"Mr. And Mrs. Smith Meets The Office"
CB: So if Chuck were to come back for a fourth season, could you be expected to be an executive producer or something of that level?
PK: Yeah, for a fourth season, I would have been something like a co-EP, and then you're looking at a renegotiation. That's what I was hoping for, which is why when shows get canceled in the third season, like Veronica Mars, there are a lot of really bummed people. That's your chance to sort of jump the ranks. But, you know, I am much more interested in the continuity than the quantum jump in terms of employment. It's hard to string together a whole career, and every year I'm doing it just makes me really grateful. You do start imagining, like, what am I going to be doing at fifty? Which is a hard question in television or entertainment. But yeah, I would love to be on another show that gets three seasons.
CB: So by that, are you saying that television writers tend to skew younger?
PK: Um…yeah. Yeah. There aren't a lot of people, like, your parents' age in a writers' room. I mean, you have your David Chase and Milch who are sort of the wise old men of television, but that's the top of a pyramid, and the bottom of the pyramid is lots of scrappy staff writers, and below that, there are a million people just trying to get into the Guild, so you're always very grateful to be in it, but you're always aware that you're sort of being pushed up by your talent agents and your Guild, so you're kind of being heading toward a sort of unemployable title and quote, where either you're a Milch, or you're not worth it. Whereas instead of hiring you, they could hire half a dozen thirty-year-olds, and from a business standpoint, that probably makes sense. Like unless you're creating and developing stuff, it might be difficult to be one of these journeyman staff writers, unless you're a guy who's sort of proven himself to run a show. I mean, if you're a fifty-year-old who makes a gazillion dollars an episode, who wants that guy? That's one part about television that I find a little frightening, so I think everybody is either looking for a colossal payday, where you could not have to worry about working later on, or you think about, what else can I do, which is nothing of course. [laughs]
CB: So on Veronica Mars, there were a number of episodes where you had a co-writing credit. When you're co-writing an episode, what are the logistics?