14 items from 2014
Christy Grosz is an Awardsline contributor. After building a career on comedic characters he calls “eccentric,” Will Arnett is back in primetime with CBS’ The Millers, playing TV journalist Nathan Miller, a recent divorcee who finds himself living with his mother. Arnett is more of a leading man than he has been in the past on such shows as Arrested Development and Up All Night, and he’s doing it in front of a live audience on the multi-camera sitcom directed by TV stalwart James Burrows (Taxi, Frasier). He’s also enjoying a thriving film career, voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year. Awardsline: Showrunner Greg Garcia asked you to be a part of The Millers when he heard that the future of NBC’s Up All Night was not looking good. What about the role of Nathan appealed to you? Will Arnett »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
The Television Critics Association nominations have been announced with HBO's "True Detective" topping the run with four nominations. "The Good Wife," "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones" tied for second with three nominations apiece.
All four shows, and Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black," are vying for the top prize of 'Program of the Year'. Other shows to do well include "The Americans," "Louie," "Fargo," "Veep," and "The Big Bang Theory". Here's the full list:
Program of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials
- Garth Franklin
Yet it’s the inclusion of HBO’s True Detective that’s the major headline-making presence here. Everybody expects the acclaimed, noir-soaked drama series to swamp awards season, and these nominations are the first indication the show could do just that. True Detective is nominated for outstanding actor (Matthew McConaughey), miniseries (though the show submitted in the drama category for the Emmys), outstanding new program, and the TCA Awards’ top category, »
- James Hibberd
CBS’ “Good Wife” (pictured), HBO’s “Thrones” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” also are nommed in the drama series category, along with FX’s “The Americans” and Netflix’s “House of Cards.” “Thrones” won last year. “True Detective” landed a slot in the movies/miniseries category rather than in drama series, along with FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” BBC America’s “Broadchurch,” FX’s “Fargo” and SundanceTV’s “The Returned,” the subtitled French series.
The contenders for comedy series are CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” which won »
- Cynthia Littleton
AMC’s Breaking Bad will defend its Program of the Year trophy against HBO’s Game Of Thrones and True Detective, CBS’ The Good Wife, and Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black at this year’s TV Critics Association Awards. This year’s lineup of noms features several first-time nominees: Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, FX’s Fargo, Fox Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Sleepy Hollow; and ABC Family’s The Fosters. The media organization comprised of TV critics, reporters, columnists, bloggers, etc. working in the U.S. and Canada today announced its nominations for the 30th Annual TCA Awards. The 2014 TCA Awards recognize outstanding television programming in the 2013-2014 season, honoring actors, producers and programs in a variety of categories, including news and information, youth, reality, drama and comedy achievements. The group is is one of few that announces who is in »
- ERIK PEDERSEN
A glut of great TV shows makes it hard to recognize every show worth of it, but the members of the Television Critics Association did our best in picking the nominees for this year's TCA Awards. So "Breaking Bad" got three nominations, and will have to tussle with "True Detective" in two of those categories (Bryan Cranston vs. Matthew McConaughey for Individual Achievement in Drama, and for Program of the Year), but "Mad Men" didn't get any nominations this time out.(*) Great new shows like "True Detective," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Fargo" got multiple bits of recognition, though there was at times category confusion. the movies/minis category, for instance, includes "True Detective," "Fargo" and "American Horror Story: Coven," all of which are telling season-long stories but will likely continue with new stories and characters next year, but also "Broadchurch" and "The Returned," which are producing sequel seasons »
- Alan Sepinwall
Right after one group of friends signs off, new friends will be introduced ... by a former writer-producer of "Friends," no less.
Immediately following the series finale of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" Monday (Mar. 31), the network will debut the sitcom "Friends With Better Lives." The premise of longtime acquaintances in amusing situations -- mainly revolving around their differing relationship levels -- may seem familiar, but it's served up by a fresh ensemble cast merging established TV faces and relative newcomers.
Will (played by "Dawson's Creek" alum James Van Der Beek) is struggling to adjust after his recent divorce; Jules (actress-model Brooklyn Decker) is newly engaged to visibly amorous Lowell (Rick Donald); Kate (Zoe Lister-Jones, "Whitney") is a career-driven serial dater; and the married Bobby (Kevin Connolly, "Entourage") and Andi (Majandra Delfino, "Roswell") observe their friends' allegedly better lives somewhat enviously.
Friends with Better Lives cannot escape Friends. It's in the title, obviously. The former is created by Dana Klein, a producer and writer on the latter, and both shows' pilots were directed by sitcom king James Burrows. And they both feature a group of six pals of equal gender count.
"There's a lot of similarities there, but I think the Friends talk is not fair to them or to us," Fwbl star Kevin Connolly tells TVGuide.com. "They're an international juggernaut. It's different. The Friends question is inevitable. [During] ...
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- Joyce Eng
NewsRadio Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
Written by Paul Simms
Directed by James Burrows
Aired 3/21/1995 on NBC
Airing as a mid-season replacement after the failure of The Martin Short Show and the Gene Wilder vehicle Something Wilder, it still boggles me to this day that NewsRadio wasn’t more popular in its time. Debuting between Wings and Frasier (two shows it would often be sandwiched between over the years), NewsRadio never achieved the same mainstream penetration as other seminal NBC comedies from the same era, teetering on the edge of cancellation and ending in tragedy, airing a creative but deflated fifth season in the shadow of Phil Hartman’s murder.
Revisiting NewsRadio‘s pilot, it still astounds me the show never took off. Mixing farce with hilarious ironies, the pilot opens with Wnyx’s new news director Dave Nelson (a post-Kidz in the Hall Dave Foley) arriving (approximately) 35 seconds early to »
- Randy Dankievitch
“Friends With Better Lives” is a promising title for a sitcom, cleverly designed to tap into the suspicions — from marrieds tethered by kids to singles looking for love — that whatever phase you’re in, you might be missing out on the real fun. What emerges, however, is a pretty banal CBS sitcom, one where everyone seems to wind up in the same house because, well, why on Earth would anybody chat over the phone? Naughty but not especially nice, the series should get a jump-start from the “How I Met Your Mother” finale, but after that should leave discriminating viewers looking for a better show.
Focusing on a group of thirtysomethings, the show’s central couple is Bobby (Kevin Connolly) and Andi (Majandra Delfino), whose weighed-down-by-baby marriage has reached the point where watching “Homeland” (a bit of CBS synergy, there) is as close as they get to sex.
Living with them, »
- Brian Lowry
Written by Paul Simms
Directed by James Burrows
Original air date: March. 21, 1995 on NBC
As far as sitcoms go, Newsradio is a diamond in the rough. Despite a not-so-unique workplace setting, the show successfully combines wit and physical comedy, without ever feeling dull or predictable. It has the kind of quick, self-sustaining energy that we love about sitcoms, and it all began with the pilot episode. Of course, every series begins with a pilot, but with Newsradio, the first episode never feels forced or stiff in the way many others have. Often times, sitcoms struggle with comedic timing in their first few outings. Featuring a veteran cast, boasting a strong background in comedy (Dave Foley, Kids in the Hall; Phil Hartman, Saturday Night Live; Andy Dick, The Ben Stiller Show), Newsradio hits its stride right from the get-go.
The episode opens with Dave (Dave Foley) arriving at Wnyx, »
- Griffin Bell
Exclusive: CBS‘ comedy pilot More Time With Family continues to add boldface names. Emmy-winning Sopranos alum Joe Pantoliano has joined the multi-camera project, toplined by Tom Papa and Alyson Hannigan, executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, written/exec produced by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith and directed by James Burrows. Based on the stand-up of Papa and the experiences of Damon, the 20th TV-produced project centers on Tom (Papa), a husband and father making a career change to spend more time with his family. Apa-repped Pantoliano plays Stan Rizzo, Tom’s brash, opinionated, old-school father. Related: 2014 CBS Pilots »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
The signing is a coup for Wme as Burrows is the reigning dean of sitcom pilot directors, with credits that range from “Cheers” (which he co-created with Glen and Les Charles) and “Taxi” to “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Burrows has been represented since the mid-1970s by Bob Broder, first at the Broder Kurland agency and then at ICM.
Broder, who segued from agenting to run Chuck Lorre Prods. in 2012, is the only talent rep Burrows has ever had. He will remain a key adviser to Burrows.
See Also: James Burrows on Directing: ‘Don’t Be a Traffic Cop’
Wme TV chief Rick Rosen spearheaded the effort to bring Burrows to the agency. Wme also reps the estate of Burrows’ father, famed playwright Abe Burrows, through the latter’s association with the former William Morris Agency. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Prolific multi-camera comedy director James Burrows has signed with Wme. The move is a logical step for the Emmy winner following his agent Bob Broder’s departure from ICM Partners in fall 2012 to run the company of another longtime client, Chuck Lorre. Unlike the common representation practice where a client is handled by a team of agents, Burrows and Broder had an old-school relationship, with Broder the only agent Burrows had ever had and the only person in his life representation-wise. Despite his exit from agenting, Broder has remained very involved in Burrows’ career and will continue to play a major advisory role going forward. The Wme signing stems from a long-standing relationship Burrows has had with the agency and its predecessor Wma, which has represented the estate of his father, Broadway writer-director Abe Burrows, and has worked with James on various theater projects. Related: Brian Swardstrom Moves To UTA »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
14 items from 2014
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