Thursday, September 18, 2008


I HATE FUCKING THURSDAYS Thursday is the day I speak to the network about ratings from the Wednesday night airing. I hate that I desperately seek the numbers that monitor how many Nielsen boxes are tuned into Sons of Anarchy. I crave it like a fucking junkie. I go to bed thinking about them, fantasizing best and worst case scenarios. I wake up half drunk on fear. I pray, turn it over, ask my god to remove the obsession. That gives me about nine minutes of relief. I sit at my desk and stare at the phone, waiting for the post lunch call. The fix. How many people watched? How many people love me? Is it good? Am I enough? DVR numbers? 18-49? Overall? Tracking? Intent to watch? Penis size? It's fucking crippling. In those moments I wish I didn't care. I wish it was just a fucking paycheck. But alas, I do care. I love this project and the money's just absurd icing on the corpse-shaped cake. PALIN-SIZED GASH We are still hurting from the initial crush we got from the RNC the night of the premier. The truth is, Sons of Anarchy was tracking off the charts. Better than any other FX show. No one would say it, but everyone was expecting a record-breaking, boffo premier number. When that didn't happen and our premier was a "modest" success, the general vibe from the Fox bosses was disappointment. That wound is still bleeding. So even though our dropoffs are on par with any successful show, the fact that everyone expected a higher initial number makes the ratings seem less than impressive. I unfortunately get caught up in that malaise. It fucks with me. Makes me feel like a failure. Pisses me off. Fortunately I get to channel that discontent into my work. So when the critics slam me for the uber-violence in the show, they can blame Nielsen. Bodies are fucking dropping. WE'RE GOLDEN We are actually doing very well. In the 18-49 (only number advertisers actually pay for) we are only down 20% in week three from the pilot. And I think we're only down 12% in over-all viewers. Statistically, that's gold. $$$$ Everyone knows the numbers are all smoke. Back in the day before DVR's, the Nielsen science made sense, but now, with ever-changing viewing habits, it's so fucking speculative, so inaccurate, so imperfect... yet, still so bloody important. It's the only tool we have to measure viewership. And at the end of the day, advertisers need to know who and how many people are watching the show. That's what pays the checks we are so fond of receiving. Let us not forget, the TV was created to sell soap. And the first image ever transmitted was a dollar sign.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


A recent email chain that I have to post -- I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight..... If you grow up in Hawaii, were raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.' but -- If you grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, this is a quintessential American story. If your name is Barack you're radical and unpatriotic, perhaps even Muslim. but -- If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're just a maverick. If you graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable. but -- If you attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded. If you spend 3 years as a dedicated community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 3 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience. but -- If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive. If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two lovely daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian. but -- If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a real Christian. If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the very fiber of society. but -- If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're a responsible example for others. If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's. but -- If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable. OK, much clearer now!