Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Bridge

Recently at a discussion panel of true crime writers, one of the questions asked was, "Have you ever been threatened by any of the people you've written about?"

Most of the writers on the panel had written books about some really dangerous people; serial killers, hitmen, bikers and high ranking organized crime figures.

But the guy who answered the question said, "The only time I've ever been scared or threatened was by cops." The others all agreed. These experienced, award-winning journalists-turned-authors had all at some point been scared by police.

Which brings me to my new job. I've been hired as one of the writers on a new CTV cop show, The Bridge. The show is based on a cop who was head of the police union in Toronto, the self-professed, "most powerful cop in the country." The show was apparently pitched as, "What if Tony Soprano was a cop?" In this case he's a cop who helps other cops, gets them out of trouble and stands up for them to the brass.

Which could make for some very cool and controversial storylines.

Especially if cops are the scariest people those journalists have ever dealt with.



Dana King said...

I've thought for quite some time there were fascinating stories to be found in the bullshit cops put up with in the process of doing their jobs, due to the political and paramilitary aspects of their jobs. THE WIRE showed some of this; sounds like you're going to get to go into it a lot deeper. Sounds like a cool gig. Good luck with the show.

Anonymous said...

So based on what the panel told you, and what you say the show is about, you should expect copious parking tickets and perhaps a gentle tazering (pepper spray is so 2007).

Sandra Ruttan said...

I hope I'll be able to watch this! They don't have a lot of Canadian tv down here. :(

Linda L. Richards said...

Congratulations, John! Sounds like it could really be fun and interesting.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Mazel tov on the writing gig.
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

John McFetridge said...

Yes, it looks like a lot of fun.

A gentle tasering, yeah, that's it.

We start in the writers' room on February 18th and will write 11 episodes by May. The pilot was filmed last fall and will run as the first two episodes.

And Sandra, negotiations are hot and heavy with a US network - they want to do the same thing they did with Flashpoint. have you seen that show?

Anonymous said...

How'd you make the jump from the written word to the small screen?

John McFetridge said...

Mike, it's all about who you know ;)

Years ago I wanted to be a filmmaker. I worked on a lot of movie sets in Toronto, met some people. I even took the Prime Time TV Writing Program at the Canadian Film Centre and made my own indie feature film.

None of that got me anywhere and then I wrote some books.

Then someone I knew from working on sets gave Dirty Sweet to one of the producers of The Bridge while they were making the pilot.

I'll let you know how it goes, why you interested?

Anonymous said...

Don't know much about television or how that kind of writing works, I was just interested in how someone crosses over mediums. Some of the better episodes of The Wire happened when George Pelecanos was credited. It made me wonder if television producers looked to writers when they thought about scripts or if some writers happened to be double threats in terms of their writing. Comic books are even starting to involve more and more writers. Duane Swierczynski is an example of someone who is blazing a trail in that medium. That's something I'd like to get into sometime.

That US syndication deal is something. I really hope that pans out. After all, it is the year of McFetridge.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, John. I think this year is turning out to be a special one for you; but it's not just luck, it's what you make it, isn't it.
Signing off in envy.