Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.
And better than, that she was the last episode of the first season of this show and the studio killed her so that there’d be a great tragic ending and Kenny, who was a young writer then, said this is like the middle of the second wave of the feminist movement. You can’t kill the most engaging woman that you have had on your program and the network said yes we can. Nobody wants a love interest for the lead character because women want to imagine he’ll fall in love with them and they don’t want to get in some of the girl’s way. That’s rude, right? So they killed her and the mail — because there wasn’t yet email — that they got complaining that they had the audacity to kill the most accomplished woman who had ever appeared on that show meant that miraculously at the beginning of season two she wasn’t actually dead. They had bionically saved her and then she got her own program and Kenny became an Executive Producer of his own program because of his creativity because he had come up with that character. He now owned that character.
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