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April 20, 2014

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David X. Cohen of Futurama: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 26th 2007 11:01AM
Bender's Big ScoreOn November 27, Futurama comes back in a big way with Bender's Big Score, an "epic" film involving all the characters from the show that ran on Fox from 1999-2003. The DVD is the first in a series of four direct-to-DVD releases, which will be edited into 16 episodes that will air on Comedy Central in 2008. Fellow Squadder Brad Trechak gave the disc a positive review last week, which is high praise coming from a big fan of the show as he is.

David X. Cohen, executive producer and show-runner of Futurama, spoke to me via phone last week. We didn't have much time, only about ten minutes or so, so we got down to the nuts and bolts: how the movies will play on Comedy Central, some information on the show's comeback, a quick preview of the next DVD, and how the Fox executives felt about being ground into all-purpose powder.

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Zachary Levi of Chuck: The TV Squad Interview - AUDIO

by Varun Lella, posted Sep 24th 2007 2:01PM
Zach Levi ChuckSo we are doing a little new thing here at TV Squad: the audio interview. It is part interview, part podcast, all fun. Please bear with us (or more specifically me) as we get the format down to something that is both interesting and informative to you, the audience -- kind of like Bill Nye the Science Guy. Only instead of science we have interviews with celebrities ... same difference.

It began last week with Joel's interview with Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Today I am posting a phone interview I did with Zach Levi of Chuck, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. EST. If you read my Early Look post, you know that I love this show. Now that I have seen the third episode -- oh, the perks of TV blogging -- my opinions have been confirmed. However, I may have been biased when watching my episodes, because of this interview.

As you will hear, Zach Levi is the nicest guy alive. Very humble and thankful to be in the game. Unlike last week's audio, this is pretty much SFW.

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George Takei: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 26th 2006 11:06AM
George TakeiGeorge Takei is a busy guy. Believe it or not, of all the interviews I've done, his had the most regimented procedure: I was supposed to call him and immediately begin the interview, because he had other interviews scheduled around mine.

Apparently, his itinerary has been a bit crowded lately. And for that, Takei -- best known for playing Mr. Sulu on the classic series Star Trek -- can thank the combination of his public coming out late last year and his addition to Howard Stern's Sirius satellite show as its announcer. In fact, the 69-year-old actor's voice was the first one that people heard when Howard first debuted in January. He spent the entire first week there telling graphic stories about his first sexual encounters, cutting goofy IDs, and trading wise-ass remarks with sidekick Artie Lange. He also got pranked not once, not twice, but three times by the crew: once with a David Letterman impersonator and twice with an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator. As always, though, he was a good sport, giving the audience his trademark halting laugh whenever he got scammed.

Since the Governator vetoed the state's same-sex marriage bill, Takei has spoken out passionately for gay rights. He is currently on a speaking tour for the Human Rights Campaign he has dubbed an "Equality Trek". So between that, his appearances at Trek conventions, and his negotiations to return to the Stern show, it's a wonder he has time to talk to any reporters at all.

In our conversation (after the jump), George and I talked about the speaking tour, Howard, his guest turn on Will & Grace, and his appearance as Sulu on a web-only Star Trek series. Oh, and I couldn't leave without asking him about Bill Shatner at least once.

Because Takei needs to be heard as much as he needs to be read (I mean... that laugh!), I've made the audio version of the interview available for download. It's available here.

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The TV Squad Interview: Howie Mandel

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 4th 2006 10:52AM
Howie Mandel of Deal or No DealLike many stand-up comedians, Howie Mandel likes to be the center of attention. But as host of NBC's Deal or No Deal, the sometimes-manic comedian is showing another side of himself; the one that lets the game be the star. In the show, the 50 year-old host is using his improvisational as well has his dramatic acting skills to keep the simple game -- where a contestant picks cases with money amounts in them, hoping the amounts are smaller than the amount in the case he or she possesses -- going while helping build tension and drama at the same time.

It's been a winning formula; since it's debut in December as a special one-week strip of shows, Deal's ratings have steadily increased. It started a Monday and Friday run in February, which has been scoring well. NBC has even aired a third weekly episode from time to time; the episode that aired two Wednesdays ago ended up being the twelfth-most watched show of the week. So obviously Howie's doing something right.

Howie called me on Monday, March 27, from Los Angeles. Even though it was 11:30 AM at the time he called (2:30 my time), he was dead tired. Still, we had an entertaining conversation where I found out about fainting contestants, how Howie was pitched the Deal job over pastrami, and how he deals with the show's mean old banker.

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