Christopher Lloyd


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Christopher Lloyd talks about writing for such series The Golden Girls, Frasier and creating the show Modern Family. He discusses the "stolen camera" technique used on the show and the casting of Modern Family as well. He also discusses the story-telling on Golden Girls and why it was a groundbreaking show. Beth Cochran conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on June 25, 2010.

"You say okay, [only] 10% of the audience is going to get this, but it's still going to be worth it because it's so clever. And you put it in front of the audience and 60% of the audience get it. So that became the culture of ['Frasier']- that you can write things that are a little bit more elevated. It was a very funny show and a smart show and those things don't exist simultaneously that often."

Highlights
Christopher Lloyd on the "stolen camera" style of Modern Family and how the show is scripted
Christopher Lloyd on the highly intellectual aspect of a show like Frasier and why it worked to take that risk; on giving credit to the intelligence of your audience; a "10%" joke
04:11
Christopher Lloyd on the storytelling on The Golden Girls and the six-scene format
01:58
Christopher Lloyd on his advice to aspiring writers: get life experiences
00:39
Christopher Lloyd on casting Modern Family; Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet; casting the kids
Christopher Lloyd on why The Golden Girls was a ground-breaking show and its influence on future sitcoms
02:59
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on his father the television writer David Lloyd
On his college education, beginning to write and reading scripts for HBO; 
On the filming of the Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" which his father, David Lloyd wrote; his first writing job on The Golden Girls; the writing process; the cast and characters on The Golden Girls; why the show was ground-breaking and lessons he learned from it.
On the show Down Home; meeting his wife who is also a writer; on Wings and what he learned writing on that show
08:28
On working on Frasier as both writer and producer; on the highly intellectual aspect of a show like Frasier and why it worked to take that risk; on giving credit to the intelligence of your audience; a "10%" joke; the writing process
11:32

Chapter 2

On Frasier and the character of "Niles" played by David Hyde Pierce; his favorite episodes; on winning an Emmy for Best Series for Frasier; on the relationship between the characters Niles and Daphne; working with John Mahoney; on guest-appearances from Cheers characters such as Ted Danson; on the relationships between various characters on the show
25:19
On deciding to leave Frasier after seven seasons; on developing Bram and Alice; on returning to Frasier to write the final season and final episode; on the writer David Angell; on the legacy of Frasier and shows he worked on after it was off air
22:35
On meeting Steven Levitan and forming a writing partnership, starting with Back To You; working with Ty Burrell and Fred Willard; on creating the show Modern Family with Steven Levitan

Chapter 3

On Modern Family and its style of looking into the camera without explaining it as a documentary; on ad-libbing; on casting the show; on the pilot; on working with Steven Levitan; on his favorite episodes to-date; on coming up with story ideas; on celebrity guest-stars
On the Modern Family production schedule; on what's coming up in Season Two 
On the state of network television; on standards and practices; on the effect of the internet on his career as a tv writer; on his proudest achievement; on his dad's influence on him; on 
Shows

Frasier

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Christopher Lloyd on Frasier and how it was to be different than Cheers; working with Kelsey Grammer; on taking risks by making both brothers psychiatrists
09:11
Christopher Lloyd on the highly intellectual aspect of a show like Frasier and why it worked to take that risk; on giving credit to the intelligence of your audience; a "10%" joke
04:11
Christopher Lloyd on the writing process on Frasier; trying not to sacrifice storytelling for a good joke
01:44
On Frasier and the character of "Niles" played by David Hyde Pierce; why we never saw "Maris"
Christopher Lloyd on his favorite Frasier episodes
Christopher Lloyd on winning an Emmy for Frasier for Best Series
On the romance between "Niles" and "Daphne" on Frasier and how it developed
Christopher Lloyd on characters from Cheers making guest-appearances on Frasier; on guest-actors lending their voices to Frasier's radio show
Christopher Lloyd on the relationship between Frasier and his father and how it evolved
Christopher Lloyd on Frasier's love interests
Christopher Lloyd on returning to Frasier for the last season
02:57
Christopher Lloyd on the difficulty of writing the final episode of Frasier; shooting the final episode; working with Kelsey Grammer
09:39
Christopher Lloyd on the legacy of Frasier
01:07

Golden Girls, The

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Christopher Lloyd on his first writing job on The Golden Girls and how he got the job; the writing process on that show; coming up with story ideas
Christopher Lloyd on some of the racier topics dealt with on The Golden Girls: sex, interracial dating, etc
01:05
Christopher Lloyd on his favorite Golden Girls episodes: "Second Motherhood"
03:22
Christopher Lloyd on the storytelling on The Golden Girls and the six-scene format
01:58
Christopher Lloyd on writing for the different characters on The Golden Girls; on writing for older women
01:23
Christopher Lloyd on why The Golden Girls was a ground-breaking show and its influence on future sitcoms
02:59

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

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Christopher Lloyd on the filming of the Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" which his father, David Lloyd wrote

Modern Family

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Christopher Lloyd on creating the show Modern Family with Steven Levitan
Christopher Lloyd on the "stolen camera" style of Modern Family and how the show is scripted
Christopher Lloyd on casting Modern Family; Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet; casting the kids
Christopher Lloyd on casting the role of "Manny" and how his character developed
Christopher Lloyd on the pilot for Modern Family; he didn't think it stood a chance until it was cast
Christopher Lloyd on some favorite Modern Family episodes, the Valentines Day, Fizbo the Clown
Christopher Lloyd on the impact of Modern Family's success 

Out of Practice

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Christopher Lloyd on Out of Practice and the premise
01:00

Wings

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Christopher Lloyd on becoming a writer on Wings; what the show was about
Topics

9/11

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Christopher Lloyd on learning that writer David Angell had been killed on 9/11; on his contribution to Cheers, Frasier, and Wings.
03:00

Emmy Awards

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Christopher Lloyd on winning an Emmy for Frasier for Best Series

Technological Innovation

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Christopher Lloyd on the effect of the internet on his career as a content creator
Professions

Show Creators

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Christopher Lloyd on coming up with story ideas for Modern Family; borrowing "real life" stories from the cast and writers

Writers

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Christopher Lloyd on the writing process and competitive environment on The Golden Girls, his first job as a writer in television
Christopher Lloyd on the format of writing The Golden Girls and situational comedy in six scenes
Christopher Lloyd on writing for the different characters on The Golden Girls; on writing for older women
Christopher Lloyd on the lessons learned on The Golden Girls; the importance of having vulnerability in characters
Christopher Lloyd on the highly intellectual aspect of a show like Frasier and why it worked to take that risk; on giving credit to the intelligence of your audience; a "10%" joke
04:02
Christopher Lloyd on the writing process on Frasier; trying not to sacrifice storytelling for a good joke
01:44
Christopher Lloyd on returning to Frasier for the last season; the satisfaction of writing the final episode
Christopher Lloyd on his approach to working with actors
Christopher Lloyd on being proud to have won five Emmys for Frasier.
00:59
Christopher Lloyd on advice to aspiring writers 
01:30
Genres

Comedy Series

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Christopher Lloyd on the format of writing The Golden Girls and situational comedy in six scenes
Christopher Lloyd on the highly intellectual aspect of a show like Frasier and why it worked to take that risk; on giving credit to the intelligence of your audience; a "10%" joke
Christopher Lloyd on the pilot for Modern Family; he didn't think it stood a chance until it was cast
People

David Angell

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Christopher Lloyd on learning that writer David Angell had been killed on one of the planes on 9/11; on his contribution to Cheers and Wings.
03:00

Ted Danson

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Christopher Lloyd on characters from Cheers making guest-appearances on Frasier; how Ted Danson was nervous to bring "Sam Malone" back to television

Kelsey Grammer

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Christopher Lloyd on Frasier and how it was to be different than Cheers; working with Kelsey Grammer and the risks involved on that show
09:11
Christopher Lloyd on working with Kelsey Grammer 

Susan Harris

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Christopher Lloyd on writing for Susan Harris on The Golden Girls when he was a writer on the show 

David Lloyd

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Christopher Lloyd on his father, television writer David Lloyd
03:38
Christopher Lloyd on the influence his father, writer David Lloyd, had on his career; on David Lloyd's legacy and advice he passed along

Ed O'Neill

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Christopher Lloyd on casting Ed O'Neill as the patriarch on Modern Family; Craig T. Nelson had initially been considered

Betty White

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Christopher Lloyd on working with Betty White on The Golden Girls and her professionalism

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