|About the film:|
In THE TV SET, writer/director Jake Kasdan uses his first-hand knowledge of the world of network television to craft a wily comedy about the making of a TV pilot. A story of art, commerce, and compromise, THE TV SET lays bare the people and the process that give us the shows we see every night.
Writer Mike Klein (David Duchovny) has just sold his pilot script "The Wexler Chronicles, a character-driven dramedy inspired by his real-life struggle to cope with his brother's suicide. Almost immediately, he discovers that realizing his vision will be an uphill battle. In the world of network television, a small handful of powerful, highly competitive executives determine America's viewing choices. Lenny (Sigourney Weaver) is the brash, headstrong president of PDN (whose most trusted advisor is her 14-year-old daughter), and who must approve all of Mike's creative decisions. Richard (Ioan Gruffudd), Mike's one true ally at the network, was recently hired from the BBC to add a touch of class. But he is caught between his instinct to support Mike and his obligation to produce shows that will fit onto Lenny's fall schedule.
Mike discovers that the road to a prime time slot is fraught with peril. At the network casting session, Mike's choice of a lead actor is overruled, and he is forced to cast his distant second choice, Zach (Fran Kranz), whose boy-next-door looks are better suited to Middle America. Also, Lenny has one "small problem with the script – she feels that the suicide story, the show's main premise, is too depressing for prime-time television. Mike gets little support from his manager Alice (Judy Greer), whose constant reassurances seem a little empty. His only real comfort comes from his wife, Natalie (Justine Bateman). But she has practical concerns – she's pregnant with their second child and knows that if Mike's pilot does not get picked up, he's out of a job.
As the process continues, Mike's misadventures escalate. During filming, Zach, who's still struggling to "find his character, becomes preoccupied with his indifferent leading lady, Laurel, (Lindsay Sloane), which does nothing to help his acting. Lenny, buoyed by the surprisingly strong overnight ratings for her new smash reality hit "Slut Wars, has made up her mind that the suicide has to go and insists on cutting an alternate and more slapstick version of the pilot.
Battling ill-health and ill will, Mike wrestles with daily disasters, all the while trying to stay true to his original vision. But that's never easy especially the politics. But the demands of pilot season are all-consuming and there are unexpected endings... in the show and in life.