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From the trenches: Inside the production of a TV pilot

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Hutton_lSam Jackson said it best back in Pulp Fiction: ”Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show’s called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they’re going to make more shows. Some pilots get picked and become television programs. Some don’t, become nothing.”

The pilot production process is a fascinating one, and it’s one that, 99 percent of the time, we never get to peek inside of. Until now.

Screenwriter John Rogers (Transformers) is blogging his experience as a writer-producer on the pilot for Leverage, a heisty, espionagey show for TNT. Dean Devlin (Stargate, Independence Day) is directing and Timothy Hutton is starring. Rogers talks about location scouting, the vagaries of casting, the toil (and cost) of shooting, and Chicago’s defiance of heart-healthy foods (”At the Original Pancake House today, my western omelette was the size of a hubcap”).

Start here, and work your way up. Once you’re done Leveraging, peruse the archives. Rogers, an ex-stand-up comedian, is one smart-funny sumbeyotch: ”Nothing like having Tim Hutton read my words to help me realize I should have written a much better script.” And check out some embedded footage from the shoot, after the jump!

addCredit(“Timothy Hutton: Gary Gershoff/WireImage.com”)