Dirt (TV series)

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D!rt
Dirtlogo.png
Created by Matthew Carnahan
Starring
Opening theme Season 1: "Dig Deep" by Debby Holiday
Season 2: "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Emma Ejwertz"
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) David Arquette
Courteney Cox
Running time 56 - 60 min (season 1)
40 - 42 min (season 2)
Production company(s) Coquette Productions
ABC Studios (as Touchstone Television)
Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
FX Productions
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channel FX
Original run January 2, 2007 (2007-01-02) – April 13, 2008 (2008-04-13)

Dirt (styled d!rt for logos) is an American television serial broadcast on the FX network. It premiered on January 2, 2007 and starred Courteney Cox as Lucy Spiller, the editor-in-chief of the first-of-its-kind "glossy tabloid" magazine DirtNow, which was previously two separate publications: dirt (a tabloid) and Now (a glossy magazine with a more respectable reputation).

A 13-episode second and final season was announced on May 8, 2007.[1] Only seven episodes were produced prior to the 2007 WGA strike shut down production. The shortened second season began airing on March 2, 2008.[2]

The show was produced by Coquette Productions and ABC Studios (Disney). It is distributed outside the US by Disney.

On June 8, 2008, FX canceled the series after two seasons.[3]

Plot[edit]

Main article: List of Dirt episodes

Season One[edit]

The series revolves around Lucy Spiller and her best friend, the schizophrenic freelance photographer Don Konkey, who aids Lucy in her career as editor-in-chief of Dirt and Now Magazines, which Lucy merges into a single magazine at the end of the second episode due to budget issues. Most episodes focus upon Lucy's never-ending quest to find new news stories regarding celebrities, with help of her staff of reporters and photographers, most notably Don and the young upstart writer Willa McPherson.

As the series progresses, more is learned about Lucy and Don's personal lives. Don is a functional schizophrenic, who regularly hallucinates and hears voices, which is often filtered through his sense of guilt over the questionable actions he takes in order to help Lucy land her stories and the fall-out that comes from exposing people's dark secrets. Lucy meanwhile is a secretly depressed person whose life is totally devoted towards the magazine, to the extent of forgoing any sort of social life whatsoever. Her relationship with her family is strained, in part due to the mysterious suicide of her father, which haunts Lucy due to the cryptic suicide note that he left her, which she kept from the rest of her family.

One of the main subplots of season one is Lucy and Don's relationship with Holt McLaren and the love triangle that erupts between Lucy, Holt, and Holt's current girlfriend Julia Mallory, a popular sitcom star who has begun breaking out into horrible movies while Holt's career has tanked after a series of movies he has done, flopped. In an attempt to convert Holt into a secret source for potential stories, Lucy offers to use the full resources of her magazine to revive Holt's career. In exchange, Holt reveals that Julia's best friend is pregnant after a one-night stand with a fellow actor. The actress overdoses (whether intentional or not is never fully revealed), then has a brain aneurysm and dies. Holt, feeling guilt after hearing of the actress' death, has a mini-breakdown while driving and gets into a high-speed car crash, nearly killing himself and Julia. Julia suffers severe injuries, which leads to an addiction to painkillers and eventually a full-blown drug addiction. To revive her career and gain public sympathy, Julia secretly obtains and leaks a copy of a sex tape of her and a co-star and falsely accuses her co-star of rape, though Lucy exposes her lies in her vault of secrets.

As Holt's star rises and his girlfriend's plummets, Holt and Lucy begin a relationship which is exposed to Julia by a rival magazine editor/friend of Lucy's. Julia ultimately realizes that Lucy has helped ruined her life and attacks her with a knife, leaving Lucy bleeding to death. Contacting Don, season one ends with Lucy ordering Don to take photos of her lying on the ground bleeding, in order to ensure that her magazine will be able to have the ugly photos for the story on the attempt on her life.

Season Two[edit]

Season two opens with Lucy surviving the attempt on her life and Julia dying. Returning to work with a young idealistic male writer she met and hires during her stay at the hospital, Lucy finds the magazine floundering without her hard driving leadership. While Lucy's boss Brent arranges for the sale of the magazine to a womanizing, pill-popping foreign investor, Lucy blackmails a down on her luck pop star, Sharlee Cates, to hire Don (now back on his medication) as her personal photographer in order to keep tabs on her. This causes problems between Don and Lucy, as Don becomes friends with the singer, whose marriage collapses upon the revelation that her ex-husband is sleeping with his first wife and only married the singer in order to divorce her and take half her fortune. Lucy, on the other hand, wants to use his friendship with Sharlee to exploit her problems, including the cutting off of her hair, divorce, and her confrontation with a pop legend, Mia, at an awards show. Meanwhile Lucy's new hire, Farber, begins a relationship with Willa, who betrays him in order to break the story involving a former child-star friend of her new boyfriend, who was caught soliciting sex from an undercover officer. After an awards show, Brent dies from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by passing out in his still-running car.

Holt begins work on a new film project and struggles to deal with pretending to be in mourning over his deceased girlfriend while lusting after Lucy. Lucy begins to date a powerful studio executive, but it ends after he suspects Lucy would rather be involved with Holt. Lucy's mother dies during a botched plastic surgery procedure, Lucy agrees to Holt's ultimatum that they go public with their relationship after he completes work on his new movie.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Character Actor/Actress Description
Lucy Spiller Courteney Cox The editor of DirtNow magazine, the "glossy tabloid". She's a workaholic who wastes no time on boring stories or unverifiable gossip, instead obsessed with constantly breaking new news stories. She has little remorse about the lives she tangles with and often will destroy lives of celebrities if they refuse to cooperate with her. Out of the office, Lucy lives a lonely life with no boyfriend (until she begins secretly dating Holt McLaren), with strained relationship with her family, caused in part due to her unresolved issues regarding her father's suicide when she was 15.
Don Konkey Ian Hart Lucy's long time friend and most trusted paparazzo. He's an exceptional photographer, one of the few who still shoots with film as opposed to digital equipment, and willing to go to great lengths (even cutting off a finger) to get his assigned story. He suffers from a manageable schizophrenia, though he's often reluctant to take his prescribed medication.
Holt McLaren Josh Stewart A has-been actor at the beginning of the series, only notable for past works and his ongoing relationship with rising actress Julia Mallory. After striking a deal with Lucy Spiller to provide stories in exchange for good press, his star rises again. Unfortunately, the information provided has unexpected consequences towards his girlfriend Julia, ultimately driving him and Lucy into a relationship as his relationship with Julia collapses.
Willa McPherson Alex Breckenridge A young reporter on the DirtNow staff. She is frequently on thin ice with Lucy due to Lucy's extremely high standards, even though Willa is willing to do anything (including doing drugs and sleeping with someone in exchange for information) in order to fulfill Lucy's various demands regarding her assignments, shows signs of wanting to possibly becoming Lucy's heir apparent at DirtNow.

Former cast/recurring members[edit]

Character Actor/Actress Last appearance Description
Julia Mallory Laura Allen Welcome to Normal A famous actress and Holt McLaren's girlfriend. She's one of the people hurt by the information McLaren gives the magazine, both emotionally and physically. After he flips the car they're in she becomes addicted to painkillers and her life begins to spiral out of control, ultimately costing her career, her relationship with Holt, and finally leading to stabbing Lucy in revenge.
Brent Barrow Jeffrey Nordling In Lieu of Flowers DirtNow's publisher. He and Lucy come into conflict over numerous things, including the budget and stories published. Was nearly sexually mutilated due to Lucy's investigation of a murdered rapper, leading to him outing the identity of Lucy's source in the investigation in order to save his genitals from harm.

Production[edit]

The first season consisted of 13 one-hour-long episodes. Production began in September 2006, but the pilot was reshot to include a cameo by David Fincher and to add more of Courteney Cox's character.[4] Production on the original pilot began in Los Angeles in March 2006,

Dirt was the ninth drama series pilot shot for FX. Matthew Carnahan, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette served as the show's executive producers, with Thea Mann producing for Cox and Arquette's Coquette Productions, and Touchstone Television and FX co-producing the series.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1: 2007[edit]

The first season's episodes began airing on January 2, 2007 and finished on March 27, 2007. "Do you think someday, we'll have to pay for our sins?", was said in voice-over on one of Dirt's many promos and became the theme for the series' first season.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title[5] Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(million)
1 1 "Pilot" Matthew Carnahan Matthew Carnahan January 2, 2007 (2007-01-02) 101 4[6]
Courteney Cox stars as ruthless tabloid editor Lucy Spiller, who's masterful at using threats and manipulation to dig up dirt, aided by resourceful paparazzo Don Konkey. Lucy zeroes in on struggling actor Holt McLaren, who needs favorable publicity and whose rising-star girlfriend, Julia Mallory, is well-connected.
2 2 "Blogan" Chris Long Matthew Carnahan January 9, 2007 (2007-01-09) 102 3.75[6]
Lucy sends Don to shoot Kira Klay's corpse, but Kira looks all too lively to him. Don also gets a visit from Prince Tyreese, but it's not exactly a courtesy call. Meanwhile, Holt looks for ways to help Julia, and Willa shows journalistic spunk in tracking down dirt on a Hollywood power couple known as “Blogan.”
3 3 "Ovophagy" Paris Barclay Joel Fields January 16, 2007 (2007-01-16) 103 1.9[6]
"Dirt Now" is about to launch, and Lucy needs a cover story. Lucy suspects that drugs made an ailing Christian-pop star sick and dispatches Don to get the dirt. Meanwhile, Holt is courted by a major producer while Julia has a hard time back on the set of her sitcom.
4 4 "What to Expect When You're Expecting" Paris Barclay Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin January 23, 2007 (2007-01-23) 104 1.9[6]
Lucy blackmails basketball star Prince Tyreese into helping her track down a missing rap star; Lucy and Leo's mother announces her plans to re-marry on the anniversary of their father's suicide.
5 5 "You Don't Know Jack" Chris Long Dave Flebotte January 30, 2007 (2007-01-30) 105 2.16[6]
Lucy publishes photos of action-movie star Jack Dawson in the arms of her brother Leo; menacing visitors threaten Brent Barrow to reveal Lucy's source about the murder of Aundre G; Julia interrupts a photo shoot for Holt.
6 6 "The Secret Lives of Altar Girls" Jesse Bochco Joel Fields February 6, 2007 (2007-02-06) 106 1.42[6]
Lucy delegates her onetime mentor to help Willa investigate the murder of a teenage girl in a small California town. In the meantime, Holt and Lucy's growing attraction towards each other is consummated in a limousine, and Julia slumps[vague] into the arms of Garbo, and deeper into drugs. The music playing in the Lucy and Holt limo scene is "Allelujah" by K.I.A. Paul Reubens guest stars.
7 7 "Come Together" Adam Arkin Rebecca Dameron February 13, 2007 (2007-02-13) 107 1.58[6]
When her source takes back her story, Willa's excitement over her first story fades. In the meantime Lucy's relationship with Leo and her coming with DirtNow are jeopardized by Jack Dawson's lawsuit. Don becomes involved with a waitress. Paul Reubens guest stars.
8 8 "The Thing Under the Bed" Dean White Sally Robinson February 20, 2007 (2007-02-20) 108 1.42

Lucy has trouble sleeping. Willa teams up with Don to uncover a secret celebrity wedding. Julia deals with rehab while Holt deals with his career.

Note: Lucy states 'I don't like dancing in the dark', an inside joke referring to Courteney Cox's appearance in the video for Bruce Springsteen's 'Dancing in the Dark'
9 9 "This is Not Your Father's Hostage Situation" Elodie Keene Dave Flebotte February 27, 2007 (2007-02-27) 109 1.36[6]
A former child star takes the magazine staff hostage, forcing them to produce an entire issue about him. In the meantime, Lucy wonders if he is really a threat or simply a harmless has-been looking for publicity. Vincent Gallo guest stars.
10 10 "The Sexxx Issue" Lev L. Spiro Matthew Carnahan March 6, 2007 (2007-03-06) 110 1.42
Lucy proposes a sex-themed issue as a means of getting the staff to relax after the hostage situation. In the meantine, Brent and Willa find themselves in a compromising position with a girl whose father wishes to turn into a star, and Don faces his intimacy problem with Abby.
11 11 "Pap Smeared" Chris Long Albert Kim March 13, 2007 (2007-03-13) 111 1.7[6]
A young photographer offers to help Don; Julia discovers Hollywood has moved on without her; Holt fears his relationship with Lucy might be exposed. Lukas Haas guest stars.
12 12 "Caught on Tape" Fred Keller Joel Fields March 20, 2007 (2007-03-20) 112 1.79[6]
Julia is horrified when a sex tape of her and a former co-star turns up on the Internet; Don gets a mysterious assignment; Lucy relies on Willa. Perez Hilton guest stars.
13 13 "Ita Missa Est" Matthew Carnahan Matthew Carnahan March 27, 2007 (2007-03-27) 113 2.4[7]
Jennifer Aniston guest stars as rival Tina Harrod, a magazine editor that butts heads with Lucy. Lucy's stalker is revealed and Julia learns about Holt's relationship with Lucy.

Season 2: 2008[edit]

FX announced on May 8, 2007 that Dirt will return for a second season.[1] The first two episodes were leaked onto the internet on February 18, 2008

No. in
series
Bo. in
season
Title[5] Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(million)
14 1 "Welcome to Normal" Matthew Carnahan Matthew Carnahan March 2, 2008 (2008-03-02) 201 1.7
After surviving her violent attack, Lucy Spiller returns to Dirt Now magazine to reclaim her position as Tabloid Queen. Julia, while fleeing the scene, is hit by Leo and killed. Don begins to experience life on medication. A chance encounter between Lucy and a young pop star results in a surprising opportunity. Lucy digs for truth about a famous heiress about to have a baby. A new male reporter joins the staff.
15 2 "Dirty Slutty Whores" Stephen T. Kay Joel Fields March 9, 2008 (2008-03-09) 202 1.4
Lucy is on the lookout for answers when a celebrity is released from jail early. Meanwhile, Willa and Farber search for the source of a self-destructive star's video.
16 3 "God Bless the Child" Chris Long Dave Flebotte March 16, 2008 (2008-03-16) 203 1.54
Brent decides it's time to make the fact that he's the boss known to Lucy. In the meantime, Lucy embarks on the mission of bringing down a music mogul's empire. Finally, Don uncovers the hidden secrets of a famous politician.
17 4 "Ties That (Don't) Bind" John Fortenberry Robert Nathan March 23, 2008 (2008-03-23) 204 1.6
Lucy rekindles a romance with a powerful studio executive. Willa and Farber join forces to expose a scandal surrounding a hit television series. Holt is swept into a public relations fiasco when an outspoken relative surfaces.
18 5 "What is This Thing Called" David Arquette Mimi Friedman & Jeanette Collins March 30, 2008 (2008-03-30) 205 1.25
Lucy and Holt make serious decisions about their love affair. Meanwhile, Don's friendship with a pop icon reaches new levels, and Willa and Farber explore the love lives of top celebrities and reveal some very juicy secrets about them.
19 6 "And the Winner Is" Tricia Brock Albert Kim April 6, 2008 (2008-04-06) 206 1
Brent goes out of his way to impress his new boss. Meanwhile, the staff learns that the real gossip is backstage while covering an awards show.
20 7 "In Lieu of Flowers" Chris Long Bart Baker April 13, 2008 (2008-04-13) 207 .6
Life-and-death circumstances compel Lucy to examine her relationships; an overweight sitcom star takes desperate measures to avoid being on the DirtNow cover; and a former child star tests Willa and Farber's relationship.

Season Two premiere and ratings[edit]

Dirt was originally picked up for an additional 13 episodes. However, prior to the writers' strike, only 7 episodes had been written. Shooting wrapped on these episodes in December 2007. After the strike was resolved, FX opted not to produce the remaining 6 episodes for "economic reasons" that did not affect the show's chances at renewal.

Not only was the season shortened from 13 to 7 episodes, but it was also moved to a competitive timeslot, Sundays at 10 P.M. FX began heavy promotion for the show in December 2007, but only about 1.7 million people tuned into the premiere on March 2, 2008.

The season started off with consistent ratings in the first few weeks. But after reaching its peak at 1.6 million in the middle of the season, the ratings began to slip, ending with 1.06 million in the finale.

While the first season did not receive much positive critical praise, the second and final season was slightly more well-received, TV Guide said "it's trashy, flashy, and ridiculously addictive", the Associated Press declared "it's dog-eat-dog fun", and Entertainment Weekly described Cox's performance as "deliciously deviant" and gave the show a B-, as opposed to season 1 which got a C-.

Dirt was not renewed for a third season.

Screening countries[edit]

Region Aired on Comments
 Malta FX Networks Airs on GO (Malta), to which the FX Networks channel is exclusive in Malta. The show started airing on the channel launch on the network in 2009.
Arab World Green.png Arab World Fox Series Began airing on April 19, 2009
 United Kingdom Five US Began airing July 9, 2007. The show brought the channel its highest ever ratings of 629,000 viewers.[8] Every two or three weeks the network has a "Dirty Night In" on Saturdays, repeating the last few episodes. Dirt moved from Five US to its sister channel Fiver for the screening of its second season, which started on Monday, April 28, 2008 at 9:00pm and only drew in 89,000 for the opening episode of season 2.[9] The series concluded on Monday June 9, 2008.
 South Africa M-Net Series The show was so successful and popular, it went into a rebroadcast on Tuesday Nights at 21:30 on Go with its encore on Saturday Night at 21:30. Go recently aired the Season 1 Cliffhanger on Tuesday February 26, 2008.
 Serbia FOX life cable TV Title translated as "Shame".
 France France 4
 Greece ANT1 & Fox Life The first season was shown every day at 00:00. The second season was shown every Monday, Thursday and Friday at 00:00.Reruns of the show airs every Monday AT 22:00 on Fox Life.
 Poland FOX Life
TVP2
From October 3, 2007 on Wednesdays at 22 pm
From September 8, 2011 at 11:30pm
Latin America (orthographic projection).svg Latin America People+Arts Screened Sundays at 9:00pm.
 Netherlands NET 5 Season 1 commenced on January 1, 2008 with a double episode. Both episodes rated well for a non-Dutch program with episode 1 attracting 756,000 viewers (9.5%, 19th place) and episode 2 attracting 713,000 (9.0%, 21st place). Season two started airing on April 5, 2009.
 Belgium 2BE Every Thursday at 8:30pm
 Australia Movie Extra Premiered December 15, 2007. It currently screens Saturdays at 8:30pm AEST, with encores throughout the week. Season 2 premiered on October 5, 2008
 Bulgaria Nova Television Began airing on December 5, 2007, Monday to Friday at 22:30.
FOX Life Repeat of Season One. Currently broadcasting Season Two
 Turkey e2 The show's regular screening time was Thursdays at 10:00pm.
 Latvia LTV1, Fox Life Screens Fridays at 9:10pm.
 Lithuania LNK Airs Tuesdays 10:30pm
 Ireland Channel 6 Screens Wednesdays at 9:25pm.
 Slovenia POP TV Premiered on December 17, 2007 and is scheduled to be shown every Monday at 09:50pm GMT+1. The show's title is translated into "Tabloid".
 Croatia HRT Premiered near the end of 2007 and was shown every Friday at 09:50pm GMT+1. The show's title is translated into "Tabloid Editor".
 New Zealand TV2
 Philippines VELVET
 Singapore MediaCorp TV Channel 5 Premiered on Monday, January 28, 2008 and is screened weekly at 11pm (GMT+0800).
 Sweden TV6 Season one was shown on Thursdays at about 10pm.
 Hungary Viasat3 Season one was shown on Fridays at about 10pm as DIRT: A hetilap (DIRT: The Weekly).[10]
 Italy Season one originally aired on La7 from October 2007 to January 2008; season two aired on FoxLife from July to August 2008; reruns of the series on La7, La7D, FoxLife and Mya.
 Israel Yes Satellite TV channel 12 ("Yes Stars 1") Airs Sundays 10:00pm.
 Norway FEM Airs Sundays 10:00pm.
 Estonia Kanal 2,Kanal 11, FOX life Premieres December 8, 2008.
 Finland Nelonen
 Hong Kong TVB Pearl Premiered on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 and is screened weekly at 12am (GMT+0800).
 Spain Fox
 Romania AXN The first season was shown every Sunday at 10 PM.

DVD release[edit]

Title Release date Ep # Additional information
The Complete First Season December 11, 2007 13 Featurettes: Celebrity Couple Gets Dirty; Through A Lens, Darkly; Tabloid Wars. Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Season 2 Preview
Season Two May 4, 2010 7 No Special Features

The series is licensed for DVD release to Buena Vista Home Video.[11]

Season 2 was released on DVD on May 4, 2010 through Lionsgate.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FX Turns More 'Dirt,' Reaps 'Riches'". Zap 2 It. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  2. ^ "FX announces return date for Dirt". IGN. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  3. ^ Dirt: FX Cancels Courteney Cox Arquette Series
  4. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford. "Final runs set for HBO's 'Deadwood',' FX's 'The Shield'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  5. ^ a b Dirt Episode List, TV.com, February 14, 2006.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Allociné Blogs - Séries Chiffres : Les Audiences Us Des Séries
  7. ^ Starr Report
  8. ^ Dowell, Brent (July 10, 2007). "Five US dishes up ratings". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  9. ^ Television - News - Fiver adds raft of US reality shows - Digital Spy
  10. ^ "DIRT: A hetilap". Archived from the original on 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  11. ^ "Dirt on TVShowsOnDVD.com". TV Shows on DVD.com. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  12. ^ "Dirt DVD news: Announcement for Dirt - Season 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 

External links[edit]