‘John’ writer gets new prospects

Zack Whedon working on original pilot

No matter what crix and the blogosphere had to say about the Aug. 12 finale of HBO’s super-strange drama “John From Cincinnati,” the last seg of David Milch‘s now-departed skein marks the arrival of the newest addition to the Whedon scribe tribe.

The seg that ignited so much discussion about the show’s unusual storytelling techniques was a high-profile assignment for its sole credited writer, Zack Whedon, younger brother of Joss Whedon, of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” renown. The brothers followed their father, Tom Whedon, and grandfather, John Whedon, into the family biz.

Zack has been schooled in the Milch tradition for the past four years, starting out as an assistant to him on “Deadwood” in its first season.

As a kind of permanent freelance staff writer on “John From Cincinnati” this year, Whedon even fell into a bit-acting part on “John” when, in true Milch-ian fashion, they wrote a new character into an episode one day before the cameras were set to roll.

“David works day to day. You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Zack said. “It’s sort of a blur how (episode) 10 ended up in my hands, but I was very, very excited to have it.”

Now that “John” has been sent to TV heaven, Whedon is working up an original pilot script of his own. But he’d happily surf an ocean or two for the chance to work with his writing mentor again.

Milch calls Whedon “an extraordinary talent” and says he’s quite happy that his name graces the “John” finale.

“It points to the future,” Milch says. “That’s just right.”

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