mAStER CLASS - Hollywood Reporter

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mAStER CLASS - Hollywood Reporter
special advertising supplement
JUNE 2012
BROOKLYN
STATE OF MIND
Michael Patrick King on
2 Broke Girls
BAD ROBOT’S
Person of Interest and Fringe
push the boundaries of
technology — and the universe
MULTI-FACETED
3 Shows,
4 Cameras
5 top hitmakers
face the ultimate weekly comedy test:
a live audience
TURN TO SEE WHO ELSE IS ON OUR COVER
MASTER CLASS
Jon Cryer, Patricia Heaton,
Regina King, William H. Macy
and more talk about their craft
From left: Jon Cryer, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Ashton Kutcher,
Jim Parsons, Angus T. Jones, Billy Gardell, Melissa McCarthy
“The geeks really have inherited the earth.”
– NEw YORk POST
the BIG BANG THEORY
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
table of contents
JUNE 2012
3
The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick
and husband Kevin Bacon
celebrate the show's 100th
episode with Warner Bros.
Television President Peter Roth
DEPARTMENTS
3
10
Scene and Heard
New stars on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame, three series reach 100 episodes and
star power for the USO!
5
The Word: On Having Beauty and Brains
The Word: Voice Lesson
14
The Word: They Said It
FEATURES
How the hit show got its stars singing the
same tune.
8
2 Broke, 2 beautiful...Costume designer
Trayce Field gets her girls dressed with style
and grace on a budget.
12
Stylish and high-concept, genre shows
may not clean up at the Emmys®, but they are
much smarter than they look.
6
Style: Fashion
"Keep Calm and..."? iPhone vs. Android?
Favorite TV moment? Top stars and producers
weigh in.
Style: Design
Home, Sweet Home...How The Big Bang
Theory, The Middle, Two and a Half Men and
The Bachelor create a sense of place.
The Industry
Michael Patrick King on capturing the
feminine mystique.
16
Laughing Live
Why four-camera comedies are king
once again.
20
What Becomes a Legend Most
Successfully rebooting the Looney
Tunes was no small task; here's how it happened.
12
22
Inside The Bachelor mansion
Funny People
Jon Cryer, Kaley Cuoco, Kat Dennings,
Billy Gardell, Patricia Heaton and Jane Levy are
laughing with us, not at us.
24
The Drama Circle
Michael Emerson, Regina King,
William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and Anna Torv
get dramatic...and funny.
26
Gaining Interest
Jonathan Nolan and
Greg Plageman give up the
goods on one of TV's most
intriguing dramas.
27
Fringe Appeal
Executive producers
Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman
discuss storytelling on
the edge and satisfying the
"'shippers."
28
Out of the Box and
Into Your Hearts
Friends' Central Perk couch,
the Seinfeld gang's favorite
restaurant booth, the press
podium from The West Wing —
all this and more at the
Television: Out of the Box exhibit
at the Paley Center. Don't miss
Bugs Bunny couture!
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC., UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
1
“…one of the few shows on TV
worth scheduling a night around.”
–­NEW­YoRk­DAIlY­NEWS­
2 BROKE GIRLS
oUTSTANDING­comEDY­SERIES
&
SCENE heard
SCENE & heard
carpet
THE INSIDE GUIDE TO HOLLYWOOD HAPPENINGS
walk of fame stars shine bright
ER and The West
Wing converged
in the Southland,
as John Wells
Shameless-ly
received his
star…with a little
help from friends
George Clooney
and Allison
Janney.
Hollywood Boulevard welcomed a few
more immortals this year with Two and a
Half Men’s Jon Cryer, The Middle’s Patricia
Heaton and writer/producer/director John
Wells receiving stars on the Walk of Fame.
Jon Cryer celebrates
in style…with the
Hooters girls at
Hooters, Hollywood.
Stars from Southland and The Big Bang Theory
traveled to Japan for their first-ever USO/Armed
Forces Entertainment Tour. Visiting Marine,
Army, Air Force and Naval units in Okinawa, Kure
and Iwakuni, the group gave thanks to the nation’s
armed forces and shook hands with
more than 2,000 service personnel
and their families. Southland’s
Michael Cudlitz said, “Every
handshake and smile was
a crystal-clear reminder of
how important the USO’s
work is.”
Spotted at Silvercup
Studios, Long Island
City, NY: (Right) Star Blake
Lively approves of Mayor
Michael Bloomberg’s
fashion choice as he proclaims it “Gossip Girl Day”
in New York City. XOXO.
(Below) The Closer
creator/executive
producer James Duff
(left) and executive
producer Michael M.
Robin (right) celebrate
with a kiss for Warner
Bros. Television President
Peter Roth (center) at the
Sheraton Universal Hotel,
Universal City, CA.
USO photo by Mike Clifton
ROLE MODELS: USO TOUR
Patricia Heaton smooches her first
TV husband, Everybody Loves
Raymond’s Ray Romano.
From left to right: Southland stars
Michael Cudlitz , Regina King
and Ben McKenzie join The Big
Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki
and executive producer Steven
Molaro with service members
in front of an F-15 fighter jet
at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa,
Japan.
counting to 100 - three times!
The proof is in the pudding—or, for the
cast and producers of The Big Bang Theory,
in the cake! Celebrating at the California
Science Center, Los Angeles, CA.
There are many ways to measure a television show’s success, from ratings
to critical acclaim, pop-cultural resonance, social media impact, fanfare
and more. Yet none are quite as sweet as a series reaching the 100-episode
milestone. Here, we salute three programs that made the mark this year.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
3
“…M&M has a light sweetness to it, a genuine affection
between its two main characters…”
­–­EW.com
MIKE
&
MOLLY
oUTSTANDING­comEDY­SERIES
CONTENDERS
SEXY AND
SMART
p. 5
REALITY
VOICE
LESSONS
p. 6
the WORD
Hear it here first
QUOTABLE
Overheard in
HOLLYWOOD
p. 8
Bold, beautiful and
just a bit dangerous
Great storytelling
can come in pretty
packages
By Craig Tomashoff
STYLE AND SUBSTANCE: Gossip Girl's Blake Lively
(left) and Leighton Meester in character.
While Emmy® voters may be slow to
recognize the power of Gossip Girl,
Nikita, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, fans can’t get enough of
the sexy gossip mongers, ass kickers,
monster slayers and undead hotties
in these drama series, “checking in”
and logging on to make them among
TV’s most popular shows in social
media and online.
34 million
T
he Emmys® love shows
that aren’t afraid to take
on grand themes, so if
you’re looking to take
home a statuette of the winged
muse, it would seem you couldn’t
go wrong with a tale of two very
different brothers fighting for the
love of a woman with a tortured past.
Or a pair of mere mortals caught in
a battle between Heaven and Hell
that leaves them questioning the
very existence of God. Or a troubled
woman who grew up in foster care
and is now taking on the government she feels betrayed her. Or young
adults who come to learn hard lessons about love and betrayal as they
branch out into a harsh world.
But what if the brothers are vampires, the mortals are monster hunters, the woman is a secret agent with
a taste for explosives and the young
adults live among Manhattan’s
wealthiest social set. The Vampire
SOCIAL CLIMBERS
Number of combined Facebook
fans (and counting) of the four shows
6 million
Number of combined check-ins (and
counting) for the programs on the entertainment social networking site GetGlue.
com; also 500,000 combined “likes”
2.5 million
Number of average monthly unique users
visiting The CW Network’s digital destination CWTV.com between January 1–April
30, 2012
Gossip Girl
Season Six Mondays 8/7c The CW This Fall
www.cwtv.com/gossipgirl
Twitter:
• Josh Schwartz: @JoshSchwartz76
• Leighton Meester: @itsmeleighton
• Kaylee DeFer: @KayleeAnneDeFer
• Kelly Rutherford: @KellyRutherford
• Matthew Settle: @matt_settle
• Zuzanna Szadkowski: @ZuzannaWanda
• Eric Daman: @EricDaman_style
Looks that kill:
The Vampire Diaries' Stefan
Salvatore (Paul Wesley) has his
eye on Elena (Nina Dobrev)
Nikita
Season Three Fridays 9/8c The CW This Fall
www.cwtv.com/nikita
Diaries, Supernatural and Nikita are
genre shows that kill at Comic-Con
but are routinely left empty-handed
when the Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences starts dishing out the
gold. Gossip Girl has been similarly
spurned, despite piling up award
nominations when TV fans are
allowed to vote.
Laura Prudom, associate TV editor at The Huffington Post, says, “The
consistent lack of award-show recognition seems to be little more than
an outmoded form of elitism, as if by
nominating a show with a title that’s
silly enough to reference vampires or
supernatural occurrences, it somehow de-legitimizes the so-called
solemnity of the occasion.”
Nikita executive producer Craig
Silverstein knows he’s battling history. “Traditional Emmy®-winning
shows were very hard-hitting, like
ER and The West Wing,” he explains,
noting that the tide did shift a bit in
recent years with Lost and 24 earning
some major awards. “It didn’t hurt
that they were getting big ratings
too, but I think it does just take one
breakthrough like either of those
shows to start changing people’s
attitudes.”
Whether it’s otherworldly thrillers
like The Vampire Diaries or even an
angst-filled drama like Gossip Girl,
series aimed at a niche audience
are like comedies at Oscar® time. No
matter how well-written or -acted,
they have a hard time getting taken
seriously during Emmy® season.
Sure, there is the occasional example
of the aforementioned Lost or 24
or True Blood breaking through,
but more often than not, the major
honors go to series that don’t involve
the undead, secret agents or lusty
teenagers. Rather than let a lack
C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 6
Twitter:
• Craig Silverstein: @sesfonstein
• Maggie Q: @MaggieQ
• Shane West: @shanewest_1
• Lyndsy Fonseca: @LyndsyMFonseca
• Aaron Stanford: @AaronAStanford
• Melinda Clarke: @therealmsclarke
• Dillon Casey: @DillonCasey
• Noah Bean: @noah_bean
Supernatural
Season Eight Wednesdays 9/8c This Fall
www.cwtv.com/supernatural
Twitter:
• Jared Padalecki: @JarPad
• Jim Beaver: @jumblejim
• Misha Collins: @mishacollins
• Mark A. Sheppard: @mark_sheppard
The Vampire Diaries
Season Four Thursdays 8/7c The CW This Fall
www.cwtv.com/thevampirediaries
Twitter:
• Kevin Williamson: @kevwilliamson
• Julie Plec: @julieplec
• Nina Dobrev: @ninadobrev
• Paul Wesley: @paulwesley
• Ian Somerhalder: @iansomerhalder
• Kat Graham: @KatGraham
• Candice Accola: @CandiceAccola
• Zach Roerig: @zach_roerig
• Michael Trevino: @M_Trevino
• Steven R. McQueen: @mcqueeninchains
• Joseph Morgan: @JosephMorgan
Follow The CW on Twitter @CW_network
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
5
the WORD
C O N T I N U E D FR O M PA G E 5
of trophies discourage them, however, producers say operating off
the establishment’s radar can
be liberating.
Explains Julie Plec, executive
producer of The Vampire Diaries,
“We can take lefts instead of rights
at times, and if you look at what’s
on cable, the one thing that separates us from them is they can get
naked and swear a lot. So we try to
weave a level of sophistication into
our stories that you’re used to finding on cable, only we do it within
the parameters we’re allowed.”
Ironically, the freedom from
pressure to win awards makes for
the sort of deep,
daring episodes
that usually do
attract award attention. Supernatural
executive producer
give these series a nod, but according to Gossip Girl executive producer
Stephanie Savage, there is another
reward — an intense fan loyalty.
“It’s great to make shows for a
young audience,” says Savage, who
is also executive producer of new
drama Hart of Dixie. “That’s the
time in your life when you are really
passionate about pop culture.
Your choices define your identity,
and the things that you love at that
age are the things that will be your
favorites forever.”
That branding and bonding with
younger audiences has certainly
helped series like The Vampire
Diaries, Nikita, Supernatural and
Robert Singer
says his show’s
ability to handle a
story arc questioning the existence
and benevolence
of God is proof
Brothers in arms: Supernatural's Sam (Jared Padalecki, left) and
Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) on a demon hunt.
that genre shows
can sometimes dig deeper than a
Gossip Girl earn plenty of fan-voted
typical courtroom drama or police
award nominations — and wins
procedural.
— at the Teen Choice or People’s
“We have the freedom to really
Choice Awards. And the response of
go outside the box and do someSupernatural fans to a TVLine.com
thing that’s dangerous without
readers’ poll asking for examples of
getting our wrist slapped for it,” he
overlooked shows that deserve an
says. “In the writers’ room, we can
Emmy® nom was so overwhelming,
say, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do a
the site had to turn off comments to
Western episode?’ and know that
the question. As for actual Emmy®
the network will be supportive
attention, though, these shows still
of that.”
face an uphill climb.
The edgier a genre show gets, the
“When I talk to people in an older
more likely it is to attract younger
demo and outside of this business,
viewers looking for anything that’s
they don’t really know that shows
not their parents’ show. This may
like ours are on The CW,” says Singer.
not help convince award voters to
“So when they find Supernatural,
they just judge it on
its own merits and
tell me, ‘It’s really
good. There are some
interesting things
going on here.’ It’s
fascinating what
people find when
they approach shows
without a bias.” n
La femme fatale: Maggie Q's
title character gets into some
tight spots in Nikita
6 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
The Superstar
Chemistry of
The Voice
How Mark Burnett
got his coaches on
the same page
By Craig Tomashoff
I
t’s not like The Voice
executive producer Mark
Burnett was unhappy during
the first meeting between
the producers and the show’s four
coaches: Christina Aguilera, CeeLo
Green, Adam Levine and Blake
Shelton. Still, as he looked around
the room, Burnett saw an army
of agents and managers hovering
and thought, “[The coaches] need
to be on their own. So I said, ‘Take
my credit card and the four of you
singles on iTunes have
passed the four-million
mark while coach Adam
Levine's Voice-powered, Maroon 5
single, "Moves Like Jagger," has sold
over five million copies, making it the
band's biggest hit. Certainly many of
those people are watching to see who
will win, but they are also drawn in by
the coaches’ personalities and occasionally combustible relationships
“People naturally
gravitate to the
chemistry we have.”
— ADAM LEVINE
Season
2 winner
Jermaine
Paul
belts it
out
go out for dinner.’ I was aware they
needed real chemistry, and that
could only develop if they got to
know each other as real humans
without a boardroom full of
representatives.”
The mission was accomplished …
but apparently at a steep price.
“Adam called me the next day
and said, ‘Dude, you made a huge
mistake giving us that card. The bill
was massive,’” Burnett recalls. “But
seeing how it’s all turned out, it was
worth every penny.”
Since then, the coaches have not
only connected with each other,
they’ve connected with viewers and
music lovers. At the conclusion of
its second season, The Voice ranked
as TV’s #1 entertainment series
among Adults 18–49 for 2011–12,
averaging nearly 16 million viewers per week. Sales of contestants'
with each other.
“People naturally gravitate to the
chemistry we have,” says Levine. “And
we do all have our differences, but in
the end, we all want the same thing
— we want everyone on the show to
do well.”
Each coach has managed to carve
out a distinct identity: At right, take
a look at what makes each of them
unique. Plus, more about host Carson
Daly, the infamous red chairs and
the scene-stealing star of the show,
Purrfect the Cat. n
The Voice
Mondays 8/7c, Tuesdays 9/8c (results), NBC
Season 3 Premiere September 10
www.nbc.com/thevoice
Twitter:
• The Voice: @NBCTheVoice
• Christina Aguilera: @therealxtina
• CeeLo Green: @ceelogreen
• Adam Levine: @adamlevine
• Blake Shelton: @blakeshelton
• Carson Daly: @carsonjdaly
• Christina Milian: @CMilianOfficial
The Voice coaches, from
left: CeeLo Green, Adam
Levine, Blake Shelton
and Christina Aguilera.
Christina
Aguilera
What You Know:
The Grammy®-winning
singer has gone from
being one of the most
agreeable coaches to
one of the toughest this
year, and Levine says it’s
because “she’s so good at
what she does. She has
a natural way of getting
people to step up their
game as singers. It can be a
little intimidating.”
What You Don't Know:
She’s like the mother
hen of the coaches,
inviting members of
her team to her house
for dinner and games
of pinball, and bringing
son Max to the set to
hang out with The Voice
host Carson Daly’s
son , Jackson.
“One day on the set, I
saw a picture of Max on
her BlackBerry and she
started to cry, telling me
how much Max misses
it when he can’t play
with my son,” says Daly.
CeeLo Green
Adam Levine
What You Know:
What You Know:
He is the Zen master,
whose emotions are as
obvious as his methodology is mysterious.
For example, ask him to
describe his coaching style
and he will say, “I am a
bigger fan than anything.
That’s why I can easily slip
into character, because
CeeLo Green just wishes to
be a medium, a vessel that
allows sight and sound and
spectacle and sensation to
move through me.”
He insists that “the worst thing
you can say to someone is that
their song was ‘nice.’ That’s not
a constructive word. I’ve had
a lot of coaches in my life, and
they’ve run the gamut from
really hardcore guys that want
to make you cry to the guy who
has a nurturing side as well as a
stern side. I’m not doing a service to anyone if I’m not more
like that second type.”
What You Don't Know:
He’s not only generous
with his time when
it comes to helping
members of his team,
he’s also generous with
his food when it comes
to helping the crew
and his fellow coaches.
According to Daly,
Green “orders the best
food every day — great
home-cooked soul food
— and we all ditch our
catering so we can steal
what he’s got.”
What You Don't Know:
He’s kinetic to the point
where producers put up a
basketball hoop on the set
so he can burn off some
of his manic energy, the
source of which might have
something to do with his
favorite drink.
“I had a sip the other night
of what he had at his seat,”
says Daly. “It was something
called a Red Eye
[a regular coffee with a shot
of espresso for added pop]
from Starbucks, and it’s no
wonder he is the way
he is. He’s hopped up
on that drink.”
Blake Shelton
CARSON DALY
What You Know:
What You Know:
Burnett went after the star
Every week, a big part of Daly’s job is to
singer because he wanted tell losing contestants that they are going
“someone who is country,
home. To cushion the blow, he spends
but also a comedian with
the entire season getting to know
superstar charisma
all the singers personally, so
and an incredible
they’re at least getting the
voice. ”What he
news from a friend. “After
also got was the
all, we’re here to help these
coach who is genartists and their families,
uinely connected
not embarrass or humiliate
Carson Daly
to each member of
them,” he explains. “That’s
his team. “He’s a big
what I love about the blind
nurturer,” says Levine. “He
auditions. These are people from all over
puts his heart and soul into
the country, not just Los Angeles and
his people as people and
New York, and it’s my job to make them
not just as performers.”
feel welcome at all times. Which, I think,
translates on the air.”
What You Don't Know:
If you think Shelton
seems like the kind of
guy you’d enjoy spending an afternoon with
knocking back several
cold one while
shooting the breeze,
you’d be right.
“The guy is stealthily
good at what he does,
and he’s captured the
sentiment of America,”
says Daly, “but what I
really enjoy is when he
invites me to just sit,
listen to some music
and have a beer.”
What You Don't Know:
Daly also announces the live-round
winners each week, and while he
may look cool and composed, he
secretly worries that his quick peek at
the card revealing the victors’ names
could mess him up. “My mind plays
tricks on me,” he says. “So I do sneak
double-checks to make sure. We
rehearse the show with stand-ins and
I’ll say the phrase, ‘For the sake of this
rehearsal…’ And I say it so many times,
that I sometimes catch myself right
before I say it on the air live. I keep
saying, ‘Just read the names...just read
the names…’ and hoping that I don’t
somehow mess it up.”
Purrfect
the Cat
What You Know:
As it turned out, CeeLo
Green is no longer the
coolest cat on the set of
The Voice. That honor now
belongs to the white feline
that frequently sat in his
lap during season two.
Purrfect became such a
sensation, she now has
her own Twitter page
(@PurrfectTheCat) and
nearly 66,000 followers.
What You Don't Know:
While Purrfect
provided moral
support to CeeLo
over the course of the
season, she couldn’t do
it during actual show
tapings for fear that the
singing and applause
might cause her to
run off. Only when the
performances were
done for the night
could she be brought
out to CeeLo. While
she waited for her
close-up, though, she
got to stay in her own
private dressing room
on the set.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
7
the WORD
sound bytes
T
hanks to Facebook, Twitter,
Pinterest and a million other
social media technologies,
we now know everything
about the people we went
to high school with. Maybe a little too
much. But what about leading actors
and producers?
We asked some of Hollywood’s top
TV talents to weigh in on everything
from what’s on their DVRs and the
superpower they’d most like to have,
to their take on some of the Internet’s
most popular social memes — like
“Keep Calm and…” as well as the
ongoing iPhone vs. Android debate.
The results? Keep calm and read on.
What was your first
acting job?
Patricia Heaton:
A Pabst Blue
Ribbon commercial with Jason
Alexander and
Polly Draper …
you can still find it
on YouTube.
Maggie Q: Juliet in
a 6th grade producackles
tion of Romeo and Juliet.
I got paid in Baklava.
Kaley Cuoco: I was the Barbie girl.
I sold every Barbie you can imagine.
Ian Somerhalder: An all-night
commercial for a local appliance
store. My scene partner was a washing machine!
Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Cudlitz (Southland)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Patricia Heaton (The Middle)
Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory,
Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory)
John Noble (Fringe)
Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest)
Greg Plageman (Person of Interest)
Maggie Q (Nikita)
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly)
J.H. Wyman (Fringe)
8 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
What’s on your DVR?
Jon Cryer: I still love my NCIS. I’ve
been an NCIS guy since day one.
Billy Gardell: Game
of Thrones and like
97 episodes of
Phineas and Ferb
for my son.
Nina Dobrev:
Mostly nighttime talk shows
like Chelsea
Lately, Conan and
cudlitz
Jimmy Fallon.
John Noble: I haven’t got a
DVR. I’m a real dinosaur, I’m afraid.
Steven Molaro: Five hundred
episodes of Spongebob and iCarly … I
taught my kids how to use the DVR.
Jensen Ackles: Making the Cut,
The Masters golf tournament,
Chopped, Swamp People
and the 2011 World Series
(hoping to watch it again
and change the outcome
for my Texas Rangers).
If I wasn’t acting or writing, I’d be…
Heaton: A concierge. I like
solving problems. And they
always look snazzy.
Dobrev: A marine biologist or I’d
open a yoga studio/bakery café.
Reno Wilson: A traffic cop. I love
the white gloves and I’d be killing the
hand choreography.
Molaro: Not excelling at athletics.
iPhone or Android?
Michael Cudlitz: Oh, please …
iPhone. Although my kid’s Android is
pretty badass!
Macy: iPhone with the sound
of crickets as my ringtone.
Molaro: iPhone always
on vibrate, so people don’t
know my ringtone is "It’s
Tricky" by Run-DMC.
Gardell: iPhone,
although I still can’t work it.
Keep Calm and…
Heaton: Apply a second coat of
mascara.
Cuoco: Scream.
Cryer: Moisturize.
Dobrev: Party like it’s 1999.
Chuck Lorre: Panic quietly.
Jonathan Nolan:
Shoot kneecaps.
Molaro: Carry Ativan.
What’s Your Favorite Emmy®
moment?
Dobrev: Singing "Born to Run"
with Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Jane
Lynch and the Glee cast. It was such
a rush!”
Somerhalder: Walking onstage
after seeing Michael Bolton in what
appeared to be tights.
Wilson: When Melissa McCarthy
won. I cried like Halle Berry.
If you could be any Looney Tunes
character, which would it be?
Noble: I love the Road Runner, but I
What’s your favorite TV memory?
also like Elmer Fudd. I’m a bit of both
Maggie Q: Watching Lynda Carter
in real life — like Elmer with ADD!
play Wonder Woman.
Macy: Definitely Foghorn
Noble: I became infatLeghorn. I like the way he
uated with Hogan’s
talks.
Heroes when I was
Cryer: Daffy Duck,
at university in
please! He has that
Australia.
unquenchable ego and
William H. Macy:
that bill that can go
I Love Lucy and
anywhere on his head.
the episode with
Ackles: Yosemite Sam.
the 500 chicks. I was
Due to beard envy.
MAGGIE Q
on my hands and knees
J.H. Wyman: Bugs Bunny,
laughing!
for his incredible panache.
Molaro: There are too many to
Or Blacque Jacque Shellacque, a
choose from, but I’ll go with our epiQuebec lumberjack who upset Bugs
sode about Sheldon and the Leonard
Bunny because his dam-building cut
Nimoy napkin.
off Bugs’ water supply.
❝Keep
Calm
and...❞
What superpower would you most
like to have?
Cudlitz: The ability to understand
my teenage son. That’s on the list,
right?
Noble: The ability to fly. It’s probably a bit chilly up there, but you’d
certainly save on airfare.
Macy: Invisibility. Why? To get in
the girls’ locker room, of course!
Cryer: Batman’s got no superpowers. He’s just a badass billionaire.
That’s what I want to be — a badass
billionaire.
Maggie Q: The ability to make my
car fly over traffic on the 405.
Lorre: Time travel. I could undo all
my fuckups. I’d be called Regretman.
Greg Plageman: Flying or invisibility. That’s always what you have
to choose between, right? Invisibility
is the refuge for scoundrels, so I’ll go
with flight.
Molaro: Tallness.
Wilson
“I keep hoping the Academy will
someday acknowledge the existence
of…underrated gem The Middle…”
– TV GUIDE MAGAZINE
the MIDDLE
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
“Not only does Suburgatory click on
a number of different levels, it even has a
Juno-esque element to it, plus a breakoutworthy star in Jane Levy...”
– THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
SUBURGATORY
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Style
FASHION
Never
2 Broke
for Style
Rare glitz
“We never get to see
Max in a glamorous
gown or any kind of
expensive clothing, so
it was nice to showcase her in something
so beautiful."
1
Talking budget-conscious
fashion with 2 Broke Girls
costume designer Trayce Field
C
By Annemarie Rouleau
ombing vintage shops and thrift stores ,
2 Broke Girls costume designer Trayce Field is a master at creating looks that keep stars Kat Dennings
and Beth Behrs at the cutting edge of fashion
despite their characters’ financial woes.
1-2 Glitz and glamour are extremely rare in the lives of Max
and Caroline, so when the season one finale placed them at the
ever-so-posh Met Ball gala, designer Field took it as an opportunity
to dress them in a more enchanting light. Kat Dennings' Max got
to step out in an edgy Vivienne Westwood, accessorized with a
vintage brooch in keeping with Max's authentic style. As for Beth
Behrs' Caroline, Field chose the peach, silk-chiffon Notte gown
by Marchesa because it pefectly complemented Behrs' golden
blonde hair and sunkissed skin.
3 "The uniforms are tailored to fit the girls really well and I
tend to accessorize them differently for each episode,” says
Field, with the exception of Caroline’s (Behrs, right) iconic
multitiered pearl bib necklace and Max’s (Dennings, left)
dual jumbo safety pins which have become staples alongside
their polyester-laden work garb.
4 A “label girl” at heart who puts her own twists on high-end
pieces, Caroline (Behrs) is often dressed by Field in luxury
brands like Gucci and Chloe to represent what
she was able to keep from her privileged past, in
addition to lower-priced items, such as a name
label pair of shorts from Goodwill.
5 Field says Max (Dennings) adheres to a strict
budget with more conviction than her uptownstyled roommate. “Her character did splurge on a
pair of J Brand jeans, though, because I think it’s
important that every girl has a good pair of jeans.”
6 Field strives to create a wardrobe that reflects
the girls’ money troubles. “I mix and match the
clothes a lot and show variations of the same
pieces,” says Field, who has flipped the script on
standard sitcom fashion by having the main characters wear the same outfits from past episodes.
7 “[Creator/executive producer] Michael Patrick
King really wanted this episode to be kitschy, yet cute
and fun,” says Field of the jingle-bell adorned, twotoned holiday costumes she designed.
8 “She is this crazy, fun melody of a Polish Barbie doll
gone wild,” says Field of Max and Caroline’s upstairs
neighbor Sophie. “Her character is super fun to dress.” n
10 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
Peachy Keen
“When we put Beth in that
gown, it immediately felt
right,” says Field, noting
the Judith Leiber cupcake
clutch and peach earrings
added “a classic touch.”
2
6
3
Mix and Match
“Max and Caroline
can’t afford to go
shopping every week,
so we add things like
blazers, belts and
other accessories to
play up repetitive
clothing.”
Polyester Panache
“The uniforms quickly
became the visual icon
of the show,” says Field,
who found inspiration
for the outfits in old
photographs of diners
and vintage patterns.
4
Jingle Belles
“It’s all about having
the comedy come
across, and sometimes that’s in the
wardrobe.”
7
8
Barbie Gone Wild
Sophie (recurring
guest star Jennifer
Coolidge) can pull
off anything from
over-the-top fur
wraps to brightly
glittered high
heels.
5
Goodwill
Glamour
“Forever 21,
Goodwill,
vintage shops —
whatever she
can afford is
where I look.”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
11
Style
design
design
no place
like home
An intimate sense of place is key to these
hit shows by Craig Tomashoff and Diane Gordon
1
The Bachelor
mansion's
Lido Deck
Y
ou won’t see them walking the
red carpet. And they’ll never have
to deliver an Emmy® acceptance
speech. Still, when it comes to
primetime’s unsung attentiongetters, look no further than
the iconic sets where performers get to do their
thing each week. From a Russian space capsule
to a ramshackle Indiana tract home, a hip Malibu
beach hangout and a swinging bachelor pad,
here’s a look at four unique primetime designs
that captivated viewers last season.
TWO AND A HALF MEN
Malibu Men-sion: Celebrities aren’t the only ones in Malibu
getting makeovers. When tech guru Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher)
moved in with Alan and Jake Harper (Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones) on
Two and a Half Men last season, their beachfront mansion got a facelift
as well. To fit the aesthetic of a young billionaire, production designer
John Shaffner and set decorator Ann Shea wanted a contemporary
design that reflected a sense of popular culture. That includes Walden’s
desk, which Shaffner says “looks like it’s made out of part of an
aluminum airplane wing. ” The house is on the beach and driftwood is
a recurring theme, with pieces including a coffee table and sculpture.
Explains Shaffner, “I would love to move into this house, so I could walk
in from the beach and the sand would blend right in. It would be a
good way to live.”
The hot tub at night
THE BACHELOR
THE BIG BANG THEORY
Love Shack: There’s plenty of romance at play in The Bachelor
mansion, but not all of it happens around the infamous hot tub.
According to production designer Angelic Rutherford, the key to
creating the perfect abode for amour is incorporating as much of
the Bachelor or Bachelorette’s personality as possible. “The more
comfortable the cast feels on set, the more they act like themselves and
are at ease.,” she said. And once they’re really comfortable — it’s time
for that tub. “If a man and a woman get into the hot tub, their intentions
are relatively clear,” said creator/executive producer Mike Fleiss. “I’m
always encouraging more hot tub activity — it’s an essential part of the
show.” It’s not the only location ideal for love, though. “There’s an area of
the house that we lovingly refer to as The Lido Deck,” says Rutherford.
“It’s a cabana-type structure that’s next to the pool with a gorgeous
chandelier. It’s very over-the-top and romantic — that’s probably the
best spot.”
Out of This World: Saying
a show is a bit spacey might be
considered a negative, but when
it came to an episode of The Big
Bang Theory last season, it’s literally
true. For the emotional season
finale of TV’s #1 comedy, the series’ Emmy®-winning production
designer John Shaffner had to build the replica Soyuz space capsule
in which Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg, left, above) blasted off on
a mission for NASA shortly after his hastily rescheduled wedding to
Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch). Shaffner accepted the challenge from the writers and called upon the Kansas Cosmosphere and
Space Center to get exact measurements of the Soyuz capsule they
own. With those dimensions in hand, he says, “NASA was extremely
helpful providing detailed photographs. Then, I could build a model
and construct it for camera placement and angles.”
The Heck living room
Starring
THE MIDDLE
Living room before
12 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
Living room after
Patricia Heaton
Beautifully Average: It’s not easy being average. Just ask
Randy Ser, production designer for the acclaimed comedy The
Middle. The show’s Heck family is ordinary to the extreme, so his
job is to design an authentic house that is steeped in very familiar
items and designs. Says Ser, “We wanted it to resonate with many
age groups and types of people so that viewers would feel like
they had lived in a house like that, or knew people who did.” His
favorite items in the Heck home? The living room sofa and Mike
Heck’s easy chair. “The way [All in the Family’s] Archie Bunker had his
chair to watch TV in, our family has the sofa and Mike’s chair where
they watch TV and eat dinner. I don’t know if they’ll end up in the
Smithsonian, but to us, they are iconic pieces.”
the MENTALIST
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
“Around this time in a series’ life,
we sometimes take it for granted.
It’s still funny, fast-moving television,
with a great ensemble cast.”
– NEw YORk DAIlY NEwS
the INDUSTRY
girl Power
Michael Patrick King on writing great women
By Diane Gordon
E
mmy® award winner Michael
Patrick King is known for getting inside
women’s heads and making trendsetting TV shows out of what he finds
there. When he ran HBO’s hit dramedy
Sex and the City, King told the stories of
four close-knit New York City women who bonded
over love, life and Cosmopolitans in Manhattan.
In his newest comedy hit, 2 Broke Girls, he tells an
even more relatable story of two culturally clashing
twentysomething gals working and trying to make
ends meet—and create a cupcake empire—in the
Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. While the
city is the same in both shows, the cultural landscape
has changed dramatically.
You’ve written for Murphy Brown, Cybill and,
of course, Sex and the City. Tell us about writing
2 Broke Girls?
These are two disenfranchised characters. The
great thing about writing female protagonists is that
they’re always on the outside of mainstream society
and always fighting for something. Our girls are
fighting for how to have their dream, how to have a
life they can afford. The money is just the goal, the
dream. It represents the journey the girls are on, and
just because $250,000 feels unreachable doesn’t mean
you shouldn’t reach for it.
was born without money or dreams, where Caroline
was born with both. The show contrasts those two
ways of being: rich vs. poor. We explore money every
week, which very few sitcoms do. We talk about
taxes, college loans and rent…how much you can
save in this economy. I wanted to make sure they
were hardworking, that was the most important
thing, not having them be entitled.
The show has gotten buzz for its frank, and
sometimes graphic, sex talk and humor. Has that
been missing in the way sitcoms handled young,
female characters?
I felt that girls today in their twenties are much
more aware and comfortable with comedy about
words than they were a long time ago. Coming off
Sex and the City, where there was an enormous
amount of comedy based on sex, it seemed like
a natural thing for me. Max is the main font of
it. We only say outrageous things if we find a
really funny or clever way to do so. As long as the
comedy comes out of character, it’s fun. It’s not the
word; it’s the context we put it in.
How have Kat Dennings (Max) and Beth Behrs
(Caroline) evolved over the course of the first
season?
They were both kind of flawless out of the gate in
terms of everything I needed them to have. They’re
What was your inspiration for creating
both extremely funny, extremely hard-working,
these two characters?
extremely dedicated and beautiful. They’ve
I didn’t think there were young female charevolved as the writing has evolved.
acters on television that people could tune
They have more chemistry. They had an
in and see, the way people followed
instant shorthand to start: Now they
Rachel and Phoebe. There was
have an instant instant shorthand.
no Friends in multicamera
And now it’s up to the writers to
comedy. I wanted to do that
give them material that’s
with young women and
evolved. We’ve never said in
make a really funny comedy
the writers’ room, “We can’t
about two girls. I wanted it
do that because they can’t do
to be relatable, and the most
it.” They can do anything—
interesting thing that
they’re fearless. Being
can be universal is being
funny and being a good
broke in your twenties.
actress is one thing, but
2 BROKE GIRLS
What it became about—
being
able to turn a joke
Season Two Mondays 9/8c, CBS, This Fall
with Caroline’s story and
www.cbs.com/2brokegirls
around and nail it in front
Twitter:
Max’s story—was the difof an audience is a super• 2 Broke Girls: @2BrokeGirls_CBS
ference between being born
• Kat Dennings: @OfficialKat
power. I’m glad they have that
• Beth Behrs: @BethBehrs
with or without a dream and
superpower.
• Jonathan Kite: @jbkite
with or without money. Max
• Matthew Moy: @TheMoyWonder
14 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
• Jennifer Coolidge: @JenCoolidge
Girls interrupted
center) and Caroline : Max (Kat Dennings,
unexpected visito (Beth Behrs, right) get an
r (guest star Noah
Mills)
roline don
: Max (left) and Ca
Black and whitemake extra cash clearing out
to
s
the
clo
cleaning
nt
a hoarder's apartme
Is there any Kryptonite to these TV superpowers?
The length of sitcoms nowadays is 21 minutes.
There’s the challenge of telling a full story with a
beginning, middle and end with an emotional arc in
21 minutes. That’s a worthy task for me.
What do you enjoy the most about making
2 Broke Girls?
Being in a room and on a stage with a bunch of
really funny comedy writers and brilliant actors,
coming up with funny stuff on the spot and putting
it in front of an audience. n
The king and queens: Michael Patrick King with
his muses, Beth Behrs (left) and Kat Dennings
Are these Brian Atwood
s?
MPK Sounds OFF
What was your first writing
job?
My first writing job was for Caroline’s Comedy Hour in New York
City, a standup comedy show on
A&E. Jon Stewart and I wrote the
comedy bumpers in between the
standups.
What’s on your DVR?
Mad Men, RuPaul’s Drag Race,
Downton Abbey, Oprah’s Next
Chapter.
iPhone or Android?
What’s your ringtone?
BlackBerry. My ringtone is vibration in
my pocket, which I’m
now starting to feel
when my phone’s not
in my pants, and that’s starting to
scare me.
The girls get a gig
baking Kosher
cupcakes
What’s your favorite TV
memory?
My favorite TV memory would
have to be something like the
Mary Tyler Moore Show finale,
something emotional like that
with completion. My favorite TV
memory that I’ve been involved
with is the Sex and the City finale.
I was very proud of that, the
event surrounding it, and crossing the finish line and not having
people or myself disappointed.
Keep calm and…
…carry on. It’s classic. I have a
poster of Keep Calm and Carry
On. In TV, you just have to keep
going, and that poster is just a
reminder to keep going.
What’s your favorite Emmy®
moment?
My mother’s face when I won my
Emmy®. Sorry, I’m Irish Catholic.
I have to say it. It was her shock
and awe when they called my
name…
What superpower would you
most like to have?
I would like the ability to fly. Can
you imagine? I’d avoid airports
and the overhead luggage thing.
If you could be any Looney
Tunes character for a day,
which would it be?
The Tasmanian
Devil, but I feel I
may already be that.
There’s too much of
that in me. Tweety
Bird also, because
he’s sarcastic and
relaxed.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
15
On the set with
Mike & Molly director/
executive producer
James Burrows (right)
and creator/executive
producer Mark Roberts
y, on
oco as Penn
and Kaley Cu
i as Leonard
ck
le
Ga
ny
: John
eird Science
eory
e Big Bang Th
the set of Th
W
It takes more than
two and a half men:
Chuck Lorre (center)
with series star Ashton
Kutcher (left) and crew
POWER
TO THE
PEOPLE
16 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
photo OF JOHNNY GALECKI AND KALEY CUOCO by
David Strick
Family Affair:
Lorre in action
at Two and a
Half Men
Arresting Humor:
Mike & Molly's James
Burrows has a laugh
with Billy Gardell
Four-camera sitcoms
empower the audience
four-camera
ballet
By Craig Tomashoff
N
ow that another election year is
in full swing, odds are that we’re going to
be hearing plenty of promises to give the
people what they want. However, if you
really want to see democracy in action,
skip the news and switch over to a fourcamera sitcom. That’s where the voice of
the people comes through loud and clear.
Every week, the cast and crew of every
comedy that shoots in front of a live audience gets
a first-hand reminder of who it is they answer to.
“The audience is what keeps you honest when
you’re doing a four-camera show,” says The Big
Bang Theory co-creator/executive producer Bill
Prady. “There is nothing more brutally honest
than 250 strangers laughing—or not laughing—at
your work. Are they always right? They are our
customers, so they are right by definition. It’s a
customer service issue. We service the customer
base with the product they want—jokes they can
laugh at and characters they like.”
Adds legendary Emmy® Award winner James
Burrows (Will & Grace, Friends, Cheers, Taxi),
director/executive producer of Mike & Molly: “The
audience really does have the ultimate power in
what we do. The proof is that when some audiences
are not as responsive to a joke as you thought
they’d be, you have to lose it and come up with
something else.”
There are times when, in appeasing an audience,
“you can go too far and, in that moment, go with a
lesser joke,” admits 2 Broke Girls creator/executive
producer Michael Patrick King. “But they are the
test to see what’s funny. You can’t pretend a joke is
working if it doesn’t in front of a live audience.”
This populist approach may make shooting
a multi-camera comedy “like being on a rollercoaster,” as executive producer Chuck Lorre (Two
and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly)
describes it, but it’s a thrill ride that audiences
in the studio and at home don’t mind taking.
The genre has been what Prady refers to as “an
American tradition” ever since the days of I Love
Lucy and The Honeymooners. There’s just something about putting on half-hour plays in front of a
live audience that makes viewers feel like they’re a
part of the characters’ lives.
“When it works right, there’s an intimacy that
only the four-camera genre allows for,” explains
Lorre. “You feel like you’ve gotten very close to
these characters. The feelings you had for Archie
and Edith Bunker [from All in the Family] or Sam
and Diane [from Cheers]…that’s thanks, in part, to
the format.”
In the end, Lorre adds, four-camera shows are “a
couple of actors sitting on a couch talking to each
other.” And rather than seem boring, that simple
structure is precisely what audiences at home want
to see for one very simple reason: It’s almost like
looking at a mirror instead of a television screen.
“I think people like being able to turn on the TV
almost any time of day and see a show where the
characters are doing just what they are doing,”
says Mike & Molly creator/executive producer
Mark Roberts. “It feels like you’re checking in on
your friends.”
As comforting as all this might feel to viewers,
though, creating a four-camera episode presents
challenges single-camera series never have to face.
For example, if a single-camera series decides it
wants to do a 30-second flashback to when the
characters were on a second-grade field trip, or
send them on an African safari for an entire episode, it just packs up the cast, crew and cameras
and heads out on location. Multi-camera shows
are confined to the set. As Lorre explains, “you
have to figure out how to solve your problems
without money or editing or stunt casting.”
Like being stuck in the house on a rainy day,
multi-camera producers have to make due with
whatever they have on hand. The storytelling has
to be “more constrained,” admits Prady. “Your
scenes have to be longer and physically simpler
because it’s just people sitting around talking. But
it just forces you to think harder, which—from a
The Big Bang Theory director
Mark Cendrowski dishes on
comedy choreography
W
By Craig Tomashoff
hen you think about it, shooting a four-camera comedy is kind of
like speed dating. There’s a limited
time to make a good first impression
on a bunch of strangers.
“You want to get things right with your first
pass because that’s the freshest the audience will be, which means the biggest laughs
you’re going to get,” says Mark Cendrowski,
director of The Big Bang Theory.
Hence, four cameras rather than just one.
Whereas a single-camera comedy needs time
to potentially shoot each scene dozens of
different ways, the multi-cam format has four
lenses going at once to capture a variety of
shots — something wide, something with
just two actors, something up close and so
on. And as each camera films its own particular part of a scene, the director and producers
watch one big screen with all four shots so
they can start editing the show in their heads.
It can take at least a day to coordinate what
Cendrowski calls “the ballet,” not only moving
around to find the right mark to shoot from,
but also making sure timing is in sync so the
cameras are not crashing into each other. The
multi-camera process also requires a major
adjustment for actors, he adds, because, “We
can’t put the camera wherever we want to, so
actors don’t get 18 takes to do things a little
differently each time. And if an audience can’t
see what the actor is doing, they’re not going
to get the joke.”
That’s why, in the end, it’s not necessarily
the number of cameras that make a TV comedy memorable. It’s the number of laughs.
“I’ve never had a sitcom pilot picked up
because test audiences said the shots were
the most beautiful they’d ever seen,” explains
Cendrowski. “They have been picked up
because they’re funny.”
C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 18
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
17
MAESTROS of 4-Camera Comedy
James Burrows
Michael Patrick King
Chuck Lorre
Bill Prady
Mark Roberts
Director/Executive Producer
Mike & Molly
Creator/Executive Producer
2 Broke Girls
Co-creator/Executive Producer
The Big Bang Theory,
Two and a Half Men;
Executive Producer, Mike & Molly
Co-creator/Executive Producer
The Big Bang Theory
Creator/Executive Producer
Mike & Molly
continued f r o m page 17
comedy point of view—has absolutely made me a
stronger writer.”
According to Burrows, during the entire first
year of Cheers, the characters never left their
famous bar. Still, viewers seldom noticed that,
because when characters would come in from the
outside, “we’d take a little liberty that they didn’t
discuss everything they had to say in the cab ride
over. It did make the writing a little more difficult.
You had to have the words they were saying sound
like they were coming out of their mouths legitimately and weren’t just explaining something
viewers didn’t see.”
If dialogue does come across as too clunky and
unreal while shooting on the stage, no amount of
messing around in an editing bay is going to change
that. It’s too late to go back and try again. That’s a
tightrope multi-camera producers must traverse
every week, and yet that fear of falling flat on their
faces is what keeps them coming back for more.
Just ask King, who spent most of the past decade
working on single-camera comedies like Sex and
the City and The Comeback before returning
❝
If I was going to do big
comedy, I wanted to do
it in front of an audience
and make sure it was
funny instead of going
into an editing room and
pulling laughs out.
❞
—Michael Patrick King,
2 Broke Girls
18 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
to the multi-camera format for 2 Broke Girls.
“If I was going to do big comedy, I wanted to do it
in front of an audience and make sure it was funny
instead of going into an editing room and pulling
laughs out,” he explains. “It’s the risks and rewards
of putting yourself out there and waiting for that
big sound from the audience when the actors stop
talking. It’s like the Olympics gymnastics events,
where you have to hit a mark. And when you pull
it off in front of the audience, it’s a victory and it’s
addictive, and that’s what you go back to.”
Multi-camera comedies have drifted in and
out of fashion with the same frequency as bellbottoms. In the early ’70s, some of the most
popular shows on TV were sitcoms like The Mary
Tyler Moore Show and All in the Family. In the late
’80s and early ’90s, series like Roseanne and Home
Improvement ruled the airwaves. However, after
Seinfeld, Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond
went away in the mid 2000s, predicting the death
of traditional sitcoms became a sport for many
television critics.
That’s due in part to the fact that “it’s considered
much more hip to do single-camera,” says Burrows.
“The format has always had this mystique about
it because it looks like a more difficult form. For
years, Emmys® always went to single-camera shows
because they seemed more artsy or highbrow.”
Not that, as Roberts explains, viewers were sitting at home thinking they preferred single-camera shows. “What happened was, like anything,
a lot of what was being done in four-camera was
being done badly and so the audience turned away
from it,” he says. “But if anything is being done
well, they’ll watch.”
Lorre has been credited with keeping the multicamera format alive and viable with the recent success of Two and a Half Men and, then, The Big Bang
Theory and Mike & Molly. As far as he’s concerned,
though, the number of cameras he works with has
very little to do with what he’s done.
“If you don’t have characters you care about, it
doesn’t matter whether you use one camera or four
or a camcorder,” he says. “You have to ask yourself,
‘Are these people I want to write about? Do they
interest me? Are they worth caring about?’ If the
answers are all ‘yes,’ then people will laugh at them
and want to be with them on their journeys.” n
MY FIRST
WRITING JOB
The Big Bang Theory’s
Bill Prady
Jim Parsons (left)
and Bill Prady
E
arly in my career, I was working
at Jim Henson’s company in the licensing
department. I had this tiny, little office
down in the basement. There were a lot
of public relations requests that would
come in but weren’t getting handled, so I
asked the PR department if I could go through
that stack and try handling one of them.
The first thing I found was a request from the
U.S. Post Office, which was introducing that
year’s Love stamp, and it had a puppy on it. I
thought that dogs and mailmen are just inherently funny together, so I wrote this speech for
Rolf the Dog to give at the Post Office’s press
conference. Rolf wanted to use that opportunity to clear up any misconceptions about the
relationship between dogs and mailmen. He
wanted to make it clear that dogs love mailmen and, in fact, they’re so sad when mailmen
leave their house that they may want to tug
gently on their legs to keep them from going.
I’ll always remember being in the basement
late, and Jim Henson actually came into my
office and asked, “Did you write this?” I said
“Yes,” and it turned out he really liked it. And
so my writing career began.
“…a tent pole for the strongest night of comedy
since the days of NBC’s Must See TV.”
– TV GUIDE MAGAzINE
TWO and a HALF MEN
OUTSTANDING cOMEDY SERIES
They put the
in
Looney Tunes
W
Reporting by Jerry Beck
e were given the keys to the greatest and most
beloved creative legacy in the history of cartoons,” says
Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, for
Warner Bros. Animation, when asked about the honor —
and challenge — of working with the iconic Looney Tunes
characters. “I’ll be honest: As lifelong animation lovers, we were terrified of
the Looney Tunes and how to approach that huge legacy. We just didn't want
to mess it up.”
When Register started at the Studio in 2009, he had a mandate from
Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth to breathe fresh life into the
iconic Looney Tunes brand. In response, Register and team created the sitcom
The Looney Tunes Show — an immediate success that out-delivered Cartoon
Network’s primetime average by +28% in its first season and was recently
renewed for a second.
Utilizing a talented voice cast that includes Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig,
world-class animators and a writing staff plucked from L.A.’s famed comedy
troupe The Groundlings, Register and WBA turned Bugs and Daffy into roommates and used the classic sitcom format to bring animated adventures to an
all-new generation of kids.
Here’s a step-by-step visual tour of how they do it — as demonstrated by
some familiar faces.
START
3
storyboard
With an audio track in place, storyboard
artists work with the director to craft the
performance of each character. “This is a
very acting-intensive show,” says supervising producer Tony Cervone. “There’s such
a higher level of performance that we
have to take extra steps in the storyboard
process to bring that out.”
2
record
Jeff Bergman first began voicing Bugs Bunny and
Daffy Duck in 1989, but when it came time to find
a voice for Bugs’ on-again/off-again girlfriend Lola,
producers Davidson and Rachel Ramras turned to
fellow Groundlings member and Saturday Night Live
star Wiig.
“As played by Kristen Wiig, Lola is as adorable as she
is crazy,” Register says. “Her performances are just
jaw-dropping. She gives us gold every time.”
1
Script
The premise for each episode of The Looney Tunes Show is usually relationshipbased: a grain of real life that quickly develops into outsized animated consequences.
“My brain always told me that Bugs and Daffy were friends,” says producer Hugh
Davidson of the series’ core roommate dynamic. “No matter how many shorts
had them trying to get one another killed.”
20 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
4
animation
Bringing the Looney Tunes characters to life
is a collaborative and global effort. Producers in Burbank work closely with animators
overseas to deliver precisely timed silliness.
Daily communication and occasional international trips by producers ensure that even
the subtle nuances of each character are not
lost in the process.
“The reason we redesigned the characters
was to create a separate identity for the
show,” says supervising producer Spike
Brandt. “We think of it as the same characters in a different format. It is a sitcom —
these aren’t the old shorts.”
final
cartoon
7
“From all of us involved —
the writers, art directors,
storyboard artists, everyone
— there are a lot of personal
touches [in the show],” says
supervising producer Cervone.
“A lot of heart is poured into
this production.”
FINISH
6
mix/mUSIC
And what would the Looney Tunes be without music?
“We record real instruments and a real band,” says series composer Andy
Strummer. “We’re part of a legacy. I really wanted to use real instruments
wherever possible.”
5
editing
Just as in a live-action comedy, many of the laughs in The Looney
Tunes Show come via rhythm and pacing. A visual gag will fall flat if
Daffy’s gaze is just one frame too short — and editor Craig Paulsen
makes sure that doesn’t happen.
“This is a character show,” says Paulsen, a multi-tasker who works
on up to 12 different episodes at once. “The editing role, with the
director, is about establishing the rhythm of the back-and-forth
between Bugs and Daffy.”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
21
Laugh-iN
Talking Comedy with Some of Primetime's Funniest Stars
By Craig Tomashoff
laugh. I hear somebody say “poop” and I lose it.
Kaley Cuoco: It was when I was little and my family
would do these home videos. My sister and I would
try to make our parents laugh, and I was constantly
pushing her out of the way, making the most ridiculous faces and jumping up and down. I was such a
camera hog even then.
Getting a laugh is one thing, but when did you realize you might be able to do this for a living?
comedy has once again become serious busi-
Jon Cryer: It came to me after watching The Brady
ness in primetime. Whether it’s the continued
success of shows like The Big Bang Theory, Two and a
Half Men, Mike & Molly and The Middle or the arrival
of newcomers like 2 Broke Girls and Suburgatory,
the sitcom seems to be surviving and thriving after
spending a few years on life support. We gathered
some of the genre’s standout stars — Emmy® winner Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Kaley Cuoco
(The Big Bang Theory), Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls),
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly), two-time Emmy® winner Patricia Heaton (The Middle) and Jane Levy
(Suburgatory) — to talk about everything from
Dennings’ work with urinating horses to Cuoco’s
ongoing identity crisis.
Bunch. I was Bobby Brady’s age at the time, and he —
let’s just say he kept his acting very simple — and I
thought, “I can do that!” I was also spending my summers at theater camp in upstate New York and spent
the first couple of productions as Chorus Member
#3. Then, I finally got a part in a show where I got
some laughs, and my mom says I never changed as
much as I did in that moment when I got those
first laughs.
Jon Cryer
(Two and a Half Men)
❝We’ve
had some
incidents
with our
horse that
have been
funny, and
I don’t think
they’ll ever
make it on
the air.❞
— kat dennings,
2 Broke Girls
Do you remember the first time you ever got a laugh
out of someone?
Kat Dennings: It was when I was three years old.
My mom had all these Steve Martin standup comedy
records, which she’d hidden because she felt they
were inappropriate for kids. But I found them and
played them on the record player we had in the basement. I memorized Let’s Get Small, both sides of it.
Then I went upstairs and performed as Steve Martin
for my mom. She went bananas, and I loved that
reaction.
22 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
Patricia Heaton: I still
remember riding the
bus home from high
school, sitting in the
back with my friends.
We were all being pretty
obnoxious, and I made
some wisecrack that
a guy sitting near us
heard. He burst out
laughing, and I clearly
remember the immense
pleasure of getting that
reaction from someone
who wasn’t in my gang.
Billy Gardell: For me,
it happened when I
was nine. I went to a banquet with my father, and he
whispered a dirty joke in my ear … which I promptly
repeated and got a big laugh from everyone around
us. I didn’t understand the joke at all, but I could see
that it worked.
Jane Levy: My mom always tells the dirtiest jokes
and thinks they’re so funny. When I was growing up,
my grandfather would call her at seven o’clock in
the morning just to tell her a dirty joke he’d heard.
So now — and I’m not proud of this — I also have
the mind of a 13-year-old boy. Potty jokes make me
Patricia Heaton
(The Middle)
Heaton: I remember doing theater camp, too. It was
run by these crazy theater people from Kent State.
We did a lot of improv because, basically, the teachers were all stoned. We did a rock-and-roll version
of Cinderella, and were supposed to do another play
until they lost the scripts, so we had to make the
whole thing up off the top of our heads.
Gardell: I was working loading trucks when I was
17 and making all the guys on the line laugh. They
dared me to do open mike, so I did. I snuck down to
a comedy club, got on the list, talked to the owners
and performed. The first five minutes were great …
and then the next two years sucked. Adrenaline carried me through that first set — then it became clear
how hard standup is. But that first time on stage was
enough to keep me coming back. It was a long road
before I was any good at it.
character of all time. He just looked at me and said,
“Welcome to our world!”
Has anyone else ever had a run-in with their idol?
Dennings: I did get to meet Steve Martin for a
couple seconds once, but I try to pretend it didn’t
happen. It was really embarrassing! I just started
talking and couldn’t stop. Hopefully, we will work
together someday and he will have no idea who I am.
Cryer: A couple months ago, I was at Paramount’s
100th anniversary celebration. All these famous
stars were there, like Mickey Rooney and Jerry Lewis
and Kirk Douglas. At one point, I was introduced to
Shirley MacLaine. All I could come up with was “Oh
my God!,” stammering and stuttering in front of her.
And she said, “You’re just like you are on television.”
It wasn’t done with humor. I think it was a kind of
disgust, and she literally turned away. I fig❝I’m the one
ured it was best not
to chase her down.
people come
up to and say,
'Could you
take a picture
of me with
the guys?
And where’s
Penny? Why
didn’t she
come, too?'❞
Did you have any comedic idols that inspired you?
Cuoco: I loved Lucille Ball! I remember watching
reruns of I Love Lucy when I was a kid. I’d never seen
a woman be so funny. I loved how physical she was
and all those over-the-top faces she’d make. Her big
eyes really made me laugh. I liked to do the same
thing with my eyes, and that still comes out on our
show. When the camera comes in close, my eyes
get really big.
Gardell: I loved Jackie Gleason. I would watch
The Honeymooners with my dad and loved the way
that, no matter how much he and the characters
were beaten down, they just kept trying. I also still
remember my first George Carlin album when I was
maybe 13. I loved him, and I’d stay up to watch
The Tonight Show with my grandmother to see all
the comics.
Dennings: Besides Steve Martin, I was a really big
fan of British humor. My mom still has this Polaroid
picture of me at age four or five lying on the kitchen
floor with headphones on, listening to a Monty
Python CD. I used to put on shaving cream and perform “Lady of the Lake.”
Levy: I loved the Ace Ventura movies and thought
Jim Carrey was hilarious. I used to think, “Holy crap!
What a bold man! And what a lunatic.” I was also a
big Twin Peaks fan. I was majorly in love with Agent
Dale Cooper. I was actually at an event once, taking
pictures on the red carpet, and Kyle MacLachlan
came walking toward me. I told him I was in love
with him, that he played my favorite fictional
Cuoco: I haven’t had
that experience, but
I do have people
come up to meet
me sometimes. And
the joke is that I get
mistaken for myself. I
get, “Oh my gosh! You
look exactly like that
girl on The Big Bang
Theory.” They don’t
— kALEY CUOCO
The Big Bang Theory
believe it’s actually
me. And when I travel
with the cast, nobody
recognizes me. I’m the one people come up to and
say, “Could you take a picture of me with the guys?
And where’s Penny? Why didn’t she come, too?”
Take us behind the scenes of your shows. Are there
funny things happening that will never make it
onto an episode?
Heaton: Well, I tend to belch after every take. Does
that count? It’s the way I breathe when I’m acting.
There’s this buildup of air that happens. I have to
tell new people right up front, “This is what happens.” And our crew is, like, “Is Patty here? Oh. Wait.
I hear her. She’s on set.”
Jane Levy
(Suburgatory)
Billy Gardell
(Mike & Molly)
Dennings: We’ve had some incidents with our horse
that have been funny, and I don’t think they’ll ever
make it on the air. There’s one that I’m sure won’t. It
was early in the season, when I go to his new stable
and cry because I’m going to miss him. So we’re
doing a run-through of the scene when our horse
starts to pee during my big emotional scene. I’m
trying to cry, and he just keeps peeing. It was loud
and long.
Now that you’ve all established your comedy credentials, do you have any desire to get serious and
go all Meryl Streep on everyone?
Levy: I actually never thought I’d be working mainly
in comedy to begin with, so I’m just enjoying this for
now. I don’t believe I’m funny, although I do like it
when people tell me that I am. My favorite part of my
job on Suburgatory is when I can get a cameraman to
laugh. They’re the toughest audience, so if I look over
and see them break, I know we’ve done our job.
Cryer: For a while, I was doing a lot of pilots that
were canceled quickly. So I tried to figure out how
to start over, and I did a play in London. It was an
amazing experience, but during a break, I booked
a pilot called Getting Personal. And I decided, you
know what, I love sitcoms as a genre. Getting a laugh
is so much better than drawing out tears. When a
show is really hitting it and you know that two jokes
down the line you’re really going to kick people in the
butt … there’s no better feeling in this business. n
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
23
drama club
Michael Emerson, Regina King, William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and Anna Torv
dish on their methods, motivations, memories and more
By Craig Tomashoff
Michael Emerson
(Person of Interest)
Your job is to move your viewers. When was the first
time you remember being moved by something you
watched?
› Michael Emerson: One of my earliest and darkest memories was this story hour Shirley Temple
hosted. In one episode, they did this haunting story
from Dickens about a kid sent to a boys’ school
where he ended up getting crippled and dying. It was
really depressing, and I wasn’t able to shake it. I lost
a sense of the world being benign, and it’s my earliest
memory of wishing I hadn’t seen something.
› Regina King: For me, it was seeing Sally Field.
A
ANd you think you had a tough day? Try
spending most of your waking hours as a drunken,
deadbeat dad or his long-suffering daughter, or
an inner-city cop, an FBI agent bouncing between
alternate universes, or a paranoid computer genius
hiding from mysterious forces. These aren’t exactly
prized gigs in the real world, but this panel of actors
has won raves inhabiting these edgy characters
on TV. We brought Michael Emerson (Person of
Interest), Regina King (Southland), William H. Macy
(Shameless), Emmy Rossum (Shameless) and Anna
Torv (Fringe) together to talk about everything from
finding motivation by imagining dead relatives to
getting out of speeding tickets to why Macy thinks
that working on Shameless — with its mix of comedy
and drama — is the best job in Hollywood.
24 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
Watching her in Sybil and in Norma Rae, it was the
first time I ever went, “Oh my God! That’s amazing!”
As a kid, I was used to the idea that people always
played the same thing all the time. So, seeing someone play characters 180 degrees from each other was
a revelation.
› William H. Macy: I guess it was when I saw Franco
Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. Maybe it was because
I’d just done Hamlet, which I have to admit I found
pretty boring. But that movie was so thrilling and
seemed so modern. It was the time when I was
watching a lot of really depressing films, plugging
into my young man angst, but seeing the Zeffirelli
film made me throw my hat fully into the acting ring.
"It’s got
everything you
need, comedy
and drama. It’s
hysterically funny
but it’s also got a
little pathos in it.
Plus, I usually
get the girl.
Okay, sometimes
she’s dead. But
hey, I’m not picky."
— WILLIAM H. MACY
Shameless
› Emmy Rossum: Like TV father, like TV daughter!
Mine involves Zeffirelli too. I was really young, maybe
seven, working as a chorus girl in the Metropolitan
Opera. I was in a Zeffirelli production of Carmen,
with Denyce Graves singing. I was completely taken
by the character she created, and the whole world of
the production was so different from the world when
you walked outside the theater. I knew this wasn’t
something I’d do as a fun after-school activity, like it
was soccer. I just wanted to be a part of all that beautiful energy.
Performing at The Met isn’t a bad first job to have.
What were some of the lesser jobs you have all had?
› Anna Torv: For some reason, I was getting cast in
food commercials. I did one for Cup-a-Soup that just
kept getting renewed and renewed to the point where
I thought, “Will this ever go away?” I also did one for
ice cream, which sounds like it would be pretty easy,
but you have to make sure you have a look on your
face like you’re enjoying the ice cream … no matter
how many takes you’ve done. I’m not sure how exciting
it all was, but I was getting paid to perform, so that
was exciting.
› Emerson: During the Bicentennial, I went out
with my acting professor to do a multimedia show
that toured county fairs in Iowa. We had a lot of
memorabilia about Buffalo Bill that we talked about,
and we did scenes from historical plays. I will be the
first to tell you it wasn’t very good, but mercifully,
most people couldn’t hear us over the din of the carousel and the other carnival rides. I just remember
thinking, here I am with my new degree in drama,
and this is what I’m in for?
Was there a moment early in your careers when you
could feel the power good acting can have over an
audience?
› Macy: I remember an experience where I could
tell I didn’t have any power over them. I was working
at the St. Nicholas Theatre in Chicago, which all of
us working there built. I was the one who found the
"I’m not thinking
about comedy
at the moment.
I just want to do
things that don’t
involve standing
in front of a
green screen
holding a gun!"
— ANNA TORV,
Fringe
› Emerson: I suppose there are some actors who are
good fibbers in that way, but I’m a very transparent
kind of person. That serves me well in revealing the
human condition when I’m acting, but in the real
world, it makes me the worst liar. I can’t even convince people I’m me.
Regina King
(Southland)
seats, and they were these wooden things, three of
them ganged together. They were serviceable but
creaky to the point where you could tell when you’d
lost the audience. When 180 people crossed their
legs at once, it sounded like an earthquake in there.
› Rossum: I’m still shocked that I might affect an
audience at all. It’s such a difficult achievement to
make somebody laugh or cry when they’re in their
living room or bedroom. But for me, I guess I realize we’re doing something right when I’m walking
around and people feel the need to come up and tell
me my character, Fiona, is the heart of the show for
which they have such affection. And then they tell
me that my TV dad, Frank, is the biggest douche ever
dreamed up.
› Macy: I know what that’s like. I recently went on
a motorcycle trip and got a flat tire, so I called the
mechanic at this Harley Davidson dealership and
asked how soon he could fix it. He said, “I’ve got
four people in front of you.” So I said, “Do you watch
Shameless?” He said, “I don’t watch TV.” Then I tried
the movie star card, saying, “Okay, did you ever see
Wild Hogs? I starred in that.” He told me, “Around
here, I’m the star.” So I just waited my turn.
When you’re on the job and doing a particularly
intense scene, is there any particular approach you
try to take?
› Rossum: I’m not a sad person in life but, man! I’ve
had to cry so many times for so many roles. I’m not
› King: I don’t understand the whole idea of method
acting. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I can’t even tell
you if I have a method. Although I can say that one
thing I definitely do is build some back story for the
character I’m playing. It’s nothing you’ll see onscreen,
just something that connects the dots for me about
who I am and why I am. How many brothers and
sisters do I have? What did my mom and dad do?
Whatever method you all use, you’ve certainly made
your mark as dramatic actors. Do you ever want to
shake things up and try comedy?
› Emerson: Actually, I feel like I’m a comic actor
who has strangely found himself in all these sinister,
dramatic roles. There were times on Lost when I
thought, “Am I the only one here realizing we’re in
a comedy?” My character, Ben, would have this dry
delivery that I thought was really funny.
› Torv: I’m not thinking about comedy at the
moment. I just want to do things that don’t involve
standing in front of a green screen holding a gun!
With great acting comes great responsibility. But
have you ever been tempted to apply your skills to,
say, get out of a traffic ticket?
› King: I’m sort of the opposite. I’d love to be able to
do something with more action, like a Die Hard or a
Tomb Raider movie.
› Torv: Does pretending to be sick as a kid so you
can get out of going to school count?
› Macy: I already have the best job in Hollywood,
› King: Sure! As a teenager, you try all of that. I didn’t
force tears, but I did use my skills to come up with
some story that got me out of a speeding ticket. But
the truth is, I really think that as people, we’re always
acting … even if we don’t know we are.
sure why I get those parts — maybe because I’m a
really good audition crier. I walk in and just turn on
the waterworks by just imagining the worst thing
possible. I fear that I have channeled the passing of
my mother and all my relatives at some point. And
when I’m done with the scene, I’ll usually call that
person to make sure he or she is still alive. “Hey,
Mom … I killed you off in my head today.” There must
be some serious therapy in my future.
Emmy Rossum
(Shameless)
working on Shameless. It’s got everything you need,
comedy and drama. It’s hysterically funny but it’s
also got a little pathos in it. Plus, I usually get the girl.
Okay, sometimes she’s dead. But hey, I’m not picky. n
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
25
Persons of
Interest
Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman on writing
one of primetime’s most intriguing dramas
U
By Diane Gordon
rban paranoia is An
all-too-real facet of modern life in the post-9/11
world, and it takes a very
special talent to turn that
concept into a hit TV
show. But the brainiacs
behind Person of Interest — creator/
executive producer Jonathan Nolan
(The Dark Knight films) and executive producer Greg Plageman (Cold
Case) — have done just that: Person
of Interest was the most-watched new
show of the 2011–12 TV season just
concluded. We talked to the dynamic
duo about their urban vigilantes using
the ultimate information machine
to protect those in need, the cops
on their trail and why Nolan calls
working with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot
Productions like a dream.
How much did the theme of paranoia
play into Person of Interest’s initial
concept?
Nolan: Paranoia was a big part of it.
I grew up in the UK and surveillance
was in place there by the time I was
eleven. Scotland Yard was interested
in putting up cameras — giving the
public the sense they were being
watched. A formative moment after I
moved to the States was sneaking out
with friends and realizing the powers
that be weren’t aware of everything
you did all the time.
Plageman: We’ve always talked
about the movie The Conversation
as an inspiration for the show. It
predicted a lot of surveillance that
is happening now. Every time we
turn around, there’s an article about
the whistleblower from the NSA
(National Security Administration)
who understood this is something our
government has been involved with
for years. It’s not fantasy or sci-fi. It’s
in the zeitgeist now. Technology that
wasn’t ubiquitous 10 years ago, we
take for granted now. Social media,
GPS locators in cell phones, it can all
be easily monitored.
Is John Reese (series star Jim Caviezel)
an urban superhero?
Nolan: Definitely. It’s readily apparent
to comic book fans that we’re clearly
living in a golden age of superheroes,
but that extreme interest in the genre
has not really translated to TV. There’s
a greater need for intimacy on TV.
I’ve always been interested in urban
vigilante stories and that’s the backbone of the entire superhero genre:
Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc.
Reese — in the plain black suit and
white shirt — can go anywhere in New
York, blend in anywhere. Coupled with
an overcoat, it has a silhouette, like a
superhero.
26 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
There’s a humorous element to it. And
they both operate off the grid and have
experienced serious loss.
kids. He’s a lot less comfortable entangling them in this crazy mission they've
embarked on.
Can you talk about how Finch and
Reese have incorporated Detective
Carter (series star Taraji P. Henson) into
their operation?
Plageman: Reese feels unencumbered
Plageman: Finch has much trepida-
tion about Reese involving either
detective in their operation, largely
out of self-preservation. Finch puts a
premium on privacy — to protect both
the Machine and their own anonymPlageman: There’s something very
ity — and he knows the consequence
appealing to people about a morally
of anyone finding out
correct vigilante, a miliabout what they do. It’s
tary operative dropped
taken him some time to
down and let loose in an
trust either detective with
American city. I don’t
that knowledge, however
want to say it’s wishlimited.
fulfillment, but the colliAs a military operative,
sion of his skills within a
Reese
has always viewed
crime environment is very
Carter
as an asset, one
Kevin
Chapman
as
appealing.
Detective Fusco
he can trust. And Carter
has a much more strinIs Harold Finch (series star Michael
gent moral code than many of the
Emerson, from Lost) the hero behind
law enforcement individuals she's
the superhero? They’re kind of an
surrounded by, a character that Reese
unlikely pairing.
sees as vital to protect.
Nolan: There’s a lovely odd-couple
How do the worldviews of Carter and
aspect to the show. We were fortunate
Detective Fusco (series star Kevin
with casting. We really got it right. If
Chapman) impact the group?
anything, we’ve taken the superhero
paradigm and fractured it. Finch is the Nolan: Finch is comfortable with the
one with the secret identity.
math of what he and Reese are doing:
Plageman: It’s very appealing that
Taraji P. Henson as Detective Carter
Reese (Jim Caviezel, left) and Finch (Michael Emerson)
their skills are complementary. There’s
this cerebral, software-genius billionaire (Finch), not quite as physically
capable, who needs this man of action
(Reese). Their skills don’t overlap.
As he says in the pilot, if they keep
doing this, they’re probably going to
get killed some day. They’re lonely, solitary guys who’ve already lost everyone
they cared about. But Carter and Fusco
both have families, responsibilities,
by the rules of law enforcement, a
vigilante who does whatever it takes
to get the job done. While Reese often
operates in a moral grey zone, Carter is
quick to bring him back in focus. Reese
sees the compromised Fusco as a more
flexible asset, a dual agent that can be
used to infiltrate the forces of corruption within the city's many corridors of
power.
Tell us about working with the Bad
Robot Team?
Nolan: It’s an amazing place J.J. Abrams
has built there, he and Bryan Burk and
Kathy Lingg and Athena Wickham.
The show came about because I went
to meet with J.J. about movie stuff.
I finally told him about this TV idea
I’ve had for years about the confluence
of the surveillance state and heroes
who have access to info no one else
is paying attention to. I found myself
pitching this to J.J. at the end of this
marathon general meeting. He asked
all the right questions, pushing and
shaping it. There was a creative energy
and he said, “Let’s do it.”
He and Burk have built this dream
factory on the Westside. There are so
many creative people in that space. n
PERSON OF INTEREST
Season Two Thursdays 9/8c CBS This Fall
www.cbs.com/personofinterest
Twitter:
• Person of Interest: @PersonInterest
• Taraji P. Henson: @TherealTaraji
• Kevin Chapman: @POIFUSCO
To the Edge and Back with
FRINGE
An otherworldly discussion about TV’s most riveting sci-fi drama
F
By Diane Gordon
ringe executive produ-
cers Jeff Pinkner and J.H.
Wyman have given new
meaning to the phrase
“rock your world” with the
multiple alternate universes
they’ve juggled in this Saturn- and
People’s Choice Award–winning
series from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot
Productions. Viewers and critics
have come to embrace the performances of Anna Torv as Olivia/
Faux-livia, Joshua Jackson as
Peter Bishop, 2011 Critics Choice
Television Award winner John Noble
as Walter/Walternate and the rest
of the talented cast in each world
of Fringe.
We talked
to Wyman
and Pinkner
about
the many
twists and
turns in the
landmark
sci-fi drama,
Anna Torv
which will
return for a fifth and final season
this fall.
What is the greatest challenge and
reward of making the show?
Pinkner: In order to tell these
stories, we constantly want to be
moving forward, and we basically
reinvent the show every week with
our production team. We also try
to ground it in emotion, and that’s
hard. The talent that works on our
show — the cast and the production team — they’re so invested in it
being fresh every week. The greatest
joy is seeing how deeply committed the family we’ve created on this
show has become.
Wyman:
I feel so
incredibly
blessed to
do Fringe.
I’m so in
love with
the program, the
Joshua Jackson
way we get
to tell stories, the people involved
— so to me, I don’t feel “challenged.”
If anything, the challenge is in the
other aspects of my life that are
overlooked or underused because
of my love and commitment to
Fringe. I couldn’t say “Fringe” and
“challenging” in the same sentence
and be authentic.
John Noble
How many realities do you think the
audience can keep track of?
Pinkner: How many can we keep
track of ? [laughs] We don’t do it
because we like to create puzzles or
hurt people’s brains. It’s done to tell
different aspects of our characters’
journeys — holding a mirror to
reality, talking about identity and
how it’s formed, how connections
are formed, how they’re meaningful, how you fit into the world. The
only way to tell these stories is
through the sci-fi vehicle of timelines and consciousness.
fringe
Fifth & Final Season Fridays 9/8c FOX This Fall
www.fox.com/fringe
Twitter:
• Fringe: @FRINGEonFOX
• Joshua Jackson, @VancityJax
• Lance Reddick, @lancereddick
CO-CREATOR J.J. ABRAMS
ON THE WORLD OF FRINGE
“I love how wild Fringe is —
how it is always just one real-life scientific breakthrough away from being
just barely possible. It is a show about
family and passion and loyalty and
secrets — but it also celebrates the
renegade, the madman, the reckless
and dangerous. The writers, directors
and, of course, actors have done an
extraordinary job in bringing to life
characters that are simultaneously
heartbreakingly relatable and wildly
out-there. I don’t know another series
that better lives up to its title. I
am grateful beyond words to
the fans of Fringe (and to the
awesome FOX network) for
keeping the series on the air
just long enough to see how these
disparate worlds and people collide.”
It has to be challenging for your cast as well.
Wyman: The critical acclaim and passion for
Fringe is a true testament to the unbelievable
cast that we have had. The performances from
John, Josh and Anna were mind-blowing —
especially considering the narrative that was
introduced this season in which they were
playing versions of their previous characters,
with an entirely new perspective and experience. We’re so lucky to have a cast this talented.
It is what John, Josh and Anna brought to these
characters that really shaped this season.”
How do you satisfy the Peter & Olivia
“’shippers”?
Wyman: No great love story is worth telling
if it’s easy. It’s more rewarding for the viewers
if the characters have obstacles they have to
overcome. We believe in the relationship and
that’s where it’s at. The show is a metaphor
for modern-day problems of the world, both
family and interpersonal. It’s a very important
aspect of the show for us and we take it very
seriously. We’re actually “’shippers” too.
Looking ahead, what’s important for you to do
in the show’s final season?
Joshua Jackson (left), John Noble
and Anna Torv star in Fringe.
Wyman: As TV fans, we know when we’ve been
disappointed and we know when we’ve been
satisfied by programs we’ve been watching
throughout our lives. The right ending for the
program is ultimately aspirational, with feelings of satisfaction and hope. For us, the perfect ending takes into account the fans’ loyalty
and the time they’ve spent with the show. I’ve
experienced Fringe for so many years and spent
time with these characters, so even though this
saga is ending, I can understand or imagine
where these characters are going in the future.
They’ve earned closure and satisfaction. That’s
hopeful to us, and we embrace that. n
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | JUNE 2012 |
27
Out of
the Box
Paley Center exhibit lets you
interact with 60 years of TV
SEALED WITH A KISS: Series star
Kunal Nayyar visits The Big Bang Theory
exhibit and plants one on the Shelbot,
the Mobile Virtual Presence Device
created by Sheldon Cooper (series star
Jim Parsons) to take his place during
what he considers life’s more
mundane moments.
BASH OF THE TITANS: In a historic
gathering of Warner Bros. executives
past and present, former Warner Bros.
Co-Chairmen & Co-CEOs Bob Daly (far left)
and Terry Semel (far right) joined Bruce
Rosenblum, current President, Warner
Bros. Television Group and Office of the
President, Warner Bros. Entertainment;
former Warner Bros. Television President
(and current CBS Corporation President &
CEO) Leslie Moonves (center) and current
Warner Bros. Chairman & CEO Barry Meyer
(second from right) at the Television: Out of
the Box opening night party.
T
he Television: Out of the Box
exhibit at the Paley Center for
Media in Beverly Hills is a TV fan’s
dream come true, an impressive
interactive collection of costumes, props,
memorabilia and more from classic shows
spanning nearly 60 years of TV history. The
museum highlights previous Emmy®-winning
programs such as ER, Friends, Murphy Brown,
Roots, Seinfeld and The West Wing, as well
as current hits such as The Big Bang Theory,
Fringe, The Mentalist, The Middle, Mike &
Molly, Southland and Two and a Half Men,
among others.
The TV wonderland includes the iconic
couch from Friends’ Central Perk set, the
press briefing room podium from The West
Wing, a booth from the Seinfeld gang’s favorite hangout, Monk’s Diner, and much more.
“This is a project of love, because we all
love television — obviously as an industry we
work in but also as true fans of the programs,”
said Warner Bros. Television Group’s Chief
Marketing Officer Lisa Gregorian.
Television: Out of the Box
The Paley Center for Media, 465 North Beverly Drive,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Wed–Sun, 12–5 p.m., closed Mon and Tue
(310) 786-1091, www.paleycenter.org
Bugs Bunny, Style Icon
Animation icon Bugs Bunny’s penchant for haute couture is on full display at the
entrance of the Television: Out of the Box
exhibit. More than 70 one-of-a-kind Bugs
dolls created exclusively for Warner Bros.
Studios by fashion powerhouses Gucci,
Burberry, Versace and more can be seen
proudly wearing their respective designer’s
most iconic patterns and logos. Timeless
pieces of art, these bunnies have been
fashioned into some of the most
coveted collector’s items for TV
enthusiasts and fashion gurus
alike. Now, that’s carrot couture.
—Annemarie Rouleau
signer
Twenty of the de
ing the
ud
cl
(in
s
ll
Bugs do
right)
at
en
se
Pucci creation clusively
are on sale ex ft shop.
at the Paley gi
TM & © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise — without the prior written permission of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
28 | JUNE 2012 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
“The show can simultaneously unsettle, comfort,
excite, and amuse its viewers — something for everyone,
if you, like Mr. Finch, like to watch.”
– ENTERTAINMENT wEEklY
PERSON
of INTEREST
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
CROWD PLEASERS
“There’s just something about
putting on half-hour plays in front
of a live audience that makes
viewers feel like they’re a part
of the characters’ lives.”
p. 16
Stairs (clockwise from top left): Conchata Ferrell, Nyambi Nyambi,
Swoosie Kurtz, Katy Mixon, Kunal Nayyar
Living room (seated left to right): Melissa Rauch, Simon Helberg;
(standing left to right): Mayim Bialik, Reno Wilson, Holland Taylor

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