Reportedly, Ruggiero unexpectedly quit The Ex List on Friday morning. Rick Eid, executive producer of the show, will continue on in her place as showrunner. However, the writing staff will have to continue without their guiding light because make no mistake, the heart and soul of the main character -- Bella Bloom -- was a reflection of Diane Ruggiero. She's a strong writer with a distinct voice, one she lent to her other success (with Rob Thomas) Veronica Mars.
When I wrapped up my interview with Bruce McCulloch -- executive producer of ABC's Carpoolers and a member of the legendary comedy troupe Kids In The Hall -- I asked him if there was anything else he might be working on. "Yeah, I'm going to have a heart attack next March, and I wanted people to know about that," he joked. For a guy who has worn a lot of hats in his career, nothing has kept him busier than being the boss.
Carpoolers, a single-camera comedy premiering on ABC tonight at 8:30 PM ET, is about four guys who use their carpool to explore what's going on in each other's lives. The show is McCulloch's brainchild, which means he's involved with everything from the writing to how many donuts will be on the craft services table. Yet he still has time to write and perform his own surreal works, as well as perform occasionally with the Kids, who have been together for almost a quarter-century.
I got a chance to speak to McCulloch last week, and we talked about what it's like to premiere after the season's most lambasted new show (Cavemen), what parts of himself he sees in each of his main characters, what it's like to work with Fred Goss and Jerry O'Connell (who spoke to our friends at AOL last week), and why the Kids have managed to stay together for so long. Highlights are after the jump, as well as an audio embed of the interview (35 minutes).
If you've been having trouble sleeping at night because you're concerned about what might become of Notes from the Underbelly creator Stacy Traub if her show doesn't make it, you can stop worrying. Traub has signed a two-year deal with Warner Bros. Television that will allow her to develop new series should Notes from the Underbelly not get picked up for another season. Otherwise, Traub will remain with the show as a show runner and executive producer. As far as what new shows she would develop, Traub says she likes shows with "flawed characters." She's also written for Kitchen Confidential and Spin City.
Notes from the Underbelly is about a young couple who become pregnant and must settle into a more mature lifestyle while simultaneously hearing advice from meddlesome family and friends. It will air on ABC.
He's pretty sure that the show will come back for a seventh season. "It's becoming apparent that it'll be up to us if the show is on again this year, so we'll do one more year," he told me. "Again, the same as last year, I came into this year going 'Ah, it's the fucking last year of this show,' and now we're downstairs scrambling because our studio is like, 'This isn't the last year.' So now we have to re-outline all the stories and change it and all that shit."
Because Zach Braff has mentioned that this season might be his last, I asked Lawrence if a seventh season will include Braff. "I think I'd only do the show with Zach, personally," he said.
Apologies for being late with this news, but Chris Hayward, known to cartoon fans as the creator of Dudley Do-right and to others as the co-creator of The Munsters passed away on November 20 at the age of 81. Hayward wrote for Jay Ward Productions, starting with Crusader Rabbit and later writing for Rocky and Bullwinkle, the show where Dudley Do-Right, a moral Canadian Mountie whose love interest was more interested in his horse than him, first appeared.
His live-action credits include creating The Munsters with Allan Burns, and winning Emmys for writing on both Barney Miller and The Hero. He also wrote for Alice, My Mother the Car, 77 Sunset Strip and Get Smart.
I'm a big Jay Ward fan, but had you mentioned the name "Chris Hayward" to me before today I wouldn't know who you were talking about. Still, I think his career is worth remembering, as it reflects a time even before The Simpsons when cartoons could be just as smart and funny as any live-action sitcom.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman is developing a pilot for the CW with the working title Steps. The series will be a one-hour drama with some comedic elements set at a dance studio run by a family. Kauffman herself grew up in a family where dancing was important. Her mother danced herself when she was younger and later opened her own studio. If it seems weird that Kauffman is moving from an established network like NBC to the still young CW, she says it's because she wants the show to be somewhat under the radar to avoid the scrutiny it might receive on one of the major networks. The premise doesn't really appeal to me, personally, but then again, I'm not a big fan of dance shows. I never cared much for Fame, either. As long as the show doesn't have any cheesy dance numbers like the end of Dirty Dancing I'll probably check it out at least once.
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