Chris Albrecht

TV Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
Chris Albrecht on programming Band of Brothers
Chris Albrecht on programming Entourage
Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up; on his stand-up comedy career
On becoming manager of The Improv in New York City; on becoming an agent at ICM; on becoming a programmer at HBO
On Comic Relief on HBO; on The Larry Sanders Show; on being head of HBO Independent Productions
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
On the end of The Sopranos; on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm and Six Feet Under; on programming Band of Brothers
On being promoted to Chairman and CEO of HBO; on programming Angels in America, The Wire and Da Ali G Show; on HBO documentaries
On programming Deadwood, Real Time with Bill Maher and Entourage; on his legacy at HBO; on becoming CEO of Starz

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
Shows

Angels in America

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Chris Albrecht on programming Angels in America

Band of Brothers

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Chris Albrecht on programming Band of Brothers

Comic Relief Specials

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Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm

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Chris Albrecht on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Deadwood

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Chris Albrecht on programming Deadwood

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos  getting Emmy Awards

Entourage

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Chris Albrecht on programming Entourage

Larry Sanders Show, The

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Chris Albrecht on The Larry Sanders Show

Oz

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Chris Albrecht on programming Oz

Sex and the City

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Chris Albrecht on Sex and the City

Six Feet Under

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Chris Albrecht on programming Six Feet Under

Sopranos, The

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Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
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
Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos getting Emmy Awards
Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos
Chris Albrecht on the legacy of The Sopranos

Sopranos, The: "Made in America"

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Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos

Wire, The

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Chris Albrecht on programming The Wire
Topics

Advice

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Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives

Classic TV series episodes

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Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos

Drama

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Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos

Emmy Awards

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Chris Albrecht on The Sopranos  getting Emmy Awards

First Big Break

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Chris Albrecht on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO

New Media

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Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz

Pivotal Career Moments

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Chris Albrecht on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO

Pop Culture

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Chris Albrecht on the ending of The Sopranos

Television Industry

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Chris Albrecht on digital distribution for Starz
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
Professions

Executives

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Chris Albrecht on how his experience managing a comedy club helped him later as a television executive
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives

Television Executive

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Chris Albrecht on how his experience managing a comedy club helped him later as a television executive
Chris Albrecht the process of programing shows as President of Original Programming at HBO
Chris Albrecht on advice to aspiring television executives
Genres

Drama Series

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Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
People

Alan Ball

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Chris Albrecht on programming Six Feet Under

David Chase

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Chris Albrecht on programming The Sopranos
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

Billy Crystal

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Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO

Larry David

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Chris Albrecht on programming Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Tom Fontana

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Chris Albrecht on programming Oz

Whoopi Goldberg

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Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO

Robin Williams

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Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief on HBO

Bob Zmuda

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Chris Albrecht on Comic Relief  on HBO

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