Peterson's Happy Hour - pilot "The Brazilian"

Laid off from her newspaper job as her live-in boyfriend leaves, a 40-something writer is compelled by financial necessity to go back to work at her grad school job — working in her uncle's bar.

There, four generations of her dysfunctional family gather and navigate their respective new normals as each is catapulted out of the comfortable circumstances they'd never thought would change.

  • Valerie A Peterson
    Pretty Dead, The Maid of Honor
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Genres:
    Half-Hour Comedy
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Yonkers Film Festival
    Yonkers, NY
    November 14, 2022
    Finalist (as of today, winners not announced)
Writer Biography - Valerie A Peterson

Valerie Peterson has been a finalist for the CBS TV Writers Mentoring Program and a semi-finalist for the WGAE Made in New York TV Writers Room Mentorship Program. She is co-writer of the award-winning WWFC short film Pretty Dead, an Official Selection of the HBO Women in Comedy Festival (shorts program sponsored by NBC), as well as a dozen more fests. Valerie's writing & directing been recognized by numerous competitions such as the Sedona International Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, Cinequest, and The Big Apple Film Festival.

A procedural junkie with a humorous edge, she's comfortable in both arenas. Her sweet spots are real, high stakes procedurals leavened by humor, and humorous situations made relatable due to familiar, high stakes. She likes underdog protagonists who ultimately break out of their very narrow comfort zones to get what they need. She's familiar with the character, ahem.

Valerie is the author of the “entertainingly irreverent” (Associated Press) Peterson’s humor / cocktail books, and the co-author of Cookie Craft baking books. She occasionally writes for publications such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc.

A graduate of Fordham University (B.A. English), Valerie holds a film and TV directing certificate from NYU-SPS. Born and raised in Yonkers, NY, she now lives in Manhattan.

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Writer Statement

The idea of the sitcom "Peterson's Happy Hour" that centers around four generations of a family (three of them female) started as IP - humor/cocktail book of the same name, inspired by real situations (published by Penguin Random House / Clarkson Potter).

The series idea was further inspired by my own personal, "gig economy" financial challenges as an "over-40" woman while helping care for elderly parents as well as witnessing my young relatives trying to navigate college and adulting. And, as a longtime resident of lower Manhattan, the story arc of Walt / Peterson's bar is inspired by the gentrification and wildly increasing rents and the real challenges to small business owners.

While this is a sitcom, the financial and other stakes (like loss of personal power in the elderly) are real and dead serious for many of us. My goal is to make people laugh while also give them something to think about.