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April 21, 2014

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 30th 2006 3:53PM

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Studio 60 is terrible, say comedy writers

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 29th 2006 12:06PM
Matt Perry and Bradley WhitfordI came across an interesting article while perusing Ken Levine's blog last night. He was quoted in an LA Times article that came out on Christmas day; the article discusses the fact that most comedy writers intensely dislike Studio 60 and think that the show is completely unrealistic.

But here's the interesting part: like the rest of us who have mixed feelings about the show, they're so fascinated by it that not only do they keep watching, it's also all they can talk about the next day. The comedy troupe Employee of the Month even does a weekly sketch show imagining what the sketches conceived for the show would be like. Because the sketches themselves weren't funny, they inserted jokes about the program as part of a "backstage" portion of the show. Other writers have cited the fact that the S60 writers are way too smart for their own good and never laugh at anything, which many writers think is the best part of the job. Ironically, many writers like 30 Rock, because the sketches are goofier and the depiction of a sketch show's writers' room is much closer to reality than it is on S60.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 20th 2006 9:00AM

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How Frasier was created

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 10th 2006 7:55PM
Frasier castI have to thank my fellow Squadder Bob Sassone for turning me on to Ken Levine's fantastic blog; not only is Levine funny when he writes about random stuff, but he gives advice about what to do and what not to do when writing a sitcom script. The man knows what he talking about; he's written for many classic sitcoms, including M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Frasier.

But it's his behind-the-scenes anecdotes that are my favorties. And this past week, he gave us some doozy, and he didn't even write them: he let his friend Peter Casey, one of the co-creators of Frasier, do a three-part series on how the show was created.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 4th 2006 5:10PM

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Aaron Sorkin visits the Dental Hygienist

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 3rd 2006 6:28PM
Aaron SorkinYou can always count on McSweeney's to bring the verbose, witty goods.

In the past few weeks, we've had "Johnny Knoxville's Letters to His Brother" and "Ten Reasons Why You, Audrey Tautou, Gamine French Star of Amelie, Should Date Me, Teddy Wayne." Yesterday brought a real gem, however, in the form of "Aaron Sorkin Visits a Dental Hygienist."

Giving Ken Levine's "If Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball..." post a run for its money, author Jack Pendarvis unpacks the Sorkin banter tactics with an extended Poulenc reference. A sample exchange:

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What if Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball?

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 28th 2006 12:25PM
Ken LevineThat's what veteran sitcom writer Ken Levine (right) wonders on his blog; in fact, he wondered about that so much, he decided to write a little scene that would be typical of a Sorkin-written baseball program. Let's just say that involves a meeting on the mound between the manager and a pitcher named Danny (there's always a Danny in a Sorkin show, according to Levine) that lasts a lot longer than it should and involves lots of topics that are much more esoteric than whether to throw the next hitter a curveball or a fastball.

Levine knows where he's coming from with both comedy and baseball. As Bob Sassone has pointed out many times, Levine has worked on many classic sitcoms in his career (M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, etc.), but he was also a play-by-play broadcaster for the Orioles, Mariners, and Padres (comedy writer and a baseball broadcaster... my two dream careers). One day, he should combine those careers and make a series about the lives of a major league team's broadcasters. I'm sure he'd make it less inside and self-important than Sorkin made Studio 60, know what I mean?

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 18th 2006 9:01AM
  • Larry KingTV Newser has a preview of an upcoming interview that Larry King did with Details magazine.
  • That cartoon Donald Trump is going to do? There already was one.
  • Lots of good stuff over at Ken Levine's pad, including memories of writer Jerry Belson and the script of a scene from the 80s show Mary.
  • TV Guide's Surfer Girl doesn't like 1 vs. 100.
  • Do you like a new show that isn't doing too well, like Studio 60, Six Degrees, or The Nine? Kristin over at E! Online wants you to help Save Your New Fave.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 3rd 2006 1:30PM
Cheers barOur weekly roundup of what's happening on the other TV blogs.

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Stars should take lessons from Ted Danson

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 26th 2006 12:41PM

Ted DansonI've been pretty damn lucky in my interviewing life so far. Almost all of the celebs I've dealt with have been nice, professional, and a pleasure to talk to. So it's always interesting to read an account of a star I've never talked to. Ken Levine has an entry on his blog about one of the biggest sitcom stars of the 80s, Ted Danson.

Levine worked with Danson on both Cheers and Becker, and says that all stars should take lessons at the Ted Danson School Of Star Etiquette. Levine calls him "forever gracious, professional, on time, supportive, unselfish, makes everyone from guest stars to visitors feel completely welcome."

Wow, I can't even say that about any of my family members.

The reason I bring this up is that Danson's new show, Help Me, Help You, premieres tonight at 9:30 on ABC.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 20th 2006 1:14PM
  • Clay AikenBest Week Ever has video of Clay Aiken's appearance on Good Morning America today.
  • Another great post from Ken Levine, this time shattering the dreams of men everywhere (including me).
  • Radar asks about the new CW: does the merger of two mediocre networks add up to one good one?
  • I didn't catch this during the debut, but Studio 60 creators Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme kept a live blog the other night (read from bottom to top, of course). Funny cameo from Nate Cordrry. (And check out Defaker.)

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Out of the Blogosphere: Morning after the Emmys edition

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 28th 2006 11:24AM
  • Conan's Emmy danceHere's a complete list of winners, in case you were wondering who won Best Gaffer on a Miniseries.
  • Ken Levine has another fantastic review of the Emmys. Lots of great lines, but my favorite might be, "Why was Charlie Sheen up for Best Actor and Jon Cryer up for Best Supporting Actor? In Two and a Half Men, is Jon the half?"
  • TV Guide had minute by minute coverage, a backstage report, and photo galleries.
  • Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog watched the Emmys too, and they also list their 10 Most Memorable Moments.
  • And writer Paul Davidson went to the Emmys last night. He observed many things, including the fact that Paula Abdul's assistant needs deodorant.

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How not to write a television script

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 13th 2006 1:30PM

NewsradioThere's always something great to read at Ken Levine's blog, and this past week was no exception. He has a really funny (and really useful) list of situations and scenes that aspiring writers should never include in their TV scripts. My favorite:

Don't hinge your show on stunt casting. I read a "Becker" where former President Jimmy Carter came in for a check-up and offered dating advice. Yeah, President Carter gets his physicals in the Bronx. And yeah, President Carter is always available to guest on a sitcom and advise a character to say whatever is necessary to get laid.

Of course, we've all seen even worse things actually make it on the air, but this is a great list.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 9th 2006 12:41PM
  • MST3KThis guy has posted his picks for the 10 Best and 10 Worst Sci-Fi Openings of All-Time. He's made some good choices here. For best he includes Star Trek: TNG and Mystery Science Theater 3000, and for worst he includes Enterprise. Did he miss anything? Put your picks in the comments below.
  • Ken Levine has a really funny story about the cat from the 90s sitcom Almost Perfect.
  • "The jungle is deep and dark and dangerous, but there are diamonds in there. Journalistically, that's how I look at this. It's a wilderness, and I'm gonna plunge into it and hope we come out of it with a few diamonds." Who said it?
  • Somewhere along the line, Lost Remote changed it's URL to NowBreaking.com?!
  • EW's Dalton Ross thinks there's something fishy about the Project Runway judging.
  • Defamer has an update on the Ted Casablanca/E! controversy.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 26th 2006 11:41AM

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