books, Publishing, writing

Open Books

I ran across this today. CBS has green-lighted a sitcom pilot about the publishing industry: 

“Books” is inspired by the time (Gail) Lerner spent as a temp in the publishing world at the beginning of her career and by the experiences of her sister Betsy, who worked as a book editor for 15 years before becoming a literary agent.

I would love for this to be the literary world equivalent of “The Devil Wears Prada” in terms of savvy and style. If it’s just another vacuous sitcom with canned laugh tracks, I don’t think I can stomach it.  Gail Lerner’s credits include “Will & Grace,” co-executive producer of “Ugly Betty” (which I admit I’ve never seen) and a couple of other shows, according to the Reuters article. Frankly, I think I’d rather see someone like HBO take this on. “Will & Grace” was cute, but do we need a “cute” show about publishing? I’d rather see something meatier. Not a drama, I’m not suggesting “CSI: Houghton Mifflin,” but if it’s just more fluff, really, who cares? More madcap adventures with ditzy office workers? No thanks. I’m all stocked up.

So should we all guess at the possible storylines? I’ll start:

Self-important novelist comes to office to direct production of his new book, sending office workers scurrying and creating havoc. Hilarity ensues.

Your turn.


9 thoughts on “Open Books”

  1. How ’bout eclectic, progressive young editor pitches a fit when she’s assigned to work with a famous young neo-conservative bestselling author, but they find themselves strangely attracted to one another? Hilarity ensues – The title of the episode is “Strange but Well-read Fellows” …


  2. This sounds like it could be fun, & though I agree that it could quite easily go the way of dumb comedy, I think both ‘Will and Grace’ and ‘Ugly Betty’ are a bit smarter than the average show. I have only seen a few episodes from the first season of Ugly Betty, but did enjoy it and it seems to take on the magazine publishing industry well. CBS did “Murphy Brown” way back when I watched a lot of TV and that was a fab take on news shows. However, I have no idea when I, or most people in publishing for that matter, will actually be able to stop reading, writing and/or editing to watch a show about it. It better be good, because i think that for the majority of us, if it does not capture the attention, we’ve got something better to do! 🙂


  3. I’ve never seen “Ugly Betty,” and only parts of a couple episodes of “Will & Grace” which struck me as an updated “I Love Lucy” kind of thing: lots of ridiculous situations exaggerated to generate a laugh. I never saw Murphy Brown (you wouldn’t believe how many vastly popular shows I have never seen). Frankly I don’t know how anyone has time to watch tv!


  4. I’m not much of a fan of situation comedies. And the ones I do like came out so long ago I fear to date myself by naming them. So I know I won’t be watching this. I can’t even think of a situation comedy that’s on right now that I watch. And I only watch one or two shows faithfully anyway. Most of the time I’m reading when I’m not writing or working.


  5. I went searching for an article I found about it on EW the other day, but found this instead:

    “CBS has come on board for a new multicamera comedy script by Gail Lerner (Will & Grace), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network has committed to the pilot of the tentatively titled Open Books, about a book editor and her circle of friends. The show will be relationship-driven as the big-hearted editor gets overly involved in the lives of her friends, mother and clients.”

    Here’s the article I was looking for: CBS Pilot Open Books

    I never even heard of the other two publishing-themed shows the article mentions.


  6. I’ll give it a try, but also think it probably would be better on HBO or Showtime. No holding back on those channels… 😉

    I like Mary J’s idea. I’m so tired of shows with their, “will they or won’t they?” “Okay. We know they’re going to…but when?” “Okay, tonight’s the night! After five seasons…X and Y…… KISS!” Good grief.


  7. And the show is never as good after they get together – witness Cheers, Northern Exposure, Frasier – the list goes on and on. In my version they get together early on, OR NOT, and then move on.


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