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!










July 2020
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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

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