There’s a new Hollywood success story that’s giving new life to an old Hollywood myth– that with enough spunk and talent, anyone can break into the TV business– and you don’t even need the Internet to get there (though it helps).
This one comes from the CW, which is developing a new show to fill the hole left when Melrose Place went off the air. The Wilton is a one-hour dramedy about the relationships, sex lives, hopes, sex lives, dreams, sex lives, work and sex lives of a group of twenty-somethings who all live in a building in Hollywood.
A couple of young brothers, actors Ben and Dan Newmark, sold the script after living it– then writing it, shooting it, starring in it and screening it themselves. (You can see their pilot presentation at Myspace.) Of course, now that it’s real, the youngsters have been teamed with a heavyweight writer and producer who recently was attached to the team that’s turning Tabloid Baby into a TV drama series (yes, one day you may be reading recaps about us!).The story of how The Wilton Hilton became The Hilton (we can already figure out why they lost the “Hilton” from the title) really does show how new technology and young talent make things happen. Variety reports that the Newmark brothers wrote a pilot script based on their time living in a house off the real Wilton Place (which is about five miles and cranked about five degrees in seediness from Melrose Place in West Hollywood). They and their friends produced and starred in a homemade pilot, then they edited The Wilton Hilton, and got more friends who worked in PR to generate some buzz.
Next stop was a screening at the Pacific Theatre in Hollywood. The brothers invited talent agency assistants and junior agents to attend. CAA signed them up, hooked them up, and the CW bit.
Of course, before the studios went with the project, the boys were matched with old school heavyweights, including Warner Brothers, CBS Paramount, music kingpin (and Mariah Carey’s ex-husband) Tommy Mottola’s company to produce and, as show runner and executive producer, the legendary Peter Lefcourt.
Lefcourt is no kid, but an acclaimed writer whose TV credits go back as far as Eight Is Enough and Cagney & Lacey. He created and wrote Showtime’s legendary Beggars & Choosers, and a couple of years ago, worked with us.
Check out the original Wilton Hilton website for more on the cast, crew and show.