Tonight (Saturday) is the first airing of the "Blackbeard" mini-series I wrote for the Hallmark Channel. Based on my own "street Nielsens" nobody I know actually knows where to find the Hallmark Channel on their TV, but if you look at the raw numbers, they're in a lot of homes, way more than HBO, for example. How do you find it in your area? That goes to the old cliche, "Check your local listings.
Even though all of us who work in Hollywood claim to either A) not read reviews, or B) not care about reviews, the truth is, it's still nice to get a good review.
So when I woke up Wednesday morning and read Laura Fries' rave in Daily Variety, it made my pirate heart skip a beat. She called it a "feisty original that has a little something for everyone." Of course, the words that stuck out in my mind were:
"Bryce Zabel's script is high pirate drama laced with a smattering of facts to create a fast-paced and entertaining...story."
That was the assignment, basically: write a good, old-fashioned pirate yarn full of romance, treasure, high seas adventure and swashbuckling. My first outline hewed close to the historical record, but the producers wanted more treasure and so it changed.
The film was also written and conceived as a four hour, two night, two-parter, but it is airing as a single night three hour. This is the same thing that happened when NBC aired "The Poseidon Adventure" last November. With "Poseidon" all the cuts made it seem like there was very little character set-up and development which worked against the project, but with "Blackbeard" it probably makes the story move faster. However, if there are gaping plot holes, you'll know why. Remember there's the script, then the assembled film, then the edited version and now the air version. Things get lost along the way, I'm sure. Again, my disclaimer, I wrote it, but did not produce, cast, direct or edit it.
You can read the entire Daily Variety review by CLICKING HERE.
You can read my earlier post about the production, etc. by CLICKING HERE. There is a lot more detail about how it came to be.
Finally, to clear up some confusion, there are two "Blackbeard" projects this year. One was done earlier in 2006 for the National Geographic Channel. This is another project entirely. But I guess if Superman can be played by everyone from George Reeves to Brandon Routh, then there can be multiple Blackbeards, too.
Anyway, for what it's worth, my "Blackbeard" airs on the Hallmark Channel, tonight, Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m. Set your TiVOs...