Traffic was already starting to build under the gray light of dawn as I crept through quiet city streets towards Laurel Canyon, there to make the oh-so-familiar drive up and over the hill from Hollywood to the aptly-named Studio City. There, on what has become my home lot over the past decade, our little cable sit-com is gearing up for one last 22 episode season. By late winter of 2015, we’ll have more than a hundred episodes in the can, at which point the above-the-liners on this show will relax into the warm embrace of syndication. The details of syndication remain a mystery to me, but it will allow the multitude of producers on our show to enjoy a lucrative revenue stream as those hundred+ episodes run and re-run on cable networks for many years to come.
I’ll bet that’s a nice feeling.
But that'll be then and this is now, and there are many mountains of work to climb before the former becomes the latter.
Fuck that jerk and the expensive German horse he rode in on.
My old, faded credential still worked at the studio gates, allowing me into the parking structure, and soon I was pedaling my ancient beater-bike with very little air in the tires across the lot to our stage. The sets were mostly up -- slightly different this year, but essentially the same -- and the painters were hard at work turning the lightweight construction of luan and one-by-three pine into a convincing simulacrum of a real house. There were smiles and handshakes all around as the grip and electric crews renewed acquaintances. Then came the rumble of a high-torque motor and a hiss of hydraulics as the first forklift pulled in through the big elephant doors to deposit a heavy load of lamps. Many more would follow before this day was done.
The long wait finally over, our work now begins. The next few days will be hard going as we push the big rock up the steep hill one more time, but after the spring/summer layoff, returning to this show -- as familiar and comfortable as a pair of old shoes by now -- reminds me of heading back to school as a kid.
And that feels good.