NBCU Press Day: Comedy Stars Not Fans Of Multi-Cam, Question ‘Shameless’ Decision To Compete For Emmy As Comedy

Mindy KalingIt is the golden age of comedy now, Mindy Kaling told reporters at NBCU Press Day, because whereas once you used to have to wait 2 1/2 years for Larry David to get around to writing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “now there’s always something happening” in comedy on the TV landscape. She was joined by stars of other Universal TV comedies airing on NBC and elsewhere.

Related: Mindy Kaling Exits UTA

andy-sandbergJenna Elfman is a big fan of single cam comedies, like her new Growing Up Fisher, because “with the Internet … audiences are more savvy, and with a single camera you can home in on nuance more than with multi-cam and capture the smarter side of the story.”

Related: NBC Press Day: Bill Lawrence Talks ‘Undateable’

Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg chimed in: “I was on SNL, which was live, but everything I did was pre-taped, so I was already headed in that direction. Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott said there a “weird thing” about doing comedy on a multi-cam. “If you don’t say a joke with a particular inflection, the laughs just don’t occur. I did very badly in that format.” But he acknowledged, “Shows like Cheers were able to make it work.” Read More »

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Mindy Kaling Exits UTA

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 12:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

kalingMindy Kaling, creator, executive producer and star of Fox’s The Mindy Project, has departed UTA. She is going agent-less for the time being and has not set up meetings with other agencies but continues to be manged by … Read More »

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PaleyFest: ‘The Mindy Project’ Cast Discusses The Kiss And James Franco

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 10:50pm PDT

nOdJLOY - Imgur“The death of comedy is political correctness,” Mindy Kaling said at The Mindy Project Q&A at PaleyFest.  The comment was apropos of some lines delivered on the show, but could be a response to the group Media Action Network for Asian- Americans which wants Kaling’s character to stop dating so many white guys on the series. “We are concerned that in the course of two seasons, her character, Dr. Lahiri, has had a ‘white-only’ dating policy involving about a dozen men,” the org wrote the other day to Fox, noting Kaling’s “strangely defensive” response to Entertainment Weekly on the subject: “Do people really wonder on other shows if female leads are dating multicultural people? Like I owe it to every race and minority and beleaguered person. I have to become the United Nations of shows?” At PaleyFest tonight, Kaling said of her show, “My writing staff on this show is the best writing staff on television…they love women and love their characters”

Related: TCA, ‘The Mindy Project’ On Returning Guests, Haiti And That Haircut

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‘The Mindy Project’ At PaleyFest: She’s Writing A 2nd Book, Will Do ‘Office’ Finale

By | Friday March 8, 2013 @ 9:58pm PST

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Mindy Kaling confirmed during tonight’s PaleyFest 2013 panel in Beverly Hills that she will be spending her hiatus down time between seasons writing a new book. It’ll be the second book for the former regular on The Office and current creator/exec producer/star of her freshman Fox comedy The Mindy Project, which earned an early second season renewal on Monday despite tepid ratings. During the PaleyFest event for Mindy Project, Kaling revealed that the untitled book would find her looking at “the high highs and low lows of the past 18 months” and would come out “in like a year and a half.” Her first book, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), was published in November 2011. And she said early in the evening that she will be returning to shoot The Office series finale. “It’s really exciting,” she offered. “I’ve just read the pages, and it’s a really amazing episode of television.”
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Mindy Kaling Weighs In On Changes To Her Fox Series: TCA

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 3:56pm PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

During a TCA panel promoting the Fox comedies New Girl, The Mindy Project, Ben and Kate and Raising Hope, Mindy Kaling was asked to address recent cast alterations designed to punch up the remainder of her show’s rookie campaign. It included the demotion of regular Anna Camp to recurring status due to the show’s increased workplace focus and the promotion of Ike Barinholtz to regular. “Ike becoming a series regular was good for the show,” Kaling said. Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Mindy Project’ Takes Weeklong Hiatus

By | Thursday September 13, 2012 @ 2:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Production on the upcoming Fox comedy series The Mindy Project will stop for a week. The series, which is finishing up Episode 7 right now, was scheduled to continue shooting next week. On Monday and Tuesday, it was … Read More »

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Mindy Kaling To Return To ‘The Office’ For Guest Stint: TCA

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 11:00am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

TCA 2012 Mindy Kaling ProjectUPDATED: The Office co-star/writer/producer Mindy Kaling, who left the NBC comedy at the end of last season to topline her own series, Fox’s Read More »

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Will NBC Be Responsible For Fox’s Next Hit Series? How Hot Comedy Jumped Networks

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 7:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s Messy is being hailed as one of the top comedy pilots this season, sailing through production, testings and screenings as the clear frontrunner at Fox and landing on the network’s fall schedule as a likely companion to flagship comedy … Read More »

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‘Notorious’ & Mindy Kaling Pilot Add Casts

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 5:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Katherine LaNasa and Neil Jackson have been cast in NBC’s drama pilot Notorious, from Universal TV and BermanBraun. Written by Liz Heldens, it is described as an Read More »

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‘Office’s Mindy Kaling Moves To Fox With Comedy Pilot, Network Also Picks Up Josh Berman Drama, Port/Guarascio Comedy

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 1:55pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Mindy Kaling is moving to another office. Fox has given the green light to two medical pilots, a comedy from Office co-executive producer/co-star Kaling and a drama from the Drop Dead Diva duo of creator Josh Berman and producer Rob … Read More »

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Greg Daniels Teams With Mindy Kaling & Alan Yang For Animated Projects At NBC

By | Wednesday December 7, 2011 @ 5:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The Office and Parks & Recreation executive producer Greg Daniels is teaming with a writer from each of his two NBC series to develop new animated comedy projects for … Read More »

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Mindy Kaling Signs New ‘Office’ Deal

By | Thursday September 15, 2011 @ 8:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kelly Kapoor will stick around the office for a while. The Office co-star/co-executive producer Mindy Kaling has signed a new one-year deal with Universal Television to continue on the veteran NBC comedy — both as an actress, playing Kelly, and … Read More »

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Secrets Of TV Showrunners Boot Camp

As Sunday’s Emmy Awards telecast approaches, the Writers Guild of America West last night hosted its annual ”Sublime Primetime 2010″. It was a panel discussion with Emmy-nominated TV writer-producers including Carlton Cuse (Lost), Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights), Mindy Kaling (The Office), Robert King and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan (The Pacific), and Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, and Ian Brennan (Glee). As part of Deadline’s ongoing series on TV’s top showrunners, freelance journalist Diane Haithman examines the WGA’s Showrunners Training Program about making the leap from writer to boss:



The sixth season of the Writers Guild West’s Showrunner Training Program begins January 2011 and is taking applications now. Conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, it’s designed to help senior-level writer-producers hone the skills necessary to become successful showrunners in today’s television landscape. But if you want to find about 2010′s boot camp, then you have to first get past the “Cone of Silence”. It seems fitting that the people who make and create TV shows would turn to the sitcom Get Smart to describe the bubble of secrecy that shrouds the popular program. Though voluntary, the pledge to not reveal what happens is vital to the program’s effectiveness. “We’ve only had one instance in five years when something got out of the room, and it was unfortunate but it was the result of an honest mistake,” Jeff Melvoin, showrunner for Lifetime’s Army Wives and one of the founders of the program, tells me. “The reason we have the Cone of Silence is, we want the experience to be meaningful. We have top folks coming in and talking about their experiences, and I think that if people are going to give up six Saturdays and do this program, they deserve the best that we can give them, and that means not pulling any punches.”

While the artistic mission behind the program is making better TV, there’s also another compelling reason: money. Networks and studios are constantly complaining there aren’t enough experienced TV showrunners (creatives who also know how to handle the financial and managerial aspects of putting on their shows). The AMPTP collectively give an estimated $125,000 to $150,000 annually to fund the boot camp. After all, they benefit most from it. The program is one of the most sacrosanct even when the WGA and AMPTP negotiate contracts.

As program co-founder and WGAW president John Wells (E.R., Third Watch, West Wing) tells me: “It’s really kind of a crazy thing, if you think about it – there aren’t too many businesses where somebody writes something, they produce it in the spring [as a pilot episode] and come May 1st somebody says: ‘All right, here’s $26 million – go hire 150 to 200 people and spend it all by sometime next May.’” Wells says that it’s virtually impossible to be just a writer anymore in television. “Some people have done it very successfully, where they’ve found a partner who is willing to take over all the managerial stuff and they are allowed to just sit someplace and write,” says Wells. “But in television, it is certainly the aspiration to reach a point where you are controlling your own material, and feel that you are making decisions about what you are doing – the cast, the music, what the cut looks like.”

Wells and Melvoin formed the program because both believe the apprenticeship system long in place before the word “showrunner” even existed has disappeared. Plus, shows are being given to creators who cut their teeth in the feature film world or, more rarely, playwriting or other writing disciplines. So these creatives were coming to television with a unique vision but no practical experience in the medium. Read More »

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EMMYS: Producer Credits Still Controversial

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 12:01am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage:

It’s an anxious annual guessing game – the vetting of producers for the outstanding series Primetime Emmy Award nominees. Now it’s nearly complete inside the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, with those who are ruled ineligible notified sometime this week. The Academy has aggressively cracked down on the producer lists submitted by nominated series contenders since about 2000, with the joint goals of weeding out the undeserving and capping the producing team’s size. Though there appears to have been a certain moderating of its stance by the Academy over the past couple of years.

Previously, the caps on the number of individual producers who can be nominated for a comedy series (11) and drama series (10) were viewed throughout the industry as arbitrary and punitive. This year, the program producer maximums are based, according to the 2010 Primetime Emmy Rules and Procedures, on “the average team size of eligible producers in the category over a prior five-year period.” But that still seems too random. Read More »

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