Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson's Creek, and Other Adventures inTV Writing (Google eBook)

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Penguin, May 10, 2007 - Performing Arts - 336 pages
23 Reviews
When Jeffrey Stepakoff was graduating with an MFA in playwriting, he imagined a life in the New York theater, wearing a beret and smoking clove cigarettes. Writing for the "boob tube" didn’t even cross his mind. But he ended up in L.A. in the late 80’s, when television writers were experiencing their equivalent of a gold rush. After the billion- dollar syndication of Seinfeld, when studios were paying astronomical amounts of money to writers to create the next Friends or ER, the sudden mania for scripted entertainment made the TV writer a hot commodity. He found himself meeting with big agents, inside primetime story rooms, pitch meetings, and on the set of some of TVs most popular shows, and making more money than he’d ever thought possible.

Weaving his personal story with television’s, Stepakoff takes us behind the scenes to show what it’s like to have a story idea one week and see it come to life and be seen by millions of people just a week later. Stepakoff also takes us inside the industry to explain what we’re watching and why by exploring the growing problems of media consolidation, the effects of interference from executives, the lack of diversity, and what reality television is doing to quality scripted television.

When the market crashed and the dust settled, TV executives and the media conglomerates they worked for were sitting on a broken business model. Slowly, a new programming idea began to take hold—what if the writer and their salaries were removed from the equation? Reality TV was born and the TV writer suddenly became obsolete— at least temporarily.

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Fairly interesting book about the life of a tv writer. - Goodreads
An insightful look into the life of a TV writer. - Goodreads
Decent read by a former tv staff writer. - Goodreads
I had no idea what TV writing was really like. - Goodreads

Review: Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson's Creek and Other Adventures inTV Writing

User Review  - Jon Forisha - Goodreads

Since I still harbor a dream of professionally writing for TV, this book was fascinating. Stepakoff doesn't hold back anything, even elaborating on his exorbitant salaries over the years. It feels ... Read full review

Review: Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson's Creek and Other Adventures inTV Writing

User Review  - Danimal - Goodreads

Decent read by a former tv staff writer. Half of it explores the business side of the last 20 years of TV, which was less interesting. The other half followed the writer as he goes from being a ... Read full review




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About the author (2007)

Jeffrey Stepakoff was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a BA in Journalism. In 1988, the day after getting his MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon, he drove to Hollywood where he began writing for film and television.

Stepakoff has written for fourteen different TV series, including the Emmy-winning THE WONDER YEARS, SISTERS, and DAWSON'S CREEK where he was Co-Executive Producer. He has also created and developed pilots for many of the major studios and networks, including 20th Century, Paramount, MTM, Fox, and ABC. And he has developed and written major motion pictures, including Disney's TARZAN and BROTHER BEAR.

A few years ago Stepakoff began pursuing his long-held dream of writing fiction. FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA, a SIBA Okra Pick and an Indie Next List Notable, is his first novel. Stepakoff's second novel, THE ORCHARD, comes out in July 2011. His fiction is available now in six languages.

Presently, Stepakoff lives in Atlanta with his wife and three young children, and is working on his third novel for St. Martin's Press. In his spare time, he builds forts in living room with sofa cushions.

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