Allston musician, comic, and curmudgeon Rob Potylo shouted the good news across social media in the first week of March 2014:
What a day!!!! This is me signing the contract with CBS to run a season of “Quiet Desperation” on myTV38 premiering Sunday afternoon April 13th at 12:30pm!!!!! … Thanks again to everyone who made this dream possible …
It was phenomenal news as far as Boston arts and culture were concerned. Potylo, alternatively known as Robby Roadsteamer, has for years railed against Hub radio and broadcast outlets for neglecting to support local. His inking a deal to run episodes of “Quiet Desperation,” his collaborative documentary-type reality sitcom stocked with area talent, seemed like a major coup. Potylo, along with the show’s directors Erik Angra and Steve Onderick, gushed to the Dig:
We’re trying to showcase Boston as the arts community it is. We’re really feeling we’re on the cusp of a renaissance here … We’re blessed to have so many creatives working hard on this project now to create something Boston can be proud of.
The elation didn’t last. Weeks later, Potylo broke the bad news in a press release:
Recently, we had partnered up with My38 CBS and signed a contract to air our show … Over the past few weeks the team has been working feverishly on a pilot episode that adhered to FCC law and was “PG” in its content.
Unfortunately … the VP of sales breached the agreement to air the series before viewing the pilot … costing our grassroots production house thousands of dollars in production and advertising costs.
At the time, Potylo struck back at the corporate monster with seemingly fitting insults, noting their preference for “caricature reality shows such as ‘Southie Rules’ and ‘Wicked Single.’” It was reminiscent of a mouthy fight he had years earlier with CBS, which owned the Boston rock station WBCN during Roadsteamer’s embattled tenure as a jock there in the aughts. Earlier this month, however, the Dig has learned that the “Quiet Desperation” crew brought their fight to the next level, namely Essex County Superior Court. According to the complaint filed against CBS Television Licensees WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV:
On March 24, 2014, Plaintiff’s duly authorized representatives went to [the local CBS] offices … At the meeting, [the VP of sales] refused to view the episode of the TV Series she had requested to see, told the Plaintiff and its representatives that because of “drug content” in Plaintiff’s Internet Series, there was no reason to view the pilot, and that Defendants did not want to be associated “with that kind of content.” The meeting was abruptly terminated … and Plaintiff’s representatives were escorted from the premises …
The complaint also states that CBS representatives refused to respond to subsequent phone calls about show matters, and so forth. The legal wording isn’t as saucy as what we’ve come to love and expect from Potylo, but the important stuff’s all in there, like that they’re suing for “breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices.”
Needless to say, subsequent proceedings proceedings should make for one heck of an upcoming episode of Quiet D.
[Media Farm is wrangled by DigBoston News + Features Editor Chris Faraone, who once appeared as himself in episode of “Quiet Desperation”]