Monday, September 15, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: Diane Ruggiero quits 'The Ex-List'

So remember how "The Ex-List" producer Diane Ruggiero came into her press tour session and won over the room to the point where even the guys who didn't like the show decided to give it another chance because of her? Never mind. Diane quit "The Ex-List" on Friday over creative differences, and in today's column, she goes into those differences at length.

14 comments:

Andrew said...

Huh, I was wondering why you didn't post anything when the story first broke Friday. Nice work.

Mo Ryan said...

I didn't like the pilot, now I know I don't need to watch beyond that. Arrrrrrrgh. Sorry that happened to someone who seems like she could have brought something interesting and fun to the screen.

Alap said...

didn't she finish the first seven episodes before she quit? i would still be interested in watching those.

LA said...

Until The Ex-List is full of crime scenes, car chases, and gun play, CBS is going to be unsatisfied with it. The Friday night time slot was never a vote of confidence either. Other than HIMYM (which they tried killing with two Britney Spears appearances), CBS blows.

I wish Diane the very best, and I hope she finds work where they appreciate her.

Jimmy Aquino said...

Ever since I enjoyed the transcript of Ruggiero's TCA panel and then found out that she wrote so many great Veronica Mars eps, I've rooted for Ruggiero to succeed and find happiness with her show, even though The Ex-List isn't my kind of show. I so sympathize with Ruggiero after what she put up with during her time on The Ex-List because I've been through the creative differences thing too.

After reading blog posts about Fox's micromanagement of both Gavin Hood on the Wolverine flick and Joss Whedon on Dollhouse, the complaints from Alex Proyas and Babylon A.D. director guy about their experiences with Fox and now your interview with Ruggiero about her battles with the suits, it must suck to be a creative mind if you're working for Fox or CBS. Man, what I would give to be a fly on the wall at the bar where Rob Thomas, Ruggiero and Whedon swap showrunners-vs.-higher-ups war stories.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly we don't have much of CBS's side, but this sounds like an absolutely bizarre way to handle a show. How could CBS demand a near-exact copy of an 11-episode, half-hour show and expect to get an hour-long series our of it? I hope Ruggiero finds a better gig, and this officially killed any interest I had in checking out "The Ex-List."

Eric said...

I'm starting to think "The TV Set" was a documentary.

Linda said...

Good for her. Good for her!

Talented people will find work elsewhere. I can't tell you how many places I saw people say "This show looks like crap, but because of Diane Ruggiero, I'm giving it a chance." Saw it several times, several places. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Good for her.

Rachel said...

Well scratch that show off my list of new shows to check out. Ruggiero is right -- the "heroine" needs a life, otherwise she'll get annoying.

If HIMYM and certain sports weren't on CBS, I'd never, ever watch that station.

Christopher said...

I can't believe CBS's aim was to create a corbon copy of the original. Okay, I have never seen the original but I wonder if the suits considered how different Israeli culture is to American culture? How different an Israeli audience would be to an American audience? I guess its the 'don't mess with success' argument. And now they have an 'Americanized' version thanks to Ruggiero having built the foundations.

Well CBS, you probably have 6 decent episodes in the bag ... just about a quarter of a season ... well done.

Cheers Alan for the column and lighting the torch for a possible Ruggiero-Thomas reunion.

Mark B said...

I don't know why they put so much faith in "test audiences." Test audiences hated Seinfeld, and that ran for nine years!

We do, however, have the experience of Coupling to prove that "do an exact copy" isn't the road to success. Perhaps having learned from that, The Office became a hit when they stopped trying to be a copy.

And CBS has a problem with the use of the word "dude"? Considering that they have no problem with all-"awesome," all the time, I didn't know they thought any word could be overused!

Eric said...

Maybe she could work on a new autobiographical piece with the intention of Michelle Forbes starring?

Linda said...

It's just absurd to try to copy what you hope will be a long-running series from what's essentially an 11-episode short series. You need more for a longer series. You have to structure it differently, you have to add elements...it just doesn't work that way.

I'm just so happy to see somebody making this decision; bailing out instead of hanging around, taking the money, and being treated like garbage while they people she works for undermine everything she's trying to do in terms of quality. She won't be unemployed; she will be fine, and their series will tank, and maybe next time, they'll remember that when you hire a creative person, you're supposed to listen to at least some of what they have to say about creative issues.

jengod said...

This is CBS' loss. Are they allergic to complicated quality programming or something. Anyway, I'll watch the first seven episodes of The Ex List and then I'll follow Ruggiero anywhere. (And now, seriously, the list of watchable new series grows EVEN SMALLER! Didn't think it was possible, but I guess I am dum.)