Dirt
Dirtlogo.png
Also known asD!rt
GenreDrama
Created byMatthew Carnahan
Starring
Opening theme
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20
Production
Executive producers
Running time
  • 56–60 minutes (season 1)
  • 40–42 minutes (season 2)
Production companies
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkFX
Original releaseJanuary 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. A 13-episode second and final season was announced on May 8, 2007. However, only seven episodes were produced before the 2007 WGA strike shut down production. The shortened second season began airing on March 2, 2008.[1] The show was created by Matthew Carnahan and produced by Coquette Productions and ABC Studios. On June 8, 2008, FX canceled the series after two seasons.[2]

Plot

Season One

The series revolves around Lucy Spiller and her best friend, the 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 man with schizophrenia, 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

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

Main

Supporting

Production

The first season consisted of 13 one-hour-long episodes. Production on the pilot began in Los Angeles in March 2006,[3] but it was later reshot to include a cameo by David Fincher and to add more of Courteney Cox's character.[4] Production on the series began in September 2006.[5]

Dirt was the ninth drama series pilot shot for FX. Courteney Cox and David Arquette served as the show's executive producers.[6][7]

Episodes

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113January 17, 2007 (2007-01-17)April 24, 2007 (2007-04-24)
27March 2, 2008 (2008-03-02)April 13, 2008 (2008-04-13)

Season 1 (2007)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Matthew CarnahanMatthew CarnahanJanuary 2, 2007 (2007-01-02)4.00[8]
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.
22"Blogan"Chris LongMatthew CarnahanJanuary 9, 2007 (2007-01-09)3.75[8]
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."
33"Ovophagy"Paris BarclayJoel FieldsJanuary 16, 2007 (2007-01-16)1.9[8]
"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.
44"What to Expect When You're Expecting"Paris BarclayDawn Prestwich & Nicole YorkinJanuary 23, 2007 (2007-01-23)1.9[8]
Lucy blackmails basketball star Prince Tyreese into helping her track down a missing rap star; Lucy and Leo's mother announces her plans to remarry on the anniversary of their father's suicide.
55"You Don't Know Jack"Chris LongDave FlebotteJanuary 30, 2007 (2007-01-30)2.16[8]
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.
66"The Secret Lives of Altar Girls"Jesse BochcoJoel FieldsMarch 6, 2007 (2007-03-06)1.42[8]
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 falls 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.
77"Come Together"Adam ArkinRebecca DameronMarch 13, 2007 (2007-03-13)1.58[8]
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. Sully Erna of Godsmack appears in an uncredited role.[9]
88"The Thing Under the Bed"Dean WhiteSally RobinsonMarch 20, 2007 (2007-03-20)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'
99"This is Not Your Father's Hostage Situation"Elodie KeeneDave FlebotteMarch 27, 2007 (2007-03-27)1.36[8]
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.
1010"The Sexxx Issue"Lev L. SpiroMatthew CarnahanApril 3, 2007 (2007-04-03)1.42
Lucy proposes a sex-themed issue as a means of getting the staff to relax after the hostage situation. In the meantime, 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.
1111"Pap Smeared"Chris LongAlbert KimApril 10, 2007 (2007-04-10)1.7[8]
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.
1212"Caught on Tape"Fred KellerJoel FieldsApril 17, 2007 (2007-04-17)1.79[8]
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.
1313"Ita Missa Est"Matthew CarnahanMatthew CarnahanApril 24, 2007 (2007-04-24)2.4[10]
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)

FX announced on May 8, 2007 that Dirt would return for a second season.[11]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Welcome to Normal"Matthew CarnahanMatthew CarnahanMarch 2, 2008 (2008-03-02)
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.
152"Dirty Slutty Whores"Stephen T. KayJoel FieldsMarch 9, 2008 (2008-03-09)
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.
163"God Bless the Child"Chris LongDave FlebotteMarch 16, 2008 (2008-03-16)
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.
174"Ties That (Don't) Bind"John FortenberryRobert NathanMarch 23, 2008 (2008-03-23)
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.
185"What is This Thing Called"David ArquetteMimi Friedman & Jeanette CollinsMarch 30, 2008 (2008-03-30)
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.
196"And the Winner Is"Tricia BrockAlbert KimApril 6, 2008 (2008-04-06)
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.
207"In Lieu of Flowers"Chris LongBart BakerApril 13, 2008 (2008-04-13)
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

Dirt was originally picked up for an additional 13 episodes.[12] However, prior to the writers' strike, only 7 episodes had been written and the shooting for these episodes wrapped 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.[13]

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.[14]

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 0.2 million in the finale.[2]

While the first season did not receive much positive critical praise, the second and final season was slightly more well-received, with the Associated Press declaring, "it's dog-eat-dog fun",[15] TV Guide saying, "it's trashy, flashy, and ridiculously addictive",[citation needed] 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−.[citation needed]

Dirt was not renewed for a third season.[2]

Home media

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 Entertainment.[16]

Season 2 was released on DVD on May 4, 2010 through Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[17]

References

  1. ^ "FX announces return date for Dirt". IGN. January 9, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "Dirt canceled, No season three for Courteney Cox Arquette TV show | T…". tvseriesfinale.com. June 11, 2008. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  3. ^ "Courtney Cox Takes Lead in FX Drama Series". The Futon Critic. February 28, 2006. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford. "Final runs set for HBO's 'Deadwood',' FX's 'The Shield'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  5. ^ "Cox's 'Dirt' Drama Gets Picked Up". Backstage. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  6. ^ Snierson, Dan (January 11, 2007). "The Dirt on Courteney Cox and David Arquette". EW.com. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  7. ^ Bonawitz, Amy (December 20, 2006). "Courteney Cox Dishes On 'Dirt'". CBS News. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Allociné Blogs - Séries Chiffres : Les Audiences Us Des Séries Archived January 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA Talks New Solo Material, Trying To Break Into Acting". Blabbermouth. December 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Starr, Michael (March 30, 2007). "Peck perks 'Dirt' #s". Archived from the original on February 10, 2009.
  11. ^ "FX Turns More 'Dirt,' Reaps 'Riches'". Zap2it.com. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on July 30, 2007.
  12. ^ Fickett, Travis (February 29, 2008). "Courteney Cox on the New Season of Dirt". IGN. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  13. ^ ""Dirt" and "Riches" face abrupt season finales". Reuters. February 7, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  14. ^ ""Dirt" trampled in ratings". Reuters. March 5, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  15. ^ Moore, Frazier (March 2, 2008). "Give, and you shall be rewarded — by Oprah". The Associated Press. Retrieved June 17, 2022 – via The Seattle Times.
  16. ^ "Dirt on TVShowsOnDVD.com". TV Shows on DVD.com. March 6, 2007. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
  17. ^ "Dirt DVD news: Announcement for Dirt - Season 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.