As a TV Producer and host of the smash late night show Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen has a front row seat to an exciting world not many get to see. In this dishy, detailed diary of one year in his life, Andy goes out on the town, drops names, hosts a ton of shows, becomes codependent with Real Housewives, makes trouble, calls his mom, drops some more names, and, while searching for love, finds it with a dog. We learn everything from which celebrity peed in her WWHL dressing room to which Housewives are causing trouble and how. Nothing is off limits – including dating. We see Andy at home and with close friends and family (including his beloved and unforgettable mom). Throughout, Andy tells us not only what goes down, but exactly what he thinks about it. Inspired by the diaries of another celebrity-obsessed Andy (Warhol), this honest, irreverent, and laugh-out-loud funny book is a one-of-a-kind account of the whos and whats of pop culture in the 21st century.
Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won twenty-five Emmys in its remarkable eleven-year run. Now, in This Time Together, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another.
In engaging anecdotes, Carol discusses her remarkable friendships with stars such at Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews; the background behind famous scenes, like the moment she swept down the stairs in her curtain-rod dress in the legendary “Went With the Wind” skit; and things that would happen only to Carol--the prank with Julie Andrews that went wrong in front of the First Lady; the famous Tarzan Yell that saved her during a mugging; and the time she faked a wooden leg to get served in a famous ice cream emporium.
This poignant look back allows us to cry with the actress during her sorrows, rejoice in her successes, and finally, always, to laugh.
The first definitive, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes cultural history of the Bachelor franchise, America's favorite guilty pleasure.
For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers' lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show's popularity and relevance has only grown--more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.
The iconic reality television show's reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans--dubbed "Bachelor Nation"--come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties.
Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise--ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show's inner workings: what it's like to be trapped in the mansion "bubble"; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite.
Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors, our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance, and how this enduring television show has shaped society's feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that's as old as Jane Austen.
"It's unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but his ascent would not have surprised Postman.” -CNN
Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.
“A brilliant, powerful, and important book. This is an indictment that Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
When first published to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, LIVE FROM NEW YORK was immediately proclaimed the best book ever produced on the landmark and legendary late-night show. In their own words, unfiltered and uncensored, a dazzling galaxy of trail-blazing talents recalled three turbulent decades of on-camera antics and off-camera escapades. Now a fourth decade has passed---and bestselling authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales have returned to Studio 8H. Over more than 100 pages of new material, they raucously and revealingly take the SNL story up to the present, adding a constellation of iconic new stars, surprises, and controversies.
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts first met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy moved to Hollywood to film a TV pilot for a comedy about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if Andy’s sheriff could use a deputy. The friendship and comedy partnership between Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife ignited The Andy Griffith Show, elevating the folksy television sitcom into a timeless study of human friendship. Together, they created a program with a uniquely small-town dynamic that captured the hearts of Americans across the country who watched these two men rocking on the front porch, meditating about the pleasure of a bottle of pop.
But behind this sleepy charm, de Visé’s exclusive reporting “captures the complexity of both men and the intimacy of their friendship with extreme detail and sensitivity” (Publishers Weekly), from unspoken rivalries, passionate affairs, unrequited loves, struggles with the temptations of fame, and friendships lost and regained. Although Andy and Don ended their Mayberry partnership in 1965, they remained best friends for the next half-century.
Written by Don Knotts’s brother-in-law, Andy and Don is “a rewarding dual biography that is also a lively look inside the entertainment industry in the latter half of the twentieth century” (News & Observer). Entertaining and provocative, it “captures a golden moment in modern Americana. You’ll not only return again to Mayberry, you’ll feel as though you’ve never left” (Tom Shales, Pulitzer Prize–winning television critic).
Introduction by New York Times bestselling author and famous minor television personality John Hodgman
One of my dad’s favorite jokes about getting older was: “I went out for coffee when I was twenty-one and when I got back I was fifty-eight!”
I get what he meant now. Time flies. My first book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor, was published back in 2001 and it chronicles the adventures of a “mid-grade, kind of hammy actor" (my words), cutting his teeth on exploitation movies far removed from mainstream Hollywood.
This next book, an “Act II” if you will, could be considered my “maturing years” in show business, when I began to say “no” more often and gravitated toward self-generated material. Taking stock in the overall quality of my life, I fled Los Angeles and moved to a remote part of Oregon to renew, regroup and reload.
If that sounds tame, the journey from Evil Dead to Spider-Man to Burn Notice was long, with plenty of adventures/mishaps along the way. I never pictured myself hovering above Baghdad in a Blackhawk helicopter, facing a pack of wild dogs in Bulgaria, or playing an aging Elvis Presley with cancer on his penis - how can you predict this stuff? The sheer lunacy of show business is part of the fun for me and I hope you'll come along for the ride.
– Bruce “Don’t Call Me Ash” Campbell
In The Revolution Was Televised, celebrated TV critic Alan Sepinwall chronicles the remarkable transformation of the small screen over the past fifteen years. Focusing on twelve innovative television dramas that changed the medium and the culture at large forever, including The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, Sepinwall weaves his trademark incisive criticism with highly entertaining reporting about the real-life characters and conflicts behind the scenes.
Drawing on interviews with writers David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Joel Surnow and Howard Gordon, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and Vince Gilligan, among others, along with the network executives responsible for green-lighting these groundbreaking shows, The Revolution Was Televised is the story of a new golden age in TV, one that’s as rich with drama and thrills as the very shows themselves.
When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O'Brien to host the Tonight show-a job he had been promised five years earlier-skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno's show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings-and the profits-of NBC's affiliates, while ratings for Conan's new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history. Conan's collapse, meanwhile, opened an unexpected door of opportunity for rival David Letterman. What followed was a boisterous, angry, frequently hilarious public battle that had millions of astonished viewers glued to their sets. In The War for Late Night, New York Times reporter Bill Carter offers a detailed behind-the-scenes account of the events of the unforgettable 2009/2010 late-night season as all of its players- performers, producers, agents, and network executives-maneuvered to find footing amid the shifting tectonic plates of television culture.
The complete, uncensored history of the award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as told by its correspondents, writers, and host.
For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly redefined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. It launched the careers of some of today's most significant comedians, highlighted the hypocrisies of the powerful, and garnered 23 Emmys. Now the show's behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie will be chronicled by the players themselves, from legendary host Jon Stewart to the star cast members and writers-including Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Steve Carell - plus some of The Daily Show's most prominent guests and adversaries: John and Cindy McCain, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, and many more.
This oral history takes the reader behind the curtain for all the show's highlights, from its origins as Comedy Central's underdog late-night program to Trevor Noah's succession, rising from a scrappy jester in the 24-hour political news cycle to become part of the beating heart of politics-a trusted source for not only comedy but also commentary, with a reputation for calling bullshit and an ability to effect real change in the world.
Through years of incisive election coverage, passionate debates with President Obama and Hillary Clinton, feuds with Bill O'Reilly and Fox, and provocative takes on Wall Street and racism, The Daily Show has been a cultural touchstone. Now, for the first time, the people behind the show's seminal moments come together to share their memories of the last-minute rewrites, improvisations, pranks, romances, blow-ups, and moments of Zen both on and off the set of one of America's most groundbreaking shows.
Since its final episode aired in 2008, HBO's acclaimed crime drama The Wire has only become more popular and influential. The issues it tackled, from the failures of the drug war and criminal justice system to systemic bias in law enforcement and other social institutions, have become more urgent and central to the national conversation. The show's actors, such as Idris Elba, Dominic West, and Michael B. Jordan, have gone on to become major stars. Its creators and writers, including David Simon and Richard Price, have developed dedicated cult followings of their own. Universities use the show to teach everything from film theory to criminal justice to sociology. Politicians and activists reference it when discussing policy. When critics compile lists of the Greatest TV Shows of All Time, The Wire routinely takes the top spot. It is arguably one of the great works of art America has produced in the 20th century.
But while there has been a great deal of critical analysis of the show and its themes, until now there has never been a definitive, behind-the-scenes take on how it came to be made. With unparalleled access to all the key actors and writers involved in its creation, Jonathan Abrams tells the astonishing, compelling, and complete account of The Wire, from its inception and creation through its end and powerful legacy.
These are the days of their lives.
The Days of our Lives is the first insider account of the history behind one of our most beloved soap operas. It is about the family who believed in it, conceived it, and sometimes seemed to live it along with millions of viewers, as they struggled to emerge from nowhere to create and produce one of the most successful and enduring television shows in history.
You will discover for the first time the true stories behind the show, a story of living a dream and raising a family while things all around you, even fate, seem to conspire against you-and succeeding against all odds.
"Blending inside stories about the show with a personal, philosophical view of his hardworking parents, the reader gets to experience a true classic American success story." AOL NEWS
"The Days of our Lives is a must for any fan of the show, or those looking into insight of daytime television." MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"A really good book... a loving, surprisingly spiritual, sometimes shocking tribute to the Corday family business... revelatory." TV GUIDE
Melissa has been entertaining audiences most of her life; when there were no girls named Melissa on her favorite show, the forceful four year old decided she'd get on television her way. From that moment on, Melissa has shown a singular determination and focus-whether it's for booking three national commercials so her dad would build her a tree house or for nailing the audition for Clarissa.
From her first commercial to her current starring role in ABC Family's hit Melissa and Joey, Hart never let fame go to her head. She always had one foot in Hollywood and one foot in reality-and still does. Melissa makes us laugh along with her as she talks about:
--guest appearances in shows like Saturday Night Live and The Equalizer
--auditioning for Punky Brewster and Clarissa
--her early Broadway days
--wacky parties she's thrown and attended
-- the actors who influenced her and whom she befriended, worked with and competed against
--her experiences both on and off-set-with Sabrina's Salem the Cat and Elvis the Alligator on Clarissa
--how she met the love of her life at the Kentucky Derby
Melissa Joan Hart explains all that she's learned along the way-what's kept her grounded, normal and working when others have not been so fortunate-and that she's the approachable, hilarious girl-next-door her fans have always thought she'd be.
Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. But against all odds, viewers did watch—first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly forty million Americans were tuning in weekly. Fussy Jerry, neurotic George, eccentric Kramer, and imperious Elaine—people embraced them with love.
Seinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s intimate history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be. Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers into the writers’ room and into a world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant. Seinfeld created a strange new reality, one where years after the show had ended the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, and Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sites from the show.
Seinfeldia is an outrageous cultural history. Dwight Garner of The New York Times Book Review wrote: “Armstrong has an eye for detail….Perhaps the highest praise I can give Seinfeldia is that it made me want to buy a loaf of marbled rye and start watching again, from the beginning.”
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles as Spock and Captain Kirk, in a new science fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes of Star Trek and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.
Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.
As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.
For nine seasons, Mary McDonough was part of one of the most beloved families in television history. Just ten years-old when she was cast as the pretty, wholesome middle child Erin, Mary grew up on the set of The Waltons, alternately embracing and rebelling against her good-girl onscreen persona. Now, as the first cast member to write about her experiences on the classic series, she candidly recounts the joys and challenges of growing up Walton--from her overnight transformation from a normal kid in a working class, Irish Catholic family, to a Hollywood child star, to the personal challenges that led her to take on a new role as an activist for women's body image issues.
Touching, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always illuminating, Lessons from the Mountain is the story of everything Mary McDonough learned on her journey over--and beyond--that famous mountain.
"For someone who started out as a sweet little girl afraid to speak up, it certainly is a pleasure to hear her shout from the top of the mountain now! --Alison Arngrim, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
"She's a radiant woman whose truth comes from within. . .if I had to pick one word that described Mary Beth, it would be resilience." --Earl Hamner, Creator of The Waltons
"Mary is a whole lot more than Erin on The Waltons. This book shows how she's handled all the highs and lows with grace." –George Clooney
Includes Never Before Published Bonus Chapter!
The complete, first-ever Golden Girls retrospective, packed with hundreds of exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes and never-before-revealed stories, more than two hundred color and black-and-white photos, commentary, and more.
They were four women of a certain age, living together under one roof in Miami—smart and strong Dorothy, airhead Rose, man-hungry belle Blanche, and smart-mouthed matriarch Sophia. They were the Golden Girls, and for seven seasons, this hilarious quartet enchanted millions of viewers with their witty banter, verve, sass, and love, and reaffirmed the power of friendship and family.
Over thirty years after it first aired, The Golden Girls has become a cult classic, thanks to fan fiction, arts and crafts, podcasts, hundreds of fan blogs and websites, and syndication. Now, Golden Girls Forever pays homage to this wildly popular, acclaimed, and award-winning sitcom. Drawing on interviews with the show’s creators, actors, guest stars, producers, writers, and crew members, Jim Colucci paints a comprehensive portrait of the Girls both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.
Illustrated with hundreds of photos, including stills from the show and a treasure trove of never-before-seen and newly rediscovered photos, Golden Girls Forever includes:
• Girls and Their Guests: short profiles of the show’s most famous guest stars
• Why I Love the Girls: Lance Bass, Laverne Cox, Ross Mathews, Perez Hilton, Zachary Quinto, Chris Colfer, Jason Collins, and many, many other celebrities share their love of the Girls
• Exclusive interviews with ninety-four-year-old Betty White; the famously private Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan, before their deaths; and fan-favorite actors who appeared on the show
• Harvey Fierstein's tribute to his close friend, Estelle Getty
The ebook also feautures 30 pages of material not inlcuded in the print edition, such as 17 Golden Episodes, a piece on Estelle Getty's make-up, the Rue LaRue Cafe, and additional fan art.
Bursting with fun facts, anecdotes, reminiscences, and insights, Golden Girls Forever is the ultimate companion to the show for fans old and new.
The most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than fifty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.
Barbara Walters’s perception of the world was formed at a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour. It also made her aware of the ups and downs, the insecurities, and even the tragedies that can occur when someone is willing to take great risks, for Lou Walters didn’t just make several fortunes—he also lost them. Barbara learned early about the damage that such an existence can do to relationships—between husband and wife as well as between parent and child. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so “different” and the guilt that still haunts her.
All of this—the financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love—played a large part in the choices she made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman cohost of the Today show, the first female network news coanchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated Specials, the star of 20/20, and the creator and cohost of The View. She has not just interviewed the world’s most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara’s life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne . . . the list goes on and on.
Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.
Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. In this first-ever all-access history of the show, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli tells the fascinating story of its three-year network run -- and the cultural impact that's still being felt today.
Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of comedy legends such as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s.
Drawing on extensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players -- as well as more than a decade's worth of original research -- Dangerously Funny brings readers behind the scenes for all the battles over censorship, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches that defined the show and its era.
David Bianculli delves deep into this never-told story, to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this day.
"Beautifully written. . .I laughed and I cried. I plan to read it again once I catch my breath." --Carol Burnett
In this intimate, lyrical memoir about her iconic father, Anne Serling reveals the fun-loving dad and family man behind the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week. After his unexpected, early death, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. But through talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories, Anne not only found solace, but gained a deeper understanding of this remarkable man. Now she shares her discoveries, along with personal photos, revealing letters, and scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family's time together. A tribute to Rod Serling's legacy as a visionary, storyteller, and humanist, As I Knew Him is also a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.
"A tender, thoughtful and very personal portrait of American genius Rod Serling." --Alice Hoffman
"Richly told. . .a haunting memoir about grief, creativity, and a father-daughter bond as memorable and magical as any Twilight Zone episode." --Caroline Leavitt
"Filled with anecdotes and self-reflection. . .Serling still casts an outsized shadow." --Variety
"Lush memories of a remarkable father and adept analysis of his work." --Kirkus Reviews
In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic legacy. Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.
Zinoman argues that Letterman had three great artistic periods, each distinct and part of his evolution. As he examines key broadcasting moments—"Stupid Pet Tricks" and other captivating segments that defined Late Night with David Letterman—he illuminates Letterman’s relationship to his writers, and in particular, the show’s co-creator, Merrill Markoe, with whom Letterman shared a long professional and personal connection.
To understand popular culture today, it’s necessary to understand David Letterman. With this revealing biography, Zinoman offers a perceptive analysis of the man and the artist whose ironic voice and caustic meta-humor was critical to an entire generation of comedians and viewers—and whose singular style ushered in new tropes that have become clichés in comedy today.
It was the original Star Trek series, and later its films, that made Shatner instantly recognizable, called by name---or at least by Captain Kirk's name---across the globe. But Shatner neither began nor has ended his career with that role. From the very start, he took his skills as an actor and put them to use wherever he could. He straddled the classic world of the theater and the new world of television, whether stepping in for Christopher Plummer in Shakespeare's Henry V or staring at "something on the wing" in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone. And since then, he's gone on to star in numerous successful shows, such as T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and Boston Legal.
William Shatner has always been willing to take risks for his art. What other actor would star in history's first---and probably only---all-Esperanto-language film? Who else would share the screen with thousands of tarantulas, release an album called Has Been, or film a racially incendiary film in the Deep South during the height of the civil rights era? And who else would willingly paramotor into a field of waiting fans armed with paintball guns, all waiting for a chance to stun Captain...er, Shatner?
In this touching and very funny autobiography, William Shatner's Up Till Now reveals the man behind these unforgettable moments, and how he's become the worldwide star and experienced actor he is today.
"It is now Bill Shatner's universe---we just live in it."---New York Daily News
Ball of Fire gives us Lucy in all her contradictions. Here is the beauty who became a master of knock-down slapstick; the control freak whose comic alter ego thrived on chaos, the worshipful TV housewife whose real marriage ended in public disaster. Here, too, is an intimate view of the dawn of television and of the America that embraced it. Charming, informative, touching. and laugh-out-loud funny, this is the book Lucy’s fans have been waiting for.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
When writer-producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, the CBS executives they pitched replied: “American audiences won’t tolerate divorce in a series’ lead any more than they will tolerate Jews, people with mustaches, and people who live in New York.”
Forty years later, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most beloved and recognizable television shows of all time. It was an inspiration to a generation of women who wanted to have it all in an era when everything seemed possible.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the stories behind the making of this popular classic, introducing the groundbreaking female writers who lent real-life stories to their TV scripts; the men who created the indelible characters; the lone woman network executive who cast the legendary ensemble—and advocated for this provocative show—and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel—they all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives and television itself. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is the tale of how they did it.
• Do surgeons talk about their sex lives while cutting a heart open?
• How much time do surgical interns actually spend in the OR?
• Do surgeons respond to death as objective doctors or as compassionate people?
• How do they react when asked to save the life of an abuser or a criminal or an addict?
Since its debut, the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has raised compelling questions like these. With an emphasis on the personal lives of the surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians, the show has generated a flurry of interest in how these medical professionals really make it through one of the most rigorous educational programs around.
How much of the medical drama seen in Grey’s Anatomy is pure entertainment, and how much is an accurate reflection of life both in and out of the OR? Here, a well-known medical journalist provides some answers. He examines a group of new surgical residents at a major teaching hospital in the Pacific Northwest as they tackle the roller-coaster ride of long hours, fascinating procedures, mundane office tasks, and emotional ups and downs that comprise the life of a student of surgery.
For twenty years-since they shared a TV column at Tony Soprano's hometown newspaper-critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz have been debating these questions and many more, but it all ultimately boils down to this:
What's the greatest TV show ever?
That debate reaches an epic conclusion in TV (THE BOOK). Sepinwall and Seitz have identified and ranked the 100 greatest scripted shows in American TV history. Using a complex, obsessively all- encompassing scoring system, they've created a Pantheon of top TV shows, each accompanied by essays delving into what made these shows great. From vintage classics like The Twilight Zone and I Love Lucy to modern masterpieces like Mad Men and Friday Night Lights, from huge hits like All in the Family and ER to short-lived favorites like Firefly and Freaks and Geeks, TV (THE BOOK) will bring the triumphs of the small screen together in one amazing compendium.
Sepinwall and Seitz's argument has ended. Now it's time for yours to begin!
This fun-filled and impeccably researched book takes readers backstage to witness the creation of this TV classic through the eyes of the show's cast and crew, including Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Mathews, and, of course, Dick Van Dyke himself. This expanded eBook includes never-before-published backstage and rehearsal photos—many in full color!—as well as the ultimate The Dick Van Dyke Show episode guide, which features the cast and title pages of every one of the show's 158 original scripts!
Written by Emmy-winning writer Vince Waldron, this deluxe edition of The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book offers readers the last word on the most influential TV comedy ever.
“It was the very best time of my life and Vince's book helps me recall every treasured moment. Thanks, Vince!"—Dick Van Dyke
“What an unexpected pleasure to read a book on a subject about which I thought I knew everything, only to find out that I didn’t. A very serious contribution to understanding what really were the best years of my theatrical life. I’d say it was a wonderfully scholarly work--but I won’t, because I don’t want to scare people away from a book that’s as much fun to read as this is.”—Carl Reiner, Producer and creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show
"Wonderful. You got all the facts down in the right order. No embellishments. All the truth. Somebody finally got the whole story right.”—Rose Marie
“The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book is the best reference book on my shelf. It makes it even more fun to watch the show, if that's possible.”—Morey Amsterdam
“Vince's tribute to our show offers as accurate a snapshot of the series—and the era that begat it—as any I've seen.”—Sheldon Leonard, Executive Producer of The Dick Van Dyke Show
“A compelling narrative. . . . Waldron waltzes through the series’ story as gracefully as Van Dyke sidestepped his living room ottoman.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Vince Waldron lovingly and very thoroughly recounts the history of The Dick Van Dyke Show." —Los Angeles Daily News
"The definitive history...offers a wealth of backstage anecdotes."—Emmy Magazine
"Entertaining and exhaustively researched...fans of the show will not be disappointed."—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"A terrific writer and painstaking researcher...it doesn't get any better than this, folks."—The TV Collector
Warren Littlefield was the NBC President of Entertainment who oversaw the Peacock Network’s rise from also-ran to a division that generated a billion dollars in profits. In this fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining oral history, Littlefield and NBC luminaries including Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Julianna Marguiles, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie, Debra Messing, Jack Welch, Jimmy Burrows, Helen Hunt, and Dick Wolf vividly recapture the incredible era of Must See TV.
From 1993 through 1998, NBC exploded every conventional notion of what a broadcast network could accomplish with the greatest prime-time line-up in television history. On Thursday nights, a cavalcade of groundbreaking comedies and dramas streamed into homes, attracting a staggering 75 million viewers and generating more revenue than all other six nights of programming combined. The road to success, however, was a rocky one. How do you turn a show like Seinfeld, one of the lowest testing pilots of all time, into a hit when the network overlords are constantly warring, or worse, drowning in a bottle of vodka?
Top of the Rock is an addictively readable account of the risky business decisions, creative passion, and leaps of faith that made Must See TV possible. Chock full of delicious behind-the-scenes anecdotes that run the gamut from hilarious casting and programming ploys to petty jealousies and drug interventions, you’re in for a juicy, unputdownable read.
More than just a high school drama, “Veronica Mars” is a smart and savvy teen detective show that offers complex mysteries and rapier wit, engaging social commentary, and noir sensibilities—with the occasional murder thrown in for good measure. This collection, edited by the creator and executive producer of the show, offers supreme insight into the class struggles and love stories of the series. Essays by top writers intelligently address a multitude of questions such as: Is Veronica a modern-day vigilante? Why is a show that features rape, potential incest and a teen girl outsmarting local authorities so popular with America’s conservative population? and Why is Veronica and Logan’s relationship the most important story-driving factor in the show?
In the fall of 2000, “Gilmore Girls” premiered on the WB and viewers were introduced to the quirky world of Stars Hollow and the Gilmores who had made it their home, mother-daughter best friends Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. With the show in its seventh season on the fledgling CW, Coffee at Luke's is the perfect look at what has made the show such a clever, beloved part of the television landscape for so long.
What are the risks of having your mother be your best friend? How is “Gilmore Girls” anti-family, at least in the traditional sense? What’s a male viewer to do when he finds both mother and daughter attractive? And how is creator Amy Sherman-Palladino like Emily Gilmore? From the show’s class consciousness to the way the characters are shaped by the books they read, the music they listen to and the movies they watch, Coffee at Luke's looks at the sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking underpinnings of smart viewer’s Tuesday night television staple, and takes them further into Stars Hollow than they’ve ever been before.
Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s. This volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys---Jones and Gilliam---and Eric Idle came together and changed the face of British comedy.
But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort---as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime.
Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are page-turners), the at times extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent an American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on U.S. transmission, and much more---all this makes for funny and riveting reading.
The birth and childhood of his three children, his father's growing disability, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries. A perceptive and funny chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.
"A wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python."
---The Independent (UK)
From the implications of faking normalcy (could it be behind Dexter’s still-in-progress emotional growth?) to where the show weighs in on the psychological debate between nature and nurture, The Psychology of Dexter gives fans a peek inside Dexter’s—and Dexter’s—psyche.
Born the son of a Billingsgate market porter at the height of the Second World War, David Jason spent his early life dodging bombs and bullies, both with impish good timing. Giving up on an unloved career as an electrician, he turned his attention to acting and soon, through a natural talent for making people laugh, found himself working with the leading lights of British comedy in the 1960s and '70s: Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Bob Monkhouse and Ronnie Barker. Barker would become a mentor to David, leading to hugely successful stints in Porridge and Open All Hours.
It wasn’t until 1981, kitted out with a sheepskin jacket, a flat cap, and a clapped-out Reliant Regal, that David found the part that would capture the nation’s hearts: the beloved Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. Never a one-trick pony, he had an award-winning spell as TV’s favourite detective Jack Frost, took a country jaunt as Pop Larkin in the Darling Buds of May, and even voiced a crime-fighting cartoon rodent in the much-loved children’s show Danger Mouse.
But life hasn't all been so easy: from missing out on a key role in Dad’s Army to nearly drowning in a freak diving accident, David has had his fair share of ups and downs, and has lost some of his nearest and dearest along the way.
David’s is a touching, funny and warm-hearted story, which charts the course of his incredible five decades at the top of the entertainment business. He's been a shopkeeper and a detective inspector, a crime-fighter and a market trader, and he ain't finished yet. As Del Boy would say, it's all cushty.
Satire TV examines what happens when comedy becomes political, and politics become funny. A series of original essays focus on a range of programs, from The Daily Show to South Park, Da Ali G Show to The Colbert Report, The Boondocks to Saturday Night Live, Lil’ Bush to Chappelle’s Show, along with Internet D.I.Y. satire and essays on British and Canadian satire. They all offer insights into what today’s class of satire tells us about the current state of politics, of television, of citizenship, all the while suggesting what satire adds to the political realm that news and documentaries cannot.
Discover the amazing science of Star Trek and how it has influenced real-world technology such as flip phones. Featuring informative and analytical text combined with exciting photography and infographics throughout, The Star Trek Book is broken down into main categories such as science and technology, Starfleet, allies and enemies, and more.
Perfect for fans of the various Star Trek TV series, including The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, The Star Trek Book details everything you need to know about 50 years of excitement and adventure on the final frontier.
® & © 2016 CBS Studios Inc. © 2016 Paramount Pictures Corporation. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Features exclusive interviews with: co-creator Julie Plec, executive producer Caroline Dries, writer Jose Molina, producer Pascal Verschooris, director Joshua Butler, cinematographer Dave Perkal, editor Tyler Cook, and composer Michael Suby.
In this book we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne; from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm; and from The Larry Sanders Show to 30 Rock.
Each sitcom episode is a self-enclosed world, a brief overturning of the established order of its universe before returning to the precise spot from which it had begun. In twenty-four episodes, Sitcom surveys the history of the form, and functions as both a TV mixtape of fondly remembered shows that will guide us to notable series and larger trends, and a carefully curated guided tour through the history of one of our most treasured art forms. Saul Austerlitz is the author of Another Fine Mess: A History of the American Film Comedy, named by Booklist as one of the ten best arts books of 2010, and Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video from the Beatles to the White Stripes. His work has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and elsewhere.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows on cable channels dramatically stretched television’s narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for TV, but also a cultural watershed. Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, and Alan Ball; in addition to other writers, executives, directors and actors. Martin delivers never-before-heard story after story, revealing how cable television became a truly significant and influential part of our culture.
Fan Phenomena: Supernatural explores the ongoing fascination and passion for a show that developed a relationship with fans through eight seasons and continues to have an impact on fan culture to the present day. Essays here explore the rich dynamic that has developed between fans and producers, actors, writers, directors, the show creator, and showrunners through online interactions on Twitter and Facebook, face-to-face exchanges at conventions, and representations of fandom within the show's meta-episodes. Contributors also explore gender and sexuality in the show and in fan art; the visual dynamics, cinematography, and symbolism in the episodes as well as the fan videos they inspire; and the culture of influence, learning, and teaching in the series.
Each episode review also includes brief explanations of locations, events, consumer products, and scientific advancements that are important to the characters, such as P.J. Clarke’s restaurant and the old Penn Station; the inventions of the birth control pill, the Xerox machine, and the Apollo Lunar Module; the release of the Beatles’ Revolver and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds; and all the wars, protests, assassinations, and murders that cast a bloody pall over a chaotic decade.
Mad Men Carousel is named after an iconic moment from the show’s first-season finale, “The Wheel,â€? wherein Don delivers an unforgettable pitch for a new slide projector that’s centered on the idea of nostalgia: “the pain from an old wound.â€? This book will soothe the most ardent Mad Men fan’s nostalgia for the show. New viewers, who will want to binge-watch their way through one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory, will discover a spoiler-friendly companion to one of the most multilayered and mercurial TV shows of all time.
It's the perfect gift for Mad Men fans and obsessives.
Also available from Matt Zoller Seitz: The Oliver Stone Experience, The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Wes Anderson Collection.
This laugh-out-loud memoir takes readers backstage and inside the writers’ room of one of America’s best-loved shows. With more than 17 million viewers and more than seventy Emmy nominations—including two wins for best comedy—Everybody Loves Raymond reigned supreme in television comedy for almost a decade. Phil Rosenthal was there at the beginning. United by a shared lifetime of family dysfunction, he and Ray Romano found endless material to keep the show fresh and funny for its entire run. Alongside hilarious anecdotes from the series and his own career misadventures prior to working on the show, Rosenthal provides an enlightening and entertaining look at how sitcoms are written and characters developed. You’re Lucky You’re Funny is an inspiration to aspiring creators of comedy and a must read for the show’s millions of devoted fans.
Critically acclaimed for its writing, acting, and cinematography, Breaking Bad follows Walter White, an everyday chemistry teacher who, when faced with a life-changing terminal cancer diagnosis, turns to a life of crime in order to secure his family’s future. Gritty and real, Breaking Bad explores what happens when an ordinary man frees himself from the ethical and moral constraints of conventional society. In this text, Kathleen Olmstead examines Walter White’s descent from upstanding citizen to kingpin of a meth empire, and discusses the pop culture impact of this richly written and acted drama.
The ebook contains information about the inception and development of the series, thought-provoking episode analysis, and on-the-set stories about the cast and crew.
Peter Jennings was a celebrity, of course—a dashingly handsome and elegant man, famous for his ability to charm women and world leaders alike—but in these pages he is remembered as a loyal friend and a devoted family man, who loved nothing more than to canoe with his kids and listen to jazz with his friends in the Hamptons. Not that he was the relaxing sort. Jennings was a task-master, who ripped other reporters' pieces to shreds, forcing them to rewrite from the ground up. He was a perfectionist, too, who drove his fellow correspondents crazy with his ad-libbed questions on the air. It was all about standards. Throughout his life, Peter Jennings was driven by a passion to seek the truth and convey that truth accurately, simply, cleanly, and elegantly to his American audience. He was our voice.
T he Wire is about survival, about the strategies adopted by those living and working in the inner cities of America. It presents a world where for many even hope isn't an option, where life operates as day-to-day existence without education, without job security, and without social structures. This is a world that is only grey, an exacting autopsy of a side of American life that has never seen the inside of a Starbucks.
Over its five season, sixty-episode run (2002-2008), The Wire presented severall overlapping narrative threads, all set in the city of Baltimore. The series consistently deconstructed the conventional narratives of law, order, and disorder, offering a view of America that has never before been admitted to the public discourse of the televisual. It was bleak and at times excruciating. Even when the show made metatextual reference to its own world as Dickensian, it was too gentle by half.
By focusing on four main topics (Crime, Law Enforcement, America, and Television), The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television examines the series' place within popular culture and its representation of the realities of inner city life, social institutions, and politics in contemporary American society. This is a brilliant collection of essays on a show that has taken the art of television drama to new heights.
From his beginnings as a crotchety, anti-heroic scientist in 1963 to his current place in British pop culture as the mad and dangerous monster-fighting saviour of the universe, the titular character of Doctor Who has metamorphosed in his 50 years on television. And yet the questions about him remain the same: Who is he? Why does he act the way he does? What motivates him to fight evil across space and time? The Doctors Are In is a guide to television's most beloved time traveller from the authors of Who Is The Doctor and Who's 50. This is a guide to the Doctor himself — who he is in his myriad forms, how he came to be, how he has changed (within the program itself and behind the scenes) . . . and why he's a hero to millions.
From its almost accidental birth in 1968, 60 Minutes has set the standard for broadcast journalism, joining us in our living rooms each Sunday night to surprise us about the world. The show has profiled every major leader, artist, and movement of the past five decades, perfecting the news-making interview and inventing the groundbreaking TV expose. From legendary sit-downs with Richard Nixon in 1968 (in which he promised “to restore respect to the presidency”) and Bill Clinton in 1992 (after the first revelations of infidelity) to landmark investigations into the tobacco industry, Lance Armstrong’s doping, and the torture of prisoners in Abu-Ghraib, the broadcast has not just reported on our world but changed it too.
Now, Executive Producer Jeff Fager pulls back the curtain on how this remarkable journalism is done, taking the reader into the editing room with the show’s brilliant producers and beloved correspondents, including hard-charging Mike Wallace, writer’s-writer Morley Safer, soft-but-tough Ed Bradley, relentless Lesley Stahl, ace interviewer Charlie Rose, tireless Anderson Cooper, intrepid Scott Pelley, and illuminating storyteller Steve Kroft. He details the decades of human drama that have made the show’s success possible: the ferocious (and encouraged) competition between correspondents, the door slamming, the risk-taking, and the pranks. Fager takes on the program’s mistakes and describes what it learned from them. Above all, he reveals the essential tenets that have never changed: why founder Don Hewitt believed “hearing” a story is more important than seeing it, why the “small picture” is the best way to illuminate a larger one, and why the most memorable stories are almost always those with a human being at the center.
At once a sweeping portrait of fifty years of American cultural history and an intimate look at how the news gets made, Fifty Years of 60 Minutes shares the secret of what’s made the nation’s favorite TV program exceptional for all these years.