Lots of things have been happening in the world of crime fiction, even in our current pandemic situation. It’s always good to keep up with current crime-fictional events, and there’s talk that there might be a show that would profile crime fiction news. Let’s listen in on a broadcast headquarters team meeting about this project:
Several people are just tuning in to a Zoom meeting about the television show. They are: Sally, the researcher; Bryan, the head writer; and Tyler, who produces the show.
Tyler: Thanks, everyone. I’m glad you could make it.
Bryan: You said there was some big news?
Sally: I’m curious, too. I mean, Crime Fiction News Break was cancelled almost two years ago. We’re all on different projects now.
Tyler (Waits for a moment until he has the others’ attention): That’s true, Sally, it was. But the management’s thinking of bringing it back.
Bryan: What? Really?
Tyler: They think there’s still a market for it, so… (He shrugs). And I wanted to know if you two would be interested in working on it.
Sally: I guess it could work. And I’d love to do the research for it. Would this be the same sort of thing as Crime Fiction News Break was – a news show about crime fiction?
Tyler: Pretty much. There would be some slight adjustments made, I’m sure. And we don’t even know that management’s going to follow through with it. So I can’t promise anything.
Bryan: But you’re optimistic, right?
Tyler: I wouldn’t say that. I’d say it’s being discussed, and that’s as far as I can go. I just wanted to see what you two thought about it, since you did the show before.
Bryan: Well, I’m all for it. People liked it, I always thought.
Sally: They did. The ratings were good, and we got lots of positive feedback. (She pauses for a moment and looks down. Then she looks back up at her camera). I do have one question, though. Who would –
Tyler: Hold on a sec, someone else is logging in.
Margot: Hi, everyone. Sorry I’m late. I had a podcast interview this morning.
Tyler: That’s OK, we were just getting started.
Margot: This isn’t going to take long, is it? My stylist will be here in half an hour and she cannot stand to be kept waiting.
Tyler: I think we’ll be OK time-wise. Anyway, Sally, you had a question?
Sally: Yes. I wanted to ask who would host the show.
Tyler (Looking a little uncomfortable): Well –
Margot: Me, of course! Why is this even a question?
Bryan: But you’re – Are you sure the show’s the right match for you?
Margot: Match? Who cares about that? I’m the draw for viewers. I’ll be a godsend to the ratings. I was before. Besides, I like to read.
Sally (Sends Bryan a text: ‘Yeah, cereal boxes!’ She looks up to see Bryan smiling): But the show needs someone who keeps up with what’s going on in the genre. Someone who keeps track of things, knows the books and authors.
Margot (Indulgently): But that’s where you come in, Sally. You get all of the information I need. The rest is show business.
Tyler (Noticing that things are not going well). Look, we’re not making any decisions today, anyway. We don’t even know this is going to happen.
Bryan: If it does, there are still plenty of crime fiction things happening, even with the pandemic going on.
Margot (Looking very smug): That’s right. In fact, I have some news of my own. (Picks up a glass of champagne from a small table on her right)
Tyler: What’s your news?
Margot: I’m going to be one of the judges for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel!
Sally (Taken aback): You are?
Margot: (Takes a sip of her champagne) Why not?
Bryan: That’s a really prestigious crime writing award! Doesn’t that involve reading a lot of books? I mean…do you have time for that?
Margot: Oh, I’m not actually going to read them. I’ll have my assistant read them and send in her notes. It’s easy.
Sally: But what if someone asks you about them?
Margot: Oh, Lily’ll tell me about the books, too, so I’m ready when I go on the talk show circuit.
Tyler: Well, that’s great, Margot. When will the award be given?
Margot: Sometime later this year. They didn’t set a date yet. I hope they’ll tell me soon, though. I mean, I’ve got to plan my travel, my wardrobe, the whole thing. I need some notice!
Sally (Eager to return to the main topic): So what about the show, Tyler. Is there going to be one?
Tyler: Like I said, I don’t know. I just wanted to see what you thought about it. I’ll take your reactions to management and see what I hear. Thanks for being here, everyone!
Sally and Bryan wave and leave the meeting. Margot lifts her glass in a toast and leaves as well. Tyler shakes his head a bit as he closes the Zoom program.