My very first attempt at writing for a commercial market was an episode of the old “Batman” TV series with Adam West. I was sixteen and had never written anything before but, for whatever reason, I decided to tackle Hollywood. I wrote the teleplay and even planned on double dipping by creating a teenage villain I could play on the series. Why not? If I could sell the script surely the powers‑that‑be would cast me play the lead?
My teleplay for the series came about because I had earlier read a short blurb in my high school newspaper about a teenager at another school who had also written a teleplay for the series and submitted it. If he could, why not me? I set pen to paper, completed and typed the teleplay on my manual typewriter in what I considered to be the correct format (which later proved to be more of a theatrical play format). I mailed it off to Twentieth Century‑Fox Television which produced the series for ABC. A short while later I received it back with a handwritten note on my original letter from Charles Hoffman, one of the show’s associate producers. Charlie must have remembered his dreams as a boy because he wrote a quick lesson about the Writer’s Guild and talent agencies, none of which I had any experience with at the time. Where some kids may have been disheartened I saw a challenge. I’d register the script with the WGA; I’d get an agent; I’d be the youngest writer to sell an episode of “Batman”!
So I thought.
I don’t remember how or what literary agencies I contacted, but I had one call my home several weeks later. They were interested in seeing my teleplay. Unfortunately, it must not have been a very good agency because about a week earlier I read in Newsweek that the show had been canceled. I had even rewritten the script to include Batgirl who was added to the series after I had written the original script to boost the series spiraling ratings. I now had to inform the agency that the series was canceled.
Today, if an agency called me I would be verbally pitching any number of my other works, but then I wasn’t as savvy nor as armed with a piano bench full of material. I still have my original “Batman” teleplay buried somewhere in my home. Years after I had written it I reread the script and realized I had a pretty good handle on the style and tone of the series. Damn, ABC! If the network hadn’t canceled the series I might have….Oh, well. If the series is ever revived I may rummage around my clutter and look for it. I still have that teenage hope cursing through my veins. Hey, who knows? I may be a little long in the tooth to play the teenage villain, but, maybe…his grandfather?
Steve Kosareff’s latest work, true crime memoir SATIN PUMPS, is now available!