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November 26, 2014

executive producer

Matthew Weiner of Mad Men: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 9th 2009 10:57AM
Matthew Weiner accepting the Emmy for Best Drama for Mad MenIt's hard to say that a show that's already won a small U-Haul's worth of Emmys and other awards can be having a breakout season, but that seems to be what's happening with Mad Men during its third season. The buzz around the show has been as loud as we've heard since The Sopranos went to black, and that's not a coincidence; the man who created the early-1960s world of Sterling Cooper, Matt Weiner, was a writer on the landmark HBO drama.

Weiner just completed shooting season three, and he took time out of his post-production process to sit down with me on Monday and talk about how the season has been going so far. I tried to get him to talk about what seems to be the show's inevitable roll towards the cataclysmic event of 1963, the Kennedy assassination, but Weiner was tight-lipped as usual. However, his observations on how he approaches events like that is an interesting read. Oh, and we also touch upon how he came up with the idea to run over a British ad exec's foot with a lawn mower, which is a good story by itself...

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And now for some porn...courtesy of FOX and House -- VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 19th 2008 10:51AM

How does FOX promote a medical drama like House? With porn, of course.Dear Hugh Laurie,

Hugh (can I call you Hugh?), do you know how the next episode of House is being promoted by FOX? The show that you executive produce and spend hours and days getting just right? Care to give a guess? Okay, I'll let you know. . .porn.

Not like the porn you get online, or porn you find on Cinemax. We're talking about over-the-air, PG-rated network porn. To be more specific, FOX is featuring a promo of the show (seen after the jump) with the first 43 seconds of a girl-on-girl scene starring Thirteen and her 'one-night-stand' that eventually gets sick and becomes the week's Mystery Patient (coming out soon as a board game by Milton-Bradley). I understand that network executives may be catering to the base feelings of the average male viewer, but I'm sure there is an equal, if not stronger, female base that may be a bit disturbed about this preview.

Take a look yourself, Hugh, and let us know if this is the way your show should be promoted. Oh, and the rest of you can tell us as well.

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Diane Ruggiero exits The Ex List - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 13th 2008 12:05PM
Ruggiero and ReaserThere's no way that the creator/executive producer of a new series walking away from the show before the season premiere can be a good thing. In fact, it's down right ominous. Therefore, the news that Diane Ruggiero has walked off The Ex List before the October 3rd premiere does not bode well for the comedy-drama. It's not like the prospect of succeeding in the dreaded Friday at 9 P.M. ET on CBS (the place where Moonlight died) was a sign of good things to come, but having seen the pilot, I was keeping my fingers crossed. Now, I'm worried.

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.

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New showrunner for Dirty Sexy Money

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 27th 2008 11:23AM
dirty sexy 2There's a new guy running the show for ABC's drama Dirty Sexy Money and his name is Daniel Cerone. Cerone replaces Josh Reims. As executive producer, Cerone will be working with creator Craig Wright (Lost), as well as Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters), Matthew Gross and Bryan Singer (House) -- so the show's got lots of first-class pedigree. Now they have to put it all together for the show.

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Bruce McCulloch of Carpoolers: The TV Squad Interview - AUDIO

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 2nd 2007 11:28AM
Bruce McCulloch and the cast of Carpoolers
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).

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Rob Thomas to run ABC's Miss/Guided

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 14th 2007 11:01AM
Rob Thomas and Kristen BellLooks like Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas already has a new job. He told E!'s Kristin Veitch that he has been brought on as executive producer and show-runner for the ABC midseason comedy Miss/Guided.

Miss/Guided is a single-camera sitcom staring Judy Greer (Love Monkey). She plays a former high school nerd that comes back to her alma mater as a guidance counselor and finds that high school is still high school, even for the adults. It was created by Caroline Williams, a writer on The Office; I'm guessing Thomas is being brought on to guide this show with an experienced hand, since Williams has never run a show before.

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Star Jones is looking for an executive producer

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 7th 2007 9:29AM

Star JonesHere's something from the "I'd take that job as only a last resort" category: Star Jones is looking for an executive producer for her Court TV show.

While the position has all of the usual requirements for an executive producer gig, including the management of talent and staff, several years experience, and a big list of contacts, it also says that whoever gets the job will have to "oversee administrative functions like human resource issues, deal with Turner's legal department when necessary, and supervise budget allocations." Wow, doesn't that sound like fun?

But you're going to be working with Star Jones, which basically means puppies and rainbows all day, so if you want to apply for the job click on the link above.

[via Gawker]

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Shakeup on the CBS Evening News

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 8th 2007 10:24AM
CBS Evening NewsReports are circulating that CBS is about to fire Rome Hartman, executive producer of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and replace him with Rick Kaplan, who until last year was president of MSNBC.

Hartman was named executive producer in November 2005, and helped reshape the broadcast after Couric took over the anchor slot in September. After the requisite curiosity period wore off, the ratings for the newscast deteriorated; it now pulls in lower ratings than it did at the same time last year, when Bob Schieffer was anchoring. The soft-news components of the broadcast were apparently what turned viewers off, and, even though those issues were already being addressed by Hartman, it apparently wasn't enough to save his job.

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Scorsese and Wahlberg developing new series for HBO

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 7th 2007 10:01AM

scorseseMartin Scorsese is developing a new series for HBO along with Mark Wahlberg about the development of Atlantic City. The new series will based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson, which was optioned by HBO.

Scorsese has been getting into television more and more, and it will be interesting to see what he and Wahlberg (who will both serve as executive producers) will come up with for this new series, but if it has to do with gambling, power struggles, and back stabbing, I can't think of anyone better suited to helming the project than Scorsese.

Wahlberg is also developing an English language version of the Israeli drama In Treatment for HBO.

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ABC picks up pilot from Kids in the Hall alum

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 25th 2007 12:12PM
Kids in the HallThe career trajectories of the former Kids in the Hall have been fascinating to behold. Dave Foley went from a starring turn in News Radio to a funny, but strange co-hosting gig on Celebrity Poker Showdown. Mark McKinney appeared briefly on SNL and now sits around the writer's room of Studio 60 hoping Aaron Sorkin will throw him a bone and actually let him write something. Kevin McDonald turns up in bit parts everywhere and keeps a steady gig as the voice of Lilo and Stitch's alien life form Pleakley. Scott Thompson visits Conan every once in awhile, but my favorite Bruce McCulloch's post-Kids appearances have been few and far between. McCulloch served a brief stint as a SNL writer and wrote and directed the forgettable film Dog Park.

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Scrubs creator is thinking of a seventh season... with Zach Braff

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 15th 2007 2:22PM
ScrubsBefore I left for Los Angeles, I got on the phone with Scrubs creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence to talk about this coming Thursday's musical episode. What I got was a pretty wide-ranging interview about Scrubs, his other project, Nobody's Watching, the evils of network "testing," his opinions on other shows, and a bunch of other stuff.

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.

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ABC commits to high concept series

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 4th 2006 4:34PM
Matt Reeves and J.J. AbramsFelicity co-creator Matt Reeves has a high concept series in development for ABC. (That's poor Matt on the right, sitting behind Felicity's more famous half J.J. Abrams.) Called Ordinary Joe, Reeves' new series follows the story of a man, who at 21 had to decide whether to go after the girl he always wanted, choose the girl who always wanted him or remain single. The show picks up 12 years later and flashbacks to the three different versions of his life that would have been depending on what choice he made. Each episode intertwines the series of events that follows the three different life choices - connecting them via theme.

It's a little Sliding Doors, a little Run Lola Run. All of my favorite themes are there -- fate, regret, choices, connection, what's unchanging about a person and what's not. Ever since 24's success, networks have been looking for high concept shows like this. Hugh Jackman has a Rashomon-like project in the works. There are a slew of part-scripted, part-documentary Borat-y projects in the works, too. What will float, and what will sink? We'll have to wait and see. Let's just hope the lead in Ordinary Joe gets a haircut in each version of his life so we can tell the difference.

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Shakeup at The Daily Show and The Colbert Report?

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 30th 2006 6:30PM
Ben KarlinThe Apiary, a blog about the New York comedy scene, is reporting that Ben Karlin (pictured), executive producer of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, has announced his resignation. Karlin, along with Jon Stewart, has been a driving creative force behind TDS (and later, Colbert) for many years, so his alleged departure is a significant change. (UPDATE: Comedy Central confirmed the change to Broadcasting & Cable magazine)

If he leaves, head writer David Javerbaum is set to take his place. Rachel Sklar over at Huffington Post's Eat The Press reports that Javerbaum himself was set to leave the show to pursue a career writing lyrics for Broadway musicals. No word from either source on a) why Karlin is leaving and b) who will replace Javerbaum as head writer. ETP does go on to mention that TDS has hired some new producers, including Daniel Sterling, a former writer and producer for Kitchen Confidential and King of the Hill.

(By the way, on the rare occasion I write something over at Huffington, Rachel edits my stuff. Just wanted to give you full disclosure.)

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Friends producer trashes current sitcom scene

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 28th 2006 1:06PM
Kevin BrightDigital Spy has a quick article about Kevin Bright, one of the executive producers of Friends. Right now, he's not working in TV, and has decided to teach a course about directing sitcoms. Why? Because, according to Bright, the current state of sitcoms on US television is pretty lame.

"We're in a bad place," Bright said. "Since Will and Grace I haven't seen one original idea on network TV." (Update: here's a link to the original Boston Globe article this quote came from. Looks like he doesn't absolve himself from blame here -- remember Joey? Thanks to Katie S. for pointing this out.)

Mind you, this includes The Class, which is being produced by David Crane, one of Bright's partners on Friends. I wonder if Mr. Crane gave Bright a call when word of this got back to him. Anyway, I think Bright is being too harsh; yes, there are not a lot of sitcoms out there right now, but most of the ones that are on are pretty fresh and funny (at least until According to Jim comes back from hiatus). Even The Class started with a pretty unique premise, even if it's taking time for it to figure out how to juggle all its characters (last night's episode was the first that did a good job of it). It's not like Bright should be bitter; Friends made him a nice pot of "F you" money.

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Family Guy producer draws the line

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 22nd 2006 6:04PM
Family Guy Griffin FamilyFamily Guy's executive producer David Goodman wants to protect kids from watching Family Guy - specifically, his own kids.

While his son's friends are starting to watch the show, he refuses to let his own son hunker down with the Griffin clan. "I think children are growing up a little too fast and are exposed to things that they shouldn't be. I don't want to have to explain some of the things that are happening on the show. I don't like lying to my kids so I don't let them watch it...They have plenty of time to be adults and to understand all the sex jokes."

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