A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, October 14, 2010
posted by Jen at 10/14/2010 05:36:00 PM

Hey! Remember that development deal I had with ABC?

I had a great time. Met amazing people. Learned a lot. Wrote a few pilots and had them get close…and then, nothing.

Hollywood breaks your heart like that, and I figured, I loved the experience, and learned so much, and made great contacts, so I couldn’t be too disappointed. Especially not when I hadn’t quit my day job – I signed a new deal with my publisher last spring – and got to keep a hand in the world of TV, working on other ideas for shows.

So there I was, a few weeks back, on a beautiful September afternoon, hopping into a cab to meet my friend Elizabeth for lunch when my cell phone rang. It was a comedy executive at ABC Studios calling. Remember “The Great State of Georgia?” he asked.

Do I remember Georgia? I remember Georgia like you remember your first love, the guy who gave you your first great kiss, and then broke your heart and took your best friend to the prom.

“The Great State of Georgia” is a half-hour sit-com that I wrote with Jeff Greenstein, who is a genius, and much funnier (and taller) than I am. It’s about a big, gorgeous girl with a big, gorgeous voice from a tiny town down South who wants to be a star, and moves to New York City to make it happen, with her geeky, stunning-but-doesn’t-know-it science-nerd BFF in tow. Hilarity ensues – much of it stemming from the times when our heroine who is not, as they say, challenged in the self-esteem department, comes up against the unpleasant realization that she’s not what the snooty tastemakers of NYC have in mind.

I loved writing Georgia. It was a chance to do a funny, modern gloss on “Laverne & Shirley,” with rich, well-rounded female characters; to write about friendship and family and love and new beginnings; about making it in spite of the world telling you that you can’t.

It was also a lot of fun to do a big girl who’s not stuck in self-deprecation-land: Georgia knows she’s fabulous – the fabulous descendant of a long line of fabulous, beauty-pageant-winning babes who turn men into drooling piles of mush -- and is mostly confused when the world doesn’t agree. It broke my heart when ABC didn't bite. I figured Georgia and Jo, and Luke, Georgia’s loyal but dim-bulb hometown honey, would be forever consigned to that unhappy land where imaginary characters go to die.

But! Hold the phone! Turns out, ABC Family (home of “Melissa and Joey, “and “The Secret Life of the American Teenage,” and the late, lamented “Huge”) liked the script and wants to shoot a pilot.

Which means I’m packing up to head west this weekend for eight weeks of casting, hiring, rewrites, and, eventually, shooting the show. If ABC Family likes what it sees, they’ll order a bunch of episodes, which I will executive produce. So if you like my books, my blog, or even my tweets about “The Bachelor,” I think you’ll like “Georgia.”

It’s all very exciting. And scary. This will be, by far, the longest I’ll have been away from my family…but I’m thrilled to be starting a new adventure. And hiring a line producer. And figuring out what a line producer does.

So! Keep reading the blog -- and follow me on Twitter -- for what I hope will be frequent and funny updates from TV Land. (And if you're a gorgeous young plus-size actress who can sing and dance and wants to star in a sit-com, please keep your ear to the ground for news about casting calls, which will be happening soon).

As they say, stay tuned…
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Welcome to A Moment of Jen, author Jennifer Weiner's constantly-updated take on books, baby, and news of the world. Email me at jen (a) jenniferweiner.com.

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