Billion-dollar Kiss: The Kiss that Saved Dawson's Creek and Other Adventures in TV Writing

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Penguin, 2007 - Performing Arts - 323 pages
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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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Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Story of a Television Writer in the Hollywood Gold Rush

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Arriving in Hollywood in 1988 at the dawn of the "Second Golden Age of Television," aspiring screenwriter Stepakoff soon hit it big, winning jobs on such popular television shows asThe Wonder Years ... Read full review

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

User Review  - bryan - Goodreads

This quite a good book: 1. a memoir of a TV writer who worked on everything from "Simon & Simon" to "Dawson's Creek" with a Disney animated feature in between; 2. a glimpse into the life of a major ... Read full review


Bochcos Blood
Howd You Like to Make Ten Grand?
Green Envelopes
Written By
Breakfast at the Polo Lounge
The Funny Business
Life and Times of a Story Editor
The Hollywood Gold Rush
The Seasons of LA
Vertical Integration and Segregation
Kissing Katie Holmes
Adventures in Hair Makeup
The New Reality

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About the author (2007)

In his eighteen-year Hollywood career, Jeffrey Stepakoff has written for fourteen different series and worked on seven staffs, including SISTERS, the Emmy-winning THE WONDER YEARS, and DAWSON¬'S CREEK where he was Co-Executive Producer. He has also created numerous pilots and developed and written major motion pictures. Stepakoff holds a BA in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon and lectures across the country.

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