Blake writes: My colleague and I wrote a treatment and pilot for a proposed sitcom. Through a friend of a friend, we were able to submit our material to an agent at a “second-tier” agency. A few weeks after submitting our materials, the agent called and was very positive about our material, and said “I’m having several of my colleagues review the material to see if they agree with my notes. We’ll talk soon.” My question is – should we be excited about this, or is this just a polite way of blowing us off? If the former, then what does “we’ll talk soon” mean (it’s been roughly two weeks since our telephone call)?
I can't speak for all agents or agencies, but from what I have seen, if agents want to pass, they'll pass. Usually the PC way to say it is "I just didn't respond to the material." It doesn't quite mean "I think it sucks"; it means "I think it sucks, but I understand that taste is subjective and there might be somebody out there who doesn't think it sucks." That way they're also covering their ass a bit (but only a bit) if it turns out to be a mega success. The answer you received inspires hope and gives you a reason to keep in contact, so I don't think agents would keep that door open if they never want to hear from you again. Unless the agent is a real newbie who is afraid to hurt your feelings, I think it's probably truthful.
As for "soon" - it could vary a lot. Keep in mind that agents are inundated with material - and stuff their current clients write or might possibly rewrite takes precedent. Maybe the agent passed it off to his or her assistant, who also has a huge reading pile. Junior agents also might be asked to read things by their superiors, so they genuinely have a lot of stuff to read. I think I'd maybe give it another week or two...but don't give up.
Anybody else have similar experiences to share?