat. (An FX slot, perchance? No one's watching Terriers either, I hear.)

The twins just killed me. *roots around for tissues*

Dusty said...

I've already twittered at you, and got your response (@one4thewings) but it continues needing to be said, Fox screwed the pooch on this one. Lone Star had great potential. I wondered how you'd keep it all up in the air, or bring it all crashing down, but I looked forward to seeing your vision.

As a fellow father of twins let me tell you that this mushroom cloud may be a huge blessing in disguise. I have had the pleasure of working a "work from home" job and watching my baby girls grow for 2 years now. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Good luck in the future! And if your in Michigan in the next couple of weeks, drop me a line. I'll gas up the lawn mower for you. =)

chokolat said...

As you say, it happens all the time. It happened to me in fact. And will happen again. My show was one and done, so you doubled my output.

I had high hopes for your show for two reasons. One, my show, like yours, featured a protagonist that was growing into someone admirable. (Why must network leads always start so shiny and fully formed?) And, two, I have three kids and commute to LA from Toronto instead of Austin. Canadian doppelganger.

More pitch meetings next week. Including Fox. Advice? Finally came up with a network friendly concept, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I think your show would still be airing if it were cable.

Anyhow, just wanted to say "walk it off". You've made a lot of fans and will get a few more swings in the cage soon I am sure.

itstartedwithawindmill said...

Love the comments from the twins. Puts things in perspective. Saw my former lawn a couple days ago & the moles have made a mess of it. Watching Caddyshack might give me enough inspiration to kill them. If not, I'll give you a call.

Had a dream last night about alien space elephants chasing people around. But IF...

jon TK said...

I'll never understand the knee-jerk reactions in television to cancel things quickly. I think in Lone Star's case, it's less that people don't want to watch the show and more that they just don't happen to be right now. Monday night is unfortunately crowded this season. I think NBC's media onslaught over the summer has led many to dip into The Event and see if it's worth it. I have a feeling Lone Star might have done better in a few weeks when people give up on the other show and want something else.

Is there DVR rating information that's of any help here? Two episodes just seems to soon to pull something for me. And frankly, there was far less promotion behind the series than behind some others. There are SO many shows on SO many channels, and so little time. It takes people a bit to discover something.

You know, maybe they should have put it on Sundays (like X-Files) and broken up the Seth McFarlane monopoly.

Sara said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 episodes and I'm sad we won't be able to find out what happens to everyone. I sucks that networks pull things without really giving them a chance to get started... I hope Lone Star resurfaces again someday.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Kyle. You made a show that even the TV-less were interested in. Hope it lands somewhere, but either way, impressive accomplishment. -A2

SomeActualData said...

You and the crew did your job. You made extremely good TV, at least judging from the first 2 episodes. That's what you control. The rest is not under your control.

And there's good reason to question whether those in control have a clue. Check out this blog posting from a Fox executive regarding the cancellation of Lone Star http://maskedscheduler.blogspot.com/2010/09/lone-star.html

Anonymous said...

I've been rooting for you ever since I read THE BEAVER, and I had high hopes for this show. You're so talented... it's only a matter of time. Just keep throwing things at the wall and something will eventually stick.

And since you have kids, you probably have "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. Go back and read it again. It sounds cliche' and saccharine, but it's fitting.

AzĂșcar said...

I tried to help. I'm so sorry.

Matt said...

Kyle, you guys made a killer new show. I really hope you can get production restarted. I started a Facebook page to "Save Lone Star!" for people to support and share their ideas on how to save it. I'm pulling for you. Good luck!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148669588508696

Anonymous said...

I was so bummed to hear about the cancellation. I watched a lot of the new series premieres this sept. and Lone Star is by far my favorite. Such a smart show with depth of characters....I want more!!

TremblingHand said...

Lone Star was hands down the best new show this year. The first two episodes were some of the best I've seen of any show. Everyone has a little bit of Bob in them and it would have been nice to see his redemption.

It's a sad testament to the state of network TV viewers that this great show could not find an audience.

I look forward to your future work; hopefully on cable where advertising to the average consumer doesn't take priority over quality of programming.

Ashley Brooke said...

Lone Star was the best new show on this year. It was maybe the best new show in several years. I saw the pilot this summer when it was available on demand for free in a hotel room. I had been looking forward to seeing more in the two months since then. I am hoping that at the very least the remaining episodes will be available on DVD or online.
I will be watching for your work in the future, and I hope that the cable networks are watching you too.

Anna said...

I watched and I would have watched it every week. I tried the Event for just a few minutes and I didn't like it and switched to Lonestar and I was hooked right away. I just don't think Lonestar was promoted as much as The Event. I even tried to watch the repeat shown on Sat late at night by our local Fox station but it was cut off by extra commercials which didn't help your cause. Too bad those like me don't count as viewers? No one asked me!! I watched the first 2 shows of Seinfeld but how many others can say they did too? It had low ratings and would have been taken off like Lonestar today. And we all know how wrong they were about Seinfeld! Why can't they give a show a chance to develop as a good show often needs to do? If they want a really loyal following to good shows they will learn we want quality shows and we all can't afford HBO.

Tabetha said...

You are welcome... it was truly our pleasure to be your audience and enjoy it *so* much. We should be thanking you for all the work you and everyone else put into the project. As fleeting as it was, I will always remember the show. I doubt I'm the only one, but I keep waking up each morning hoping I'll see something in the news about how Fox is bringing it back or it's been picked up by another network. One can hope!

The bottom line is, you took a chance and you got this far! For that, we are all so proud of you and look forward to your future endeavors. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Lonestar is by far the best show on television! Please find a way to bring it back....

doublej said...

I was linked to your blog from ew.com last week and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it's so cool to have this kind of accessability to the creator of a show. The posts on your twins are hilarious! You clearly are very creative and I wish you luck in the future.

Andie said...

I cannot tell you how disappointed my family and I were of the news that Lone Star was cancelled. We loved it from the minute we started watching it. There is not a more interesting or creative show on television today and it deserves more than two weeks. Please don't give up! We need Lonestar back. I will look forward to the news that some smart network picked it up. Thank you for the first two episodes....I look forward to the rest of the story. Your work is incredible.
Please bring Lone Star back!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your reaction to this situation is an inspiration. I would imagine that working so hard at something just for it to fail so quickly would be incredibly painful. But, at least here on your blog, you're reacting wonderfully.

That's what's really important in life -- how you deal with the setbacks.

Waios said...

Kyle thank you for this wonderfull show!It was quality writing and tv!These are two episodes that i will always have in my hard disk,to remember ...
Life is full of surprises.I hope the next ones will be good for you and your family.

Vaios from Greece!

Paul said...

I am so sorry the show was canceled. My wife and I had singled it out for our "date night" viewing. Great story and writing, intelligent plot and dialogue, and brilliant actors ... we loved it.

Now I have to go break the news ...

Good luck, we will be watching for your next endeavor.

Anonymous said...

Write a few nude scenes for Adrianne Palicki's character and sell the series to Showtime. Those horny fuckers will buy anything.

Suzanne said...

I'll never understand how networks can cancel some shows, that are not bad, so quickly, and other really awful shows they let run all year. Like last year's Brothers on FOX, was one of the worst things I've ever seen. Their show this year about the white trash family with the baby is also very bad. Lone Star was not bad. So sad. Unless production costs are much higher with Lone Star or something...

John said...

Lone Star was already one of the best shows on TV. I truly believe there were some viable Emmy contenders--Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor David Keith (simply riveting), Best Supporting Actor Jon Voight, and Best Actor James Wolk (he is a find). The show either needs to be relaunched at a later date or picked up by a cable channel like TNT. The first two episodes left me breathless, reminding me of the feeling I have had watching series like Mad Men, Damages, and The Good Wife.

tp said...

Kyle Killen , man, keep your head up ! You , the cast , and the crew created a wonderful program- that was smart, clever, complex, sexy, poignant, and wickedly funny. It is too bad quality is not rewarded like it use to. I remember the days when "Cagney & Lacey" was canceled ( and threatened to be canceled several times) - the fans rallied behind it and CBS was open and patient. And "Cagney" lasted for many years. We need more of that ! Fox has a dreadful reputation for axing brilliant shows too early ("Wonderfalls" and "Pasadena") , so this end result is not surprising. Definitely, you are in great company.

Please, Kyle, always continue to take risks and strive for quality. Be proud you helped create one of the most critically -acclaimed tv show in years. And, you can use this cache to pursue other worthy projects. Because now you have more visibility and respect with every top television executive in Hollywood .

P.S. Please, continue to keep your blog active, so we can follow and support your upcoming projects. Thank you !!

sp said...

Kyle, I just read that you wrote "The Beaver" script . It is considered one of the most well-regarded scripts in recent years. And, on top of that, you were able to attract Jody Foster to direct your script. Because you pulled that off, I'm beyond confident you will go far in this business and create your opportunities.

Dean D'Agati said...

You have to remember that just because the show was cancelled doesn't mean people hated it. Obviously people (especially the critics, which is more important than the general American public) loved it.

You keep making jokes about how nobody watched it. Over 4 million people watched it. That may not be enough for a broadcast network, but 4 million is A LOT of people. That's the population of Los Angeles!

92067 Rancho Santa Fe said...

I enjoyed the show a lot. Kind of like Profit meets there Will be Blood. Since you made other episodes, surely they can be aired somewhere. I'd like to see the rest of the series

J said...

Well, nice try--Lone Star was a quality piece of work. It's a damn shame that the only new show worth watching got canned before people really gave it a chance. Best wishes to you and all the others who are without jobs. I'll keep praying that the show is somehow resurrected...

turvag said...

"And there's good reason to question whether those in control have a clue. Check out this blog posting from a Fox executive regarding the cancellation of Lone Star http://maskedscheduler.blogspot.com/2010/09/lone-star.html"

According to the "Masked Scheduler," cable shows (i.e. shows with some semblance of testicles) get cable ratings. Basically, if you want to make a good show, do it on cable. Yeah, your budget will be slashed, but at least you'll be able to tell your story. Lesson learned.

Hillary Adams said...

I SO badly want to see the rest of the filmed episodes! My husband and I LOVED Lone Star. We are really pulling for you and can't wait to watch the relaunch or see it on another network! Great job:) And in the mean time, enjoy those three precious kiddos!

Anonymous said...

Very disappointed that the fox execs choose to cancel this wonderful show!

It is very short-sighted on their part. So many People are no longer watching the regular tv any longer, but are watching online. My tv has not been turned on in over nine months. Cable was cancelled in preference to the ease of watching online and not being tied to a specific time slot.

Tv execs wake up already!

Lone Star will rise again! People of the world unite!

Sadaf said...

But you know what? You created something great, a fairly unique story, with great characters, and great actors to back them up. You put it out there! Dude: it was out there. That's really something in itself. You will create something again, maybe better, and there will always be people who will love it. To get anyone to watch, that's something. You certainly had me watching, and I'll be waiting for you to create something new! :)

Miguel Reis (Knoxville) said...

Good luck! Please keep us posted about any Lone Star news!

yourblindspot said...

My tv's wearing a black arm band today, and I've spelled out 'R.I.P.' in Post-Its on my desk. And refuse to answer my phone.

Please let us know if there is anything involved in the effort to find the show a new home with which we can help -- be it writing letters, signing petitions, mailing a network monkey keychains en masse -- and we will do whatever we can to offer our support.

Meanwhile, enjoy the time with your family. All the best.

James said...

The show was intrinsically good. Darn it. I really wanted to see what transpired. I was willing to watch this over FOOTBALL!! And to think a show like Event is still going. Seems as if the marketing machine attracts more viewers than actual quality, creative writing and content. Package 6 shows up in a DVD set, find a distributor and do a mass social media/internet blitz. The show can still go on, maybe not just in the traditional way.

Matt said...

Thanks for the show, it was good while it lasted... The idea was original and the crew was really nice. Hope we'll get to see more of it on another network!

SDYG said...

Kyle, i am so sorry. I watched the first 2 episodes live/by dvr and would never think the show had a chance of being cancelled. When my wife and i watched, we immediately thought of our most recent favorite show...Lost. The main character reminded us of Sawyer...the father reminded us of John Locke's dad. I was just getting on dvr to make sure Lonestar was being recorded tonight. I thought your show was the best new show on tv...and one of my top 5 shows currently on at all. I will purchase the dvd to watch the other 3 episodes...and i'll hope some network sees this as a chance to really pick up something awesome. Good luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

Take it to AMC! It fits their programming better anyway

Lackadaisical Day Dreamer said...

As a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton's Radio-TV-Film program and pursing a career as a television writer, I thought "Lone Star" was one of the most ambitious, daring, and precocious new ideas brought to network television. The characters were so tenaciously constructed to make the viewer take an interest in all of them and not just some. The plot always had a well-timed moving rhythm and the two lead actors (Wolk and Keith) had tremendous chemistry throughout their scenes. Even if the viewer wasn't familiar with the hustling lifestyle, they would still be engrossed in the storyline. I hope somehow, someway, a cable network will take notice of this magnificent show. I wish all those associated with the show the very best in future endeavors.

Steven said...

Just so you know, I enjoyed Lone Star. I even programmed it into my DVR.

Anonymous said...

Great show. Find another home for it and we'll watch!!

Anonymous said...

i actually liked the show and was eager to see how the story developed, but i guess nobody has a little patience any longer in H'wood....my only issue?....hated the name...just wasn't a good fit....how much promo did fox give it?....i watch everything on the net, so i have no idea

Anonymous said...

fox missed the mark so badly - I loved this show - the writing and casting was spot on. The main guy was brilliant and enabled empathy in such a difficult situation. I was so excited to see where it went! Ugh. Frustrated.

Maybe you can find a home on HBO where you can even make it racier and have even more fun with it.

George Sloan said...

Great pilot, Mr. Killen. And brilliant music selection with Mumford & Sons. That shit'll rip your heart out right there.

Jenn said...

I normally never watch new television shows because i usually get attached to the shows and then you never know if they will be kept or not. I made an exception for Lone Star and i loved the show and was so hooked for what was going to happen next and i am very sad to see it go. I'm hoping for another network to pick it up.

seanmccord said...

Kyle, I'm coming to this party a little late, and want to choose my words carefully. I feel a connection to your personal story. I, too, moved to L.A. in my twenties and worked in the business while trying to write screenplays, and then eventually tired of the town and moved away. I am now married, happy, and settled down on the other side of the country, but still hold a great respect for intelligent writers.

I watched the pilot of LONESTAR and thought it was a great script. Seriously, if I had read just the script, I would have thought it would be a killer show. But the production itself fell flat. I felt that the producers under-budgeted it. The lighting was poor, the sound was a murky, and everything seemed to be filmed on location using leftover equipment. Honestly, if they had given the show a bigger budget and better producton values, I think it would have had more of a chance. But I finished the first episode feeling like it just did not live up to the quality of the writing. Sorry. I am genuinely looking forward to your future work.

Diana Livingston said...

I haven't heard of this show as I am on the other side of the world but this post will prompt me to read up a bit on it.

It must be extremely disappointing right now but think on the brighter side, it would be more heart wrenching if you go through life with a big 'what-if'.

Trying is what matters!

Brandi said...

I PRAY that someone else picks up the show - I loved it the minute I saw the preview ... and it did not disappoint me in the least. It IS a great story with unlimited possibilities!!! I only wish we were able to see more. Hey, just keep looking - don't give up on Lone Star. PLEASE!!!

Scratch the hostile fay said...

I'll be honest with you. Nowadays the crap on TV, the majority of it anyhow, isn't worth the time and effort of picking up the TV remote to turn it on. I've noticed pretty much everything on CW has what I like to call "One Tree Hill Syndrome". TOO MUCH ANGST. A prime example is Smallville. "Oh, I'm a superhero. But I don't want to be a superhero. But I'm a superhero..." AAAGH. Shut. Up. Already.

I'll also be honest in that I have never seen your show. Not even sure I'd heard of it... But it's possible since you obviously didn't cater to the vapid, sniveling person who makes up the key demographic nowadays, that may be why your show didn't make it past a couple of weeks. It was a little TOO intelligent.

But I agree, one o'dese days, it'll be to the moon, Alice, and you'll be able to look back at this and just LAUGH at how stupid people were for cancelling this show.

Good luck in your ventures! And don't forget us little people when you've finally hit it big :)
Scratch
http://hostilefay.blogspot.com

Christine said...

I just watched the pilot, and I'm hooked. I have a million things to do, but i can't stop watching till the end. I try taping the whole session on my TiVo and - nothing. I go to fox.com and don't see the show listed. Then I google and see it's been cancelled. WTF?! I can't believe how impatient Fox is being. The other poster is right - there are so many new shows, and what about DVR ratings? I just happened to watch it tonight. And then sometimes, I get so behind with shows, I just get a season pass at the end of the season or wait until it's all on DVD. This sucks. Well, I'll be watching out for your next project. And now you'll have a ready to go fan base! Best of luck - we'll be waiting. Hang in there - we are!

JV from TX said...

WTF? I just found out the show was cancelled. I tried looking for it online because i "missed" this weeks episode to find out it was cancelled. This is shocking. I thought the show was very good and was only going to get better. 2 episodes?? Really? That told FOX everything? I would not pull my pinch hitter after only 2 at bats...eventually he will hit a bomb.
Anyway, i liked the idea. I hope someone else picks the series up and does well.

JV from TX said...

BTW, im sorry i forgot to mention. I NEVER WATCH TV SERIES. NEVER! The last thing i watched from start to finish was Married with Children---and i had to buy the DVDs to finish it. Sooo..its kind of hard to get me 'hooked' on something. I work FT(Law) and made time for the show...that should say something...

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

I have not watched a TV show for over 25 years - the content has not been worth wasting my time over - but I heard about Lone Star on NPR and decided to try it. It was great! I hope you find a home for this show!

I just read the other comments and there seems to be a common thread of appreciation of your writing intelligent entertainment. Don't lower your standards! I'm looking forward to watching your next creation!

Pramod said...

The show was great. Best Wishes to your dad.

Anonymous said...

I watched both episodes of Lonestar.
I liked the writing , and the cast, but the thing that ruined the show was the 2 wife thing. it made the guy unlikable.
if you cut out either the rich wife or the midland wife then it was a good show.
however that doesnt mean nielsen viewers would have watched it.

t5000 said...

why ??
2 wives bad idea !
1st 10 min not very good
other than that it was actually a good show......chm

t5000 said...

I will also add that the name of the show Lonestar was not a good choice. however naming a show , it is very hard to come up with one that sounds good and says what the show is about. this name did not say what the show was about.
network tv canceling so many shows so quickly is going to cost them viewers in long run , they will switch to cable.
I might also add that the ratings are just estimates based on a few thousand Nielsen viewers.

Jonathan said...

Not sure if anyone will read these, but your show was so beautifully amazing- thank you and everyone who worked on it. I'm heartbroken that it is no more.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Kyle, Can you give some updates for the moving of the show to another network, or where to see the remaining episodes? Thx

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Natan Edelsburg, Comunications Club Vice President said...

It's truly sad this show was cancelled. There was a lot of buzz around it at NYU.

Ian said...

This evening I sat down and flipped through my tivo. Came across Lone Star and watched the pilot. Awesome! It was 1am but I was so excited that I went to watch the second episode. Then I noticed something was wrong. Why had TiVo only recorded 3 episodes? I later discovered one episode was actually a recording of "Lone Star" the movie!

I am truly gutted that FOX cancelled this show, especially so soon.

The trailers indicate that multiple episodes had already been prerecorded. Maybe it is possible to record a "wrap up" episode and release as a mini series on DVD, iTunes or Netflix?

Thanks for creating great entertainment. I look forward to your next endeavour.

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