It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy

For all the passion and skill and talent and blood and sweat and tears and risk that producers bring to the mix the one most often looked over yet is the most important is that of business person. Because when the lights go out, the talent and crew go home the business of film and TV really starts. Like all businesses the goal is to make money. It is something that ‘creatives’ don’t like to talk about because their driving force is the ‘art’ or ‘craft’. In the pilot of ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’, Aaron Sorkin writes ‘…there’s a struggle between art and commerce. Well there’s always been a struggle between art and commerce and now I’m telling you art is getting its ass kicked.’ In the scene the producer of a Saturday Night Live style sketch comedy show angrily laments the way in which the network panders to their conservative, vocal, right-wing, Christian minority audience in an effort to not offend anyone while simultaneously limiting the breadth of creative input the show requires to be appreciated by the masses. Continue reading “It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy”

Mad Men Creator Inks Long-term Deal, Show Renewed Through Season 6, Cast Cuts

The best news I’ve had all day. Now for the big worry; who gets the chop? According to the deal just signed by Weiner, the show’s creator, he has to cut 2 series cast members leaving 4 from the original 6. This is of course to save some actors from being typecast… I mean to save money.

Vote for who you want to go from the regular lineup. My choice, hmmm (no not Hamm) I’d send Lane Pryce back to Britain and give Bertram Cooper the heart attack he’s only one martini away from.

Mad Men Creator Inks Long-term Deal, Show Renewed Through Season 6, Cast Cuts Averted.

A bleep Victory for bleep Common bleep Sense

Recent bleep decision by the US Appeals Court that states bleep ‘fleeting expletive’ on live TV is NOT an bleep offence is a major slap in the bleep face for the very vocal, highly bleep visible, ultra bleep conservative, increasingly bleep minority, Christian bleep right wing movement of American politics. While this article focuses on the bleep impact upon bleep reality television the major impact is actually in the presentation of bleep live broadcast news. In debate speak, it’s not an bleep offence to broadcast a designated bleep expletive word.

The problem was dealt with extremely bleep well in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when a fictitious TV broadcaster has a bleep massive fine levied against them by the bleep Federal bleep Communications bleep Commission because a bleep soldier swears while being interviewed under bleep fire in bleep Iraq.

The matter deals with the bleep right to free bleepbleep speech and thus the censorship of bleep news. It may seem minor on the bleep surface but has bleep massive implications for broadcast bleep media.

If we had the same bleep laws in bleep Australia, ABC2 wouldn’t have to bleep bleep out a lot of The Daily Show with John Stewart or The Colbert Report when replayed here. I’d bleep actually be bleep able to understand what the bleep they’re talking about instead of having all the gags punctuated by bleep bleep.

Chuck’s Lorre #137

If you ever watched an episode of Two and Half Men (and thanks to Channel 9, who hasn’t) or The Big Bang Theory or CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or Dharma & Greg or Cybill or a bunch of other Emmy Award Winning TV shows you’ve seen the work of Chuck Lorre Productions.

But thanks to the deplorable way in which stations cut from the final scene of a TV show or movie and play promos for other programs, rarely do we see the credits as produced and originally aired. For example, over the credits of 30 Rock (produced by Lorne Michaels, not by Chuck Lorre) there is usually another gag or two – that we never get to see. Actually I do see them because I download 30 Rock because I hate watching FTA so much.

You also won’t see what is becoming one of the funniest ‘in jokes’ in TV; Chuck Lorre’s Laws. Firstly a ‘Vanity Card’ are the quick slides that flash past after the credits. Usually there is a single slide (a vanity card) for the production company or companies and the distribution company. Some times these are short animations with a sting (short music bit).

But Chuck Lorre Productions create a new vanity card for almost every episode of every series they make. Below is a sample which you won’t. And most of them are pretty funny.