Network - Episode 1.03 - Conference Call









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Network - 1x03“Conference Call”




FADE IN:
INT. NETWORK PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON


ASH, in a frenzy from multiple office calls, is sitting with his
feet on top of his desk. The phone rings multiple times in a span of
minutes. Frantically, he slings his feet down, and picks
up the phone.


ASH
Hello?
(sighs)
Yes, send them on my way.


CUT TO:
INT. OFFICE DOOR - CONTINUOUS


JESSE, LEAH, and KASEY, disheveled and exhausted, walk into the door.


INT. NETWORK PRESIDENT’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS


ASH warmly receives them into his office. Slowly,
they walk into the conference room.
The order of business is the upcoming upfront presentation.


INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS
ASH
(confidently, with a million-dollar smile)
So, let's get started.
(authoritatively)
Up-fronts are around the corner. Leah?
Do you have any reports?


LEAH
I do, boss.
We only have two pilots that need to be tested.
These pilots are Psych Med and Marietta.


ASH
(taken aback, by surprise)
Two pilots?!?
(turns towards JESSE with stern discord)
Jesse, do you have any explanation as to why there is?


JESSE looks at everyone with surprise.  
JESSE
Whoa, this is awkward.


JESSE sweats in nervous anticipation, freezes up, and takes a breath.


JESSE
I can only explain that there was a bad development season.
We had 6 shows that we ordered to pilot.


Camera pans towards LEAH and KASEY. LEAH annoyingly puts her hands
on her hips, then turns towards JESSE.


LEAH
And what happened?


JESSE shrugs in nervousness. He realizes that the potential
catastrophic mistake of throwing away pilots were going to cause
him to lose his job. The only job he has ever had.


JESSE
Most were thrown out. Dead on arrival.    


ASH
(angrily)
What do you mean by dead on arrival?   


JESSE
We decided to pass on three of them. One of them is
going to be redeveloped.


ASH
May I ask why?


Camera cuts to JESSE as he leans forward.
JESSE
The dramas we piloted were mostly procedurals. The one
we are redeveloping fits on brand with the network.
(taken aback)
It's just a little too mature for a young adult audience.


KASEY turns towards JESSE and is in disgust. The camera pans to her,
as she looks prepared to give a rebuttal to a presidential debate.


KASEY
Jesse, that's not really the case. Our audience is mostly
women. We need more male viewers. You mean to tell me
that superhero dramas and procedurals are off-brand?


JESSE
Well, if that's what you call it.


The camera returns to ASH, returning to his stern,
commanding gaze at his employees.      


ASH
Okay, then. Let's continue. Do you have
the latest ratings reports?


KASEY hands ASH a stapled copy of what appears to be a
report about the shows on the network.
Then, as if she is ready to give a testimony in court,
she begins her presentation.


KASEY
We do.


LEAH begins to write KASEY’s report on her pink notepad,
compact full of television references and ratings reports.


KASEY
(confidently, with a million-dollar smile)
To no surprise, our top two rated shows are...
Glamanour Heights and Real Hollywood.
Both shows are doing really well in the A18-34 demo.


ASH
Glad to hear. Any underperformers?


KASEY
Unfortunately.


ASH
(with his hands on his hips, perplexed)
Care to elaborate?


KASEY
Guilty Pleasure is consistently the lowest
rated show on the network. Not to mention, Mean Girls
is also underperforming. An expensive project such as
Mean Girls should be doing much better.


ASH
(looks at KASEY mind-blown and perplexed)
Wow. It's not The President's Daughter.


LEAH
This season, The President's Daughter is the third highest
rated show. It's doing a lot better than it did last
season.


JESSE
(with eyebrows raised in excitement)
Wow. Award season definitely helped it.


KASEY (O.S.)
Plus promotion.


The camera then focuses on KASEY and LEAH.
LEAH
I'm so looking forward to renewals.


KASEY turns towards LEAH in excitement.
KASEY
I do too. We got work to do before upfronts.


The camera pans to ASH. LEAH walks towards ASH.


ASH
Leah, you have a job to do. Put out a press release
for the following shows: Glamanour Heights, Real Hollywood,
and The President's Daughter. These shows get the early
renewal for next season.


LEAH
Got it, Ash!


LEAH then exits. ASH then motions towards KASEY.
KASEY takes out her notepad, ready to write.


ASH
Kasey, I'm handing four shows a cancelation notice.
They are Guilty Pleasure, Mean Girls, Georgia,
and Star Undercover.


KASEY
Got it.


ASH
Go ahead and go back to your office, Kasey.
As for you, Jesse, I need to speak with you alone.


JESSE
Okay, boss.


KASEY exits. ASH then walks towards the door and closes it.
Then a private conversation takes place.


ASH
(sternly)
Jesse, let’s have a talk. You haven’t been yourself lately.


JESSE
(in surprise)
How can this be, Ash? I gave nothing but my best.


ASH
(with arms crossed)
That’s not the point I was trying to make here.


JESSE then stands confused at the moment.


JESSE
(in surprise)
What exactly could it be?


ASH
Well, it could be that you need to be a
little more organized in regards to your workload.
Is there anything else you need to tell me?


JESSE
Actually, yes. To tell you the truth,
I was in a hurry to get all of the pilot
reports and results from the test groups.
While I was grabbing the papers from the desk,
papers were flying everywhere and most flew out the window.
I’m really sorry.


ASH
Oh. You need to be a little more careful when you are
preparing for a presentation. I appreciate you for being
upfront and honest with me. Next time, take a little more
time in getting your reports together. Now there is
something else I need to discuss with you, with how you
are not feeling like yourself. I think I know why.


(puts his fingers in airquotes)


Maybe it’s your new girlfriend, Jesse. She may
be influencing you in ways it could be affecting
your productivity. She just may be a little too forward.
Don’t you think you are going a little too fast with her
for your own comfort?


JESSE
(in surprise)
But, Ash? I’m in love. I’ve never felt like this since…


ASH
(taken aback)
Since Leah?


JESSE is then taken aback by ASH’s ability to finish his
sentence about his romantic feelings. He then composes himself
while rolling his eyes in embarrassment.


JESSE
Yeah. We had a falling out after the break up.
It has been about a month since we had a moment.
Almost, she rejected me entirely.


ASH
And even then, Jesse, it’s going to take a long time
for Leah to be on good terms with you even in a
professional context. She’s still heartbroken.


JESSE rolls his eyes again in embarrassment and disgust.


JESSE
Do I really need to know this?


ASH
(with reassurance)
Look, all I’m saying is that you need to be careful.
You have a bright future ahead of you.
Don’t let yourself get tied down to a relationship early
on.


JESSE
(shrugs)
I won’t. Holly loves me.


A cell phone beeps. JESSE then checks his phone, and it is a
text message from his girlfriend.


JESSE
Sorry, Ash. Holly just texted me. She just decided to
come and see me.


ASH
Okay, Jesse. You are done for the rest of the day.
I’m giving you the rest of the day off. Enjoy yourself.


JESSE exits. ASH then ponders the question of JESSE’s future working
at network headquarters.


ASH
Oh, that boy. Sometimes I wonder why I allow him to work.
His head is not even screwed straight lately. I worry
about him, although his heart seems to be in the right
place.


FADE OUT:


END OF EPISODE


WRITTEN BY: Jessica Boggs
CREATED BY: Jessica Boggs
PRODUCED BY: Jessica Boggs, TVRGO

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