Television: The Fingers of God

The "highest-paid apprentice writer in the world" (by his own calculation) is a fellow named Stirling Silliphant. At 45, Silliphant and his one-man corporation gross a million a year, though for tax reasons he manages to hold his salary down to $145,000. This may or may not put him ahead of the world's other ranking apprentice writer, Novelist Mickey Spillane. The crucial difference between the two is that Spillane writes for the paperbacks whereas Silliphant writes for television—a medium that devours prose the way a school of piranha devours a steer. Silliphant, along with four or five other apprentices...

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