healthy lifestyle and fitness concept with mount bike man outdoor


Part One: Writing with a Bat

(Part one of a two-part series about writing and publishing FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL — the new, hit book by Vinnie Tortorich and Dean Lorey.)

Firing Vinnie Tortorich was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I was not a healthy guy. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT had been cancelled and I was traveling the country, visiting schools, happily promoting my NIGHTMARE ACADEMY series, but my diet and lifestyle had caught up with me. I was a good thirty pounds heavier, felt terrible — slow, lethargic — and wanted to stop feeling that way. So, on the recommendation of friends, I hired Vinnie as a personal trainer and was ready to do anything necessary to get in shape, as long as “anything necessary” didn’t involve changing my diet or having to exercise. I guess I thought that the very act of hiring someone would just “miracle” the weight off. Didn’t happen. It wasn’t Vinnie’s fault. My mind wasn’t right. I didn’t lose a single pound or get any fitter. I wanted to quit.

Which is when Vinnie discovered he had leukemia.

Vinnie Tortorich and more…

Hello, again.  As usual, I was determined to keep up with this blog, but life got in the way.  So a few quick updates…


I finished my work on the new season and it’s now in the hands of Mitch Hurwitz. We want to preserve surprises, so I’ll only say if you liked the other seasons, I think you’ll really like this one.


I shot a pilot for a new cop comedy for the FX network with Denis Leary, Jim Serpico and Tom Selitti — my producing partners on the project.  I love it.  We’re waiting to find out if FX is planning to move forward with it.  We shot in NY (my favorite city) and had a great time.  Fingers crossed.


Been working on this new site for a while.  While NIGHTMARE ACADEMY is a big part of my life, the first trilogy is finished and lately I’ve been focusing on my movie and TV work.  There’s a lot of exciting news on that front — and I’ll be sharing it soon — but I wanted this destination to reflect more of what I was actually up to now, so here it is.  Hope you like.  If you’re here for NIGHTMARE ACADEMY, you can still get to the site dedicated to that series from the link on the right.  We’ve also included a non-flash version for those folks (like me) who are in love with their iPads/iPhones.

Over time, I plan to add behind-the-scenes sections on the making of various TV shows and movies I’ve worked on.  Several are done:  ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, FRIDAY THE 13th PART 9: JASON GOES TO HELL and MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK.  I’ll be posting those soon, starting in the next few days — so check back!  Others are in the works and I’m going to try to get them up sooner rather than later.  I’m also going to be putting up some blogs on tips and tricks of the trade for screen and television writing.  In the next few weeks, be on the lookout for THE CENTER OF CRAZY and THE WRITER’S ROOM.

Catching Up

So, a lot of new things going on. We moved again, out of our rental house and into one we bought. We’re out in the country (as much as LA has “country”) and I love it. The view of the mountains is terrific. You can hear the frogs and crickets in the evening. There are coyotes around but we try to be mindful of them.

‘TIL DEATH and BROTHERS are long gone. Brenna O’Brien was kind enough to post a link on my Facebook page to an article on The Onion that speculated about the creative impulse behind the fourth season of ‘TIL DEATH. They got it remarkably right. Give it a read here if you like but be forewarned, I think it’s probably adults only. I’m frankly stunned that anyone gave the show enough thought to write such a long and considered article.

I know, I know…

My last post was in August of last year and I’m not proud. My only defense is that I’ve been busy, but it’s a poor one. So, to quickly catch you up, I’m still working on the TV show ‘TIL DEATH. We have three more episodes to shoot and then it’s the end of the season. Fox has aired the first three episodes and the rest of them have been sitting on the shelf. My understanding is that they’re going to start airing at the end of the month at 7:30 on Sunday. You might have trouble finding them, because I think most programming guides list it as “Football Overrun.”

And so it goes…