12.01.2006

What working in TV is like

Here's an article in the WSJ ($, probably) about "The O.C." Now I know that every business has interfering bosses, but when it happens in TV you fuck up in public:

Ms. Berman's successor, Peter Liguori, got deeply involved, too -- but not in a way that Mr. Schwartz appreciated. Arguing that Fox needed something fresh to promote about the show, Mr. Liguori asked Mr. Schwartz to add a new character and cast a brand-name celebrity in the part. The problem: Mr. Schwartz had outlined seven full episodes and had to figure out how to insert the character without destroying the story lines. "We didn't really have an option," Mr. Schwartz says.

Actress Jeri Ryan ended up joining the show as a con artist -- which many fans thought was a clunky and unbelievable plot twist. Ms. Ryan has since moved on to the CBS drama "Shark." Asked if he regrets ordering the stunt casting, Mr. Liguori responds: "I think Jeri Ryan is doing great work on 'Shark.' "


Stunt casting sucks, but networks are convinced it works. I'm not so sure, unless it's a really Big Star, which doesn't describe Jeri Ryan, although I'm sure she's a lovely person.

Also of note is this WSJ article about clean comics, which I haven't read. I always like Brian Regan, though, who's quoted in the last paragraph (which I did read):
Meanwhile, Mr. Regan explains his conversion to clean routines by telling of an epiphany he had some years ago, while standing in the back of a comedy club. The guy on stage "wasn't doing well, and so he dropped the F-bomb," Mr. Regan recalls. Two men in the audience found that profane outburst so funny that they stood up and slapped hands.
I saw this happen myself once in NY with, if memory serves, Marc Maron. The audience had little appetite for his tart political humor that night, and I thought I saw a look of (self?) disgust cross his face as he shifted to his blowjob material -- which killed, of course.

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