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EMMYS: Comedy Series Writers Handicap

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Comedy Series Writer race.

Greg Daniels, The Office (NBC)
“Goodbye Michael”
Why He Was Nominated: Being nominated for Emmys is simply what Daniels does. He’s reeled in 19 Emmy nominations all told, including three in this category and three noms this year alone. He’s won here once before, in 2007 for the celebrated “Gay Witch Hunt” episode of The Office. And Daniels has five Emmy trophies to his credit all told, also including previous wins for King of the Hill, The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.
Why He Has To Win: In earning a nomination for star Steve Carell’s final episode, Daniels becomes something of a prohibitive favorite to win for writing, particularly since he’s already taken one home here previously. The super-sized episode, “Goodbye, Michael,” was heavily hyped by NBC and exceptionally well-received by viewers and the industry. “Greg did a terrific job of walking the line between comedy and sentiment,” one producer told me, “which was quite a feat.”
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Sentiment doesn’t always go over so big with the TV academy crowd, whether talking about shows or individuals. Voters could well also figure that giving an overdue Emmy to Carell for acting is plenty and need not adorn the farewell with coattails. Plus, there are a couple of other exceedingly worthy contenders here, like a particularly buzzed episode of Modern Family. Read More »

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TV TEASER: Showtime’s ‘Episodes’

By | Tuesday November 16, 2010 @ 1:17pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

This is a trailer for Showtime’s upcoming showbiz comedy series Episodes created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and starring Matt LeBlanc. The series, about the Hollywood adaptation of a critically praised British series, premieres on January 9.

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TCA: Why Matt LeBlanc Is On ‘Episodes’…

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 2:18pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

The cast and producers of Showtime’s upcoming comedy series Episodes, about a hit British show’s adaptation in the U.S., met the press today. And Matt LeBlanc discussed how he was cast on Episodes. Not just because it reunites with his Friends co-creator/executive producer David Crane. But because “Schwimmer said no. So did Perry. So did Lisa,” LeBlanc quipped.

The cast discussed whether Hollywood spoofs work. Here is co-star Tamsin Greig’s tart response: “Generally, people think that the TV and film industry is right up its own ass, rather like looking like into a badly run crash. Maybe that’s why it’s interesting and funny and dramatic.” Added co-creator/executive producer Jeffrey Klarik: Episodes “is about show business like I Love Lucy was about show business.

The producers also faced the inevitable question about the differences between what Americans and British find funny. ”We had a whole conversation about whether ‘pussy-whipped’ would play in the UK,” executive producer Jimmy Mulville said. “We did a round of the crew, and most of them had heard the word ‘pussy’, and word ‘whipped’, but never together.” Chimed in another panelist, “They thought it was a dessert topping”.

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TCA: When TV Development Is “Torture”

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 1:58pm PDT

Here is a colorful description of the network development and production process by comedy veteran Jeffrey Klarik, co-creator with David Crane of Showtime’s new comedy series Episodes. The two previously created and executive produced the short-lived CBS comedy The Class: When Crane told him he wanted to go back to work, Klarik’s immediate reaction was “no.” “I said the only way I would do it is if we could go someplace where we’re under the radar, and not get pummeled like we did last time, I felt like a puppy in a clothes dryer. It was torture. Let’s do this, but let’s go to England where they let you do what you want.” — Diane Haithman, Deadline’s TCA coverage.

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January Premiere Dates For Showtime’s ‘Shameless’, ‘Episodes’ & ‘Californication’

Nellie Andreeva

showtime_logoShowtime has announced January premiere dates for new drama series Shameless, new comedy series Episodes and the fourth season of Californication. Shameless, John Wells and Paul Abbott’s adaptation of Abbott’s British series, will debut on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10 PM. It stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Episodes, from David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, will premiere on Jan 10 at 10:30 PM. The series, about a British couple trying to adapt their hit British series in the U.S., stars Matt LeBlanc. The fourth season of Californication, starring David Duchovny as hedonistic novelist Hank Moody, will unspool on Jan. 10 at 10 PM, leading into the debut of Episodes. In addition to Shameless and Episodes, Showtime has one more new series in the hopper greenlighted by outgoing entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, period drama The Borgias.

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