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'John From Cincinnati' News and Articles Index
Ongoing Index of David Milch Related Articles at
27 Sept 2007 HBO's Reply to a Letter from a johnfromcincinnati Member (.pdf)

16 Jul 2012 El Camino Motel Demolition at Wednesday Council Meeting Imperial Beach Patch
20 Feb 2009 Milch Gives More Insight Into JOHN & Monads Yale Daily News
10 Oct 2008 JFC on FX Channel in UK by Jeremy on TV Spy
05 Oct 2008 Bloody Well Right by
30 Apr 2008 JFC Making a Splash at the Emmys?
26 Dec 2007 Cultural Lesson: Milch was better off Deadwood Adam McDowell, National Post
23 Dec 2007 FIVE SHOWS DEFINED THE BEST OF 2007 Adam Buckman,
13 Dec 2007 HBO tops WGA Award noms with five [No John From Cincinnati] By Carl DiOrio, The Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 2007 Post-'Sopranos,' HBO subs not out of whack By Andrew Wallenstein and Steven Zeitchik, The Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 2007 Best Supporting Actor: Garret Dillahunt by Todd Gilchrist
16 Nov 2007 Inside Information from Austin Nichols...
12 Nov 2007 The Incomplete Guide to Surfing in Brazil - The Litoral Norte By John from Cincinnati
12 Nov 2007 Blog Posting: John From Cincinnati Darryl Cunningham Investigates
01 Nov 2007 Mitch Yost Needs to Get Back in the Game blog by Duel
01 Nov 2007 Lights, Cameras... BIRDS! Meet the feathered cast of HBO's "John From Cincinnati." By Elizabeth Anderson, BirdTalk
30 Oct 2007 Blog: Trish Kate's TV Talk: Work Here Cass
23 Oct 2007 Viewers' shifting habits redefine 'TV hit' By Gary Levin, USA TODAY
10 Oct 2007 TV 101: They're Not TV Numbers. They're HBO Numbers. by James Poniewozik,
09 Oct 2007 David Milch Headlines Most Uncomfortable Panel Discussion Ever at 'New Yorker' Fest Adam Sternbergh, New York Entertainment
09 Oct 2007 Festival: Salty TV Writers Also Salty on Stage Martin Schneider, The New Yorker
08 Oct 2007 Hollywood readies for possible strike: Nov. 1 scenario takes on new weight By DAVE MCNARY, JOSEF ADALIAN, Variety
04 Oct 2007 Nielsen caught in full-spin zone: TV ratings outfit growing ambitious By BRIAN LOWRY, Variety
04 Oct 2007 Wipeout: Last Traces Of 'John From Cincinnati' Almost Gone by Nina McDonald, Imperial Beach News
04 Oct 2007 Vulture Translates HBO's Apology Letter to David Milch Fans Matthew Perpetua, New York Magazine
04 Oct 2007 Lord, There Goes Johnny Appleseed The Babylonian Blog
04 Oct 2007 HBO Renews Tell Me You Love Me Sex-Laden Original Series Returning for Second Season By Anne Becker -- Broadcasting & Cable
01 Oct 2007 EXCLUSIVE: 'Deadwood' regulars react to series' reported demise; Brown: 'I guess the horse is dead' by Chris Serico, Remote Access: The T.V. Blog
28 Sep 2007 John From Cincinnati' Fans Still Have Faith In Their Surfing Messiah's Resurrection
27 Sep 2007 Grassroots coalition of TV viewers wants HBO's 'John from Cincinnati' to get second season by Steve Hammons
28 Sep 2007 Second Comings: 'John From Cincinnati' Fans Still Have Faith In Their Surfing Messiah's Resurrection
28 Sep 2007 mentioned on
27 Sep 2007 Saving "John From Cincinnati
25 Sep 2007 KFMB Channel 8 News, San Diego, Interview with Jill from
25 Sep 2007 Press Release in the News
25 Sep 2007 Austin Nichols to guest star in 'Friday Night Lights'
24 Sep 2007 Nielsen launches fans forum: Online social network geared to TV, film fans By MICHAEL LEARMONTH, Variety
16 Sep 2007 Being open to perception can be troubling, enlightening By Steve Hammons
15 Sep 2007 'John from Cincinnati' story raises questions about media, intelligence, 'dumbing down' of Americans By Steve Hammons
13 Sep 2007 Unconventional discoveries, communications media can help human race make progress By Steve Hammons
12 Sep 2007 Research on important topics affects us in many ways By Steve Hammons
12 Sep 2007 Can [HBO] Remain Tony?
09 Sep 2007 Emily Rose Lands a Role on 'Brothers & Sisters'
08 Sep 2007 Vote for JFC at BuzzSugar's New Survey
05 Sep 2007 Where are the "greenlit" Episodes 11 & 12 of JFC?
04 Sep 2007 There Will Be a JFC DVD
04 Sep 2007 The Official HBO JFC Survey is out.
01 Sep 2007 Vote in HBO's View's Choice for Favorite Summer Show!
30 Aug 2007 Austin Nichols joins cast of the 'Informers'
30 Aug 2007 Watch the Entire JFC Season From the Beginning!
29 Aug 2007 Letter Sent to HBO/TIme Warner
24 Aug 2007 Goodbye Hill family, later John, hello Cabrfornication (JFC is Dead)
23 Aug 2007 Could Real Surf-Family Have Helped JFC Demise?
22 Aug 2007 Will JFC Continue?
22 Aug 2007 The Death of John from Cincinnati
20 Aug 2007 Insider Information
15 Aug 2007 SPACE ALIENS TAKE OVER HBO: John From Cincinnati Cancelled! By Paul Holmes
14 Aug 2007 HBO plotting more for Milch 'Cincinatti' scribe inks new project By STEVEN ZEITCHIK
14 Aug 2007 John From Cincinnati Concludes...and Milch Speaks! by Will Dixon,
13 Aug 2007 Trying To Decipher JFC
13 Aug 2007 "John from Cincinnati": David Milch speaks
12 Aug 2007 John From Cincinnati: The universe continuesby Rob A. McKenzie, The Ampersand Blog
09 Aug 2007 TV Interview with David Milch by Travis Smiley
09 Aug 2007 "John from Cincinnati's" man behind the viral vid curtain
28 Jun 2007 Developments in science, human consciousness hold promise of new discoveries, better world By Steve Hammons
25 Jun 2007 Dead in the Water: David Milch on a surfing safari. by Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker
18 Jun 2007 John From Cincinnati Mondays, Eps. 1 & 2, "His Visit: Day One" & "His Visit: Day Two" By Keith Uhlich Blog
14 Jun 2007 New HBO series 'John from Cincinnati' has metaphysical mysteries By Steve Hammons
10 Jun 2007 John From Cincinnati Reviews by 24 Critics and 243 Users Reviews from MetaCritic
09 Jun 2007 From Cincinnati, 'John' Goes Nowhere By Tom Shales, Washington Post Staff Writer
08 Jun 2007 Dead Tree Alert II: The Annotated John from Cincinnati Posted by James Poniewozik,
08 Jun 2007 Pretensions sink surfers in 'John From Cincinnati'
08 Jun 2007 Something's Up, and It's Not the Surf
08 Jun 2007 Bye Bye BodhiWhy the movies always get surfing wrong-and John From Cincinnati gets it right.
07 Jun 2007 HBO's New Oddity: John from Cincinnati The Huntington Post
07 Jun 2007 NEW WAVE PSYCHO BEACH PARTY by Linda Stasi, New York Post
06 Jun 2007 John From Cincinnati: Planet Waves: David Milch and Kem Nunn's damaged but revered surfing family LAWeekly
05 Jun 2007 At HBO, veterans rise to the top By Claudia Eller and Meg James, Los Angeles Times
04 Jun 2007 TV Review: John From Cincinnati (2007) By Ken Tucker
08 May 2007 HBO Honcho Was Off The Wagon, Is Now On Leave Of Absence
20 Apr 2007 tv's great writer: Interview of David Milch MIT Forum Director David Thorburn
22 Mar 2007 After 'Sopranos,' a Need for a Hit: HBO's chief executive is preparing for life after the "The Sopranos" with a cachet of new offerings. Star News Online
21 Nov 2006 More on Milch's John from Cincinnati by Julia Ward
20 Nov 2006 A Producer Hangs 10 in a Risky HBO Pilot
Note: 'Tho 10 months old, I think there are a number of points made that are noteworthy in retrospct...
16 Nov 2006 Luke Perry joins cast of David Milch's latest
23 Oct 2006 HBO greenlights David Milch's new show by Bob Sassone
22 Oct 2006 Surf's up for Milch as HBO takes skein: Duo shore up link with 'John' show By DENISE MARTIN
14 July 2006 HBO Greenlights Alan Ball's True Blood and David Milch's John From Cincinnati

News and Articles Summaries

El Camino Motel Demolition at Wednesday Council Meeting
16 July 2012, Khari Johnson, Imperial Beach Patch,
...on the [city counsel] agenda is an order to demand the owner of the El Camino Motel on Highway 75 be demolished within 60 days of July 18 [2012]. The hotel which was used in scenes for the former HBO show John from Cincinnati in 2007.

Since then the sheriff's department has responded to an average of more than 50 calls for service a year. Homeless people living in the bungalows has been repeatedly reported. People used to skate and ride bikes in the old pool but it was sealed with steel plates in 2009. A person attempted to commit suicide in the hotel's Little Vienna Lounge in April.

The city is also demanding the owner D&A Semi Annual Mortgage Fund pay fees and penalties of $9,500.

Demolition is estimated to cost $200,000 to $400,000. [more]

Producer talks profanity, poetry
20 Feb 2009, By Wendy Wang Contributing Reporter, Yale Daily News
... Through his writing, Milch explained, he attempts to find a cohesive logic for this dream, a combination of experiences, fantasies and random associations.

With his words, Milch said he has been able to come to terms with painful events of the past. When the HBO series "Deadwood" — which he created, wrote and produced — was canceled, Milch said he decided to write a new show about surfers, which became "John from Cincinnati." The main character's name, John Monad, is a nod to Leibniz's idea of monads, which Milch explained as "places in the universe from which all of experience was accessible."

"You could get 20 monkeys, and every one of them would be more articulate than the most articulate surfer you ever met," Milch quipped. "But they understand something, and they can't express it, because their neural connections are so saturated by the experience of oneness"... [more]

JFC on FX Channel in the UK
October 10, 2008, Jeremy, TV Spy (UK)
Luke Perry is back in John From Cincinnati!
90210 fans rejoice! Luke Perry may not be returning to the Peach Pit just yet, but he will be starring in gritty new surfer drama John From Cincinnati which is coming to FX in November.

The series, created by Deadwood's David Milch, tells the story of surfing's most dysfunctional family, the Yosts, who, despite their amazing surfboard talents, live a meagre life on California's Imperial Beach. Their lives are thrown into chaos when the mysterious John Monad (Austin Nichols) suddenly arrives, triggering all kinds of paranormal events.

Perry is cash hungry promoter Linc Stark, who is still blamed for standing by while his former client and star surfer Butchie Yost (Brian Van Holt) became hooked on drugs. The series co-stars Rebecca de Mornay as matriarch Cissy Yost and Bruce Greenwood as her zenned out husband Mitch Yost.

And Luke Perry isn't the only blast from the past in the show. Saved by the Bell alumnus Mark-Paul ‘Zach Morris' Gosselaar stars as Linc's business partner Jake Ferris, while Sex and the City's Willie Garson (Stanford Blatch) plays brilliantly-named lawyer and surf fan Meyer Dickstein. [more]

Bloody Well Right
October 05, 2008, Trrish,
"The failures of Wall Street at the moment don't make me feel any better or worse about myself. I feel for people who are struggling, whoever they are. (Unless they are the one currently pissing me off!) In the end, we are all humans. We are not perfect. But we always think everyone else should be (like me and the Lafayette Democrats). It's hard to stop judging everyone else's imperfections. I caught a glimpse into how God - the Universe - the Divine might actually view us in the HBO show John From Cincinnati. I watched the DVD's recently of its one and only season. I love that show. It reminded me that what I call God (you don't have to), views us with love, not judgement. God wants us to heal, and to succeed in loving. For those of us that grew up believing that God was a mean, nasty judging thing, and that the job of parents is to criticize, it's an interesting concept to think that maybe that isn't the case. I have learned to love God, although I don't love religion. I have tried to choose nurturing vs critical parent whenever possible in my own parenting, but I don't always succeed. Having a teenager makes that harder than ever. She just wants, wants, wants and wants and rarely gives. I know it is a stage. I know that somewhere in there is the little girl I used to know. Some days, however, it just isn't fun. I think a reason I'm not a complete failure is that I have had some angels visit me along the way. And by angels I mean a few human beings who wandered into my life who've made an extreme difference. " [more]

JFC Making a Splash at the Emmys?
April 30, 2008,
Despite canceling John From Cincinnati it seems that HBO recognizes what a brilliant show that it had in hindsight. HBO has submitted JFC for Emmy consideration in the following categories for acting. No doubt they are submitting for consideration for Milch, for writing, and for the series.

Lead Actors: Bruce Greenwood, Brian Van Holt, Austin Nichols
Lead Actress: Rebecca De Mornay
Supporting Actresses: Keala Kennelly, Emily Rose, Chandra West Supporting Actors: Greyson Fletcher, Willie Garson, Luis Guzman, Ed O'Neill, Luke Perry, Matt Winston Garrett Dillahunt, Dayton Callie, Jim Beaver, Paul Ben Victor

Handicapping the JFC group, you can see one or two that have real chance for a nomination. If Ed O'Neil is not seriously considered in the supporting actor category it would be criminal, who remembers Ed Bundy in his performance as Bill Jacks. Right off the mark, Ed came out with an amazing performance.

And the other actor? That would have to be Austin. Up until JFC we saw so little of what Austin was capable of as an actor. Working with Milch opened up a entire new level of performance for Austin. His portrayal of John a messenger not of this world was one of the most developed unique multifaceted layered performances on TV last year. From the smallest of details, expressions and characteristics he created a character that had an audience for thinking what is this? to who is this? to ultimately could it be?

Austin took a role that could make or break him as an actor and ran with it, giving a fearless performance that many would find too risky.

"David was really quiet and he was ignoring me and I finally got to call him and I wanted to ask him and talk to him about it cause I like to collaborate and get everybody, you know, get help and throw my ideas out and David was literally-literally looked at me and said "I just want you to do what you did as Morgan." And that really confused me and I didn't know any-and the only thing he said is "Austin, you're the guy. You gotta be the guy. And to you, I just want you." And so I'm thinking, does David think that I'm retarded? And it took me a long time to sort of process what he meant by those things. In the end what I just realized is that whatever I do is fine. And he gave me so much confidence in just telling me that basically I can do no wrong. I can make no mistakes. All I have to do is show up and just be there with everybody."

It was Milch's confidence in his acting and in him that let Austin create one of most memorable characters on television in recent memory. If the Motion Picture and Television Arts can not see that, it will be an even greater disappointment than the cancellation of JFC itself.

Little JFC rewind: Great interview with Austin. [Original Blog]

Cultural Lesson: Milch was better off Deadwood
26 December 2007, Adam McDowell, National Post
"To all but a small and very patient coterie of fans, John From Cincinnati was unwatchable. The mixture of the California surf setting, a protagonist who speaks in riddles and what might have been Christian allegory tried viewers' patience. By the end of nine episodes, few cared what was signified by John's referring to Cass Kai as Mother of God. As Rob Mc-Kenzie, the National Post's former TV critic put it, "If David Milch wrote a series in which he were parodying himself, how could you tell?"

Maybe we just weren't ready for it. But whatever John's artistic merits, it was a ratings failure, and became the first HBO show in a generation to be cancelled after one season. HBO is digging into Milch's well yet again; a gritty cop drama set in the early 1970s is in the works. It's familiar territory for the creator of NYPD Blue, but whether they pan out with another Deadwood is up to Milch's muse..." [more]

23 December 2007, Adam Buckman,
"When these five shows ended, I wondered if I would ever see such a group all in the same year again - a run of shows that began last summer with "Flight of the Conchords," "John from Cincinnati" and "Mad Men," continued in September with "The War," and ended just last week with the conclusion of "Dexter"... [more]

HBO tops WGA Award noms with five [But No John From Cincinnati]
13 December 2007, By Carl DiOrio , The Hollywood Reporter
HBO led all TV networks in attracting nominations in the 60th anniversary WGA Awards, fetching two noms for dramatic series writing and three for comedy series writing.

In the dramatic series category, HBO's "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" are joined by Showtime's "Dexter," NBC's "Friday Night Lights" and AMC's "Mad Men."

In the comedy series category, HBO attracted noms for "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage" and "Flight of the Conchords." Also nominated in the category are NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock." [more]

By Andrew Wallenstein and Steven Zeitchik
26 November 2007, By Andrew Wallenstein and Steven Zeitchik , The Hollywood Reporter
The loss of Tony Soprano didn't put a hit on HBO this summer.

The network is looking as Teflon as a Mafia don according to the latest subscriber numbers, which actually rose slightly in the first full quarter since the most-watched series in HBO's history cut to black.

New data from SNL Kagan indicates that HBO's subscriber base ticked up in the third quarter by 80,000 to 28.94 million despite concerns that the series' departure would lead some portion of customers to drop their subscriptions.

While a 0.3% increase might be nothing for incoming Time Warner CEO and former HBO chief Jeff Bewkes to crow about, it still is fairly consistent with the flat subscriber levels HBO has been registering during the past several years... [more]

Best Supporting Actor: Garret Dillahunt: IGN's exclusive interview with the Deadwood, Jesse James and No Country co-star. by Todd Gilchrist
19 November 2007, by Todd Gilchrist, IGN Movies
Welcome to another installment of IGN's new ongoing feature series Best Supporting Actor. While we obviously devote plenty of ones and zeroes to covering big stars and their biggest movies, we also love to lavish a little attention on the folks whom you see in one film after another, acting their asses off while leading men and women enjoy the spoils of box office success. As such, we will provide exclusive, in-depth interviews with some of the best unknown, up-and-coming and established character and supporting actors in the business.

In Hollywood's world of "That Guys," Garret Dillahunt is one of the best actors you've never heard of. After starting his career playing character roles in television shows and on film, Dillahunt found a champion in David Milch, who cast him in not one but two roles on his acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. Since then, he went on to appear in Milch's follow-up John From Cincinnati and co-starred with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James... [more]

Inside Information From Austin Nichols...
Friday Night Lights: Julie's Hot for Austin Nichols' Teacher!
16 Nov 2007, By MATT WEBB MITOVICH, TV GUIDE Knowing going in how "out there" John from Cincinnati was, were you surprised at all by its cancellation?
Nichols: I wasn't surprised. I actually sort of predicted what the response would be. I always knew that people were going to have a hard time understanding it but they were going to love it anyway. Everybody that comes to me up on the street says exactly that, I don't get it but I love it, man. I know people who were stupefied that it was taken off the air, and not given a better chance.
Nichols: Just yesterday I was in the drug store and some guy was like, "Dude, what happened?! It was the best show! In the end, [series creator] David Milch just had a blank check, we spent so much money and time doing it, they couldn't justify keeping t on the air. If they spend that much money, they want it to be their No. 1 hit, like a Sopranos. Do you know things – secrets about John, answers about his past – that we will now never be made privy to?
Nichols: I know everything. I know everything about John. I actually spoke to David not too long ago and he said, Austin, don't give up on this thing. I'm still trying to think of a way for the John tale to continue. So it's still in his mind. [more]

The Incomplete Guide to Surfing in Brazil - The Litoral Norte
12 November 2007, By John from Cincinnati, The
Welcome back, surfistas! I'm your tour guide, John from Cincinnati. Before we get started, yes, I really am from Cincinnati, and at this time I would like to express most heartfelt thanks to HBO for naming their short-lived "surf-noir" drama after me and making all of this possible. You're an inspiration to us all!

Now on to business. Just where does a "gringo" surf? Well, since many of my fellow gringoes are based in São Paulo, as I was once upon a time, why don't we start there with some "rice and beans" surf travel... [more]

Blog Posting: John From Cincinnati
12 November 2007, by Darryl Cunningham,
... Not for the casual viewer, John From Cincinnati demands concerted attention. It is often annoyingly inscrutable, but it is also amusing, tender, and heartrending. The innocent John, contrasts sharply with the very fallible humans who make up the rest of the extended cast, enhancing the otherworldly quality that the character has. This strange white figure has already, at least in my mind, become an iconic TV character. It's sad that we'll never see him again. [more]

Mitch Yost Needs to Get Back in the Game
01 November 2007, Blog by Duel,
--The good people at are still fighting the good fight to resurrect John from Cincinnati. Click on over there and show your support. I'm not sure the battle is winnable, but I'm sticking with them to the bitter end. Also, plugging them gives me a reason to use a John line as my post title, which guarantees me an increase in traffic. Want to watch my site traffic double today? Observe: "I don't know Butchie instead". And there we go. As amazing feats go, that's slightly more impressive than Uri Geller thinking a shape at us, and way more amazing than correctly predicting that Carmen Electra will assume that somebody is thinking about touching her chest. [Link]

Lights, Cameras... BIRDS! Meet the feathered cast of HBO's "John From Cincinnati."
01 November 2007, By Elizabeth Anderson, BirdTalk
Famous birds on TV have been few and far between, and many of them weren't even real birds - think Big Bird and Tweety. But the latest kids in the flock are from HBO's 2007 series, "John From Cincinnati."

Comet, a nanday conure, plays Zippy, owned by Ed O'Neill's character Bill Jacks. From the first episode where Zippy is found dead and comes back to life, it's clear he's no ordinary parrot.

But before Comet was cast in the part, the writers had simply referred to the character as "a parrot," according to Scott Stephens, one of the executive producers on "John From Cincinnati." In fact, Zippy was originally slated to appear just in the first episode, but instead played a pivotal role, demonstrating both healing and telepathic powers. "There's a miracle quality to the bird," Stephens said. [Link]

Work Here Cass
30 October 2007, Trish Kate's TV Talk, BlogSpot
"Stick man on the prowl. Who is this mysterious man and what's his story?

A month ago, I noticed a neighbor of mine had this armless, yellow stick man staked firmly in the center of his yard. Was this some kind of morbid AOL protest? Pretty bizarre, I thought. It's the sort of unknown thing you chuckle at, yet you dare not ask why. I think I've found the answer.

It appears another "Save That Show" campaign has been in full swing for HBO's 'John From Cincinnati' (which was canceled on August 13th, 2007) and it only seems to be picking up steam as time goes on. Who knew it had such a passionate fan following? After finding what appears to be campaign headquarters linked over at Hey! Nielsen, I decided to investigate further..." [more]

Viewers' shifting habits redefine 'TV hit'
23 October 2007, By Gary Levin, USA TODAY
" ...Ad-free pay cable channels, however, don't care when or how viewers watch shows, only that they continue to fork over monthly fees to receive them. So HBO doesn't consider its sex-fueled relationship drama Tell Me You Love Me a failure, even though it averages just 773,000 viewers who watch it live on Sundays, about one-tenth the audience for The Sopranos. In fact, the network recently renewed the show and cites Nielsen estimates that grow to 949,000 when seven-day delayed viewing is added and to 3.5 million when other week-long airings are factored in, and add 711,000 more when on-demand viewing is weighed. "We're agnostic about how much of that takes place," says HBO program-planning chief David Baldwin. "The important thing to us is to gauge the intensity of the audience and how it tracks through the season." ... [more]

TV 101: They're Not TV Numbers. They're HBO Numbers.
10 Oct 2007, by James Poniewozik,
" ...I'm always skeptical when networks--HBO, Showtime, CNN, whoever--volunteer "cumulative" ratings (if I hold my arms up, I am cumulatively over 6 feet tall). But I asked HBO to offer the same stats for some other current HBO shows, for an apples-to-apples comparison. Here are the numbers (pardon my formatting ineptitude), and if nothing else, it's an interesting TV 101 insight into what HBO chooses to carry and why:

Big Love: 5.8 million (40% Sunday premiere / 60% other plays)
Entourage: 5.6 million (55/45)
The Wire: 4.4 million (40/60)
John from Cincinnati: 3.8 million (40/60)
TMYLM: 3.2 million (30/70)
Curb Your Enthusiam: 3.0 million (35/65)
Flight of the Conchords: 2.7 million (40/60)

Only 30% of TMYLM's viewers, according to HBO, watch the "live" debut. ("It's a show people want to watch privately, I imagine," the publicist theorized dryly. I also wonder if the fact that episodes air a week early On Demand encourages that format.)... " [more]

David Milch Headlines Most Uncomfortable Panel Discussion Ever at 'New Yorker' Fest
09 Oct 2007, by Adam Sternbergh, New York Entertainment
Three things you would have learned at Saturday morning's "Outside the Box" TV panel at the New Yorker Festival:

1. Premium cable is better than a network, at least if you're a TV creator. Three out of the five panelists (Weeds' Jenji Kohan, The Wire's David Simon, and Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore) all agreed, not surprisingly, that being on cable gives them greater freedom, while David Shore (creator of House, and the lone current network employee) and David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) dissented. Shore argued that although House can't show as much nudity (though, as he explained, during a successful battle over a bare bottom, an executive said to him, "When you get a nineteen share, you can show a little more ass"), the show's never been asked to avoid controversial subjects. As for Milch, well - we'll get to that.

2. This truly is a Golden Age of television....

3. David Milch is either the best dinner-party guest in the world or the worst. Or both... [more]

Festival: Salty TV Writers Also Salty on Stage
09 Oct 2007, Martin Schneider, The New Yorker
" ...The panel mostly agreed on the following givens: TV stations want to make money, and it's good to tell your story and not the demographically dictated story that the higher-ups want you to tell. Halfway through, in full-on Crazy Uncle mode, Al Swearengen, er, Sipowicz, I mean Milch began calling spades spades (and I'll allow the metaphoricity only if pressed), and it took the combined efforts of the rest of the panel to parry with the behemoth suddenly in their midst. A born thrower of bombs (and not only of the F kind), Milch goosed the audience with his story of a discussion years ago, when the prospect of a black man and a white woman holding hands on the air was still shocking to the network contemplating such a scene. Milch's solution? Have the man place his penis on the woman's shoulder, natch. The show duly fired him. The kicker? "That was the last note I ever took." I bet! ..." [more]

Hollywood readies for possible strike: Nov. 1 scenario takes on new weight
"Networks and studios have started thinking about the unthinkable this week.

The harsh rhetoric surrounding the WGA negotiations plus the guild's recent move to seek strike authorization have convinced execs that the threat of a Nov. 1 strike may be very real. A possible lockout is also being discussed.

"We are trying to get as much stuff as possible shoved through," said one studio VP. "It's as hot as I've ever seen it. And whether or not they strike on Nov. 1, we have to act as if they will."

On the feature side, studios are no longer taking writing pitches and are pretty much limiting themselves to making deals on fully developed packages. Warner Bros. and Universal, for example, have put out the word to agents: Don't bring in any spec scripts until the situation resolves itself..." [more]

Nielsen caught in full-spin zone: TV ratings outfit growing ambitious
04 October 2007, By BRIAN LOWRY ,
"Nielsen has never enjoyed mediating intramural disputes or slapping clients around for distorting its data. Still, inasmuch as the ratings are not just the industry's currency but serve as a cultural barometer of popular taste, everybody suffers when bogus inferences and dubious spin float into the ether -- making the numbers look more untrustworthy, and feeding the suspicions of conspiracy-minded yahoos already convinced that black-suited government agents are seeking to deprive them of "Jericho" or "John From Cincinnati."

The irony is that Nielsen deserves kudos for a new plan to expand its sample size -- tripling the pool to 37,000 homes and 100,000 people by 2011 -- recognizing the need for more info to adequately reflect a fragmented audience. As it stands, if a few loyal Nielsen-monitored Food Network or Golf Channel viewers leave town the same week, the network's ratings can plummet...." [more]

Wipeout: Last Traces Of 'John From Cincinnati' Almost Gone
04 Oct 2007, by Nina McDonald, Imperial Beach News
"Like the mysterious stranger John Monad who suddenly materializes and then vanishes, cameras that appeared to film the supernatural surf-noir series, John from Cincinnati, have disappeared from the streets of Imperial Beach. Only a few traces from the show's pervasive presence of the last year still remain.

Last month, crews from HBO removed the final set pieces from the El Camino Motel, (a.k.a The Snug Harbor in the show) and took down the Yost Board sign above the Surf Hut's storage building on Seacoast Drive. There are few remaining signs that Imperial Beach was ever center stage for a television show. For almost a year, crew members mingled with locals, and residents became used to rubbing elbows with the stars. The show's final episode aired Sunday, Aug. 12, and the next day HBO announced the series would not be renewed, much to the chagrin of some local business owners.

"There were so many things that were so fun," remembered Katy Fallon, owner of I.B. Coffee and Books. Fallon's shop ended up being the local breakfast and coffee stop for many crew members and the interior set for several scenes in the series later episodes. Fallon may have even inspired director David Milch to create the show's barista character, Trixie. She misses the production company and remembers the experience fondly.... " [more]

Vulture Translates HBO's Apology Letter to David Milch Fans
04 Oct 2007, Matthew Perpetua, New York Magazine
HBO recently issued a letter of apology to fans of producer David Milch's canceled series Deadwood and John From Cincinnati. The letter, which was scanned and posted in full on, is undoubtedly regretful and conciliatory, but its explanations for the show's demise is thick with careful turns of phrase that shy away from providing the sort of candid details that would allow fans to pin blame on anyone in particular. Lucky for you, we've pulled out our PR Flack–to–English dictionaries and have translated several key passages for your convenience.

HBO says: It is obviously not our intention to brainstorm strategies guaranteed to alienate dedicated viewers or to sabotage programs produced and promoted at great expense and with great effort, particularly when they are turned out by a talent of David Milch's caliber.

Translation: In fairness, we did sit down with Mr. Milch and specifically request that John From Cincinnati include at least one graphic depiction of a man ejaculating, but we respected his vision when he opted to keep going with all that surfing business...." [more]

Lord, There Goes Johnny Appleseed
04 Oct 2007, The Babylonian Blog,
"I was a huge fan of the hard-to-fathom "John From Cincinnati" on HBO. I couldn't fathom it, and that was half the draw. The brass at HBO foolishly killed the show after only 10 episodes. They've since replaced it with nonsense like "Tell Me You Love Me," which is supposedly oh-so-groundbreaking because it shows raw, unfiltered sex. I've watched it. It's a sappy soap-opera with occasional sex, some of it between people in their late 60s. thanks.

So, I gave up on trying to get HBO to reconsider their idiocy. The actors, the directors, the creators and producers have all moved on to other efforts. Some fans, however, are dying much harder. Last week, the faithful took out this full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter... " [more]

HBO Renews Tell Me You Love Me Sex-Laden Original Series Returning for Second Season
04 Oct 2007, By Anne Becker, Broadcasting & Cable,
HBO renewed sex-laden original series Tell Me You Love Me for a second season, the network confirmed.

The network declined to provide details on when it would begin shooting the new episodes or when they would premiere.

While the relationship drama debuted with just 910,000 total viewers early in September -- dismal compared with almost all of the pay cable network's originals in recent years -- it has maintained the interest of TV critics, at least, and built bigger audiences over multiple plays. The premiere episode, for example, drew a total of 3.1 million viewers over seven plays, HBO said...

...HBO is picking up Tell Me after it declined to do so with its last original series, John from Cincinnati. The latter's least-watched episode of the season actually drew more viewers than Tell Me's premiere, but the network saw little hope in the oddball surf-noir show ever really catching on with viewers.... [more]

EXCLUSIVE: 'Deadwood' regulars react to series' reported demise; Brown: 'I guess the horse is dead'
01 Oct 2007, by Chris Serico, Remote Access: The T.V. Blog
"Trust me. I'd much rather speak with "Deadwood" actors W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority, left) and Jim Beaver (Ellsworth, right) under happier circumstances. But I had to see if they would confirm and react to costar Ian McShane's claims that the Western's set was being dismantled and that the show was, in fact, done.

In August, days after Brown used the metaphor of a horse, "lying trailside foaming at the nostrils and heaving for breath" to describe the state of the show to subscribers of his blog, he was more optimistic about the series' return in an Aug. 23 MySpace message to me. But in responding tonight at 7:44 p.m. EST to my follow-up inquiry, he confirmed the report of the tear-down and predicted "Deadwood's" demise:... [more]

John From Cincinnati' Fans Still Have Faith In Their Surfing Messiah's Resurrection
09/28/2007, BY MARK,
Also in
The "save John From Cincinnati ad" taken out in today's THR is probably a case of too little, too late as the quickly aborted surfing drama's sets have been struck, its cast scattered, and its creator already tasked with dreaming up a new world in which his characters can communicate in a language primarily comprised of expletives. But if we've learned anything from the Jericho's successful Nuts! campaign, it's that the only way that fans can have their voices heard is by annoying TV executives with non-stop deliveries to their places of business, hoping that the constant presence of handtruck-pushing men in brown shorts in their offices wears down their defenses.... [more] Mentioned on Homecoming King
Friday 28 September 2007, HBO The Buzz
John From Cincinnati' star Austin Nichols is touching down in the great state of Texas to pick up a recurring role on NBC's high-school-football drama 'Friday Night Lights.' Nichols will play a teacher at Dillon High on the show, which is shot in his hometown of Austin. Meanwhile, the vocal fans at have rallied to rush him right back to Imperial Beach, sending emails, signing petitions and taking out ads in hopes of convincing HBO execs to reinstate the series.

Second Comings: 'John From Cincinnati' Fans Still Have Faith In Their Surfing Messiah's Resurrection
28 Sept 2007,
"The "save John From Cincinnati ad" taken out in today's THR is probably a case of too little, too late as the quickly aborted surfing drama's sets have been struck, its cast scattered, and its creator already tasked with dreaming up a new world in which his characters can communicate in a language primarily comprised of expletives. But if we've learned anything from the Jericho's successful Nuts! campaign, it's that the only way that fans can have their voices heard is by annoying TV executives with non-stop deliveries to their places of business, hoping that the constant presence of handtruck-pushing men in brown shorts in their offices wears down their defenses.Accordingly, we'd recommend that the Save John alliance redirect its ad-sales budget into the purchase of thousands of dildos for immediate shipment to HBO's headquarters, sending a message that the network's fucking-obsessed programmers made a grave mistake when they decided to make Tell Me You Love Me the focus of their post-Sopranos schedule instead of their beloved Cincinnatian. [Ad via THR Digital Edition]"

Grassroots coalition of TV viewers wants HBO's 'John from Cincinnati' to get second season
September 27, 2007, Steve Hammons , American Chronicle
Also in,
A grassroots populist effort to convince leadership of the pay TV channel HBO to bring back the series "John from Cincinnati" has been launched in a big way.

Using the Web site as a focal point, fans of the innovative and unconventional series are actively lobbying HBO executives to reconsider the decision to cancel the show after one 10-episode season.

Is this simply an effort by fans of a TV show to have their program given a second season?

Or is it more than that?... [more]

Saving "John From Cincinnati
9/27/2007, Irene Chang, PRWeek
Another lost show; another group of determined fans trying to restore it.

With the Internet connecting all different kinds of communities, those desperate to bring back the HBO show "John From Cincinnati" for a second season have started a campaign online.

The organized group known as is planning to take out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter to make their message loud and clear to the cable network.

KFMB Channel 8 News, San Diego, Interview with Jill from
Also on (Italian)

9/25/2007 KFMB Channel 8 News, San Diego Press Release in the News
These are just a few of the many places the press release was published or mentioned:

         Reality TV World
         Cincinnati Business Courier
         Hollywood Reporter
         Lost Remote
         All Points Research
         PR Newswire
         Publicity Insider
         RBC Dain Rauscher Inc.
         Crain's Cleveland
         Fort Wayne News Sentinel
         Dayton Business Journal
         Los Angeles Times
         The Press-Enterprise
         Seattle Post-Intelligencer
         Houston Chronicle
         Texas Cable News
         Austin American-Statesman
         Las Vegas Business Press
         AZ Central

         United Press International:
         Chicago Daily Herald (Mention)

Austin Nichols to guest star in 'Friday Night Lights'
September 25, 2007, 03:25 PM, By Diane Holloway
Unemployment didn't last long for Austin Nichols, the Austin actor who starred as the mysterious surfing savant in HBO's short-lived summer series "John From Cincinnati."

Nichols, who also appeared in HBO's "Deadwood," has come home for a guest-starring role in the Austin-based NBC series "Friday Night Lights." He's not in the Oct. 5 season opener, but his multiple-episode story arc will begin soon after. Executive producer Sarah Aubrey will reveal few details but confirms that Nichols will play a teacher at Dillon High.

Best known in Central Texas as a water-skiing champ, like his mother Kay Nichols, Nichols grew up on Lake Austin, attended Casis Elementary and McCallum High School before heading to the University of Southern California where he earned a degree in creative writing in 2002. His father is radiologist David Nichols.

Nielsen launches fans forum: Online social network geared to TV, film fans
24 Sept 2007, By MICHAEL LEARMONTH , Variety. com
The Nielsen Co. wants to know what you think.

The ratings giant has begun beta testing an online social network to give passionate TV or film fans a forum to express their views -- with the studios and networks listening in.

The service, dubbed Hey! Nielsen, will allow visitors to sound off on music and film in addition to TV. It will tabulate a popular vote of enthusiasts from which it will derive a "Hey! Nielsen Score," designed to be a measure of buzz and audience engagement.

"It's an outlet for people who want to express their views on television, and want to come to Nielsen to have some influence," said Karen Watson, senior VP of communications and exec in charge of the service. "Joining the network will be a way to let the entertainment industry know what you think."... [more]

Hey!Nielsen John From Cincinnati Opinion Poll

Being open to perception can be troubling, enlightening
September 16, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
"They can provide "intelligence" in the many meanings of that word. We can gain insight about emerging developments that are important.

One example worth looking at is the new HBO series "John from Cincinnati." This program explores several characters who are experiencing physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual confusion, pain and discovery..." [more]

'John from Cincinnati' story raises questions about media, intelligence, 'dumbing down' of Americans
September 15, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
"The decision to cancel the HBO series "John from Cincinnati" after one ten-episode season seems to raise a few questions worth kicking around. Were fans of the HBO shows "The Sopranos" and "Deadwood" so disappointed those programs ended that they took it out on "John?" Looks like that was part of it... " [more]

Unconventional discoveries, communications media can help human race make progress
September 13, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
" ...An example might be the recent HBO series "John from Cincinnati." This show was cancelled after one 10-episode season while the audience and potential audience was beginning to understand the subtle and unconventional aspects of the show. Was the character "John" an angel, an ET who just stepped off a UFO or was he one of us – a human who didn't fully understand the crazy world around him and whose perceptions and communications were often confusing and troubling?... " [more]

Research on important topics affects us in many ways
September 12, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
" ...Fact-based fiction books, films, TV shows and other creative methods can also be effective in communicating about the truth of various situations and processes. A case in point might be the new HBO series "John from Cincinnati" which is set in a beach town in southern San Diego County near the border with Mexico... " [more]

Can [HBO] Remain Tony?
September 12, 2007. By Matea Gold, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
One of the first challenges that faced the new team was the withering response to the much-anticipated new David Milch drama, "John From Cincinnati." After the esoteric surf noir series failed to connect with viewers and critics, many of whom described it as incomprehensible, disappointed executives pulled the plug on a second season.

The collapse of the series, which premiered right after the "Sopranos" finale, represented a high-profile flop for the long-golden network and triggered chatter among television rivals that HBO had lost its touch.

Network officials dismiss such talk, adding that their only regret is that they allowed expectations to mount that "John From Cincinnati" would be the successor to their popular mob drama.

"The only thing I would say we learned is that we shouldn't have put that much of a spotlight on it at the moment we did," said Michael Lombardo, president of the HBO Programming Group. "Would we have done it again? Absolutely."

Emily Rose Lands a Role on 'Brothers & Sisters'
09 Sept 2007, Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26-year-old actress Emily Rose has landed a multi-episode arc on the ABC family drama. She is expected to appear in eight episodes, wherein she will play Lena, Rebecca Harper's (Emily Van Camp) high-school friend. Lena becomes an employee of the family's company and creates some trouble.

Emily Rose's most recent television role was on the HBO drama, John From Cincinnati. On the series, Rose played Cass, a filmmaker hired by Linc Stark (Luke Perry) to create trouble between Mitch (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife, Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay). The show was canceled after only one season. [more]

Vote ofr JFC at BuzzSugar's New Survey
09/08/2007, by BuzzSugar
"Sure, my attention has turned mostly to fall TV these days, but I don't want to forget some of the summer's stellar series. It was a season loaded with strong new and returning fare, especially on cable, and while not all of my reasons to keep your TV on panned out into the classics I'd hoped for, there were still a lot of great shows out there. Which was your favorite? "

Where are the "greenlit" Episodes 11 & 12 of JFC?
05 Sept 2007, From contributor on HBO Forums: Mark Headley who asks:

Have U publicized/confronted HBO with its reneging? where are "greenlit" Episodes 11 & 12? how are subscribers/artists/critics/media supposed to trust future HBO pronouncements? should future reports state "HBO claims" it's greenlighting this/that or. . .?

UPI News Service Article, 10/24/2006

"While HBO canceled "Deadwood" this year, the series' positive reviews and loyal fan base prompted the cable network to greenlight 12 episodes of Milch's "Cincinnati" for a summer 2007 release, reported Tuesday."

There Will Be a JFC DVD
04 Sep 2007
Follow-up: This survey is no longer available.
Found on the Official HBO JFC Survey one of the questions asks:
"In addition to bloopers, out-takes, and deleted scenes, what other types of Extra features would you like to see on the DVD that HBO will make for this season of JOHN FROM CINCINNATI? Tell us everything extra you think would make the JOHN FROM CINCINNATI DVD something you would be interested in owning or renting."

The Official HBO JFC Survey is out
04 Sep 2007
Follow-up: This survey is no longer available.

From the first page of the survey:

Welcome to HBO's online survey regarding the HBO Original Series, "JOHN FROM CINCINNATI." The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete.

This survey is for market research purposes only and your answers will be kept strictly confidential. Your feedback will help us to continue to provide the high quality programming you've come to expect from HBO.

Lisa Ferro, in an email announcing the survey, suggested the following: "Everyone fill out this survey from HBO tell them that you want to see JFC for another season and that you will not buy merchandise from them for a show that they cancelled."

Vote in HBO's View's Choice for Favorite Summer Show!
01 Sept 2007, Originally published in HBO's Spotlight email
Vote here to go to the Spotlight Poll
Follow-up: On 01 October 2007 HBO announced in their October Spotlight that "Big Love" was voted the favorite summer 2007 series with 40% of the votes. It does not say how any other show ranked, including John From Cincinnait.

Austin Nichols joins cast of 'Informers'
Aug 30, 2007, By Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter: Three are tipped for 'Informers'

Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger and Brandon Routh are in various stages of negotiations to star in the ensemble "The Informers," an adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel. Gregor Jordan is directing the drama, which is being financed by Senator International. Senator's Marco Weber is producing.

Also joining the movie are Ashley Olsen, Jon Foster, Austin Nichols and Lou Taylor Pucci.

Set in 1980s Los Angeles, the script follows seven stories taking course during a week in the life of a movie executive, his wife, his mistress, a rock star, a vampire and a kidnapper... [more]

Letter Sent to HBO/TIme Warner
Aug 29, 2007, Posted on HBO forum by appliedpsych
This is a copy of a letter sent to HBO & Time Warner Execs Related to Deadwood and John from Cincinnati Cancellations. I'm a psychologist, thus the lead in paragraph.

Dear HBO & Time Warner Executives:

I'm beginning to become concerned for you. If HBO was a patient, I would look at is as if you have been a high-functioning, successful individual who, inexplicably, has developed a nasty set of self-defeating and self-sabotage behaviors which are alienating everyone around you.

First, you hire creative genius David Milch to develop great shows for you. He creates two great shows, Deadwood, and John from Cincinnati. What does HBO do? They cancel both shows with no audience preparation, no notification, and no explanation.

Now, from what I read online (the Internet is HUGE), you have tasked Mr. Milch to follow on with the development of yet another series, this one about 1970's cops. Also from what I read, Mr. Milch has taken a forward-looking approach to HBO decisions, and is moving to meet his business agreements with you in a gentlemanly and gracious manner. I am sure that any show that Mr. Milch develops will be great, as all of his shows have been, including Deadwood and John from Cincinnati.

I ask you executives with all sincerity - why should any viewer now take the time and effort to tune in to such a new Milch series? I'm sure you can wordsmith a generic, soothing, and bullshit answer for me, but the reality is, you have no good excuse for your past actions which now puts all new HBO series in jeopardy.

HBO has now set up a clear pattern of behavior in the minds of viewers:

1) Have creative genius develop great show
2) Get viewers interested, excited, and hooked
3) Cancel series unceremoniously with no warning

HBO has been 100% predictable in this pattern with both of their Milch shows, so why would anyone think they would not do so again?...

Read Full Letter

Goodbye Hill family, later John, hello Californication
24 August 07, TV TALK By: Nadum Fernand at The Triangle Online, Section: Arts & Entertainment

It's Official. 'John From Cincinnati' Canceled

As was first reported by The Triangle, John From Cincinnati has been canceled.

HBO made it official one day after the finale aired and announced a development deal that will keep David Milch with HBO until 2008.

Is David Milch Destroying HBO?

Not two days after John From Cincinnati was officially canned, David Milch is working on a new project. This time around the show will be a more traditional fare -- early 1970's story about a Vietnam vet who comes home and joins the NYPD.

But once again, Milch has shown his propensity for mentally checking out of a series while it's on the air. It happened with Deadwood and it's happened again with John. Milch made a bad program, HBO canceled it and Milch didn't blink twice because he had lost interest anyway.

Despite the fact that John's fate was sealed two weeks ago, the notion that a show's creator would start working on his next project two days after the cancellation is made public is insane.

It doesn't happen. I understand the fundamental right to work in a capitalist society, but honestly... Two days? Seriously? And HBO thinks it's prudent to sign the man through 2008? At this point, he has to be costing them more subscribers than he's bringing in.

John had a very loyal (if small and crazy) fan base. But unlike other cult hits-Arrested Development, Firefly, Jericho, Veronica Mars, Carnivale, et cetera - show runner doesn't care.

Deadwood was Milch's fault, but at this point, does it really matter? The show is gone. The two movies are never going to happen. Whether the fan base blames HBO or Milch, Milch isn't running a subscriber based cable network.

And it's happened again with John. Regardless of who's to blame (there is enough to go around), yet another Milch production has left HBO with nothing but a wave of angry subscribers. Some subscribers are angry because a series they loved is canceled and some because HBO aired such a gibberish show in the first place... [more]

Could Real Surf-Family Have Helped JFC Demise?
August 23, 2007, Posted by Nick
I wonder if this has anything to do with why HBO cancelled this amazing series. Could it be that the Fletchers have expressed an interest in exercising their family's life story rights and have claimed to take action against HBO for compensation??

ON THE SET: John from Cincinnati

By Nathan Myers

***Editors Note**** In an article in Surfing's March 2007 issue ["On the Set," page 61] regarding the upcoming HBO TV series "John from Cincinnati," about a family of surfers in Imperial Beach, one of the show's writers, former Surfer magazine editor Steve Hawk, overstated the role of the Fletcher family in the show. Here is the official word from HBO regarding Herbie and Dibi Fletcher's relationship to the show: "We are working with the Fletchers as consultants on this project as they are experts in the world of surfing, and in the interest of authenticity they, along with co-executive producer Kem Nunn and others who live in the surfing world, help advise on many of the issues in the series that pertain to that world. HBO did not acquire the Fletchers' life story rights, and the series is not based on the Fletchers. The fact that our story includes a multigenerational surfing family was simply a creative choice used to develop the story of "John;" any perceived similarities between the surfing Yosts and the Fletcher family is coincidental. As to the decision to cast Greyson Fletcher in the role of the Yost surfing grandson, Shaun, David Milch met Greyson on set and thought he could be perfect for the role, as he is an excellent skateboarder and understands the world. As a bonus, he turned out to be a very good little actor."

22 Aug 2007, by JOpinionated,
"Well this is a first, at least for me and this little Blog.

Last night I published an entry featuring a letter to Deadwood and John From Cincinnati creator/writer David Milch. I certainly did not write and post it with the belief that anyone besides my family and friends would actually read it, let alone anyone remotely involved with the topic at hand.

This changes everything. Below is the email I received from actor Jim Beaver (pictured above), who played Ellsworth on Deadwood and Vietnam Joe on John From Cincinnati. He was quite upset with my article, but provides a very detailed rebuttal in response..." [more]

Will JFC Continue?
August 22, 2007, Posted by "madison22" on, Re: Save John From Cincinnati, Reply #129
i just got off the phone with a nice man in David Milch's office. Naturally I gave my opinion about the stupidity of HBO in cancelling this remarkable spirtually based show. I asked if Mr. Milch would be interested in doing another season if HBO reversed the cancellation and he basically said Milch would have to do whatever they wanted. I took this as a "yes" Milch is willing but he's at the mercy of HBO, so we should keep plugging and dumping out. If 3 million people watched the last episode I ask you - what is so bad about that especially during the SUMMER for Christsake!!!

The Death of John from Cincinnati
August 22, 2007, By SERGE DEDINA at Café San Deigo

One of the most interesting components of JFC was the way it used the web to further interest in the characters and setting. According to Jackson West at

The Web played a role in the plot early on, such as with the fan site maintained by the character Dwayne (Matthew Maher) for the fictional family of surfing legends the Yosts. The young prodigy, Shaun Yost (played by Greyson Fletcher, real-life surf prodigy and son of surfing legend Christian Fletcher), is signed to a sponsorship deal by beachwear retailer Stinkweed on the strength of his lineage and amateur highlight reel. Levitating patriarch Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood) even lent his celebrity to real-life conservation charity WiLDCOAST.

I attended the premiere of JFC at Paramount Studios and found the first two episodes to be quirky, funny, interesting and off-the-wall. I hoped the rest of the series would go somewhere interesting. Unfortunately, as many of the production team complained to me while filming, the story wasn't going anywhere they or the audience could understand. After the third episode, I found the story almost impossible to follow and wasn't sure what was happening at all.

Milch, however, made it clear that the story really wasn't the point,

"My understanding of the way the mechanism of storytelling works is ...whether or not the audience is conscious of the process, apart from the audience awareness that there is a process, any story is constantly appending specific values to the meanings of words, and of the actions of characters. And the fact that story uses as its building blocks words or characters that the audience believes it has some prior recognition or understanding of, is really simply the beginning of the story, but not its end."

Insider Information
Aug 20, 2007, Posted by mag-girl on: TV Without Pity, Post#257

Just wanted to throw out a few bits of insider info. A friend of mine worked on DW and John.

David Milch didn't want Deadwood to be canceled. It is thought to be HBO's doing, thinking they could save money on John since it was not a period piece. AND they would own exclusive rights to it-- they shared the DW rights with Paramount, who paid NONE of the production costs.

It is unclear how much David Milch fought for DW. And, once DW was gone, David Milch was in a sense fickle. He didn't mourn DW, he just moved on to the next thing (I feel like that's why there is a continual influx of new characters with big storylines in his shows-- he's like a kid drawn to the shiniest new toy... I know that's oversimplifying, but what was up with the theater people in DW season 3?).

John ended up costing at least as much as DW per episode. Why? It was supposed to be shot on location 20% of the time. By the end of the season, it was shooting on location more than 50% of the time. And the number of cast members, who were kept on hold (on payroll) due to the lack of a schedule grew every episode.

John was supposed to have 12 episodes, but it was also supposed to shoot in half the time. At one point, April was thought to be the end of shooting, when in fact shooting went until the end of June.

The DW movies were tentatively scheduled to happen over the summer with May and June to prep for a July and August shoot (that was the window for the actors' availability). JFC going over schedule did keep them from happening. Though no one knows if they really would have happened-- or if they will happen in the future. I do know there is still talk of the movies happening, but Olyphant's and McShane's schedules don't seem to line up well in the near future.

Reshoots. 98% of the pilot was rewritten and reshot. And many other individual scenes were reshot for other episodes, but no other entire episode was reshot. But whoever noted the number of months it took for The Wire to do 12 episodes compared to John doing 10 is right on. That's the straw that broke the camels back. If this show had EITHER a medium-sized following OR a reasonable budget, it would be back. HBO doesn't mind giving things a chance. But the ratings were bad, and the budget was embarassing. Some network shows have the same cost for a season that John had for an episode. And no matter how creative David Milch is, there have to be some restraints. I think HBO is perfectly reasonable to say it can't take a month to shoot one episode of television.

Take that for what you will. I can't offer any real credibility except my word.

HBO plotting more for Milch 'Cincinatti' scribe inks new project
14 Aug 2007, By STEVEN ZEITCHIK, Variety
HBO and David Milch are prepping what could be the scribe's next project, and it's a return to familiar territory: the realm of New York City cops.

Sources said the creator will develop the project about a Vietnam veteran who returns to the U.S. in the early 1970s and joins the New York City police force. Story is loosely based on the experience of longtime Milch collaborator and fellow "NYPD Blue" exec producer Bill Clark, who is developing the show with Milch.

Project was one of several Milch and HBO began working on several years ago but put on the shelf as Milch worked on other series for the pay web. But with Milch's "John From Cincinnati" now officially off HBO's map, the cops project has now been revived... [more]

John From Cincinnati Concludes...and Milch Speaks!
August 14, 2007, by Will Dixon,
Variety's Cynthia Littleton had a chance to chat with creator David Milch about John From Cincinnati and specifically the first season's some snippets:

We talked a lot about how at its core "JFC" has a hopeful message of salvation and even redemption. It may have seemed gritty on the surface -- you can just smell the fetid-ness of Butchie's motel room, a credit to the show's set designers/decorators -- but it's a tale of the power of community, faith and the ability of even the most seemingly hopeful characters to find something to hang on to as they claw their way back.

Milch set out to challenge the conventions of TV storytelling with "JFC," even more so than he did on his last HBO series, "Deadwood," and in so doing he knew it would not be an easy sell in the climate of the smallscreen today. For sure, there was linear storytelling in "JFC" -- the saga of the Yost clan and their supporting troupe had a beginning, middle and climax in last night's finale, episode 10 -- but within each scene and within each character, there was no convention of having beat A lead neatly to beat B and then beat C and then the next act. Oh no, no, no. This is the hand of Milch, a guy who's thought a lot about the "tactics of fictive argument, generally." To wit, he explained, sounding very much like the Yale university lit lecturer that he once was in a previous life:

"My understanding of the way the mechanism of storytelling works is ...whether or not the audience is conscious of the process, apart from the audience awareness that there is a process, any story is constantly appending specific values to the meanings of words, and of the actions of characters. And the fact that story uses as its building blocks words or characters that the audience believes it has some prior recognition or understanding of, is really simply the beginning of the story, but not its end.

For example, to take a less controversial instance of stuff that I've worked on before: ("NYPD Blue" protagonist Andy) Sipowicz. We know him in the first episode (of "Blue") to be a racist, alcoholic. A slob and a fat bastard. Over the course of time, we come to attach different associations to him, based on our experiences....I think that's the case at every level of storytelling. Not just in terms of character but literally with every word, every sound that's made in a story."

Trying to Decipher 'John from Cincinnati'
August 13, 2007, John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
I won't pretend to have all the answers, or even any. I doubt anyone, creator David Milch included, fully understands everything this show has done. However, I will propose three possible theories to explain what this show means. Either one is correct, none are correct, or the truth is cobbled together in several parts... [more]

"John from Cincinnati": David Milch speaks
August 13, 2007 by Cynthia Littleton at

"Each character has the opportunity to generate God by his or her behavior. All of us are the mother and father of God, to the extent we accept the limits of our humanity."

David Milch, the Oracle of Imperial Beach, the co-creator with Kem Nunn of HBO's strange and wondrous "John from Cincinnati," was kind enough to indulge me in a few (but only a few) "what'd that mean" questions this morning as the hangover in the cerebral cortex from last night's season finale was really settling in. In this viewer's humble opinion, "JFC" wrapped on a high note -- high as the "whoooooos" that Little Richard vocalizes in "Long Tall Sally," the ecstatic R&B hit that was used to great effect in the final scenes.

The above quote is from Milch in response to my question about the very very last scene of Kai on the water. The shot of Kai expertly turning her body into a wave would've seemed to have stood alone, but then just as she turned her face to the camera to show a sly smile came the maddeningly intriguing voice-over from the John character: "Mother of God, Cass-Kai.

What!? After a second viewing of the episode, I was almost confident in my interpretation of nearly everything else that transpired in the previous 47 minutes -- even the pigeon-English scene between the two visiting Hawaiian drug dealers. But that voiceover clip at the very-very end threw me... [more]

John From Cincinnati: The universe continues
12 Aug 2007, by Rob A. McKenzie, The Apersand Blog, National Post
"Maybe David Milch is John. The season finale, and presumably the series finale, of John From Cincinnati was so disappointing that, seeking whatever secret redemption it might contain, I wondered if Milch had rendered his surfing prophet so banal as a warning against trust in prophets, perhaps including in that class himself, a TV writer (Deadwood, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues) whose many acolytes scrutinize his texts for shards of meaning and no doubt force themselves to find wisdom in the text that was broadcast last night. It did not salvage the series, as I had hoped it might.

It's not as if Milch needed to tie everything up in a pretty bow, but some order was called for, after this series' long stumble around the desert, a trip of mirages, oases, visions. Instead, the final line (and this is hardly a spoiler) was, if I heard correctly, John saying, "Mother of God, Cass Kai." We see Kai surfing as he says this, and Cass is presumably filming the scene. They're both secondary characters in the overpopulated cast – a cast that, incredibly, grew even larger in the finale, with the introduction of additional Hawaiian mobsters. The main plot point going into the finale – Will young surfer Shaun Yost be leaving, as John had warned he would? – ended tepidly. Shaun moves into his father's house. Well, his father's grotty motel room, but "his father's house" is probably how John would describe it. John is very big on telling folks they should listen to his nameless father, who presumably is God/the universe. On the other hand, in one scene, John seems to tell the Luke Perry character, a surfwear entrepreneur whose company is called Stinkweed, that the outcome of the Yost family's passion play is critical to global survival.

"The Internet is big. 9/11 is big. But not every towelhead is eradicated," John says, and then he adds the worst-case scenario: "You're all going to be toast. We're coming 9/11/14." Save the surfer. Save the world.

The last big scene is a parade at the beach. Not much happens. It was very important to John that an El Camino be procured for the parade; when it was paid for, he hugged its hood. El camino is Spanish for "the road." As the festivities begin, a scumball bellows to Shaun's porn-star mother, "Hey, Tina, I'm the guy who jerks off to your tapes," a comment so ill-received by her kinfolk that the perv skulks away in shamed defeat. Perry's character recaps his difficulties with the Yosts, who are purists, unlike himself. Ed O'Neill's character points out "the homosexual in the hybrid." Bikini models parade around. "Stinkweed lays down cover for my father," John says. And: "My father freelances in Cass's camera."

If David Milch wrote a series in which he were parodying himself, how could you tell?"

TV Interview with David Milch
09 August 2007, Travis Smiley,
... Milch: That is a question that anyone of faith asks himself in this version every day. Is the thing that I believe in most fundamentally absolutely useless in the society in which I am given to live? And the answer is, not if you act in faith. And so I must believe that I am God's surrogate in the sense that any of us, I believe, is put here to do his will as we understand it.

Whether we choose to or not is up to us, and so why surfers? Surfers are because my show - "Deadwood" was canceled, inexplicably to me. The suggestion -

Tavis: Six Emmy nominations, though.

Milch: The suggestion was made to me, why don't you do a show about surfers? Young, masculine, that's the demographic. Can you do that and have it engage your own spirit? "John From Cincinnati."

Tavis: "John From Cincinnati." And the title comes from?

Milch: The German mathematician Leibniz spoke of monads - indissoluble pieces of matter which God used to create the universe. And this guy's name on a credit card which appears in his hand is John Monad. And butchy surfer junky (unintelligible) member Monad, he says, "You look like the kind of guy that would come from Cincinnati." And John, who purifies the intention of anything that anyone says to him, says, "I am from Cincinnati."

Tavis: Yep. (Laughs) So, hence "John From Cincinnati."... [more]

"John from Cincinnati's" man behind the viral vid curtain
August 09, 2007, Cynthia Littleton, Variety
"HBO's "John From Cincinnati" wraps its bizarro 10-episode run on Sunday, but the show's devotees will still be able to feast in the coming weeks on fresh viral Internet video connected to the show and its weird cast of characters.

Just as the series has taken absurdist storytelling to new heights for mainstream TV, so too did co-creator/executive producer David Milch set out to harness the "long tail" functionality of the Internet to extend the "JFC" saga in original, mysterious ways (the only way Milch likes to work these days, apparently.)

The man behind the curtain of all the Internet vids that have trickled out on the Web since shortly before the show bowed in June has been Marc Ostrick, a distant relative of Milch's who was brought on in the pre-production stage and encouraged to run free with his DV and Super 8 cameras. As the John Monad character keeps observing, "the Internet is big." And a filmmaker couldn't ask for a more vibrant setting than the border beach town of Imperial Beach, Calif., and its fertile surf culture... " [more]

Developments in science, human consciousness hold promise of new discoveries, better world
June 28, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
" ...And now, the new HBO show "John from Cincinnati" is exploring similar aspects of emerging developments. This series has already demonstrated in the initial episodes that there is an understanding within the show's creative team about current research and discoveries.

In fact, "John from Cincinnati" seems to include elements such as creative content, location and other dynamics that are in sync with many efforts to communicate interesting understanding about our everyday realities and possibilities on the horizon"... [more]

Dead in the Water: David Milch on a surfing safari.
25 June 2007, by Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker
" ...In interviews and in his work, Milch expounds upon his great subject: the oneness of things, the connectedness and indivisibility of all life. This trope ran like a vein of ore through "Deadwood," without calling much attention to itself. This time around, the theme has become viral, killing everything in its path. On Craig Ferguson's late-night talk show a couple of weeks ago, when Milch was asked what "John from Cincinnati" was about, he said, "If God were trying to reach out to us, and if he felt a certain urgency about it . . . that's what it's about." Going deeper, he went on, "The wave . . . is the only visible embodiment of what physicists tell us all matter is composed of, which is particles held together by some kind of magnetic or molecular force. And that's what makes the waves move." After Ferguson did a little hostly vamping in response, Milch added, "And if God were trying to reach out to us, and teach us something about the deepest nature of matter, he might use some drugged-out surfers."

It may be that God is trying to reach out and touch the Yosts, who could use a little redemption, through the presence of John (Austin Nichols), a clean-cut oddball who turns up at the beach one day when Mitch is out riding the waves (he still surfs, though always alone and evidently without joy) and whose first words-addressed to Luke Perry, who plays a surfing agent named Linc-are "The end is near." (John's last name is Monad-the word Leibniz used to encompass the concept of eternal, irreducible simplicity.)... " [more]

John From Cincinnati Mondays, Eps. 1 & 2, "His Visit: Day One" & "His Visit: Day Two"
18 June 2007, By Keith Uhlich, The House Next Door Blog
Credit is due to David Milch: It took balls to commence his new series, John From Cincinnati, with a weathered and wizened Luke Perry (as surf promoter Linc Stark) stepping from an SUV into the early morning quietude of a California beach. For those many souls reeling from the now-infamous final moments of The Sopranos, the transition between James Gandolfini's quizzical mug and the age-hollowed stare of a former beach bum teen idol was an associative burden I suspect they'd rather not bear. "The end is near," says John Monad (Austin Nichols), who emerges from both the sand dune boonies (teeming with illegal aliens crossing clandestinely into the border town of Imperial Beach) and from the literal shadow of the man who was Dylan McKay. Both prophetic Adonis and idiot man-child, John is given to statements of holy writ portent, though he's less a messiah from on high (Jesus Fucking Christ) than an absolving creature of the sea, a sponge who soaks up the pain of others and reconstitutes it as fully-lived experience... [more]

SPACE ALIENS TAKE OVER HBO: John From Cincinnati Cancelled!
June 15, 2007, By Paul Holmes,
" ...Of course, there wasn't much about surfing in WWN and surfing was surely the hook HBO felt would give JFC an edge with an audience. If so, it was a fundamental error to set the series in Imperial Beach, Calif., which is mainly renowned among surfers for its poor waves and horribly polluted water. The idea that a three-generation family of pro surfers would make IB their home is the height of silliness masquerading as dark ironic humor. And, of course, as in all Hollywood renditions, there wasn't enough actual surfing in JFC to make it a must-see program for real surfers, although there was a bit of fun to be had in spotting the real surf celebs: Keala Kennelly and Grayson Fletcher in starring roles; the charismatic and photogenic Kala Alexander as a very believable Hawaiian underworld type; cameo and action surfing appearances by Brock Little, Shane Beschen, various Malloys, and more.

There was also some fiendish delight for insiders to see surf industry marketing get a none too subtle send-up in the sub-plot of the "Stinkweed" surfwear label's relaunch.

In the end it has to be concluded that JFC failed to re-up at HBO because even though its characters were colorful the show was just plain incomprehensible to most people. As The Hollywood Reporter said, announcing the cancellation: "Labeled by critics as "strange," "weird" and "unlikable," "John" never clicked with viewers despite a strong marketing campaign and such well-known leads as Rebecca De Mornay and Bruce Greenwood..." [more]

New HBO series 'John from Cincinnati' has metaphysical mysteries
June 14, 2007, By Steve Hammons,
"There seem to be many good reasons to check out the new HBO series "John from Cincinnati."

Some of these reasons were revealed when the show premiered last Sunday, June 10. That episode introduced viewers to the Yosts, a family of surfers and residents of Imperial Beach in far southern San Diego County... [more]

From Cincinnati, 'John' Goes Nowhere
June 9, 2007, By Tom Shales, Washington Post Staff Writer

(By John P. Johnson -
- Hbo Via Associated Press)
"Watching "John From Cincinnati," an abstruse new drama series premiering tomorrow night on HBO, flashed me back several decades to a New York Film Festival -- in particular, to an afternoon screening of a French movie called "Celine and Julie Go Boating."

After watching Celine and Julie prattle, jabber and putter about for two hours or so, but failing to see even the slightest glimpse of a boat, I put on my coat, slipped back into my loafers and tippy-toed up the aisle toward the beckoning red sign that said "Exit."

In "John From Cincinnati," a very small band of characters mill about a tiny beachside surfing community in Southern California and mull about their plights in life and how they could be improved, or something. At least two of the characters are expert surfers, but you never saw surfers do so little surfing in your life. Not until the last 10 minutes of the show do we finally get to see some fancy wave work, and unfortunately very little about the 40 minutes that precede this refreshing footage manages to make any appreciable sense...." [more]

Dead Tree Alert II: The Annotated John from Cincinnati
June 8, 2007, by James Poniewozik,

Sean, Butchie and John
hit the beach. / HBO photo:
John P. Johnson
This week in TIME, I also review John from Cincinnati on HBO (scroll down). Bottom line: don't get your hopes up.

But even if this David Milch series doesn't live up to Deadwood, it's rich and intelligent enough that it isn't really well-served by "bottom lines" and 200-word reviews. So I thought I'd reprint the review below, annotated with some of the things I had to leave out.

If you have seen the HBO ads, you will be wondering what the deal is with that series about the levitating surfer. After seeing three episodes of John from Cincinnati, a critic can tell you that it is about a levitating surfer. Beyond that, you are on your own.

OK, there's a bit more I can tell you. There's also a subplot about a lottery winner buying a shuttered fleabag motel, and a couple plot twists that would be spoilery but, more important, really do nothing to elucidate where this story is going, except that it's evidently about Something Really Big and Cosmic.... [more]

Pretensions sink surfers in 'John From Cincinnati'
June 8, 2007, By Matthew Gilbert, Globe Staff
"Watching HBO's surfing drama "John From Cincinnati" is like sitting through a bad play at a tiny experimental theater. The dialogue is loud pretentious nonsense signifying nothing but the creative dangers of mimicking Sam Shepard , Edward Albee , and Samuel Beckett . And the acting is a psychic traffic jam, because the actors don't understand their characters, because their characters are no more than vague symbols of -- what? -- being, nothingness, and the fury of being nothing

And as the actors grimace and squeeze out Existential Rage Against the Machine, using the f-word with much forced casualness, you, too, want to rage against a machine -- the clock, which is defining your waste of time...." [more]

Something's Up, and It's Not the Surf

John P. Johnson/HBO
None of the music in David Milch's new surfing series on HBO is by the Beach Boys. The surfing scenes are few and fleeting.

Instead seedy characters spit out a lot of obscenities, and some use oddly mannered speech, giving "John From Cincinnati" a flavor of "Deadwood," only in a contemporary beach setting - "Driftwood."

And then there are those magical happenings in the style of Gabriel García Márquez.

"John From Cincinnati," in other words, has many barriers to success, and the premiere episode is almost willfully strange and unlikable. But that doesn't mean that the series is bad, just peculiar, a solemn mythologization - and mystification - of surfing as unearthly pleasure and life-sapping addiction."

Bye Bye Bodhi: Why the movies always get surfing wrong-and John From Cincinnati gets it right.
June 8, 2007, By Thad Ziolkowski,
"There are three sorts of surf films: the hard-core variety, made for and by surfers, which consists, like pornography, mainly of high-performance action sequences and a music soundtrack (Back in Town, 2004); popularizing documentaries, which mix high-performance action sequences with explanatory narrative and interviews (Step Into Liquid, 2004); and Hollywood narratives, with their penchant for groan-inducing asseverations about surfing's mystical dimension and cheesy climactic scenes in big waves (Blue Crush, 2002)..." [more]

June 7, 2007, by Linda Stasi, New York Post
" ...When it looks like they've all given up, into their lives comes John who tells them that yes, indeed, the end is near. Well, howdy doo!

John - reminiscent of Jeff Bridge's character in the magical 1984 flick, "Star Man" - is innocent and possibly from another world. He brings into the Yost world the profound, the mysterious, the miraculous and, oh yes, possibly the end of the world.

As profane as "Deadwood" and as profound as "The Sopranos," the series strikes every right chord - or at least it does with me.

Strangely enough, in college I was a (bad) surfer-wannabe whose boyfriend was a great surfer and whose best friend was a champion surfer turned junky, whose father happened to own the seedy motel on the beach.

On the upside, while our pal was in jail, I got to drive his vintage Porche, which just happens to be the very same one that a girl filmmaker drives in the show.

Hey, maybe it's not such a strange show after all."

HBO's New Oddity: John from Cincinnati
June 7, 2007, by Ed Martin, The Huffington Post
" ...There is no way to describe this show, which premieres Sunday after the series finale of The Sopranos, without using words like "meditative" or "contemplative" or "challenging" (or "boring"). Beyond that, I'm at a loss for words. Perhaps it's best to let Milch explain what he's getting at here. He appeared (along with co-executive producer and co-creator Kem Nunn) at the January Television Critics Association tour to introduce John. Here are some of his comments from that press session:

Asked about Mitch the floater and Zippy the life-restoring bird, Milch replied, "There are mystical components [to the story]. In terms of what's going on, that's sort of an unfolding question . . . I think that one man's mystical is another man's day-to-day."

In response to a question about the themes running through the show, Milch said, "To my mind reality is a shifting and elusive condition. It redefines itself constantly . . . This is a story that takes place on the margins of things. The attempt to identify the coordinates of reality is itself a kind of problematic and conditional effort. It's changing all the time. Where are we when we sleep? What is our sense of reality at the moment? Science now suggests to us that what has been perceived as matter for a long time is, in fact, energy. That what looks solid, in fact, is constituted in waves. That Einstein's beautiful mathematical equations that depict the nature of reality don't apply at certain levels. I think that's true as well about what constitutes the natural and the supernatural. It depends on what foxhole you're in."

And about the analogy between surfing and faith in the show, Milch explained, "The first thing to say is I don't have the vaguest idea about surfing in terms of having lived the experience. But by the same token, I didn't live in Deadwood in 1876, either. You know, I'm from Buffalo, New York. There's a wonderful parochialism freedom [coming] from [the] rust belt, not huge cities. Freud wrote an essay called "The Narcissism of Perceived Difference". There's a certain narcissism of perceived difference that pertains in the surfing world too, which is, if you don't surf, impossible to understand. We used to say that in Buffalo. "If you're not from Buffalo . . . you really don't get it." You say, "Well, he's from Rochester. What can he know?" As time goes on, you come to realize what seemed to be chasms of difference that cannot be bridged turn out not even to exist."

What all that has to do with birds, boning, bowel movements and levitation, I don't know. What I do know is that John from Cincinnati is not the show HBO needs right now to restore it to the glory it enjoyed in recent years with The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood and Sex and the City. But who knows? Milch is nothing less than a force of nature. There's no telling where this show is going to go.

Austin Nichols, the actor who portrays John, also appeared (along with co-stars Bruce Greenwood, Rebecca De Mornay and Brian Van Holt) on the TCA panel, and was asked by one critic "how the hell" he plays his bizarre character. "[Milch] turns me around in circles and then sends me off," Nichols replied. "It's mystifying."

Viewers will relate."

John From Cincinnati: Planet Waves: David Milch and Kem Nunn's damaged but revered surfing family
June 6, 2007, By ROBERT ABELE,
One of these is not like the others: Fletcher,
Van Holt and Nichols emerge.
(Photo by John P. Johnson)
"One of the peculiarities of TV-series criticism - especially the kind intended to anticipate the debut of a show - is its goal of assessing something inherently incomplete. Book critics aren't given only the first four chapters of a new novel, and they don't stop at page 140 and start typing away (or if they did, they wouldn't admit it). Film reviewers can't exit the theater halfway through a film, as much as they might like to. Same with theater critics. But if you're writing about a single episode of a new TV show - maybe two or three if you're lucky - you're essentially weighing in on something that is in all likelihood still in production, a pulsating, evolving thing in the minds of its creators, and aiming for a life of perhaps many, many years, and possibly different artistic directions. The artists are still stirring the pot, in other words, and as a critic in the prelaunch phase it can sometimes feel like you only get to judge the ingredients.

Granted, this is not a circumstance that perplexes the brain if you are dealing with another insipid procedural or machine-pressed sitcom designed for quick recognition, or the comfort of the known. But this conundrum is definitely what I kept coming back to as I watched the first three episodes of John From Cincinnati...." [more]

At HBO, veterans rise to the top
June 05, 2007, By Claudia Eller and Meg James, Los Angeles Times
"In choosing a new HBO chief executive, Time Warner Inc. on Tuesday opted for corporate stability over bringing an outsider into the famously insular cable network. Last month the media giant was forced to find a replacement for former Chief Executive Chris Albrecht when he was fired after assaulting his girlfriend in Las Vegas.

But instead of bringing in a creative visionary like Albrecht, the force behind such iconic programs as 'The Sopranos' and 'Sex and the City,' Time Warner promoted five senior business veterans who have worked largely behind the scenes at HBO. None have the big personality, the high profile or the programming expertise of their predecessor, leading some to wonder whether the management arrangement might be temporary...

Both Simon and David Milch, executive producer of 'John From Cincinnati,' which premieres Sunday, said Plepler had helped shape their projects.

'He has done everything possible to make sure that my work is seen by as many people as possible,' Milch said. Yet some in Hollywood worried about navigating HBO's crowded executive suites. 'Who do you call?' one agent asked. 'Before, it was pretty clear.' [more]

John From Cincinnati (2007)
June 04, 2007, By Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

John P. Johnson
Chances are, if you know nothing else about John From Cincinnati, you've seen the TV and print ads of Bruce Greenwood, who plays a legendary surfer, levitating a few inches off the ground. It's a paranormal touch not usually associated with the low-down humanism of series co-creator David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue). But it is in keeping with the work of co-creator Kem Nunn, a surfer and novelist whose books - starting with the great Tapping the Source (1984) - have always allowed for the elemental, mystical pull of the ocean...

...I barely have room to say that Married... With Children's Ed O'Neill is wondrous and Deadwood-style foulmouthed as an ex-cop family friend, and Luke Perry is archly wolfish as the surfing promoter who helped ruin Mitch's career and plots to control Shaun's. And Greenwood - so sly and quiet yet commanding - renders Mitch a surfer of great metaphysical waves. The ceaseless ways in which Milch and Nunn challenge our expectations about how families, friends, and strangers are meant to convey their fealty to each other, along with some fine hard-boiled dialogue and fisticuffs, suggest great continuing pleasures.

The TV-network apothecaries like their products labeled for easy audience identification - Hugh Laurie's House is always cranky; Ugly Betty is always pretty on the inside. Yet I, like some of you, enjoy the experience more when there are some things I know and some things I don't. We are, in short, in league with this John from Cincinnati. A-

HBO Honcho Was Off The Wagon, Is Now On Leave Of Absence
08 May 2007,
According to a memo just sent around HBO by Chris Albrecht, he started drinking again a few years back and then everything went wrong and then he was in jail this weekend in Las Vegas for allegedly harming his girlfriend and now he has to take a leave of absence from HBO which is all so totally crazy that we can't wait to watch it on HBO. Holy smokes. The memo follows.
From: Albrecht, Chris (HBO)

Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 3:40 PM

To: *HBO All (HBO)

Subject: Message to HBO Colleagues and Friends

My colleagues and friends:

I am deeply sorry for what occurred in Las Vegas this weekend and for any embarrassment it caused my family, the company I love, and myself.

While I am not at liberty to discuss the incident as the district attorney and my lawyer are still determining the facts, it is my hope to do so in the near future.

This weekend was a wake-up call to me of a weakness I thought I had overcome long ago. I had been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for thirteen years. Two years ago, I decided that I could handle drinking again. Clearly, I was wrong. Given that truth, I have committed myself to sobriety. I intend to take a temporary leave of absence from HBO effective today, in order to go back to working with AA.

Leading this company is a great privilege and I pray that I can continue to do so in a manner that brings honor and pride to this remarkable organization and its remarkable people. Thank you for your understanding during these difficult hours, I will not let you down again.


tv's great writer: David Milch
20 April 2007, interviewed by Forum Director David Thorburn, MIT Communications Forum

David Milch has been called television's first artistic genius, its great writer. His powerful dramas have troubled the censors in the networks and in Congress and have explored human weakness and violence in disturbing and artful ways. One of television's most honored writers, his credits include Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue (co-created with Steven Bochco) and the pioneering HBO series Deadwood. In this Forum, Milch will discuss his career as a writer and creator with Forum Director David Thorburn, a historian of television who knew Milch as a Yale student. The session will include clips distilled from Milch's best work.


[this is an edited summary, not a verbatim transcript]

DAVID THORBURN: Our guest is David Milch, who has been called television's first artistic genius. He's won numerous awards for his work on shows such as Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, and most recently, Deadwood. I met David at Yale when I was starting my career as a professor and he was a graduate student; when he heard I was interested in media, he showed me a short film he had made in a truck stop that was full of the kind of black humor that characterizes his work today. I thought we'd begin by showing a clip from Hill Street Blues. It's a brief clip, but I think it demonstrates some of the qualities that characterize his work.

(A clip from Hill Street Blues is shown in which Sid the informant tries to convince Buntz the cop to help buy a large, under priced quantity of cocaine and become rich selling it.)

David, could you tell us about these characters?

DAVID MILCH: Sid is kind of a Falstaff character, a cheerfully amoral counterpoint to Buntz. Buntz is a cop who is very uncomfortable in his own skin. Sid is the inner part of Buntz that wants to break the law, and Buntz is always repressing that urge by beating down Sid... [more]

After 'Sopranos,' a Need for a Hit: HBO's chief executive is preparing for life after the "The Sopranos" with a cachet of new offerings.
March 22. 2007, Wilmington Star News Online
"...Michael Nathanson, a media analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein, said Mr. Albrecht's confidence about the channel's future is probably well placed. He said HBO has been adept at taking advantage of the expanding ways to get programs to viewers, especially through services like video-on-demand.

HBO has taken advantage of that technology, which allows viewers to watch HBO's shows whenever they want, better than anyone else in the television business, Mr. Nathanson said.

"If you look at it in the traditional way," Mr. Nathanson said, "you might say HBO should be worried because it might lose viewers if its doesn't have another 'Sopranos.' But its subscriber base keeps growing, and I think it's because of how well they are doing with video-on-demand." Mr. Albrecht said HBO was promising its customers the channel would deliver "the goods," which he defined as "something you can't get anywhere else."

In that category, he includes "John From Cincinnati," a drama that combines the zen of the surfing culture with doses of philosophy, quantum physics and dysfunctional family life. And a visit from what may be an extraterrestrial.

Though that does not sound like a genre that would have built-in appeal - like, say, gangster stories - "John" has been fast-tracked, moving into production quicker than anything HBO has done. It is also getting a blessed push-off on June 10 at 10 p.m. immediately after the final scene of "The Sopranos."

"John" will emerge as a new signature show for the channel, becoming the 9 p.m. centerpiece of an expanded three-hour Sunday block running through the summer. Previously HBO had filled only the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. block with original series; starting in June that will begin at 8 p.m.

The show, which stars Rebecca DeMornay and Luke Perry, was created by David Milch, who was behind the HBO drama "Deadwood." That western series, if not quite earning a place on HBO's album of greatest hits, had an ardent following. Fans felt blindsided by the news that Mr. Milch and HBO were shutting down "Deadwood" at the end of last season.

That decision was later rescinded and HBO now plans to do two movie versions of "Deadwood" to tie up loose ends. Mr. Albrecht said the experience had taught HBO some lessons about the need to wrap up big serialized dramas, out of obligation to those paying customers who had been devoted to the shows.... [more]

More on Milch's John from Cincinnati
Nov 21st 2006, by Julia Ward,
Monday's New York Times features a story on David Milch and the writing process behind his forthcoming HBO pilot John from Cincinnati. If you've been reading our reports on the series' casting, you know that HBO's enthusiasm for this project is what brought about the earlier-than-anticipated-end of Milch's other HBO outing, Deadwood.

Most Deadwood fans, including myself, were pretty pissed to find out that Deadwood was getting the boot thanks to a show about the first family of surfing, but what are you going to do? Artists grow. They change. They want to write other stuff, and most fans of Milch will follow him anywhere including the sunny California coast.

The New York Times piece comes as some relief in that the more we learn about... [more]

A Producer Hangs 10 in a Risky HBO Pilot
November 20, 2006, By DAVID CARR, New York Times

Monica Almeida/The New York Times
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Writing is generally a silent, solitary pursuit. But not for David Milch, one of the most prolific and successful writers in television with a résumé that includes Emmys for work on "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" and, most recently, critical plaudits for HBO's darkly poetic "Deadwood." He composes verbally, extemporaneously and in a crowd.

His method, and a bit of his madness, were on display here recently in front of a roomful of actors, writers, an ex-cop and a lip-reading deaf girl. They had come to Mr. Milch's plain-vanilla offices to work on a pilot for "John From Cincinnati," a drama for HBO. The pilot, scheduled for broadcast in the spring, is based on the travails of a mythical first family of surfing. "John from Cincinnati" is taking shape under Mr. Milch's direction as executive producer, with the surf novelist Kem Nunn, among others, providing aquatic verisimilitude. The story defies television genre-speak, but in literature it would be called surf noir. There is a dysfunctional family viewed through the twin prisms of surfing and heroin addiction, a space alien and a lawyer named Dickstein. It should be mentioned that some characters occasionally levitate.... [more]

Luke Perry joins cast of David Milch's latest
Nov 16th 2006, by Julia Ward,
Former 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry has joined the cast of Deadwood scribe David Milch's latest outing for HBO, John from Cincinnati. Production on the series began this month with Perry in a guest starring role that has turned full-time.

If you've been following news about Deadwood, you know that John from Cincinnati is the project responsible for truncating our beloved Black Hills-set episodic. HBO chief Chris Albrecht told reporters back in July that he was the guy who suggested ending Deadwood early to get started on John, a project for which he apparently has more enthusiasm. [emphasis added] I personally have yet to forgive him for this.

While I'm sure David Milch could spin television gold from straw, John from Cincinnati's premise is... [more]

HBO greenlights David Milch's new show
Oct 23rd 2006, by Bob Sassone,
"This is great news if you're a David Milch fan, but probably bad news if you're a Deadwood fan.

HBO has given the thumbs up for 12 episodes of the new surfing drama John From Cincinnati from Milch. The show is about a mystery man who moves to Imperial Beach, California to take surfing lessons from a screwed up family. But does he have an ulterior motive, perhaps one involving revenge against something that happened many years earlier? It has an interesting cast, including Bruce Greenwood (Nowhere Man), Rebecca DeMornay, Ed O'Neill (Married...With Children), Brian Van Holt (Threshold) and Austin Nichols.

So I guess that, except for those two movies that are coming next year, this is probably the last we'll see of Deadwood."

Surf's up for Milch as HBO takes skein: Duo shore up link with 'John' show
Oct. 22, 2006, By DENISE MARTIN,
"HBO and David Milch are back in business.

The network has greenlit 12 episodes of "John From Cincinnati," a surf noir family drama set in Southern California from the "Deadwood" creator-exec producer.

Production begins in November for a premiere next summer....

Meanwhile, Kem Nunn, whose work has been focused on dark novels with a surfing motif, was working with Milch on "Deadwood." Between HBO executives and the writers, the idea for "John" was born.

"Kem had already written about the exact area 'John' is set, near the border between Mexico and the United States, an integral element to the story," Milch said. "I then met with the Fletchers and the idea kind of fleshed itself out afterward." He said there are only loose similarities between the real-life Fletcher family and the Yosts...." [more]

HBO Greenlights Alan Ball's True Blood and David Milch's John From Cincinnati
July 14th, 2006,
"Presiding over a packed house Wednesday, the third day of the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour in Pasadena, Albrecht told reporters that HBO will "definitely do" a new series from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball called True Blood, the vampire drama he has been developing for the past year, says Variety.

Albrecht also gave a virtual greenlight to David Milch's John From Cincinnati, a Hawaiian surf-set one-hour that HBO began developing several months ago. Albrecht explained that his enthusiasm for the new project was the primary reason for the truncated ending to Deadwood.

"David has a finite amount of time," Albrecht said. HBO's showrunners "are so involved with what they do (that) we practically have to pry the shows out of their hands to get them on the air," he added, noting that he suggested ending "Deadwood" with six episodes in order to get an early start on "John.""


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