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.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You're Invited To Our Stunning Upset

Do you like to root for the underdog? Because I've got an underdog of epic proportions for you. We're talking long, long shot. Like a legless horse in the Kentucky Derby. A blind basketball team facing the 95 Bulls. If somehow Rudy and Rocky had a baby it still wouldn't be as big an underdog as our little show... Lone Star.

You may have heard about last Monday night when several heavily sequined, dancing celebrity, conspiracy laden, bowling shirted nuclear bombs landed directly on our heads. When everyone who watched your show is a paid critic or someone you went to high school with, that's less of a premiere than a slideshow.

But! BUT!

But here we are. Still alive. A little groundhog peeking out of a bomb crater to see if there's six more weeks of nuclear winter or if, perhaps, something can grow in this hole. And that's where you come in.

For us to survive we're going to have to pull off a minor miracle. Statistically, new shows tend to lose viewers in their second week. We're aiming to gain them. In fact, screw it, let's just double our audience. The good news is, our audience was so small that if my Mom AND my Dad watch it we'll pretty much be there.

Here's the thing: it really is a good show. Don't take it from me, take if from these guys here and here and lots of other places. Are these all just people in ivory towers with tweed jackets and glasses of scotch who hate America? Possibly! But my Mom also loved it and she LOVES America just like you.

I'm not going to beg. I'll mow your lawn or offer you some sort of sensual massage, but I won't beg. The truth is, what we need to do is nearly impossible. I've heard and read that a million times since Tuesday morning. But isn't that why we watch television? Sports? Movies? To, every once in a while, see something impossible actually happen? Impossible is AWESOME! Am I right? High five!

So here's the plan. You go deep. All of you. You and millions of your friends. And Monday night, down by a lot with only seconds on the clock, we'll throw the ball up, an impossibly long arcing pass into a host of defenders who are taller and flashier and stronger and probably more well endowed than all of us, and maybe, just maybe, it's one of those moments where the thing everyone said COULD NOT HAPPEN actually just... does. And you my friend, you could say you were there, you and all your friends, just taking one big Gatorade bath with the millions of people who, like you, decided to say 'F you' to statistics and just settle in for a damn good hour of television.

So spread the word. Repost, retweet, re...faceboook or just put on your crazy pants and head down to the freeway exit and shout at cars like I'm going to.

Monday night.


Mark it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On The Eve Of My Potential Trouncing - A Message From Poop On The Shoe

When I was in high school I ran for class president. This was not a particularly sharp move on my part. I was not popular or good looking or particularly good at anything (and very little has changed). My most storied accomplishment was that I once went through an entire day with dog shit on my shoe without realizing it despite everyone in every class saying 'what the hell smells like dog shit?'. And then in my last class someone realized it was me, said 'IT'S KYLE!' and after that I was know simply as 'Poop On The Shoe'. I'm no political genius, but if your claim to fame is in any way related to feces, it's going to be an uphill battle.

So, the teacher who controlled the sign up list came to me after school and explained that some other kids had come in to sign up to run for office. Cool kids. Kids who looked like Abercrombie models. Kids who could have a show about them on the CW. And as they debated what to run for they saw my name and said, 'Poop on the shoe? Dude, you can crush poop on the shoe!', and so one of them signed up to take me down and become president. After delivering the news, the teacher asked if I still wanted to run. I said yes. He said, "I'm proud of you, poop. You'll lose, but I'm proud of you."

One night before Lone Star premiers it feels like that election all over again. I actually have no idea how or why I got here or what to do now that I am. I feel like I'm learning to juggle with live grenades and the competition suddenly looks like a bunch of cool kids who see an easy out. It's likely they will crush us and the sound you hear will be a large number of people in nice suits and plush offices slapping their heads in unison and saying 'What the hell were we thinking?' 'I knew that guy was a moron?' 'I know. And is it just me or did he kind of smell like dog shit?'

All I can tell you is that no matter how quickly they pull the plug, I'm proud of the mess they let me make. I'm proud of the reviews which have been incredibly kind and positive, and which I am having tattooed all over my body. I'm proud of our cast and crew and writers, all of whom could have pursued other, safer bets, and instead have placed their eggs in this basket. And I'm proud of our network for wallpapering the planet with advertisements for a show that doesn't have a single doctor, lawyer, cop, or car chase. I'm not saying any of these people have made good decisions, just that I'm proud of them.

So, Monday night people will vote with their remotes and we'll win or we'll lose and that will be that. I was peed on three separate times today (by my children you sicko) so I feel grounded enough to handle either outcome. Whichever way it breaks, I can't say thank you enough to those of you who've been reading and supporting me for so long. The comments and messages I've received from you, long before Lone Star was a twinkle in Fox's eye, have been rocket fuel at numerous times when I felt stranded by the side of the road. I hope we accomplish a lot of things tomorrow night, but mostly I hope we don't let you down.


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