Roseanne Barr might not be heading back to primetime after all, according to the comedienne’s own Thanksgiving weekend Twitter rant. Earlier this year NBC set Barr to develop and star in a new sitcom co-written with Nurse Jackie showrunner Linda Wallem, but in a series of Tweets over the holiday Barr made her discontent with that project known. “I’m never going to work in television again. I’m never going to even attempt it,” she Tweeted. Without naming Wallem specifically, Barr wrote of a female showrunner who disappeared on her for seven weeks and turned in a script she didn’t like:
Related: Roseanne Barr To Develop & Star In New Comedy Series For NBC
“[The] development process went like this: show runner disappeared for 7 weeks-never returned any calls from me-I was told she ‘goes in2 a cave’. I was also told that this was ‘her process’-and that the result would be fantastic. I asked why I had been removed totally from the process. They had less than no interest in including me in the development of a show that was built on ‘my brand’. It was horrible, but I kept on bc i kept on bc I had 2 C it thru-out of a bizarre interest in the insane outcome. The script didn’t resonate with me-I tried 2 b kind about it There were hardly any jokes in the script, and I didn’t connect with the characters at all. My family told me 2 quit-I kept on trying.” Read More »
As it transitions from a single- to a multi-camera format, NBC‘s sophomore comedy Up All Night is also switching showrunners. Former Nurse Jackie co-creator/co-showrunner Linda Wallem has joined the family comedy as executive producer/showrunner. The gig is part of a two-year overall deal she has signed with Up All Night producer Universal Television. Wallem replaces Tucker Cawley, who took over showrunner duties at the beginning of Season 2 after serving as co-executive producer the first season.
NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has a long-standing relationship with Wallem. He brought in Wallem and Liz Brixius to Nurse Jackie while he was at Showtime. The two ran the dark comedy for the first four seasons until departing last spring. Both are now back in business with Greenblatt — Brixius is also under an overall deal at Universal TV. When NBC brass were deciding to re-conceive Up All Night as a multi-camera comedy earlier this fall, they met with Wallem who turned out to be a big fan of the comedy’s stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph and was very happy to join the show. Ironically, Cawley has a more extensive background in multi-camera family comedies, having served as an executive producer on CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond for its entire nine-season run. Under his overall deal with Uni TV, he will now work as a consulting producer on the studio’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, co-creators/executive producers/co-showrunners of Nurse Jackie, are leaving the Showtime comedy series. Nurse Jackie already wrapped production on the current fourth season. With the show off to a good ratings start and stabilizing itself creatively this season, a fifth-season renewal is considered a safe bet. I hear that Showtime is already in discussions with a potential new showrunner to join and work alongside executive producer/star Edie Falco and executive producer Richie Jackson. Working on Nurse Jackie had been challenging logistically for both Wallem and Brixius, who are from Los Angeles and had to split their time between the West Coast and New York, where Nurse Jackie is filmed, for the past four years. “This has been the best job of my life, but the travel, having to spend six months (in LA) and six months (in NY) and be away from home, took a toll on me,” said Wallem, who is in a relationship with singer Melissa Etheridge. “I have four stepkids, and I would miss all of the family stuff.” Also, with the series getting a creative reboot this season as Jackie heads to rehab and with ratings up, Wallem said she felt the time was right to make her move. In its recent Season 4 premiere, Nurse Jackie drew 653,000 viewers in its original airing, up 7% from last season’s opener, and a total of 1.1 million viewers for the night, up 30% from last year. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
On a lively and colorful afternoon TCA panel promoting the fall PBS four-hour series America in Primetime, Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal blasted TNT for its recent decision to cancel Raymond star Ray Romano’s latest series, dramedy Men of a Certain Age. “Those idiots put six episodes on in November and then waited until July to schedule the next six as if they were trying to make sure the audience didn’t connect to it,” Rosenthal said. “Then they cancel it because the audience doesn’t connect to it. That’s why I say the only thing I hate about this business is the business part.”
Rosenthal’s zingers often punctuated the discussion, in which he, Nurse Jackie co-creators Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and America in Primetime exec producer Tom Yellin delved into what makes primetime tick. The idea behind the PBS series is to promote the idea that all primetime scripted entertainment is built on the foundation of all shows that have come before it. In the series, Yellin notes that Murphy Brown creator Diane English originally received a note from CBS that the title character shouldn’t be a recovering alcoholic in her 40s but a 30-year-old woman coming out of a spa. “I got the same note on Raymond,” Rosenthal quipped, “that he be a 30-year-old woman coming out of a spa.” Read More »
Here’s is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy comedy races:
Deadline/TVline: 2011 Comedy Series Overview
Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits is more intense than ever, with Modern Family and Glee. That is, if a duo of up-and-comers — Community or Parks and Recreation — don’t act as spoilers. Past Emmy stalwarts 30 Rock or The Office could resurface. Or Showtime’s bold female-skewing dramedies Nurse Jackie or newbie The Big C might seize the spotlight. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory could finally score a nod or How I Met Your Mother in its sixth season. Underdogs include ABC’s The Middle and Fox’s Raising Hope.
Deadline: Do We Need A Dramedy Category?
Deadline: ‘Modern Family’s Chris Lloyd
Deadline: ‘The Big C’s Jenny Bicks
Deadline: ‘Parks & Recreation’s Michael Schur
Deadline: ‘Community’s Dan Harmon
Deadline: ‘Nurse Jackie’s Brixius & Wallem
Deadline: 10 Comedies Pick Best Episodes
While some comedy series producers are still finalizing their selection of episodes to submit for Emmy nomination consideration, most have already chosen their best. Each series may submit 6 episodes for the Outstanding Comedy Series, as … Read More »
UPDATED: Showtime’s set-in-New York and filmed-in-New York dark comedy series Nurse Jackie will now also be written in New York. I hear that the writers’ room of the show, which recently landed 8 Emmy nominations in its first year of eligibility, is being relocated from Los Angeles to New York with the idea that a team of New York-based writers would better reflect the city and its storylines on the show. Co-creators/showrunners Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem will continue to run the writers’ room, joined by one of the 5 writers (3 writers and one writing team) that were on staff during Nurse Jackie’s second season, New York-based playwright Liz Flahive. I hear it was deemed financially prohibitive to relocate the other scribes who are staying behind, and the move is also being used to “freshen up the writing team” going into Season 3. The vacant writing positions are being filled out of New York. One of them just went to Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph who has joined Nurse Jackie for Season 3. Also hired as new writers on the show are playwright Ellen Fairey, Alison McDonald (Accidentally on Purpose) and Wyndham Lewis.