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 2016
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Actors of Tendu!

In this special episode of the podcast, the Children of Tendu enlist guest stars Natalie Morales - star of Javi's show The Middleman - and Jason O'Mara - who starred in, and worked with Jose on, Terra Nova - to discuss how actors and writers work together, and how this crucial creative relationship can be made better in the fast-paced and ever changing world of television. How do these series leads approach scripts when the arrive fresh off the printer? How do they deal with writers on and off the set? What do they wish writers would - or wouldn't - do on the page and off? Join Jose and Javi as two of their most famous collaborators drop their hard-earned wisdom and advice!

Direct download: tendu-actors_-_11716_10.08_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Agents of Tendu

There is one question. The ETERNAL question. The question that all who want to write in Hollywood ask themselves over and over again.

How do I get an agent?

In this very special episode, Jose's first agent, Matt Bedrosian not only answers the eternal question of "how do you get an agent?" but also gives a no-holds-barred look behind the scenes at a talent agency and answers some of the most pressing questions asked by writers, both repped and non-repped...

What do agents do?

Why don't they answer my calls?

What are they doing when they are not answering my calls? Why do you even need an agent? 

But mostly, we talk about "how do you get an agent?"

Really. There's an answer.

Direct download: agents_of_tendu_-_102316_8.26_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The Union of Tendu

When a guy writes on shows ranging from "Family Guy" to "Futurama" and "The Golden Girls", you pay attention to what he has to say. When that same guy is also Vice President of the Writers Guild, you clean out your ears, dust off your glasses, take out a pencil and a pad and take down some notes! In this candid, no-holds-barred conversation, Jose and Javi talk to David Goodman about his successes and struggles in comedy - animated and live action - and also have a lively discussion about the Writers Guild: what it does, who is in it and why, the strike of 2007 and how it affected working and neophyte writers alike, and why involvement with the union is crucial for all writers!

Direct download: Goodman-edit_-_8_30_16_12.37_AM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57pm PDT


In which Jose and Javi settle their Gladiator vs. Braveheart feud once and for all - in front of a live audience at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con! Putting that issue to rest with a sense of drama unseen since the Roman Colisseum, Jose and Javi then answer audience questions about writing for television, breaking into the business, the art of the argument, collaborative storytelling and Role Playing Games, how new media is affecting the television staffing landscape, and many, many more topics!

Direct download: tendu_sdcc_-_8916_8.38_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The Comedy Stylings of Tendu

The Children of Tendu know drama... but they are not nearly as knowledgeable about the world of comedy... so to tell you how to break into comedy, what the work is like for writers there, and how to have a long, successful, and productive, career, Javi and Jose called in a team of experts: Steve Baldikoski and Bryan Behar - a writing team with twenty years in comedy who currently co-executive produce the hit Netflix series "Fuller House" - and Kate Spurgeon - who recently completed the Warne Bros. Writing Fellowship and is currently in her first writing gig, also on "Fuller House". In this very special episode, these amazing ambassadors from the comedy world drop some serious wisdom on the funny!

Direct download: final_edit_with_KS.SB_notes_-_7416_9.25_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The Post-Production of Tendu

In the last two Children of Tendu podcasts, Jose and Javi walked you through Pre-Production and Production... now comes the Grand Finale: Post - AKA: "what happens after you have written your script and it has been filmed". In this supersized special episode, Javi and Jose describe not just the massive effort required to get a show from the camera to the air, but also describe the vast army of artists involved, and lay out a blueprint for writers to successfully work their way through the process the Tendu way!

Direct download: tendu_post_-_7316_4.57_PM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The script is done. You have navigated the slings and arrows of pre-production. The cameras are rolling: what does the writer/producer do on the set? What are the pressures, politics, and practicalities of filming an episode of television? And what are the common mistakes and missteps for new and experienced writers to avoid when they step foot in that mysterious maelstrom of activity known as "production"? Jose and Javi answer your questions, and question your answers in... The Production of Tendu!

Direct download: production-edit_-_61016_1.24_AM.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

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