5:00 a.m.: I wake up so early that not even the dogs will get out of bed and join me.

6:15 a.m.: I catch a cab to the airport with my fellow Executive Producer Paul Mullie.  As we pull away from the curb, I lament the fact that the production office didn’t drop off my car last night (off getting winter tires) because my hat is in the back seat and I fear I may need it in New York.

7:00 a.m.: At the airport, meet up with fellow Executive Producer Jay Firestone who has packed his tux in one of his carry-on suitcases because he’ll be staying in New York for the International Emmys.  (Note: I didn’t even know there was such a thing.)

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

 7:30 a.m.: Our flight departs for Toronto.  When Jay mentioned we’d be flying in a “prop plane”, my mind immediately went to the “prop guns” and “prop gadgets” we used to build on Stargate, reasonable facsimiles of the real thing.  I imagined the airline buying one of these phoney planes from a production and retrofitting it with an actual working engine.  Beats having to build a real one from scratch!  But, alas, Paul disabused me of the notion by informing me that “prop” is actually short for “propellor” – which didn’t make me feel any better.  Since it was my first time flying one of these things, I got to swing the propellor to start the engine while, inside the cockpit, the pilot shouted: “Contact!” letting me know I had less than thirty seconds to scramble aboard before the plane took off.  Enroute, we dusted some crops!

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

The east coat is a veritable winter wonderland!

We flew into Newark Airport and, from there, it was smoooooth sailing into New York City.  So smooth, in fact, that we arrived half an hour early for our meeting. We informed the front desk at 30 Rock.  They told us to beat it.

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

Check it out!  They’re working on the big Christmas tree!

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

11:00 a.m.: After going out for coffee and chapstick, we returned to 30 Rock, met up with fellow Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza, then headed up to the SyFy offices where we met up with our long-time favorite SyFy Exec (and longtime Stargate fan and supporter) Executive VP of Programming and Original Movies for SyFy and Chiller Tom Vitale!  We also met our Dark Matter point person at the network, Senior VP of Programming Chris Regina who struck me as both super nice and super sharp.  And he’s also a fellow foodie and fantasy football enthusiast!

We chatted about the show for an hour and then headed off for a lunch of lamb burgers and polenta fries at Bolud Sud.

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!2:00 p.m.: With approximately two hours to kill before our meeting with SyFy Marketing, we accompanied Vanessa to the Nike Store where she spent approximately 90 minutes browsing and trying stuff on including a pair of running shoes that apparently light up under headlights – and camera flashes.  I put ’em to the test –

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!


Apparently, 90 minutes wasn’t enough time for Vanessa so she set some items aside for a post-meeting perusal, and we headed back to 30 Rock for our meeting with the Marketing team.

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

4:00 p.m.: I pitched our show: the opener, the themes, nature vs. nurture, redemption, twists, turns!  Paul backed me up.  Jay delved into marketing and licensing.  Vanessa fielded questions related to production and scheduling.  I think it went over well.  Nobody left the room or fell asleep while I was speaking (always a good sign).

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

5:00 p.m.: Paul and I leave and spend the next 30 minutes trying to hail a cab. We eventually succeeded and spent over an hour in gridlock. finally arriving at the airport an hour before our scheduled departure.

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

I had time to grab this not-so-delicious $12 sandwich.

November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

11:00 p.m.: By the time we arrive, go through customs, catch a cab, and get in – I take a shower and crawl into bed thoroughly exhausted.  Then remember I have a blog to update.

25 thoughts on “November 21, 2014: The New York Play By Play!

  1. Just slightly jealous. Though I grew up in NJ and frequently flew out of Newark and JFK (airline kid), I can count on one hand the number of times I visited Manhattan before college; two hands if I include visits since 1979.

  2. PS–Airline kid again: Private aircraft? Charter flight? Scheduled air carrier?

    PPS–Vanessa, I love the shoes. I always worry about pedestrians in the winter months. I learned the safety rules in my rural childhood but see so many in my city who don’t practice safe walking.

  3. Thanks for giving us our daily update about the show. We appreciate your foregoing sleep to do it.

  4. Glad you are safely home! Do take some time to rest up, lest you get sick.

    xoxo (in a totally non-stalkerish kind of way)


  5. It’s been a decade or 2 [?] since I’ve been to NY, NY – in fact, I stayed at a hotel right next to RADIO CITY… Anyway, I always found that the quickest way to get a CAB was at the FRONT door of any BIG Hotel! – [out on the Avenue, is a waste of time this time of year and/or before any of the “SHOWS” start] – Just TIP the DOOR-GUY well and pray that you can get across the Avenues within your Life Time!

  6. All that and you STILL thought of us! What a guy! 🙂

    Myself, I’m off to (or rather through) Vegas this morning (very early!) to head up to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks do some hiking and a little photography – and to just relax. I’ll keep you all posted, I’m sure!

  7. Thanks for taking the time to update after that busy day.

    LOL at the “prop” plane. I’m surprised you have never flown in one.

    Cool shoes Vanessa.

    Hi Tom 😀

  8. I flew Newark to Toronto in the Summer – my first flight from Newark….the ladies who worked Security scared the crap out of me!!!

    And that was just the way they spoke to their fellow Security team members!!

  9. Your commitment to this blog is truly amazing! And it is very much appreciated. I remember other times, other trips when you were even more exhausted, flogging your talents and getting little to no acknowledgment. I am so pleased to that this time it’s a very fruitful exhaustion. This is a good thing. Enjoy this new journey and many thanks for bringing us along

  10. Wow that was a crazy day. This is really exciting seeing a tv show grow and unfold. Flying into Newark … That’s brave.

  11. Thanks for the trip to NY. That was fun! Flying in and out of Newark last year several times, I only looked over and saw NY city. Didn’t go. It is most impressive from the air. Wish I flew in on a crop duster like you and avoided all the long lines and boarding nonsense with the rest of the general flying public.

    “Paul disabused me…” Does that mean he slapped some sense into you? Vanessa has some pretty cool shoes there. Thanks for getting back up and updating your blog for us. You know we would have been worried and come looking for you.

    PS: I get up at 5:10 am Monday thru Friday… 🙂

  12. I’m a native born New Yorker, but the last 38 yrs. or so have been here in New Jersey. I thank you for so speaking so warmly of my two home areas. And yes, kabra, Joe and Paul ARE brave for flying into Newark.
    A little late, but beware the $12 sandwiches.


  13. kabra…flying into Newark isn’t such a big deal…the airport is fine.
    Going *into* certain parts of the city of Newark can be quite sketchy.

  14. You surely spend a lot of time in the frigid cold! I can’t handle that cold stuff.

    On a separate subject, and, I’m going to try to find an appropriate place in your blog, I’ve only recently started watching SGU and wouldn’t you know it, I’m loving it now, midway through Season 2. Knowing this is it for SGU that season, I’m once again unhappy about the loss of all the Stargate series. Loved SG-1, LOVED Atlantis and now this.

    THUS I’m looking forward to Dark Matter. I didn’t think I’d care for a solely ship-based series. It took wading through the depressing first season to start to get into it, but then Season 2 of SGU brought in a lot more in the way of progress, adventure and other characters.

    Sorry to ramble. Just wanted to express my continued disappointment with the demise of all the SG series.

  15. Never been to NYC, but I did have a horrific layover in Newark that screwed my brain up way more than the late night sun and only pot I ever smoked in Amsterdam, which I was returning from. Would love to try out a prop plain flight, once anyway.

  16. Amazing pics. Thank you for sharing.
    I’m really enjoying the “behind the scenes” on Dark Matter. Wishing you and the whole production team a successful, wonderful, amazing journey, as you bring the show to fruition.

  17. That was quite a day! Thanks for remembering to talk to us at the end of it.

    Did I miss something or am I just slow? (Both are very possible.) Why are you and Paul pitching the show to SyFy now that production has already started? Didn’t the network give you guys the green light first? Who’s footing the bill for this little hobby of yours? 🙂

  18. P.S. I flew in a prop plane from Edmonton to Regina in March, and watched those propellers the entire flight.

  19. Hey Joe, prop planes can be fun! Of course I have last ridden in one commercially about a dozen years or so ago, but from your picture that looks like one of the Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 aircraft (Canadian built).

    They used to be used by US-Air for their short haul operations for a number of years, and when I lived on the east coast, I flew almost exclusively in the Dash 7’s and 8’s up and down the coast. The fun part of those flights was when they had to move people around for weight and balance purposes:

    Flight Attendant: “Sir, we need to move you forward five rows.”
    Passenger: “Are you saying I’m too heavy?”
    Flight Attendant: “Well, actually sir, yes.”

    Now the airlines tend to use CRJ or Embraer regional jets.

  20. I think I need to go to NYC for Christmas break again, it’s bee a few years. BTW, please, please, please make a series bible. Don’t depend on your memory. As a teacher, I know how terribly easy it is to mis-remember details. Of course, your audience does not!

  21. Cibo’s and Panda Express are my airport go-tos. I love Southern airport delays; Chalotte NC has these yummy restaurants with real home cookin’; whenever I see pilots in line ahead of me I know the eating will be good.

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