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Documents, images and consultants’ testimony can lend unexpected dimension to a narrative in development. This year’s Emmy writing and directing nominees remind us that research changes a story because it changes the storyteller — it lobs a curve at preconceptions or perspective.
Some writers bring the best research of all: personal experience. For Nic Pizzolatto, a south Louisiana upbringing meant he could write “True Detective” “from my memory and my perception … keyed towards the environment I knew we would find there.” But Ryan Murphy didn’t know the Crescent City from Adam before “American Horror Story: Coven,” having to persuade local residents en route.
“The city, to be honest, was a little nervous about us … but I really wanted to send a love letter to New Orleans, the mystery and magic of it,” Murphy says. Once early episodes evidenced six months of diligent, respectful research, “doors formerly closed were opened to us. »
- Bob Verini
erry Seinfeld recently revealed he’s in negotiations with Netflix to bring his eponymous hit television show to the premium online video streaming service. The news came by way of Seinfeld’s Reddit Ama, the “Ask Me Anything” question and answer session that’s quickly becoming a celebrity’s favorite place to reveal his or her otherwise unreported ongoings. The final episode of Seinfeld aired on NBC way back on May 14, 1998. Since then 180 episodes of the hit TV series that received well over 30 million viewers per episode in its prime have had a very lucrative and successful run on the Us cable television syndication market. The collective nine seasons of Seinfeld have generated a reported $3.1 billion in revenue since the finale, hence the reason why you can’t yet find episodes for sale or streaming on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and/or other online video download and viewing services. The show »
- Joshua Cohen
Jerry Seinfeld is well past the point in his career where he can do whatever he wants, but he still needs to get on the horse to promote his latest work. Thursday he did a Reddit Ama in support of the latest season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and a new short series called Single Shot, cobbled together from other footage during his comedian interviews.
Seinfeld managed to answer 101 questions before signing off, supposedly beating his record for his previous Ama. Here are just a few of the gems.
What’s the Worst advice you hear being given to aspiring comedians?
Oh. The worst advice is, you know, you have to do more to promote yourself. That’s the worst advice. The best advice is to do your work, and you won’t have to worry about anything else.
Who is your dream guest for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (living or dead)?
- Brian Welk
Continuing our occasional summer look back at classic sitcom episodes, it's time to discuss "The Red Dot" from "Seinfeld" season 3, coming up just as soon as my favorite book is "Venetian Blinds" by Art Vandelay... "Seinfeld," the short version: For that, take a look at this story I wrote at the start of this month on the 25th anniversary of the airing of "The Seinfeld Chronicles" pilot. As I noted at the end of the last summer sitcom rewind piece, I was limited in my "Seinfeld" options by whatever episodes Crackle happened to be streaming this month. (The way my luck's going with this project — more on that at the end — the calendar will turn over to August and "The Contest," "The Outing" and "The Opposite" will all suddenly be available.) "The Red Dot" isn't likely to make a lot of "Seinfeld" fans' top 10 lists, but that ultimately speaks more »
- Alan Sepinwall
★★★★☆In his 2002 documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture, Robert Evans proclaimed there are three sides to every story: "My side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently." In Mike Myers' directorial debut (which he co-directs with Beth Aala), Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013), the titular Hollywood man about town gets his day in the limelight. Standing over six feet in his stocking feet and looking and sounding not dissimilar to Larry David, Shep Gordon is an entertainment legend. A colossus within the fields of talent management, film producing and cooking he has excelled in a field where being the nice guy normally means finishing last.
- CineVue UK
In the world of television, true geniuses are few and far between. Sopranos creator David Chase would probably be considered one of them for his family mob drama that blew away everything else on TV at the time. Larry David would be another for helping create the cultural icon Seinfeld, as well as Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then you could perhaps throw in a Ricky Gervais and a James Burrows as well. In film we have Martin Scorcese, Alfred Hitchcock, and David Lynch to name a few of that genre’s geniuses. But when it comes to wrestling, the man that gets called a genius the most often is really no genius at all.
Ever since 1982, Vince McMahon has been at the helm of WWE. During his time on top, he’s drastically changed the wrestling landscape forever. There’s no doubt about it, he is the most successful promoter of all time. »
- Andrew Soucek
First up was Game of Thrones, and when talk turned to whether or not the lack of a final book in the series is worrying the cable network, he reiterated the fact that they’re still not in the least bit concerned about potentially finishing the TV show before George R.R. Martin concludes his story on the page.
“We’re not off on our own,” he said of plans for Game of Thrones moving forwards. “George is an integral part of the creative team [and] every move is being choreographed very closely with him. We’ll have to figure it out with George. We’re in conversations with him.” Game of Thrones Game of Thrones
As for Martin’s comments that he »
- Josh Wilding
The good news is Larry David wants to do more Curb Your Enthusiasm. The bad news is that he’s not getting started any time soon. The last new episode of the show aired back in 2011 when season eight concluded, and instead of doing another quickly, David wrote and starred in the very Curb-like TV movie Clear History. (It was pretty, pretty, pretty good!)Fortunately, David’s not done with the show just yet. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told reporters at the network’s summer press tour session today that the two recently bumped into each other at an event where David told Lombardo about his plans for the rest of the year. Those plans did not include more Curb. “I said, ‘So, David, should I emotionally get Curb out of my head?’ And he goes, ‘No, no, no, no, no,’” Lombardo said. HBO’s willing to be patient. »
- Denise Martin
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo were asked by critics Thursday if there was anything “short of nuclear war” that would prevent Thrones from completing its entire story as planned. “No … we’re committed to it and are committed to it,” Lombardo told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.
Some fans of George R.R. Martin’s ongoing book series will find the assurance a bit unnerving, »
- James Hibberd
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says Larry David may be back for more “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” that “Game of Thrones” will go on for as long as George R.R. Martin keeps writing books, and that the network is considering the numbers for “The Leftovers.” Lombardo and HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler answered questions about the fates of their shows at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, where they also said early scripts for Season 2 of “True Detective” are “more exciting” than those of Season 1, and that they plan to announce castings within a week. Also read: ‘True »
- Tim Molloy
“We’re not concerned about it,” HBO Programming chief Michael Lombardo admitted at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday, in response to worries that the TV series may outpace author George R.R. Martin’s ability to finish the next novel.
“We’re not off on our own,” he noted. “George is an integral part of the creative team [and] every move is being choreographed very closely with him. We’ll have to figure it out with George. »
Welcome to my first live-blog for the July 2014 Television Critics Association press tour! Up first, HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo take the stage to discuss "True Detective," "Game of Thrones," "The Leftovers" and whatever else we feel like we want to talk about. Follow along! That's Richard Plepler above. He looks like a character on "Mad Men," doesn't he? 2:01 p.m. We may be delayed a few minutes by rumors of an ice cream bar. Ladies and gentlemen... HBO! Today's panels include "The Knick," "The Comeback," "Getting On," the Foo Fighters docu-series and "Olive Kitteridge." 2:05 p.m. HBO's first announcement is that HBO will be filming the last two nights of Beyonce & Jay-z's concert tour in September. Those shows will be in Paris. 2:05 p.m. As was previously rumored, Meryl Streep will win an Emmy for Mike Nichols' adaptation of "Master Class. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Though its truncated first season didn’t air until summer 1990, Seinfeld’s pilot (not to be confused with fourth-season finale “The Pilot), “The Seinfeld Chronicles” (alternately known as “Good News, Bad News”), inconspicuously premiered on NBC 25 years ago this week. Little did the Peacock Network know that eponymous star Jerry Seinfeld and his co-creator Larry David’s little “show about nothing” would become their benchmark sitcom for the next decade, redefining primetime comedy in the process. Accordingly, few series prior or since have elicited such loyal trivia-buff obsession. But before you get too big for your Kramer-inspired, boxer-free britches, see how you stand up to our Seinfeld superfan quiz. »
- Kenny Herzog
A lot has changed since the first episode of “The Seinfeld Chronicles” debuted 25 years ago — least of all the show's name. When the show about nothing premiered on July 5, 1989, the first George Bush was president and Jack Nicholson was the Joker. Paula Abdul was the country's biggest-selling musical act. A gallon of gas cost $1.12. The Berlin Wall still stood. See photos: ‘Seinfeld’ at 25: What's Changed and What Hasn't Since 1989 In its first airing, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David‘s sitcom had an 8.0 rating. That was good enough to make it the No. 14 show of »
- Tim Molloy
This July 5th marks the 25th anniversary of the "Seinfeld" series premiere. The sitcom is considered one of the best shows of all time and its contribution to comedy, pop culture, and the TV landscape as a whole since its inaugural episode is pretty much unparalleled over the past few decades.
We all remember phrases like "yada, yada, yada," might recall Jerry was a Superman fan, and know that the show was filmed in La and not New York City, where it took place. But there are some little-known tidbits even the biggest fans of the series might not be aware of.
Here are 25 facts you should know about "Seinfeld":
1. "Seinfeld" wasn't part of NBC's 1989 fall lineup. The show got a summer premiere date -- July 5, 1989.
2. It was originally titled "The Seinfeld Chronicles," but got "the old switcheroo" because ABC was already planning a series called "The Marshall Chronicles. »
- Alana Altmann
Earlier this week, a former NBC sitcom made headlines by improbably returning from the dead, thanks to a website most people didn't even know was in the streaming video business. But the story of how "Community" will live again on Yahoo isn't nearly as far-fetched as the tale of another NBC Thursday sitcom, which few of the executives at the network understood, which was considered too weird and self-referential to ever succeed, and which — unlike "Community," the little cult engine that could — actually turned into the most popular show on television. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Let's look back at some of the key markers on the road from when NBC premiered a pilot called "The Seinfeld Chronicles" — 25 years ago this Saturday, in fact — to when the show that became "Seinfeld" turned into a pop culture-altering smash: * On July 5, 1989, NBC aired "The Seinfeld Chronicles" pilot, starring Jerry Seinfeld, »
- Alan Sepinwall
John Barrowman attends a reception for the Best of Britain’s Creative Industries in London
Why In Our Society The Worst Thing You Can Say About A Guy Is That He’s A Bottom
Hobby Lobby Is Already Creating New Religious Demands on Obama. And here we go.
Gay, First-Class Flight Attendant Spills Secrets on Celebs
The first of many teases from Bryan Singer, I’m sure.
Chloe celebrates independence something
Adore didn’t start the fire. Sorry, that’s all I kept thinking listening to it.
Iran Shoots Modern Family Scenes Almost Frame for Frame. Except for Mitch and Cam.
To wash that away, one more of Barrowman
And here’s The Weekly ShoutOUT™. Each week we’re going to focus on one out athlete/performer and feature a daily pic and career timeline. »
While America turns 238 years old on this Friday, July 4th, there's another reason you might want to get out a few cold ones ... and maybe some Snapple and Junior Mints. The landmark, groundbreaking and still relentlessly quotable "Seinfeld" celebrates its 25th anniversary on Saturday, July 5th. TBS has already started a nightly mini-marathon of the show's most famous episodes leading up to the big day, but if you want to dig a little deeper into the show you've watched (and re-watched and re-watched again), here's something worth checking out. "Seinfeld - How It Began" is a lengthy, one-hour look at the roots of the show, first produced for the first volume of the DVD box sets, about how it got developed and made and much more. Featuring the participation of the lead cast members—Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards—along with Larry David, studio executives, writers and much more, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
All week, Vulture has been celebrating Seinfeld, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on July 5. Today, we talk to longtime Seinfeld writer and producer Peter Mehlman about the unique way the show was putu together. (Unlike most shows, there was no writers' room — each person wrote the episodes he thought of.) In addition to writing such classic episodes as "The Smelly Car," "The Hamptons," and "The Sponge," Mehlman — whose first novel will be published in September — created some of the show's most iconic catchphrases, including "shrinkage," "double-dip," and "yada yada." Here, he talks about what type of jokes Larry David liked more than Jerry Seinfeld, and getting yada-yada'd by strangers. I was wondering if you could walk me through the process of writing a Seinfeld episode.First, you come up with an idea — well, you really need to come up with four ideas, or three, because you have to »
- Jesse David Fox
The recent passing of Rik Mayall led to legions of fans hitting up Netflix and Youtube to relive the late comedian’s greatest moments. And while the ground-breaking 80s alternative comedy opus The Young Ones and his turn as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder seemed to be the most quoted on social media, it felt like Bottom, the grisly, profane flatshare comedy Mayall and long time collaborator Ade Edmondson made in the early 90s, was left out of the conversation. Which is a shame, because it might just be their masterpiece.
It’s kind of easy to see how Bottom got forgotten. The Young Ones was capital-i Important, not only in terms of breaking alternative comedy into the mainstream, but also as being as much a time capsule of the »
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