Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite television writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.
For this week's Sketch Anatomy, we're breaking the rules a little to go behind the scenes of a classic '90s sitcom episode with Andy Cowan, former writer for Cheers and 3rd Rock from the Sun and the mind behind the acclaimed 1994 Seinfeld episode "The Opposite." Ranked at #1 in our own list of every Seinfeld episode, [...]
"Laughter is such a strong spice, it’s hard to taste anything else. If you write something funny enough, you can get away with murder."
- Former Seinfeld writer/producer Peter Mehlman wrote a piece for this month's Reader's Digest Magazine called "How to Write a TV Show," and it's full of Seinfeld anecdotes and great advice for aspiring comedy writers.
The big TV networks are continuing to buy new shows to develop for the 2014-15 TV season, and NBC just purchased a pair of comedies from two well-known actors: Justin Long and Meg Ryan.
Justin Long's untitled sitcom is being written by him, his younger brother Christian Long, and The Office writer Graham Wagner, Deadline reports. Long hasn't officially signed on to star, but he's expected to play the lead character: a guy in his early 30s who's dating a woman 10 years older than him while dealing with everyone else's judgment about their relationship and helping the woman raise her teenage kid.
Meg Ryan's show, which she will [...]
Fox has purchased a few more comedy pilots from big name producers. Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who directed the 2012 film version the classic Johnny Depp-starring series 21 Jump Street, have now teamed up with Depp and Blue Mountain State co-creator and star Chris Romano to produce a comedy series called Torched. According to Deadline, it will focus "on a fast-talking, fun-loving dad, who through his very unique — and sometimes law-breaking — job, strives to give his young son the life he never had."
Meanwhile, Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence and fellow Cougar Town producer Blake McCormick have sold the network an hour-long comedy action show called Chasing Skips, according to Deadline. The [...]
Robin Williams' new sitcom The Crazy Ones debuted on CBS last night after uber-hit The Big Bang Theory and did very well for itself, drawing 15.6 million viewers overall. Though it didn't hold onto to all of Big Bang's 18.9 million viewers, it easily beat its NBC competition, the premiere of The Michael J. Fox Show, which pulled in 7.3 million people. The Michael J. Fox Show's lead-in, the always ratings-challenged Parks and Recreation, managed only 3.3 million viewers, while CBS's 9:30 show Two and a Half Men drew 11.54 million people.