Children of Tendu
Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Jose Molina are television writer/producers with over forty years of combined experience on shows including "Lost," "Firefly," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Helix"... and they are giving away all their knowledge for free! Find us on Twitter @childrenoftendu!








June 2019
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The Preproduction of Tendu - A Children of Tendu Special!

In this special, super-sized, episode of the podcast, Jose and Javi break down what happens in that crucial time between the moment a television writer finishes writing a script and when the cameras roll... what is Pre-Production? What is the role of the writer/producer during this crucial process? How do all the pieces that go into making an episode of your television come together, and how do all the problems get solved - or don't - before your favorite show actually gets filmed? Tune in to this information-packed episode... and stay tuned for the cliffhanger ending, in which Jose and Javi promise to eventually cover... Post-Production!

Direct download: preproduction_final.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT


On Friday, May 13, the internet was abuzz with news of the pickups and cancellations of dozens of television shows -- feeling the nervy vibe, Jose and Javi took to Periscope to answer questions about pilot season, the upfronts, network ad sales, why some shows get cancelled -- and why others get picked up -- and if there's hope for your beloved but cancelled favorite (we're lookin' at you, Agent Carter) to find a new home after being kicked off the network nest!  The thrills and confusion of pilot season was demystified during this hourlong live session... and now, here it is in podcast form!

Direct download: tendu_emergency_edit_-_51516_11.10_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT


As part of his "Anatomy of a Pilot" class at UCLA, writer/showrunner/show-creator/nice guy Richard (Miracles, Grimm, Witches of East End, Supernatural) Hatem invited the Children of Tendu to speak to his students, and to submit to his rigorous questioning about the business of television, the role of the writer in the writers room, the set, and in the collaborative hierarchy of series television... the Children of Tendu, as you might imagine, had some very pointed opinions about all of this! to find out more about the UCLA extension writers program - without whom this recording would not have been possible - check out their website at

Direct download: tendu_UCLA_master_edit_-_5216_6.21_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm PDT

The Eleven Laws of Showrunning - A Children of Tendu Special

In this brand new, supersized episode, the Children of Tendu look at the business of television from the tippity-top, leveraging their combined forty years of experience into a discussion of showrunning. In our Golden Age of television, what does it mean to lead the creation of a television, how does it work, and what are some of the sins committed by both experienced and inexperienced managers in the pursuit of getting the show on the air by any means necessary.

This episode is an in-depth discussion of Javi's essay "The Eleven Laws of Showrunning" which can be found on his personal webpage both for reading online and as a downloadable PDF.

Direct download: Tendu_Showrunning_Edit_-_12616_6.55_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Tendu or Do Not: Children on the Ledge - Staffing Season Special

We are now in the thick of that most dreaded of seasons: staffing. For three to four months, every television writer in Los Angeles waits on pins and needles to find out which shows will return the next season and which pilots get picked up to series -- and hovers over the phone to hear whether they will be getting job interviews to become staff writer/producers on those shows. To soothe your frayed nerves and talk you down during this nerve wracking time, the Children of Tendu have recorded "Tendu or Do Not: Children on the Ledge," in which Jose and Javi not only dispense useful advice on how to survive this trying time of the year, but also share war stories from some of their most harrowing staffing seasons to date. Also, Javi sings the Spanish-launguage jingle from the Schaeffer beer commercials of his youth, and Jose delivers the best ever reading of the line "large cocks."

Direct download: FINAL_STAFFING_TENDU.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Tendu Mamá También - A Children of Tendu Special

In a very special two-hour Children of Tendu Special, Jose and Javi interview special guests Akela (V, Grimm, The Witches of East EndThe 100) and Deric (Warehouse Thirteen, Beauty and the Beast) Hughes on the controversial topic of diversity inb television. Informed by personal anecdotes illustrating the good, the bad, the questionable, and the blatant, Jose, Javi, Akela, and Deric provide an in-depth discussion of what it is like to be a "diverse" write in an industry that has not always - and may still not entirely - welcome difference within its ranks. They also digress... a lot.

Direct download: TMT_for_lybsyn.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

10DU or Die! A Children of Tendu Road Trip Special

A mere week ago, Jose (Agent Carter, Sleepy Hollow) Molina and Javier (Lost, The Middleman) Grillo-Marxuach set off on an epic road trip to Las Vegas Nevada - their goal? To not only make it to Sin City alive, but to record a super-sized podcast answering your questions about television, the business and the cradt of writing during the drive!

Among the topics Jose and Javi cover in this rambling mutual interview?

How do writers decompress after a season of building stories... can one burn out on a show, and how do you leave gracefully... writing spec scripts for staffing versus writing pilots or plays... the concept of "eye protein"... weird things happening at a circle K... how do jose and javi critique their own, and other people's material... how do you get a script from good to great - or from great to good... "writer hypermilling"... what would be their dream show to run... their twenty years ongoing debate about ER vs Chicago Hope (hint, Jose is WRONG)... how do you respond when a showrunner insists that a made-up word is a real word... the caloric load of a snickers bar... what is a "murdernook" and how was integral to the writing process on Agent Carter... the problematic engine of Firefly... and finally, a lengthy and informative conversation about adaptation - and these two writers opinions not just about great adaptations like Game of Thrones, but also some real practical advice taken from their numerous attempts to bring some of your favorite non-TV media to the air!

So strap on your seat belt on and join the road trip - this is the closest you can come to spending three hours and change in a car with two veteran writers...

only without the smell.

oh... the smell.

Direct download: tendu_or_diev3.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Batten down the holiday hatches and gird your Yuletide loins -- Jose and Javi are back at the mic for a two-hour, no-holds-barred, three-fisted discussion of that most mysterious part of their job: the writing process!  Do they make outlines? Do they just "wing it?" Do they plan in advance? Do they "find their plot and characters on the page?" And most importantly -- do they know what's in every one of their characters' pockets? Let's face it, these two guys can tell you all sorts of stuff about how to make it in showbiz -- but when they face the empty page -- do they have what it takes?  Only one way to find out... and it's going to take two hours of your life!

Direct download: 14._The_Children_of_Tendu_Christmas_Special.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

In this - the final episode of the first season of the Children of Tendu Podcast - Jose and Javi sit down with a small group of avid listeners - all of them aspiring writers, producers, directors and executives - and answer their questions in real time! Topics include race and gender in the entertainment industry, adapting other people's original material, what should you ask for when you are a new writer and your project gets optioned, great moments in Spanish profanity, one person's completely irrational hatred of Eddie Money, and why EVERY writer should have a good psychotherapist. For a grand finale, Javi and Jose subject one another to the famed questionnaire used by Bernard Pivot AND James Lipton to probe the depths of their guest's psyches... and then, in a thrilling act of shocking destiny, Jose makes Javi cry!

Direct download: 13._Our_season_finale.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am PDT

The holy grail of television writing is creating, selling and running your own show... but what happens when you sell a pilot and are not yet a showrunner, or when you are a showrunner but do not have a pilot? In this - the second to last episode of season one of the Children of Tendu Podcast, Jose and Javi tackle the rocky road from idea to script to pilot to series - a journey whose many possible outcomes will shock, amaze, and perhaps even terrify you.

Direct download: 12._So_you_wanna_write_a_television_pilot....m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT