table writing


table writing
n.
The creation of scripts, jokes, and stories by a committee of writers.
Example Citation:
In addition, [Larry] Gelbart argues, TV writing has grown more solipsistic: whereas television once attracted people trained in radio, film and theater, it's now the province of lifelong couch potatoes with a fondness for inside jokes. And on sitcoms, those jokes are increasingly crafted by committees. "There's a custom out here now called table writing," he says. "A draft will be prepared by one or two writers, and the staff will sit around a table and try to get in as many new lines as possible."
—Michiko Kakutani, "Master of His Domain," The New York Times, February 1, 1998
Earliest Citation:
To circumvent Writers Guild of America rules discouraging "table writing" (a group effort common in TV which has resulted in lawsuits over credits when practiced on feature films), the brainstormers were required to sign waivers.
—Rex Weiner and Adam Dawtrey, "New Bond issue may rattle lion's cage," Variety, December 9, 1996
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