SXSW Exclusive: The Team Behind Comedy Pilot ‘Bettendorf Talks’

The Illinois indie pilot Bettendorf Talks is set to make its World Premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (aka SXSW) this month. Before they board their planes to Austin, four key players in the pilot stopped by to chat with SCREEN’s Dan Patton.

Please enjoy Dan’s exclusive chat with Bettendorf Talks co-creators and improv greats David Pasquesi and TJ Jagodowski, director Jack Newell, and producer Shane Simmons

The pilot filmed in February of 2023, weeks before the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Filming took place at the WQAD television station in East Moline and then all over the Quad Cities.

Here’s the official SXSW preview of the pilot: Part talk show and part workplace comedy, Bettendorf Talks is set in the titular Quad City, hosted by TJ and Dave, a comedy duo of former middling renown. They are trying to use this show as a stepping stone to regain some of their former perceived glory. It’s an unrealistic expectation in a town with no stars, a show with no budget, an inexperienced writing staff, Dave’s ego and TJ’s naiveté.

The band rocks, the local guests are quirky and fun, the director is an absolute boss, the producer is motivated, the announcer might be a murderer, but despite all that going for it, it’s shocking how little can be accomplished when everyone is working as hard as they can in separate directions.

Click here for full details on the pilot’s SXSW Premiere.

Click right here for the full cast and crew roll call.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for updates on this pilot and more of the latest news from the Chicago and Illinois production community. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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