• 'Hello', Lied the Agent

  • And Other Bullshit You Hear as a Hollywood TV Writer
  • By: Ian Gurvitz
  • Narrated by: Ian Gurvitz
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-03-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.4 (40 ratings)

Regular price: $24.47

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Publisher's Summary

As prevalent as TV is in our lives, most of us have no concept of what goes into creating a show, getting it on the air, and keeping it on. Perhaps we assume that the people in charge simply decide what amuses them at the moment, make those shows, stick them on, and wait to see if the public responds. Or maybe they just throw darts at a board?The truth, as with most things, is more complicated. In 'Hello', Lied the Agent, Ian Gurvitz has produced a corrosively funny insider's look at what being a television writer is really all about. In his personal journal, he details two years in the life of a Hollywood television writer - the dizzying ups and downs, the rewrites, the executives, the pitch meetings, the table readings, the studios and networks and execs in a riveting expose of the business."It occurred to me that keeping a journal while I was going through the development process might illuminate a side of the business few people get to see, and give them a behind the scenes (God, I hate that overused ET phrase) look at the day-to-day experience of being a writer in Hollywood. OK, that's partly bullshit. I'm not that altruistic. The truth is, after 20 years in the trenches, I found myself bitching about many aspects of the business and needed an outlet, which left either writing a book, doing stand up, seeing my shrink more often or suffering in silence. But since I don't have the balls to try stand-up, there's no reason to waste a shrink visit bitching about the business when I've got more seriously f***ed-up issues to deal with, and there's no money in suffering in silence - that left book. Here it is...."
©2006 Ian Gurvitz; (P)2009 Phoenix
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By A A on 09-17-09


Some might be a tad off put by the delivery of the author's narration; for example, the swearing and bitterness.

However, I enjoyed it and took it as who he was: a comedy writer who had some success in the industry (he wrote for Wings and Becker) and many failures and knows what it's like to be both screwed and fought over by networks.

Ian discusses what it was like writing and selling scripts; having to please network executives while maintaining his original story (and sanity) without sugar coating a thing.

He gives a few tips, and those interested in pursuing writing comedy scripts (or any sort of script) should find his honesty helpful.

I'm just a fan of how things are in television "behind the scenes", so I found it quite enjoyable.

The only issue I did have was how he read the work: not every author will make for a great narrator and he isn't the best...he does sound like he is reading his work in an unnatural fashion, which can be distracting. It sounds like he's just looking at the page and reading it without thinking too much about what he's saying.

Overall, I enjoyed the audiobook, but it's not for everyone.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 09-19-10

Fascinating process

The book was very interesting, but what an angry guy! His style is very New Yorker "in your face" and living in L.A. hasn't mellowed him any. Never knew so much went into the development of T.V. If you ever thought you had a great idea for a tv show, hear this book and you'll think twice.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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