17
Nov
10

Inspired by “The adventures of Pete and Pete”…

I used to be a big fan of a Nickelodeon sitcom series called The Adventures of Pete and Pete. If you didn’t have cable in the mid 1990s, you’ve probably never heard of this cult US show as it didn’t make it onto terrestrial TV in Britain. The programme focused on the lives of two red-haired brothers (both called Pete) and often featured some surprisingly famous guest stars e.g. Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Michael Stipe. Nowadays, you can find many episodes of the show on YouTube or even buy the first two seasons on NTSC DVD.

What I liked about this TV show was its curious mix of comedy, nostalgia and surrealism – a sort of cross between The Wonder Years and Round The Twist. It appealed to kids and adults alike (a difficult balance to strike) and the production values were high. If you paid attention to the camerawork and dialogue and pulled apart the storytelling, you began to realise how much creative skill had gone into each and every script. The writers, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, are immensely talented and most episodes of Pete & Pete (in my opinion) are mini masterpieces.

Anyway, to cut to the chase: I’ve always thought that a show like this has been lacking in the UK for young teens. I’d never written a TV script before, so I bought a book on screenwriting and taught myself the basics. Then I sat down and wrote “The Blue Butler”, a pilot episode for an ongoing series that I tentatively titled “Out Of The Blue”. The heroes of this story are two young cousins, JB and Jonno, who live on the same suburban street.

You can read the entire script here: Out of the Blue_Pilot_Final Draft

I seem to recall that I initially sent this spec script to the BBC Writersroom, who returned it without comment. Then I sent it to Talent TV, who came back with some lengthy and very constructive criticism… but felt that they wouldn’t be able to sell it.

After that, I searched and searched but couldn’t find any more UK production studios that fit the bill i.e. willing to consider live action, willing to consider children’s comedy, willing to consider unsolicited scripts, etc. So eventually, I filed this away on my hard drive and left it there. All comments are more than welcome.

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