Producer Zainab Jah and director Tim Naylor are currently in pre-production for the first eight-episode season of "PX This," created and co-written by Abbe Diaz, the "former maitre d’ to the stars." The new web series is based on Diaz’s published four-year (‘real-time’) diary of the same title, widely regarded in NYC as the "bible" of the restaurant world. Diaz, a 20 year veteran of the food/beverage industry, has manned the podiums for such illustrious and world-renowned restaurateurs as: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Brian McNally, Jonathan Morr, and current Waverly Inn proprietors, Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson.
Producer Jah had heretofore intended to keep the project under wraps and was unwilling and/or unprepared to disclose any information regarding the series, until last week when, on October 14th, 2008, she discovered an article in Variety, which forced her hand. It seems CBS has just signed a development deal with Jason Jones and Samantha Bee ("The Daily Show") to pen an as-yet-unnamed series about the "behind-the-scenes world of a celebrity chef… and the two women who run his cooking empire."
[More information at http://www.variety.com/VR1117993924.html ]
The series treatment for "PX This" (registered with the WGA on December 7, 2007), which has been making the rounds of several Hollywood agencies, is strikingly and undeniably similar to CBS’s as-yet-unwritten concept.
"We are still hesitant to provide all the details," says Jah, "but we do feel confident and proud to divulge some of the names involved," which include such bold-facers as: Michael Imperioli, Steven R. Schirripa, John Ventimiglia ("The Sopranos") and producer Brian Grazer.
"Well, I guess CBS might have another ‘Cashmere Mafia’ vs ‘Lipstick Jungle’ situation on its hands," remarks Diaz, "but it’s all good. After all, CBS is a TV network, and we’re a web series. I mean, they’re not going to show on the internet, right?" she chuckles, "Why would they? Besides, I feel strongly going forward– at least I have true life experience, insight, credibility, tenacity, and passion on my side– as well as talent (referring to director Naylor and series co-writers Benjamin King and Fernando Gomes). Now we’ll just strive to be like Ratatouille‘s answer to No Reservations. Is that a restaurant insider joke?"
Jah laughingly adds, "And for all the naysayers, we have money, too. But not so much we won’t consider an offer from CBS, in case they decide they’d like to save some time and energy."
THE PREMIERE OF "PX THIS" [THE SERIES] HAS BEEN DELAYED DUE TO UNAVOIDABLE SCHEDULING CONFLICTS WITH OTHER IMPERATIVE PROJECTS, THE CALAMITOUS COLLAPSE OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEMS, AND THE PERSISTENT DRUNKENNESS OF EVERY OPERATIVE INVOLVED. WE DEEPLY APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED AND THANK YOU PROFUSELY FOR YOUR PATIENCE, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND CONTINUING SUPPORT.
SORRY WE HAD TO JUMP THE GUN AND ANNOUNCE THE PREMIERE OF THE "PX THIS" SERIES PREMATURELY. PLEASE BLAME IT ALL ON CBS, WHO EVIDENTLY FELT A DIRE AND DESPERATE NEED TO ANNOUNCE TO THE ENTIRE WORLD THEIR CURSORY PLANS TO PRODUCE AN AS-YET-UNNAMED AS-YET-UNWRITTEN TELEVISION SERIES (WHICH JUST HAPPENS TO BE STRIKINGLY AND UNDENIABLY SIMILAR TO "PX THIS").
[ SPEAKING OF WHICH, WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT? IF YOU’RE FEELING RATHER IMPATIENT, PLEASE BEAR IN MIND CBS HAS ABOUT A BAZILLION MORE DOLLARS AND RESOURCES THAN WE, AND YET SOMEHOW THEY CAN’T SEEM TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER IN ALMOST A FULL YEAR’S TIME, EITHER. ]
ALSO FEEL FREE TO BLAME VARIETY, WHO CLEARLY FELT THE NEED TO TRIP ALL OVER THEMSELVES TAKING CBS’S
EVERY FUCKING SNEEZE ANNOUNCEMENT TO PRESS, BUT YET SOMEHOW THEY CAN’T FIND IT IN THE GOODNESS OF THEIR HEARTS TO ALLOW A RELEVANT COMMENT TO BE POSTED AT THE ONLINE VERSION OF THEIR STORY — WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY WE WERE FORCED TO RELEASE OUR REJOINDER TO OUR GOOD FRIENDS AT NEW YORK MAGAZINE INSTEAD.
PLEASE REST ASSURED "PX THIS" THE SERIES IS COMING.
(OHHHH IT’S COMING, MUTHERFUKKERS.)
THANK YOU AGAIN. SO SO MUCH.
the producers, director, and writers of "PX This" The Series.
"… But this is okay. All of this is okay, and I will tell you why in two words:
I have had the good fortune of seeing some truly great performances, and Ms. Jah’s work as Azmera gets a top spot on my list. This young actress is a revelation, turning in a stunning, startling, wrenching performance that no MRT audience member will soon – if ever – forget. She commands the stage with a power and presence like few actors I’ve seen; her luminosity fills the theater. She is the only actor in this production who is not only intimately and thoroughly in touch with her character but is also completely real, aware, and alive in every single moment of the play. Ms. Jah is, in a word, electrifying.
And for her performance alone, you should run – do not walk – to the Merrimack Repertory Theatre to see Tranced.
The play is adequate.
Zainab Jah, however, will move you." – The Boston Examiner
** UPDATED **
PX This: The Series