SCENE ONE: IT IS THE NEXT MORNING AND JACK HAS BEEN UP ALL NIGHT TYPING.
JACK: (Talking to himself) "As quickly.... as quickly as his confidence had risen so quickly did it.... dwindle.... dwindle?" No, no, it's not dwindle.... it's.... it's.... it's.... ebb.... ebb. "As quickly did it ebb.... ebb". Yes. Now what does she say?
JACK (CONT.): How does he answer? He answers like ah.... ah.... ah.... it would mean, "he uttered, heart pounding with dread, that you couldn't go home for years and years. Her response was.... quick as always." (Beat) HAH, finished. The end. Finis, finis. Save and print.
THE DOT MATRIX PRINTER STARTS ROLLING OUT JACK'S REWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT AS JENNIFER COMES DOWNSTAIRS CARRYING A CAR BASSINET FOR ABBY.
JENNIFER: Jack if I bring this with me and the stroller, this should be enough because I can just lay this down in my office right, huh? I can use this as a bassinet, huh.
JACK: Ah.... huh? Ah yes.
JENNIFER: I mean Abby will have to go to sleep today. Oh, you know what, I can just put a blanket down on the floor in my office and she can just sleep on that. I mean it's not like she rolls over yet or anything. So that should work, right?
JACK CLEARS UP ANY SIGN OF THE MANUSCRIPT.
JACK: I think that will be just fine.
JENNIFER: What's wrong with you?
JACK: What's wrong.... nothing, why?
JENNIFER: You have dark circles under your eyes. You look like you've been up all night.
JACK: No.... not.... ah.
JENNIFER: I don't even remember you coming to bed but you must have at some point.
JACK: I know I must have. I just.... but I don't remember either. I.... I'm just. I think I need another cup of coffee. I'll rustle up some breakfast for you.
JENNIFER: Oh no you're not going anywhere Jack until you tell me what's going on. What are you up to?
JENNIFER INSISTS ON FINDING OUT WHAT JACK HAS BEEN DOING ALL NIGHT.
JENNIFER: Well I know it wasn't Abby who kept awake because she only cried once last night and I patted her right back to sleep.
JACK: Ah, no, no, it wasn't her.
JENNIFER: Well you're obviously writing something very good, I think.
JACK: Ah yes, my column. I was working on my column and all of a sudden the muse descended, lightning struck, I felt adrenaline coursing through my veins and the creativity just flowing and I couldn't stop.... myself.
JENNIFER: Well that's quite amazing.
JENNIFER: Can I read it? Let me see it.
JACK: Read what?
JENNIFER: The column. Did you print it up yet?
JACK: No, I didn't pri.... no I didn't print it up yet and ah, don't you have somewhere that you need to be going. You have a meeting as I recall.
JENNIFER: Well yeah but I have a few minutes and I'd really like to see what you wrote Jack.
JACK: You don't have any time. I was listening to the traffic reports and they said there was gridlock, gridlock, gridlock everywhere and you have to get on the road right now ahead of time. Just to make sure, excuse me, just to make sure that you get to work in time so that you make a good example for all your employees. Now.... now, I will be calling you later with the names of some producer types and I want you to have a very good time at your meeting.
JENNIFER: Jack, wait, wait. I'm bringing Abby with me today, remember?
JACK: Right! Right, okay let me go get her. Don't move, I'll be right back. I'll be right back.
JACK RUNS UPSTAIRS WHILE JENNIFER CHECKS THAT SHE HAS EVERYTHING FOR ABBY.
SCENE TWO: A SHORT TIME LATER, JACK COMES BACK DOWNSTAIRS WITH ABBY.
JACK: You need anything else?
JENNIFER: There she is.
JENNIFER: No. I have everything. I'm fine. Come on sweetheart.
JENNIFER: Hi doll. Ready to go to work with mom. Yeah.
JENNIFER: Daddy's going to help us out.
JACK: Yeah, after you.
JENNIFER: Thank you.
JACK: You got everything?
JENNIFER: I love you.
JACK: And I love you too.
JENNIFER: Oh it's cold.
JACK: Watch that gridlock.
JENNIFER: Bye daddy.
JENNIFER: See you later.
JACK SIGHS WITH RELIEF WHEN JENNIFER LEAVES.
THE MINUTE HE SHUTS THE DOOR, JO APPEARS FROM THE KITCHEN.
JO: Coast clear?
JACK: Sssshhhh! She's just going down the driveway.
JO: Oh I hope I didn't ruin my quiche.
JACK: Sssshhhh, take it easy.
JO: Oh okay. Well listen I brought you dinner. You're going to have home made rolls. You're going to have broccoli quiche and you're going to have home made chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
JACK IS IGNORING JO AS HE WATCHES HIS MANUSCRIPT BEING PRINTED AGAIN.
JACK: Oh I don't believe this. I can't believe it. I did it. Huh, huh. Oh great. Page 218, 219....
JO: Jack I'm going to start cleaning down here. I hope you didn't put the vacuum cleaner away.
JACK: Oh forget about the vacuum. Come here.
JO: Here for what?
JACK: Read this.
JO: What is it?
JACK: What is it. This is my novel.
JO: Yo wrote a novel?JO: Huh.
JACK: Yes I wrote a novel and I'm sure it's just as passable as one of those popular novels you were telling me all about.
JACK: Huh, huh.
JO: As good as Danielle Steele, as good as Moriel Pusseaux? The last book of his I cried all through the last chapter.
JO: You wrote a novel?
JACK: Yes, I wrote a novel. I wrote a novel and I'll tell you something right now. When you start to read it, you won't be able to put it down.
JO BEGINS TO READ THE NOVEL.
SCENE THREE: OWN AT THE STUDIO, JENNIFER IS WORKING AT THE STUDIO WITH ABBY. JULIE COMES DOWN TO SEE ABBY AND HELP JENNIFER WITH HER. JENNIFER TELLS JULIE THAT SHE IS WORRIED HOW HARD JACK IS WORKING.
SCENE FOUR: BACK AT HOME, JO CAN'T PUT THE NOVEL DOWN.
JO: Oh my.... oh my. I'm hooked. I'm hooked son. I'm going to take this home tonight and finish reading it.
JACK: Huh, huh. So what you're telling me is you find these characters somewhat interesting.
JO: Oh, yes, absolutely. Especially Roxanne.
JO: Bless her heart. Everytime she turns around she gets kicked in the face by fate.
JO: I do hope that she has a happy ending because if she doesn't I'm going to be very angry with you.
JACK: Well this genre is pretty repetitive. And what happens is....
JO: No! Don't you dare tell me. Don't you dare tell me. I want to find out for myself. I want to go through every step of her life. Every step with her. Everyone who reads it will feel that way. They'll be cheering for her. Oh Jack, you've got to get this published.
JACK: Well I was thinking of giving it a try.
JO: What are you going to call it?
JACK: I hadn't really thought about that.
JO: Something.... something simple like.... Men and Women. Yes.
JACK: That's a bit too simple.
JO: Oh all right, then something romantic. I don't know. Um.... what about.... well I don't know, something powerful? What do you think?
JACK: No, the only powerful thing I can think of right now is a powerful cup of coffee. Let me tell you there is nothing romantic about writing one of these things. I mean you're up all night and the midnight hour is just ticking away and....
JO: Hey, the midnight hour. That's fabulous.
JACK: Oh no.
JO: "In the Midnight Hour," yes I like that.
JACK: Oh, a little too flowery, too flowery.
JO: No it's not. It really captures the mood of the story. The passion, the secrets. It's perfect. In the "Midnight Hour" by Jack Deveraux. Ooooh.
JACK: No, no, no, I can't use my own name.
JO: Why not?
JACK: Well.... with my column and everything. You know this is after all what it is. I mean it's important to keep the two careers separate.
JO: Well you're right. You know what's best.
JACK: Yes I do know what's best. The important thing is to find a name that begins with M.
JO: M? Why M?JACK: M, M. Ah, booksellers in their stores, they usually.... they arrange the names according to the last name of the author.
JACK (CONT.): The name beginning with M would be somewhere on eye level on the shelves and that makes for better selling.
JO: Are you serious?
JACK: Well I have done some research, yes.
JO: Well I'm impressed son.
JACK: Well it's nothing really. You know when I put my mind to something like writing a book that's exactly what I do.
JO: All right, last names that begin with M.
JACK: Yes, yes.
JACK: Mason, no.
JACK: Miller, Miller. Miller, Miller. I like Miller.
JO: Okay, what about a first name?
JACK: Something old, old.... old fashioned, old. I see old.... fashioned.
JO: Okay. Martha?
JACK: Martha.... no.
JO: No. Margaret.
JACK: No, Margaret.
JACK: Miranda, Miranda.... Miranda. Miranda Miller. Thank you very much. Miranda Miller. Thank you very much.
JACK: Here, I'll just take that and this. Thank you. Yes. Thanks. Thank you.
JO: Oh gosh.
JACK: Thank you very much Jo for all your help.
JO: Am I going to get to read this, this evening?
JACK: Ah, actually you get a chance to read it when it's returned to you. You see I took the liberty of using your mailing address. We don't want Jennifer to know anything about this.
JACK PUTS THE MANUSCRIPT INTO AN ENVELOPE TO POST.
JO: No of course not.
JACK: So thank you very much and wish me luck. Goodbye.
JACK GOES OUT THE DOOR.
SCENE FIVE: A SHORT TIME LATER, JACK IS STANDING AT THE POST BOX OUTSIDE BRADY'S PUB. AFTER SOME HESITATION HE PUTS IT INSIDE. WHEN HE GOES INTO THE PUB HE OVERHEARS PHILIP TALKING TO A GUY ABOUT HAVING TO GO BACK TO LA. JACK GOES TO SPEAK TO HIM AFTER THE OTHER GUY LEAVES.
JACK: How's it going my friend?
PHILIP: Hey Jack, well I don't know. A lot of dreams and schemes and big plans might have just walked out the door. But they'll be back. How are you doing? How is Jennifer doing in her search for a new producer?
JACK: Well actually I just wanted to talk to you about that.
PHILIP: Oh good. Let's sit down. Talk.
JACK: I couldn't help but overhear what was going on between you and your friend there.
PHILIP: Just keep that under your hat. I don't want the distributors to get word of it.
JACK: No, no, I wouldn't tell a soul.
JACK: But it's obvious you have a problem.
PHILIP: Ah, yeah.
JACK: The important thing is is that so does my wife. Jennifer needs some.... she's needs some very experienced help. I was thinking maybe you could get together with Jennifer and solve your problems together.PHILIP: Hmmm.
SCENE SIX: JACK AND PHILIP CONTINUE THEIR CONVERSATION.
JACK: Good that's music to those network's people's ears.
PHILIP: Yeah but Jack this was years ago I was talking about.
JACK: Oh come on. Five minutes and it will all come back to you. The important thing is that you just sit down with these local TV people and you know.... schmooze with them, give them that Hollywood charm and they'll be falling all over you. That is if you want to do the job.
PHILIP: I'd like to stay in Salem. I tell you that. Be near Kim.
JACK: That's right. And how is that going?
PHILIP: Ah good days and bad days. You know with this trial pending, mostly bad days. But she's going to pull through. She's strong and with a little help she's going to be completely well, I know it.
JACK: Well it would be rather difficult to go on if you didn't really believe that.
PHILIP: Yeah. I love her Jack. She just means everything to me, you know.
JACK: Well that makes this work out for everyone then. Everyone wins. You, Kimberly, Jennifer and myself. PHILIP: Ah, ah, ah, but what about Jennifer? I mean what does she feel about all this?
JACK: Well I think it's as good a time as ever to find out. She's probably pulling her hair out right now at that studio. Why don't we get up there and go over and you can give her the benefit of all your experience?
PHILIP: All right.
JACK AND PHILIP GO TO SEE JENNIFER AT THE STUDIO.
SCENE SEVEN: JACK AND PHILIP ARRIVE AT THE STUDIO.
JENNIFER: It's good to see you too. I was just writing down some ideas while Abby was sleeping. Not that they are ever going to use any of my ideas.
JACK: So tell us. How did the production meeting go?
JENNIFER: Well it didn't go great. Um, we all yelled and screamed at each other for twenty minutes. It's amazing what happens when you have no producer in the room.
JACK: Huh, huh.
PHILIP: Well that's a lot of fun.
PHILIP LOOKS DOWN AT ABBY.
PHILIP: This looks like the next Jane Pauley. Yes, you're so cute. I think it's so great that you can bring your baby to work with you.
JENNIFER: I don't know how much longer I'm going to have work to go to. If we don't get a producer this show isn't going to last more than a week.
JACK: Well actually that's why Philip is here.
JENNIFER: Why's that?
JACK: He's considering producing your show.
JENNIFER: He is? You are?
PHILIP: Well the fact of the matter is that I've made some changes in my work plans and I'm going to need a job here in Salem. But first and foremost I really want to be close to Kimberly. She needs me right now. I'm in the market. I realize that the network has to have a say in who they hire and you probably have someone in mind that you'd like to hire.
JENNIFER: Well actually I don't and I think that you would be great. I'm a little nervous. I had a really bad time with my last producer.
PHILIP: No, no, you probably need to know if we can work together.
PHILIP: Do you have a few minutes now?
JENNIFER: Ah, sure.
PHILIP: Well then let's talk then and see what we come up with.
JENNIFER AND PHILIP SIT DOWN TO TALK WHILE JACK PACES AND LISTENS IN.
PHILIP: It should be a like a newspaper ad for your show where they watch a promo. Invariably they're going to be asking the question why is this show different from others? Why am I going to be watching this show? And our answer is pure and simple. We've got Jennifer Deveraux. There is nobody like her. Nobody. I know it sounds like I'm buttering you up and giving you a lot of spiel here and I could be selling you on glitz and schmaltz and wacko guests like sex queens from the ozone layer or the man who married motor cycles.
JENNIFER: Please don't remind me. Those are the guests that Malcolm booked.
PHILIP: Look the bottom line here. It has to be about you. End of sermon.
JENNIFER: Well I just have one question.
JENNIFER: When do you start?
PHILIP: Well you didn't tell me she had such a problem making decisions. Can you sell me to the network?
JACK IS SMILING.
JENNIFER: Are you kidding? You can sell yourself to the network. I mean if you hav/e a problem, I'll do what I can.
PHILIP: Well all right! I think we're going to have some fun here.
JENNIFER: I think you're right. This is going to be wonderful.
JENNIFER WALKS OVER TO JACK.JENNIFER: And you. You are absolutely brilliant. Not to mention gorgeous, sexy, wonderful.
SHE GIVES HIM A QUICK KISS.
JACK: Well, thank you. I, ah.... I ah, I guess Jennifer agrees then.
JENNIFER: Yes. We are going to do this. We are going to pull this off guys. We are going to make this work.
JACK AND JENNIFER HAVE ANOTHER QUICK KISS.
SCENE EIGHT: JACK RETURNES HOME AND JUST AS JULIE ARRIVES TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT REDECORATING THE HOUSE.
JACK: Julie, perfect timing. Come right in.
JULIE: Jack, Jack.
JACK: I see that you brought the swatches, the plans, the colors and the pictures.
JULIE: Oh yes. I brought everything but listen darling. I got the impression that Jennifer would like to put all of this redecorating on hold until both of you are feeling more secure about the new show.
JACK: Um, well you know about that. We have nothing to worry about. I think we are ready to do everything we can to turn this home into a Deveraux masterpiece. Jennifer is going to be so happy when she sees that this will be the house of her dreams.
JULIE: Jack that is a very sweet reason to want to do this. But what are you going to use for money? I mean it would cheap if we were just putting in some new throw rugs. But this is more than just carpeting. This is stripping and architectural changes and.... my dear it is very expensive.
JACK: Well I look at it this way. I have the feeling that fortune is about to smile on the Deverauxs again so when it comes to this house, the sky's the limit.