Traditional Publishing

How Jonathan Ames Approaches Writing for TV – Tuesday October 4, 2016

Jonathan Ames began his career writing novels and performing in small theaters around New York City before landing a job writing and starring in his own pilot for Showtime. As a newcomer to running his own TV show, Ames acclimated himself to the fast-paced position through on-the-job training. After creating and working on three seasons of the HBO cult classic Bored to Death, Ames moved to STARZ to help develop and oversee the Seth MacFarlane-produced Blunt Talk, a comedy centered around popular TV newsman Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart). Blunt Talkpremiered its second season last night and Ames appears to have found his rhythm as a showrunner. He approaches each season of the show by constructing an “idea document” which is later molded into ten scripts. I spoke with Ames about what it’s like writing comedy for Patrick Stewart, the difference between crafting novels and television scripts, and working on a talk show with Moby.

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