Monday, January 10, 2011

Robert Parker vs. Gary Vaynerchuk on HBO

Are Robert Parker and Gary Vaynerchuk rivals in real life? Whatever the answer is, they might soon be on TV.

The production company behind "Boardwalk Empire" has optioned a script from "Sideways" author Rex Pickett called "The Nose," about characters based on Parker and Vaynerchuk.

Pickett says that in his plan for the pilot, the Parker character "has social anxiety disorder so badly that he has to have a psychiatric service dog." His rival, the Vaynerchuk equivalent, is younger and more savvy about the Internet and social media.

"They're not friends; Parker won't be on Vaynerchuk's show," said Pickett, who didn't share any specific plot points.

It's still a long way from a pilot script to an HBO series -- or even a filmed pilot. But Leverage Management, which also produces "Entourage" for HBO, is interested in making a TV series about wine, Pickett said. And Pickett, who wrote the book that became the most successful wine movie in history, was a natural choice to take a swing at it.

"They wanted to get underneath the surface of the gloss that is wine country and into the real wine world," Pickett said.

The concept reminds me of the mid-'90s animated show "The Critic," in which Jon Lovitz played a sad misanthrope who reviews movies. In fact, Lovitz' character reminds me a lot of Miles in "Sideways." So imagine if Miles and Robert Parker were melded; maybe that's the idea.

"The Critic" was excellent but never developed an audience. ABC cancelled it after one season, but it was picked up by Fox, where it was cancelled the following year. Only 23 episodes were made and the DVD has proven popular enough that it's in its fifth printing.

HBO doesn't need as big a mass audience as the broadcast networks. It's not hard to imagine such a show succeeding. "The Critic's" signature line was, "It stinks." What will Parker's and Vaynerchuk's signature lines be? I can't wait to watch "The Nose" and see.

21 comments:

1WineDude said...

I love wine with a mad passion. And I still think this is one of the dumbest ideas for a TV show in the history of TV...

W. Blake Gray said...

That's such a high standard to reach. I'm not sure what the dumbest show I ever watched was: Gilligan's Island? 24?

Seriously, though, I don't agree. It *might* end up being dumb, but a character-driven TV show can always work regardless of the profession of the characters if the writing is good enough. Cases in point: The Office, Community or Parks & Recreation.

Arthur said...

yaaaawnnnn......
Agree with Joe - lame concept.

Jonathan W. said...

Why not try something to get wine on tv? If it's the same company as Boardwalk Empire and Entourage, I don't think they would do poor job of it. Wine is almost non-existant on the small screen, so let's try something new.

Thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

Give me a break - sounds like nothing short of sensationalism to me. How is creating a stereotyped character based on Parker getting "underneath the surface of the gloss that is the wine industry and into the real wine world"? If they want to know what this business is really like, come on over and I'll give them any one of the crappy jobs we do like serve wine to rude drunk people and get sleep deprivation from long harvest hours. I guess our "real world" isn't sexy enough for a TV show.

tom said...

I think an HBO series about Robert, Gary and their noses, will be as successful as "Bottle Shlock" (spelling mistake purposeful) was on the big screen. (or did it go directly to DVD?)

W. Blake Gray said...

The stupidest story I saw last year was this: Some woman got turned into a bird by an evil magician, but she could get turned back if a good prince fell in love with her. But this prince was seduced by another bird, an evil one, and apparently had sexual intercourse with the bird. As a result, the good woman/bird died.

Isn't that the stupidest story you've ever heard of? But people keep producing "Swan Lake" anyway. It's all in the execution.

SS Chris said...

who's gary vaynerchuk?

castello said...

SS! Are you a Jets fan? It could be a great show, but why not use the real dudes. GV vs RP!

Nick said...

This place has changed

Todd - VT Wine Media said...

Thankfully we do not have TV so there is little chance I would stumble upon this one, and no chance I would go out of my way to watch it.
As much as I like to see new people get interested in wine, someone is shooting for the absolute lowest common denominator here.
I think I'd rather see a wine adventure show...visiting vineyards and wineries, interviewing wine people, shopping for wine, looking into wine history...that's something that would probably not be insulting to general intelligence, and something I would ask the neighbors to record for me.

Take Vaynerchuk's current WLTV concept a couple of steps further...

lori said...

All I can say is: Go Rex Pickett. He's making a living writing with Sideways, Vertical and now possibly the Nose. Good show or not, who wouldn't like to work on a fun project about wine?

ColoradoWinePress said...

I think that this could definitely work if it is character and not wine driven. Who knows, there could even be recurring characters named The Dude and WBG...

vineocerous said...

Total garbage. What next, Wine CSI? I almost hate to joke about it, somebody will say, "great idea, let's do it!!!". Rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Since when do those two make up "The Real Wine World"?

cparente said...

Will only work if there is a beautiful woman as regular cast member.

Think Virginia Madsen's passionate soliloquy in Sideways. Something like that every episode.

PP said...

I love the idea! If the idea works, it will be because of the characters, and Pickett is all about writing great characters.

Just thinking about a staid wine critic at a dignified wine event-- with a fuzzy dog at his feet-- cracks me up!

TheBlogWineCellar said...

Parker is too scared to do anything out in the mainstream because he'd never want to be exposed as anything other than a genius. Gary is the exact opposite in that he's completely transparent.

Don R. said...

How about Jeff Bridges in "Big Lebowski" role as Gary, and Owen Wilson as "Wedding Crasher" as Robert Parker.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding me! Who is Garey Vanderchuk? It sounds like he is a Robert Parker wantabe. Why would Parker even want to share the room with him... for what purpose?

Service dog said...

It *might* end up being dumb, but a character-driven TV show can always work regardless of the profession of the characters if the writing is good enough. Wine is almost non-existant on the small screen, so let's try something new.