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"Midnight Nation" TV Series

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  • Looney
    replied
    Another thing I'm not sure has been discussed yet and that is the fact that it was going to be a TV Series. Just saying that phrase raises two alarms. One there are too many TV Series to count right now and there are quite a few adapted from comics. I'm not sure how many of them based on comics similar to Midnight Nation have been successful, if any. (I'm actually thinking that many shows with a supernatural lean have not lasted very long in recent years that weren't fake reality shows or SUPERNATURAL itself.) The second alarm would be that he is in partnership with Universal and where are they "shopping the series"? One would hope someplace free from restriction, but then again NBC would be a great place to have Straczynski's name on a series for "street cred". Given these two issues it is easy to see why parties may have backed out of the project, especially JMS if he wasn't comfortable with the direction his work was taking. I doubt he would back out of the project simply because some reigns might have needed to be pulled back to get it on a certain network. I'm sure the case would have to be someone thinking the show needed to take a completely different turn that JMS felt would destroy its identity.
    Last edited by Looney; 06-05-2018, 07:04 AM.

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  • Jonas
    replied
    Sometimes it's better not to do a project than to end up credited for something that's shit, even when you're trying to establish yourself. I know that struggle from personal experience. It's hard to say no, to turn down an offer, but sometimes you really need to, or you end up working on something that you hate and which ends up being an embarrassment rather than a good credit on your resume.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Huh. This isn't great.

    I do wonder how extreme the diversion was? TV and comics are very different mediums. I'm actually all for differences when it comes to adaptation, nothing more dull than a straight reproduction of the source material.

    However, JMS isn't an idiot, so I am guessing the pitch or amendments really took a turn that didn't sit well with him. That, or the project just ran out of steam at pilot stage if the two (studio and creator) couldn't agree on a clear mandate for the show.

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  • Looney
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    You're thinking Rising Stars, I think.
    Yes you might be right there.

    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Face it, *most* optioned properties don't get made. H-wood seems to have a very short attention span.
    EXACTLY!

    BUT I still believe JMS is possibly telling the truth. He knows Midnight Nation is one of his most acclaimed properties. If he felt they were giving it the WB treatment then I'm sure he would pull the plug.

    (Since people will ask, what I mean by the WB treatment is just flatly not doing things correctly. Every studio is going to meddle. The question is how much will their meddling negatively effect the final product and is part of their meddling not delivering on the original agreement - especially financially. In fairness we all know WB did good things for B5 - In The Beginning more than toward the end and beyond.)

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Looney View Post
    Isn't that possibly the third or fourth time for Midnight Nation alone?
    You're thinking Rising Stars, I think.

    Face it, *most* optioned properties don't get made. H-wood seems to have a very short attention span.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    I love this book; I'd hate to see it done wrong too.

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  • Looney
    replied
    Well this does not seem that odd to me given the history of JMS' optioned properties. I mean we should be honest and point out that he might just be trying to save face after once again his property is optioned and once again it didn't get off the ground. Isn't that possibly the third or fourth time for Midnight Nation alone? It sounds better to say that he pulled back the rights because it was going the wrong direction rather than saying the studio pulled the plug because they lost interest again. And I totally believe JMS' version of events, but I wouldn't blame him for embellishing if it went the other way. Saying it this way would help him save face professionally because believe me these people know when your properties get optioned and never made. They know the more that get optioned then don't get made the worse it looks for you. My guess is the studio would be perfectly fine with this version being the version of events that gets put out in the public eye.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    Ah, learned something new with that yearly renewal thing.

    I get the artist willing to stand up for his artistic vision, and duly admire that. But he’s also a producer trying to build up his own production company – and a big part of that back in the day was how he hoped to do cross media adaptations of things like his comic work. That’s unlikely to happen if he tells those who’s money he wants to spend it’s my way or the highway. Get some productions under his belt, get some muscle then sure, but . . . . . argh, it’s his game, he can play it how he likes.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    He’s neither a naive newbie to the industry or a high profile creator who can push his weight around, so again, WTF. Maybe it wasn’t the studio, he only says he pulled the rights back (apparently he could do that, if this is to be believed) so whoever the disagreement was with they were big enough (important and influential enough) that he couldn’t just ignore them. . . Sigh. I dunno.
    In general options on properties are in one-year increments with options to renew. IMDb shows the first details on the project as Jan. 22, 2017 so it's likely that he declined to renew the option. We saw a similar situation with TMOS where the option was extended for a short time while they tried to arrange funding but eventually lapsed.

    I'm not going to argue with an artist who's willing and able to stand up for his artistic vision.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    I don’t mean to be critical, I *really* don’t, but WTF. If this is to be believed in essence telling a studio like Universal to go screw yourself you’re not ruining my vision - AFTER they have agreed to pick up his comic book as a tv series and the pilot script was commissioned and written - really the best way to get some productions under Studio jms’s belt, and build up its street cred. What sort of street cred is he after.

    He’s neither a naive newbie to the industry or a high profile creator who can push his weight around, so again, WTF. Maybe it wasn’t the studio, he only says he pulled the rights back (apparently he could do that, if this is to be believed) so whoever the disagreement was with they were big enough (important and influential enough) that he couldn’t just ignore them. . . Sigh. I dunno.

    At this point it’s looking more and more like a B5 movie or new series – in jms’s lifetime at least – is nothing more than a pipedream at this point. Something to throw out there on a quiet news day.
    Last edited by Triple F; 06-03-2018, 11:50 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    As noted, JMS has been tweeting a lot lately. This was among them:



    Crap!

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Asked about the status of Midnight Nation, JMS just posted:
    Ohhh, exciting. Hope it gets picked up.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Asked about the status of Midnight Nation, JMS just posted:

    Originally posted by JMS
    Thanks. Making some small, last-minute tweaks to the pilot script, then Universal takes it out to the larger market to see what happens.

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  • Ubik
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    Very much! I'm *so* desperately tired of people referring to character moments and episodes as 'filler'! If I wanted a thriller, that's what I would have sought out. I don't care for those and have no use for shows being formatted as though they were.
    This is all highly dependant on the show and how it's structured though. Sense8 is chock full of character moments despite the shorter season length, it just makes room for them. Is that detrimental in this shorter format? Perhaps, in part it is, as Sense8 is trying to balance 8 distinct spinning plates. But, it does find room for character exploration, even if I it does have to pick and choose who gets the central narrative(s) each season.

    When I say 'filler', I more mean episodes that don't quite hit the quality they should. Perhaps the best example, 'clip episodes' in shows like Stargate and TNG, where they re-hash clips from past episodes in some kind of paper thin context. Or episodes that add next to nothing to either character development or plot of the show. For instance, Person of Interest, great show, but you could have cut about 20 episodes from the entire run and it would have been just as good.

    I think there's a lot to be said for having to use all your air time wisely and in the service of character development AND ongoing plot. This doesn't necessarily make it a 'thriller', it's all about your internal pacing too, a show can be gradual and dreamy, even with an 8 episode season (see The OA). It's down to how the writers use the allocated space wisely.
    Last edited by Ubik; 07-15-2017, 09:09 AM.

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  • Triple F
    replied
    On balance, got to got with the shorter format. Especially after the first or second season.

    I’ve watched a fair few shows now that had a great premise, actors, story, etc. for the first couple of seasons, then one of two things tend to happen. The bugger gets cancelled. Or it proves to be popular so the writers begin to artificially extend the story beyond it’s natural length until enough folk get fed up with it . . . then it gets cancelled.

    The beginning middle and end – then walk away – approach by jms was spot on, and incredibly rare. Shorter season lengths just feel tighter and to some extent remove those filler episodes to extend the story.

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