Chris Albrecht

TV Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his over two-hour Archive interview, Chris Albrecht talks about his early life and stand-up comedy career, and explains how he became manager of The Improv in New York City. He recalls making the transition to agent at ICM in Los Angeles, and speaks of his many clients at the agency. He discusses moving over to HBO in the programming department and subsequently being promoted to Head of HBO Independent Productions where he oversaw Roc, The Ben Stiller Show and Everybody Loves Raymond. Albrecht outlines his ascension to President of Original Programming and later to CEO of HBO, where he programmed the classic shows Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Real Time with Bill Maher, Entourage, Six Feet Under and Da Ali G Show. He talks about his legacy at HBO and his then-current position as CEO of Starz, and offers his advice to aspiring television executives. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on October 7, 2013 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"At HBO I was part of the team that developed a new way of approaching television. The making of it and the marketing of it. It's a formula that other people emulated and has been proven successful. And I share that legacy with a lot of other people who worked with me."

Highlights
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
06:05
Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
03:35
Chris Albrecht on programming Band of Brothers
01:59
Chris Albrecht on programming Entourage
00:52
Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz
01:56
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up; on his stand-up comedy career
12:27
On becoming manager of The Improv in New York City; on becoming an agent at ICM; on becoming a programmer at HBO
16:57
On Comic Relief on HBO; on The Larry Sanders Show; on being head of HBO Independent Productions
14:48
On his involvement in the shows created by HBO Independent Productions; on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO; on the process of programming shows for HBO

Chapter 2

On programming Oz, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos
15:26
On the end of The Sopranos; on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm and Six Feet Under; on programming Band of Brothers
14:10
On being promoted to Chairman and CEO of HBO; on programming Angels in America, The Wire and Da Ali G Show; on HBO documentaries
13:29
On programming Deadwood, Real Time with Bill Maher and Entourage; on his legacy at HBO; on becoming CEO of Starz
13:58

Chapter 3

On digital distribution for Starz; on the Starz series Boss and Spartacus; on career highlights, advice to aspiring television executives, and his then-future
12:09
Shows

Angels in America

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Angels in America
01:51

Band of Brothers

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Band of Brothers
01:59

Comic Relief Specials

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO
09:31

Curb Your Enthusiasm

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm 
04:33

Deadwood

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Deadwood
04:17

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos  getting Emmy Awards
02:15

Entourage

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Entourage
00:52

Larry Sanders Show, The

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on The Larry Sanders Show
01:05

Oz

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Oz
02:41

Sex and the City

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on Sex and the City
05:09

Six Feet Under

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Six Feet Under
03:38

Sopranos, The

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
03:35
Chris Albrecht on allowing The Sopranos to be filmed in New York and New Jersey rather than Los Angeles and allowing David Chase to shoot the pilot
01:46
Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos getting Emmy Awards
02:15
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
03:03
Chris Albrecht on the legacy of The Sopranos
00:57

Sopranos, The: "Made in America"

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
03:03

Wire, The

View Show Page
Chris Albrecht on programming The Wire
03:40
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
01:13

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
02:43

Drama

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
02:43

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos  getting Emmy Awards
02:15

First Big Break

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO
04:44

New Media

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz
01:56

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO
04:44

Pop Culture

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
02:43

Television Industry

View Topic
Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz
01:56
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
01:13
Professions

Executives

View Profession
Chris Albrecht on how his experience managing a comedy club helped him later as a television executive
01:47
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
06:05
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
01:13

Television Executive

View Profession
Chris Albrecht on how his experience managing a comedy club helped him later as a television executive
01:47
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
06:05
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
01:13
Genres

Drama Series

View Genre
Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
11:36
People

Alan Ball

View Interview Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Six Feet Under
03:38

David Chase

View Interview Page
Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
03:35
Chris Albrecht on allowing The Sopranos to be filmed in New York and New Jersey rather than Los Angeles and allowing David Chase to shoot the pilot
01:46

Billy Crystal

View Person Page
Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO
09:31

Larry David

View Person Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm 
04:33

Tom Fontana

View Interview Page
Chris Albrecht on programming Oz
02:42

Whoopi Goldberg

View Person Page
Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO
09:31

Robin Williams

View Person Page
Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO
09:31

Bob Zmuda

View Person Page
Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief  on HBO
09:31

All Interviews

Q
S