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July 24, 2014

James Burrows

Katey Sagal Says 'Futurama' Season 8 On the Way, Ed Westwick Wants Off 'Gossip Girl' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 3rd 2011 11:15AM
Katey SagalReady for more 'Futurama'? You should be, because Katey Sagal -- Leela herself -- is saying season 8 is a go.

According to Vulture, the recent Golden Globe winner spilled the beans at the Directors Guild of America Awards.

"'Futurama' just got ordered again for another season," Sagal said. "I don't know if I'm supposed to say that yet. But it just did."

While Comedy Central has not made an official statement, Vulture reports the show's studio, 20th Century Fox TV, has been talking to voice actors to make sure they'd be on board. However, no official negotiations have taken place.

In other TV news ...

'Grizzly Adams' creator, Charles E. Sellier Jr., has died. He was 67. A cause of death was not specified. [BBC]

Amber Heard is in talks to join NBC's 'Playboy.' The 'Zombieland' actress would play a new hire at the Chicago Playboy club. [Deadline Hollywood]

James Burrows has signed on to direct the 'Two Broke Girls' pilot. Burrows, the co-creator of 'Cheers,' helmed the pilots of 'Mike & Molly,' 'Better With You' and '$#*! My Dad Says.' [TV Guide]

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Alyssa Milano Is 'Romantically Challenged'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 30th 2010 8:05PM
Alyssa MilanoNo, that's not an assumption on the actress' amorous ways, although I'm willing to put that assumption to the test if she's particularly irked by it.

The 'Who's the Boss,' 'Charmed' and 'Melrose Place' star has landed a new sitcom on ABC that can easily earn some steam since it's airing after 'Dancing with the Stars.'

'Romantically Challenged,' a sitcom about a recent divorcee looking for signs of life after marriage, will start airing on Monday, April 12 after 'DWTS.' The show is created by former 'Family Guy' writer Ricky Blitt and James Burrows has been tapped to direct it.

It sounds ridiculously simple and run-of-the-mill in terms of creativity, but sometimes the simplest ideas have the potential to catch fire. Does the show have the potential to be hot or will it go up in flames?

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'Better Off Ted's' Jay Harrington Snags NBC Pilot

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 18th 2010 12:29PM
Jay HarringtonLast week we told you that 'Better Off Ted's' Andrea Anders was joining the cast of Matthew Perry's new show 'Mr. Sunshine.' That was one minor sign that the cast of the ABC sitcom was looking for other work because the show was going to be canceled. Now here's the ultimate proof that the show is probably not coming back in the fall: no more Ted!

Jay Harrington, who plays Ted, has grabbed the lead in a new NBC sitcom pilot called 'Nathan vs. Nurture,' according to Variety. As Michael Schneider points out, when the star of a show gets another show, that's a good sign the other show isn't coming back. Harrington will play a heart surgeon who not only finds out who his biological are, he also finds out that he has several siblings (and I'm going to guess that these siblings are going to be wacky in some way).

James Burrows is going to direct the pilot so we know that at least that episode will be great.

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Gary Unmarried: Gary on the Air - open thread

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 22nd 2009 2:27PM
Gary Unmarried
I think Gary Unmarried might just be the new Yes, Dear. Remember that show? It lasted for several seasons even though no one talked about, and just when we thought it had gone away it came back for several more episodes. I think this Jay Mohr comedy might be in the same category: it's a sitcom that, before you know it, is going to be in season five.

Gary has a new job as a radio host. Did you watch it? Is this show any good? Is it an ignored comedy gem we should all be watching? It is produced and directed by James Burrows, after all. I watched the first two episodes and it's not terrible, but it just seems to be a lesser sitcom.

[You can watch clips of Gary Umarried at SlashControl and judge for yourself.]

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Sneak Peek: NBC's 100 Questions

by Bob Sassone, posted May 8th 2009 6:27PM
I know the title sounds like another one of those NBC game shows with the suspenseful lighting and annoying commercial breaks, but it's actually a comedy. It stars Sophie Winkelman as a woman looking for love who decides to join an online dating service and has to answer their massive 100 question survey. An odd premise, but the pilot is directed by James Burrows, so I'm in. Here's a preview (also here).

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Gary Unmarried: the new According to Jim

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 21st 2008 9:20AM
Gary UnmarriedAnyone who thinks that the lame, traditional, laugh-track-laden sitcom is dead hasn't seen Gary Unmarried yet. Unfortunately, I have. And I've got to tell you, it's probably the worst sitcom since the undead According to Jim first infected our airwaves in 2001. It's too bad, given the talent involved.

And when I mention "talent," I don't mean series creator Ed Yeager, who helped foist Still Standing on the American public for four years. I'm talking about stars Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Ed Begley Jr., and Jaime King, as well as esteemed sitcom director James Burrows. They're talented people stuck in a show that contains the same wacky plots and "setup-joke" rhythm that has led many to think the multi-camera sitcom is as dead as disco.

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Back to You -- An early look

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Sep 18th 2007 10:41AM
Back to youIn July, I was at a sitcom writing seminar in which Sam Simon (who helped develop The Simpsons) declared: "the sitcom is dead." Veteran comedy writer Ken Levine (who hosted that sitcom seminar), however, disagrees. Ken believes the traditional multi-camera sitcom might be on a respirator, but still has a pulse. Levine said, "I would amend Sam's statement and say that yeah, the bad, stale, family sitcom with tired rhythms, forced laughs, and bogus characters is dead."

I guess if you're trying to revive the dying sitcom, a good way to start is by assembling a top-notch team. And Fox's new Wednesday night comedy, Back to You, does just that.

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Back to You gets a little help from Burrows

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 13th 2007 11:24AM

back to youIconic TV director James Burrows has joined the FOX series Back to You as an executive producer and the main director for at least the first season.

While I've personally never been a huge fan of the sitcoms Burrows has been involved with (Cheers, Friends, Dharma and Greg, Will and Grace, Fraiser, Two and a Half Men, countless others), it's no secret the man has a way of propelling sitcoms to new heights, which is undoubtedly what the hope is for Back to You. Also, let me quickly add that I understand the appeal of many of Burrows' series, I'm just not wired for their style of humor. It could be a factory defect, I don't know.

Back to You stars Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Fred Willard as members of a news team in Pittsburgh who reunite after their main anchor, played by Grammer, returns after being disgracefully fired from his position in a bigger market.

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The Class to continue in a more traditional format

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 18th 2006 8:31PM
The ClassOne of the problems I've had, and continue to have, with The Class since it premiered this past fall was that the show had just too many characters and too many stories. Sure, the storylines with Lina and Richie were sweet and had the most dramatic impact, and the stories with Kat and Ethan were often very funny. But the Duncan and Nicole storyline seemed right out of the Friends playbook and the Kyle/Holly/GayButNotGay Husband story? Ugh... the less said about it, the better.

But it looks like the show's creators, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, are getting the message. According to this AP article, they have decided to create more epsiodes where the group is together, rather than the disparate storylines that dominated the first ten or so episodes of the season. They admit that, while having a soapy, separate-thread structure for the show was a novel concept for a sitcom, it just wasn't working. And the actors wanted to do more scenes together, too, so it seems like going back to a traditional format is working better for everyone.

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The Class - an early look

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 12th 2006 11:32AM
The Class cast
When I previewed rough-cut pilot of The Class (premieres Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 PM ET) back in June, I had my doubts about whether the loose association of the characters in the show would be able to withstand the rigors of a long-term series. The finished pilot didn't change my mind. But CBS was nice enough to include the second episode on the same screener as the pilot, and I'll tell you this: the show has potential. It seems an especially good companion for How I Met Your Mother, which it will preceed on Mondays, since both cater to the same late-20s crowd. But The Class does so without the cutsiness that can sometimes seep into HIMYM.

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Shatner, Philbin, Brokaw named to TV Hall of Fame

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 21st 2006 1:34PM
William ShatnerThe Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the same folks who give us the Emmys) announced the inductees to their Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1984. The class consists of William Shatner, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, and Regis ("the Reege") Philbin. Of course, all three have been on our TVs for decades and are pretty obvious inductees. Also in the group are veteran sitcom director James Burrows (Cheers, Will & Grace) and producer and former network executive Leonard Goldberg (Hart to Hart). Induction ceremonies are yet to be scheduled.

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Short-Lived Shows: Flying Blind

by Joel Keller, posted May 25th 2006 12:24PM
Flying BlindAdam's post about Herman's Head (which was one of my favorite shows during my college years, by the way) got me thinking of the FOX Sunday lineup in those heady days when The Simpsons was still considered subversive and FOX was as small as The CW. Ironically, between Bart and Co., Married... With Children, and Herman's Head, the lineup was probably a lot stronger then than it is now, even though FOX is now a bigger network with more resources to create quality programming.

Part of that early-nineties Sunday lineup was Flying Blind (1992-93), which starred (a very red-headed and very hot) Téa Leoni and Corey Parker as a mismatched couple making their way through the early days of their relationship. Leoni played the firery ingenue Alicia, full of life and adventurous as hell. Parker was nebbishy Neil, who seemed to fumble and stumble over every sentence but was devoted to Alicia. I mean, who wouldn't? She was just about perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I always wondered why she was ever with Neil to begin with.

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Will & Grace: The Finale (series finale)

by Richard Keller, posted May 18th 2006 11:31PM

The cast of Will & Grace(S08E23) There are those who are die-hard fans of Will & Grace, which premiered on the NBC schedule back in 1998. Then there are those who despise the show, which is about the relationship between Grace Adler (Debra Messing) and her gay friend Will Truman (Eric McCormack). The fans love the back-and-forth between the two characters and the dynamic of their relationship. Those who hate the show may be uncomfortable with the subject matter (homosexuality) or the cartoon-ish characterizations of Will and Grace's friends Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally ), or the fact that it's just not funny.

I fall under neither category. I liked Will & Grace, but was not a huge fan. I'd watch it if I happened to see something interesting going on, and I'd laugh at a few of the lines (not as heartily as I would laugh during an episode of Scrubs, though). Yet, Jack annoyed me sometimes and the influx of guest stars on the show was somewhat distracting. In fact, over the last few years I didn't really follow it at all.

However, as this would be the last episode of the series, I decided to give it a review. My opinion on the last show of the series? Meh.

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Hawn and Burrows to be honored at Comedy Arts Festival

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 11th 2006 11:44AM
Goldie Hawn, who turned 97 recently, will be honored at the 12th Annual US Comedy Arts Festival this Spring along with James Burrows, the TV heavyweight who brought to life such shows as Cheers, Frasier, NewsRadio, and Friends. The Comedy Arts Festival should not be confused with the Comedy Arts and Crafts Festival, which involves comedians weaving baskets and carving small figures from balsa wood. Of course, like Mel Brooks so wisely pointed out many years ago, the idea of a comedy award is kind of foolish, since comedians are supposed to make fun of things like that. Still, it's nice to get your props.

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