Short Stories in Television (Annie Murphy, Squid Game, Matt LeBlanc & The Queen’s Gambit)

We regret to inform you, this week marks the final episode of our 2021 season. So, we thought we’d do something a little different. Over the past two years, we’ve come across several fascinating rejection stories that weren’t long enough for a full episode, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less packed with insight. Join us this week for ‘Short Stories in Television’ – the inspiring pint-sized rejection stories of Annie Murphy, Matt LeBlanc, Squid Game and The Queen’s Gambit.

Rejecting Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad holds the Guinness World Record for highest-rated television show of all time. But back when creator Vince Gilligan was first pitching the series, it was rejected by four major networks. This week, we tell Gilligan’s story. From being told no one in their right mind would let a show about crystal meth air on television, to showrunning one of the most beloved series in history.

Rejecting Lucille Ball

I Love Lucy is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, bringing in over 30 million viewers per week in its day. But before becoming the queen of prime-time television, Lucille Ball was known as “Queen of the B-Pictures” – pin-balling around Hollywood studios, unable to draw a box office crowd. Join us this week as we tell Ball’s fascinating story – from panhandling for bus fare to becoming the first-ever inductee into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Rejecting Women in the Boston Marathon (The Stories of Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer)

In 2019, 13,684 of the Boston Marathon’s participants were women – making up nearly 50% of total entrants. But back in the 1960s, women weren’t permitted into the prestigious event, rejected solely on the basis of sex. Until two brave women had enough. Join us this week as we tell the stories of pioneer runners Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer – the first women to ever run the Boston Marathon after 70 years as a men’s only event.

Rejecting Moonstruck

Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, is considered one of the best romantic comedies of all time. Yet, back in 1987, the screenplay was turned down by Hollywood executives, the actors were told they weren’t bankable and the studio didn’t think the picture was marketable. Join us this week as we tell the story of Moonstruck – from rejection straight to the Academy Awards.

Rejecting Linkin Park

In the year 2000, Linkin Park released its debut album Hybrid Theory, which would become the highest-selling debut album of the 21st century. But pre-platinum records, Porsches and private jets, Linkin Park was called Xero, and they were rejected by 44 music labels. Join us this week as we tell the band’s incredible story – from Xero to 70 million records sold.

Rejecting Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is best-known for playing Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. But before landing the role of a lifetime, Cox struggled to book auditions. At 40 years old, she found herself in housing court for the second time, on the precipice of homelessness. Join us this week as we tell Cox’s trailblazing story. From being rejected by 496 agents, to becoming the first Transgender person in history nominated for a primetime acting Emmy.

Rejecting Netflix

Netflix is the de facto name in streaming. A $230B tech giant that’s dominated 190 countries, the Emmys and the Academy Awards. But back when Netflix was just a startup, it was rejected by Silicon Valley CEOs, Harvard alumni, investors and, notoriously, Blockbuster. Join us this week as we tell the founders’ incredible story – from David to Goliath.

Rejecting Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, known for leading what’s been called the Greatest Show on Turf. But before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Warner was cut from an NFL team and ended up stocking shelves at a local grocery store. Join us this week as we tell Warner’s inspiring story. From bags…to riches.