Writer Mike Klein has just sold his pilot script "The Wexler Chronicles," a character-driven dramedy inspired by his real-life struggle to cope with his brother's suicide. Lenny is the brash, headstrong president of PDN (whose most trusted advisor is her 14-year-old daughter), and who must approve all of Mike's creative decisions. Mike discovers that the road to a prime time slot is fraught with peril. At the network casting session, Mike's choice of a lead actor is overruled, and he is forced to cast his distant second choice, Zach, whose boy-next-door looks are better suited to Middle America. Also, Lenny has one "small" problem with the script--she feels that the suicide story, the show's main premise, is too depressing for prime-time television. Mike gets little support from his manager Alice, whose constant reassurances seem a little empty. His only real comfort comes from his wife, Natalie. But she has practical concerns--she's pregnant with their second child and knows that if Mike's pilot does not get picked up, he's out of a job. During filming, Zach, who's still struggling to "find his character," becomes preoccupied with his indifferent leading lady, Laurel, which does nothing to help his acting. Lenny, buoyed by the surprisingly strong overnight ratings for her new smash reality hit "Slut Wars," has made up her mind that the suicide has to go and insists on cutting an alternate and more slapstick version of the pilot. Battling ill-health and ill will, Mike wrestles with daily disasters, all the while trying to stay true to his original vision.


Jake Kasdan