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Sneaky Pete has found new life on Amazon Prime. After CBS passed on the Bryan Cranston and David Shore story of a 30-something con artist joining a family’s bail bond business it was a small miracle that the off-cable networks decided to pick it up. David Shore has an incredible track record writing for Due South, Law and Order, and creating the venerable House MD. More recently his last show Battle Creek featuring Dean Winters and Josh Duhamel failed to attract a strong audience and was canceled after one season by… you guessed it CBS.

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Sneaky Pete has a similar feel to it as Battle Creek – a dark drama, muted tone, procedural with strong actors to deliver a well written script. Pete played by the always likable down-on-your-luck-hero Giovanni Ribisi is paired up with the more straight-edge bonds-person Julia played by the lovely Marin Ireland. Sneaky Pete’s cast includes the grandparents Otto and Audrey played by veteran actors Pete Gerety (The Wire, Homecide: Life on the Streets, Brothers and Sisters) and Margo Martindale (Mercy, The Good Wife, The Americans) respectively.

The show rolls along slowly with a decent story and sets up complex characters, back story and stakes for a rich season ahead. Ad Week’s article (posted below) said CBS passed on the pilot but when Amazon picked it up they added two scenes that boost up the stakes for Ribisi’s character. One scene implies Margo’s character Audrey might be on to Sneaky Pete while the other introduces the gangster Vance – guest starring Bryan Cranston – whom Sneaky Pete owes $100K.

The 3rd draft of the script is very close to the final version except for those two scene. The script has an entirely different ending which is discussed in the podcast.

Our fear that Sneaky Pete will share a similar fate as Battle Creek has yet to be seen, but perhaps it being on Amazon will allow this show to flourish where on a regular network it might have floundered. We all know Amazon can deliver so here is hoping that Sneaky Pete does just that.

Script vs Screen Grades:

Jason: Script C+ / Screen B-

Alex: Script B- / Screen B-

Pop Culture Show Notes:

How Amazon took a Good CBS Pilot and Made it Great – Ad Week

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