Day 3: When Showrunners Attack!
Okay. So granted, writers are pretty lazy and out-of-shape folks, but I really don't think walking in a fucking circle for 4 hours is supposed to hurt this much. I'm sore as hell. I feel like I just got jumped into a gang.
So today was the big United Showrunners demonstration. All the showrunners met at 9am at the Disney Alameda gate and held signs with their show's name on it and marched. And I'm telling you, every show was represented. It was amazing (thanks in no small part to Shawn Ryan's awesome/guilt-mongering letter of a few days ago). From Network to pay cable to basic cable, the shows were all there. Midseason replacements. Animation. Nickelodeon and Lifetime and The N and many others. We were trying to think of a show not represented by its showrunner or at least a high-level executive (in cases where the show shoots in New York and, like, Tina Fey couldn't fly out).
The press was out in droves as the showrunners walked back and forth across the street leading into the lot. Actors like Eddie Izzard and Marc Curry drove past honking. The ubiquitous Jay Leno came by in some British-y steering-wheel-on-the-wrong-side car. Sally Field came out and talked to the press. The most vocal and highest profile showrunners spent a lot of time talking to the media, like Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff from LOST, Shawn Ryan of The Shield, Marc Cherry of Desperate Housewives, and Bill Lawrence from Scrubs. (Some in the press were hysterical, completely unaware who Marc Cherry or Shawn Ryan were and could we point them out.) Patrick Verrone spent a lot of time there, as did former WGA Prez John Wells.
After a while we felt a little bit like losers not having a showrunners' placard or hat. We eventually came up with fake shows and were going to steal signs and write the name of those shows on them. Mine was to be Morning Wood, a sitcom that takes place in a small environmental lobbying office run by rougish young former oil money sire named Sam Wood, who woke up one day with a hangover and a conscience about the environment (but not about sleeping around or cracking wise!) Frank's was a teen soap called Monrovia. But in the end we thought better of it. We did make fun of the showrunners who drew on their signs, though. The Family Guy dude drew Stewie. The October Road guy drew a road. (But not "October".) A woman from Women's Murder Club had handwriting like she'd had a stroke it was so messy, and the According to Jim guy wrote on the other side, "No, it hasn't been cancelled." Carlton Cuse wittily wrote, "Don't you want to know what the island is?" And Greg Berlanti's sign looked super show-offy with all 3 of his shows written on it. (Suck on that Josh Schwartz with only 2!) Matthew Weiner from Mad Men was rather militant, rallying us to illegally block traffic, while the dude from Criminal Minds was tireless and awesome, but seemed a bit grouchy -- though he was almost hit by a car, so he has reason.
It was an amazing atmosphere. The 200 strikers and showrunners crawled across the street in a giant happy pile as cars on Alameda honked non-stop and cops watched from across the street. People brought donuts and coffee. A taco stand rolled up and served free Mexican food. Someone brought sandwiches. A girl walked up with oranges and granola bars just because she was "a fan." The generous crazies from Joss Whedon's universe brought grub and stalked around in Firefly shirts. Pam's showrunner Don Todd told me in detail how much damage we were doing to our bodies walking on unforgiving cement all day. Anna Beth came out from her
It was a superb day and I'm going to take a giant nap now.
Photos and video below...
Weeds. SVU. Ellen. Aliens in America.
The excellent Bill Lawrence.
The generous Joss Whedon fans posted up a sign full of creepy Latin or something.
This showrunner was giving this LA Times reporter a piece of her mind for innaccurate reporting. It was kind of tough to watch. And awesome.
"Seriously, Josh, when Oliver went psycho, I was sooo watching through my fingers."
"The O.C. was cancelled, Carlton. I have two new shows on the air."
"Right right. But O.M.G., when Marissa all flipped out and threw the chaise lounge into the swimming pool...!"
Army Wives. Leno. Dexter. The Big Bang Theory. Family Guy. According To Jim.
For once, the numbers he's discussing aren't 4, 8, 15, 16...
For five points: which Criminal Minds actor biked up to the strike wearing a Criminal Minds spandex biking outfit?
Luckily the Disney lot isn't in a Crips neighborhood.
Some video footage. (With bonus Sally Field!):