Sometimes, deadpan humor goes a long way with the Washington D.C. crowd (Joel McHale, take note), and Parks and Recreation straight man Nick Offerman served up a number of zingers about Hollywood and the Beltway at Thursday’s 70th annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner at the Marriot Marquis. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough addressed the crowd, speaking humorously about his job but turned a serious note when it came to democracy and debate, while Offerman took care of the entertainment. Some particular highlights from Offerman’s speech below: “According to the Supreme Court, corporations are now considered as people, which is great because it’s always been my dream to punch Time Warner in the face.” Also: “Between Republicans and Democrats, this city has become a noxious stink hole, where very little gets down because of backstabbing, deceit and greed. Just want to thank all of you for allowing a Hollywood actor like myself feel welcome. But Republicans have come around on sex education: I understand they’ve allowed to teach fracking in schools.” Enjoy:
NBC confirmed the critically praised comedy will be coming to an end as part of its 2014-15 scheduling announcement. There is no slot for the veteran comedy yet, with the 13-episode final cycle of Parks and Recreation slated for midseason. Star Amy Poehler also has comedy pilot Old Soul at NBC, which remains in contention.
NBCU Press Day: Comedy Stars Not Fans Of Multi-Cam, Question ‘Shameless’ Decision To Compete For Emmy As Comedy
It 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
Jenna 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.”
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.”
“Oh my gosh! WOW! Oh, my gosh! Okay, So Hi! I’m Daniel!” the young man began. “Oh sh*t! Oh my god! So, um, to be fair to the show, you guys all seem so natural on the show, even when — you guys seem so chill, and I want to know, are you guys always like that, off-camera?!” he emoted while hopping about. “Oh my gosh! I’m right here! Oh my gosh!” Daniel said, beginning to foam over as he discovered his image was being projected on a giant screen over the cast, so that the show’s many fans in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood could see him as he asked his question. “And, um, like, I want to know, you guys seem to embody the characters, and become your characters. Retta, are you always, ‘Oh, damn! Bitch!?” concluded Daniel, who was just another super-fan attending PaleyFest in the theater, but would likely have been Tasered had he come within three feet of the cast members outside the theater on Hollywood Blvd. Unless, of course, he’s an actor punking PaleyFest for JKL which has its studio just down the road.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I’m not like that OK? Shit! Fuck!” joked Retta, who plays Donna Meagle, the office manager at the Pawnee Indiana Parks and Recreation Department on the NBC comedy.
“All I’m asking is, Are you guys always like that?! Are you always like a klutz?!” Daniel continued – that question apparently was directed at Jim O’Heir, who fell out of his chair on cue.
“Yeah! So, that’s like my question. OK?!” Daniel concluded.
The cast, and show co-creator Mike Schur, stood and gave Daniel a standing ovation. Daniel began to hyperventilate and record the moment on his camera.
The Peacock network’s tie-ins with the Obama administration continue. NBC said today that Michelle Obama will do a cameo on the season finale of Parks And Recreation. Her scene in the episode titled “Moving Up” celebrates healthier out-of-school programs as part of her “Let’s Move” initiative against childhood obesity. The First Lady’s appearance continues a recent trend of NBC team-ups with D.C. heavyweights. She helped goose the ratings for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week in a sleepover skit with the host and Will Ferrell. And earlier this week Vice President Joe Biden was the second guest on Seth Meyers’ first night hosting Late Night; the Veep followed Parks And Rec star Amy Poehler, whose character famously idolizes Biden. (He also did a cameo on the sitcom that aired shortly after the 2012 elections.) And on February 14, Community star Joel McHale was tapped as host of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in May. Then there was pre-pinkeye Bob Costas’ pre-Olympics interview with President Obama on February 6. Michelle Obama’s Parks And Rec episode airs April 24.
Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor.
Just when we think we’ve finally got them figured out, those wacky folks in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continue to surprise us in the Golden Globe Awards television races. They remain as unpredictable as ever in the nominations for the 2014 awards, with perhaps the biggest surprise being that Showtime’s Homeland – after winning the top drama series prize two years in a row — wasn’t nominated at all this time. In fact, Homeland generated precisely zero noms after having swept the series and acting categories a year ago, as did its stars and last year’s winners, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
The former West Wing star didn’t mince words, even if they were obviously in jest. In an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman set to run tonight, Rob Lowe told Dave that the real reason both he and Rashida Jones are splitting NBC‘s Parks & Recreation later this season is because “Amy Poehler has deeply offended both of us.” Lowe then went on to call the past and future Golden Globes co-host “a prick.” Of course, Letterman wasn’t buying it. He responded with – just watch the clip, you’ll see:
TCA: Andy Samberg, Producers Say Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Is No Spoof Or Satire, But A Workplace Comedy
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Today at TCA, cast and producers of Fox’s new cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine said they will tap into their pool of funny friends as cameo guest stars —especially star Andy Samberg’s pals from SNL (Fred Armisen has a cameo in the pilot).
But after the panel, creator/executive producer Michael Schur said audiences should not expect cast members of his other comedy, Parks And Recreation, to appear on Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast anytime soon. “Nick Offerman has already volunteered” to appear, Schur said, but he and fellow creator/EP Dan Goor (also a Parks And Rec producer/writer) wants to let the Brooklyn cast “get on track” before trying any cross-pollination.
Busy day for Aubrey Plaza: First, her NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation got picked up for a sixth season, then CBS Films set a new domestic release date for her next movie. The To Do List, a comedy about an awkward overachiever who tries to make up for her sexual underachieving in high school before she heads to college, has been moved up from August 16 to July 26. Instead of going up against Universal’s action-comedy sequel Kick-Ass 2, it now will be counterprogramming to Fox’s tentpole The Wolverine. Writer-director Maggie Carey’s film also stars Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg and Connie Britton. It is produced by Jennifer Todd, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, with Mark Gordon, Greg Walter, Tom Lassally, Maggie Carey, Bill Hader and Tracy McGrath aboard as exec producers.
Related: Summer 2013: Sleeper Movie Forecast
UPDATE: NBC’s ‘Guys With Kids’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’ & ’1600 Penn’ Cancelled, ‘Parks & Recreation’ Renewed
2ND UPDATE, 2:45 PM: More cleanup at NBC. Freshman comedy Guys With Kids and sophomore Up All Night also are gone. It comes down to Go On, The New Normal and Community on the comedy side, on which NBC is yet to make a decision… Hannibal looks promising on the drama side, and people are cautiously optimistic about Community among half-hours. The cancellation of both Whitney and Guys With Kids means that NBC won’t have an existing multi-camera companion for the only multi-cam new comedy series it has picked up so far, Sean Saves The World. It may be paired with another multi-cam comedy project that is awaiting word on a pickup, pilot Undateable. As for Up All Night, the cancellation is a formality as the series died when the plan to convert it from a single- to multi-camera format fell apart. The axing gives CBS the free and clear to pickup its untitled Greg Garcia comedy pilot, starring Up All Night‘s Will Arnett, to series.
Related: NBC’s New Series Pickups
UPDATE, 1:58 PM: The axe has begun to fall on NBC’s bubble comedies: Whitney and 1600 Penn. The cancellation of Whitney frees up two comedy pilots to get series orders — NBC’s Undateable, which stars Whitney‘s Chris D’Elia, and CBS’ Friends With Better Lives, which stars Zoe Lister Jones. Whitney has been a lightning rod since its launch, drawing polarizing reactions and getting mostly panned by critics. It started off OK in the ratings last season but gradually fizzled. It returned late last fall and did decent business on Wednesday but its long-term prospects remained dim. Not much to say about freshman 1600 Penn, whose cancellation was a mere formality after a dismal midseason run.
The Vice President’s cameo on the NBC comedy aired last night, and it looks like he got dangerously close to his first on-screen kiss (save all those campaign appearances with wife Jill, that is). There was no Joe Biden bump for Parks And Recreation in the ratings, though — the show drew a 1.7/4 and was flat with last week.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development a comedy project from Parks And Recreation writer-producer Alan Yang and the series’ co-creator/executive producer Greg Daniels. The untitled comedy, from Universal TV and Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods, centers on a strict “Tiger Dad” who, after a near-death experience, tries to reprogram his super-responsible son to be more like his fun-loving immature roommates. Yang will write the script and executive produce with Deedle Dee’s Daniels and Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor
In Season 4’s final episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), deputy director of the parks and rec department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, is devastated to learn that she has, by a narrow margin, lost her bid for a city council post. But wait, Leslie fans: on recount, it turns out she’s actually won the race!
Success has been kind of like that all along for Parks and Recreation, the heartland workplace comedy created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who also worked on NBC’s multiple Emmy-winning series The Office: Not without anxiety.
After a rocky start with critics who thought the single-camera mockumentary too much resembled The Office, Parks and Recreation grew in critical acclaim. Last year, the show received its first nomination for comedy series and its second for Poehler for comedy actress. Although pundits saw a second series nomination as a strong possibility this year, Parks and Recreation was knocked off the best comedy list by newcomers Girls and Veep. However, star and show producer Poehler earned her third acting nom, as well as her first for writing. Schur also received a writing nom, demonstrating that the TV Academy still has a fondness for the series.
The momentum for female TV comedy writers continues. On the heels of the recent success of comedy series created/co-created by women — including Fox’s New Girl, ABC’s Suburgatory and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls – and a second consecutive upfront with multiple pickups of new series from female creators including Fox’s The Mindy Project from Mindy Kaling and ABC’s How To Live With Your Parents from Claudia Lonow, female comedy writes are now making big strides in the boy’s club known as the writing for a comedy series Emmy category. Lena Dunham, creator-star of HBO’s new comedy series Girls, and Amy Poehler, star of NBC’s Parks And Recreation, today landed comedy series writing Emmy nominations alongside Parks & Rec co-creator Michael Schur, Louie creator-star Louis C.K., and Community’s Chris McKenna. Film prodigy Dunham is nominated for the Girls pilot, while Poehler is recognized for writing ”The Debate” episode of Parks & Rec. I counted only a handful times in Emmy history when two female writers have received comedy writing nominations, the last time in 2002 when Jennifer Crittenden was nominated for the “Marie’s Sculpture” episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky for the ”My Motherboard, My Self” episode of Sex And The City.
Related: 2012 EMMYS NOMINATIONS
This season was a successful one for freshman comedies, with a whopping seven broadcast half-hour series making it to a second season, led by breakouts 2 Broke Girls and New Girl, and joined by several cable newbies including HBO’s Veep and Girls and Showtime’s House Of Lies. They will likely make the Emmy race more interesting, but it will be hard for newcomers to challenge the reigning best series winner, ABC’s Modern Family. Coming off wins two years in a row and still delivering the goods, ABC’s comedy juggernaut, the highest-rated series on television, remains the one to beat. Its competition includes three critically praised but ratings-challenged NBC series: 30 Rock, which is nearing the end of its run; Parks And Recreation; and Community.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
Here’s our assessment of the chances for a baker’s dozen of this year’s comedy series (in alphabetical order) and their stars:
Having just wrapped what’s been called one of its strongest seasons (and that’s saying something), NBC’s critical darling — a three-time Emmy winner for comedy series — is a safe bet for another nod. So are its leads, five-time nominees Tina Fey (who took home the prize in 2008) and Alec Baldwin (who won in 2008 and ’09). The show’s only potential stumbling block, however surmountable it may be, is the possibility that the cast’s on-screen shenanigans might be overshadowed by their off-screen ones (Baldwin’s threats to depart the series as well as Tracy Morgan’s gay-slur-laden stand-up set).
THE BIG BANG THEORY
Now that CBS’ comedy finally was nominated for the best series Emmy last year, it doesn’t take a genius like Sheldon Cooper to figure out it’s likely to be given a second turn at bat. With back-to-back lead actor wins under his belt, Jim Parsons is also a lock. Johnny Galecki, having bagged his first nod last year, is looking good to enter that race, too. The wildcards are the underrated Kaley Cuoco, who’s yet to receive her past-due lead actress nomination; and erstwhile Blossom, Mayim Bialik, who, thanks to the memorable impression she’s made as “the female Sheldon”, could break into the supporting actress derby.