Writers


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tabs

About

A commonplace in the television industry is that "it all begins with the script." In part, this notion recognizes the centrality of writers in the early days of live television, when authors such as Reginald Rose, Paddy Chayevsky and Rod Serling established the medium as an arena for the exploration of character, psychology, and moral complexity in close intimate settings. With the television industry's move to Hollywood in the 1950s, and its increasing reliance on filmed, formulaic, studio factory productions, writers were often reduced to "hack" status, churning out familiar material that was almost interchangeable across genres. This week's western could be reformatted for next week's crime drama. This view oversimplifies, of course, and ignores extraordinary work in television series such as Naked City, The Defenders, Route 66 and others. But it does capture conventional assumptions and expectations.

In the 1970s, with the rise of socially conscious situation comedy often identified with producer Norman Lear and the "quality" comedies associated with MTM Productions, writers once again moved to positions of prominence. Lear himself was a writer-producer, one of the many "hyphenates" who would follow into positions of authority and control. And Grant Tinker, head of MTM, sought out strong writers and encouraged them to create new shows--and new types of shows--for television. Indeed, the legacy of MTM stands strong in today's television industry. Names such as James Brooks, Alan Burns, Steven Bochco, David Milch, and others can trace their careers to that company.

At the present time almost every major producer in American television is also a writer. Writers oversee series development and production, create new programs, and see to the coordination and conceptual coherence of series in progress. Their skills are highly valued and, for the very successful few, extremely highly rewarded. Never the less, the role of the writer is affected by many other issues, and despite new respect and prominence, remains a complex, often conflicted position within the television industry.

-Cheryl Harris

Highlights
Michael Moye on his writing style
02:28
Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on their writing process on I Love Lucy
05:18
Ellen M. Violett on the craft of writing adaptations for television
02:32
Horton Foote on his writing process, and using his own life for ideas
05:25
Terence Winter on rules for writing The Sopranos and the writers' room on the show
03:48
Earl Hamner on why he writes
00:26
Who talked about this profession

Alan Alda

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Alan Alda on writing the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Sigmund"
01:34
Alan Alda on winning an Emmy, and how some of your best writing work can come as a surprise
01:36

Kay Alden

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Kay Alden on the early writing process for The Young and the Restless
03:38
Kay Alden on how the writing process for The Young and the Restless has evolved
07:47
Kay Alden on where storylines originate from on The Young and the Restless and the influence of academic debate on her writing
05:15

Alan Ball

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Alan Ball on writing for and becoming co-executive producer on Cybill, being disheartened, and writing American Beauty
04:49
Alan Ball on channeling his anger from working on Cybill into writing American Beauty
00:42
Alan Ball on how he got the idea for American Beauty; on not having to have a "moment of shit" in it; on the joy of writing for different media
05:05
Alan Ball on writing and staffing writers for Six Feet Unde
03:13

William Bell

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William Bell on the challenges of writing for live soap operas
02:18
William Bell on changes in writing for soap operas over the years
02:27
William Bell on not being a proponent of ad-libbing in daytime
00:40
William Bell on his writing style
01:46
William Bell on his writing process for Days of Our Lives
01:23

Donald Bellisario

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Donald Bellisario on his decision to move to Los Angeles and become a writer
03:13
Donald Belisario on advice to aspiring writers
01:32

William Blinn

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William Blinn on advice he would give aspiring writers
03:38

Sam Bobrick

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Sam Bobrick on his writing partner Bill Idelson, and on the advantages of having a writing partner
01:51
Sam Bobrick on his writing process for pilots
05:39
Sam Bobrick on the craft of writing and his process
09:34
Sam Bobrick on what he likes about writing, and on writing plays
03:15
Sam Bobrick on advice to an aspiring writer and on how he'd like to be remembered
00:54

Steven Bochco

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Steven Bochco on Richard Levinson's advice to him about writing for an actor like Peter Falk
01:07

Joshua Brand

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Joshua Brand on writing the pilot for Northern Exposure, and on his writing process with writing partner John Falsey
04:10
Joshua Brand on his writing process
09:31
Joshua Brand on dealing with writers block and on the general process of writing
04:16
Joshua Brand on what he loves about writing
03:05
Joshua Brand on advice to an aspiring television writer, and on dealing with studio politics
03:19
Joshua Brand on getting the Writers Guild Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement with John Falsey, and on his feelings about the Writers Guild
05:13

James L. Brooks

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James L. Brooks on never thinking he could make a living as a writer
00:54
James L. Brooks on the best job in the world
00:19
James L. Brooks on writing
07:10

Alton Brown

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Alton Brown on writing scripts for Good Eats
02:22

Harvey Bullock

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Harvey Bullock on the process of writing scripts for The Andy Griffith Show
03:56
Harvey Bullock on his writing style 
02:11
Harvey Bullock on advice to aspiring writers and comedy writers
02:51

Allan Burns

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Allan Burns on deciding he wanted to be a television writer
01:22
Allan Burns on working on He & She and how it helped his writing
01:50
Allan Burns on advice to aspiring writer/producers
01:10

Sid Caesar

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Sid Caesar on his philosophy of keeping a creative flow during the writing process
00:49

Glenn Gordon Caron

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Glenn Gordon Caron on how he writes scripts
03:38
Glenn Gordon Caron on advice to aspiring writers
00:22

Dick Cavett

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Dick Cavett on writing for The Jack Paar Show aka The Tonight Show
02:02

Tucker Cawley

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Tucker Cawley on a typical production week for Everybody Loves Raymond and the process of writing scripts for the show
07:57
Tucker Cawley on advice to aspiring writers
02:52

Glen Charles

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Glen Charles on beginning to write with his brother, Les
05:15
Glen and Les Charles on the atmosphere in the writing room of Taxi
05:34
Glen and Les Charles on the writers' room on Cheers
02:01
Glen and Les Charles on their writing style
01:35
Glen and Les Charles on why Cheers was considered to have sophisticated writing
00:30

Les Charles

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Les Charles on he and his brother, Glen Charles, deciding to become writing partners
02:31
Glen and Les Charles on the atmosphere in the writing room of Taxi
05:34
Glen and Les Charles on the writers' room on Cheers
02:01
Glen and Les Charles on their writing style
01:35
Glen and Les Charles on why Cheers was considered to have sophisticated writing
00:30

David Chase

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David Chase on the writers problem of exposition and use of the "urban explainer" that he used on The Rockford Files
David Chase on how directing affected the way he writes "a camera can only do one thing at a time"
David Chase on his writing process; on what he looks for in a writer
06:54

Ron Clark

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Ron Clark on his writing process
05:50
Ron Clark on advice to an aspiring television writer
01:49

Barbara Corday

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Barbara Corday on advice to aspiring television writers
02:07

David Crane

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Marta Kauffman on realizing a writing partnership with David Crane would work out
01:32
David Crane and Marta Kauffman on advice to television writers

Bill Daily

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Bill Daily on writing for The Mike Douglas Show

Bill Dana

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Bill Dana on what writers made in the 1960s compared to today
02:15
Bill Dana on why he hated performing and loved being a writer
00:40
Bill Dana on writing for the voice of Don Adams and the birth of "would you believe" jokes
01:06
Bill Dana on writing the memorable sketch "The Question Man" with Don Hinkley and Leonard Stern on The Steve Allen Show, and his favorite, Chicken Teriyaki
03:24
Bill Dana on writing the parody "The Nutley-Hinkley-Butley-Winkley Report"
04:48
Bill Dana on writing for The Golden Girls, where the script was bible, versus other shows where the writers could adapt a script, such as his own Bill Dana Show on NBC
01:04
Bill Dana on advice to aspiring writers and comedians
01:14

Ossie Davis

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Ossie Davis on his advice to aspiring writers
03:42

Elias Davis

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on dealing with writer's block
01:42
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their collaborative process
02:36
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer
03:05

Madelyn Pugh Davis

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Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on their working style in their writing partnership
02:48
Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on their writing process on I Love Lucy
05:18
Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on scripting I Love Lucy's physical comedy
00:47
Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on writing for Lucille Ball
02:20

Sam Denoff

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Sam Denoff on wanting to be writers, not producers, and the process of writing for The Steve Allen Show
02:02
Sam Denoff on learning a lesson from Carl Reiner: "the best comedy comes from reality"
02:43
Sam Denoff on bringing your home life into your work life as a writer
01:28
Sam Denoff on his writing partnership with Bill Persky
00:29
Sam Denoff on his advice to aspiring writers

Harlan Ellison

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Harlan Ellison on how he learned to write a script
02:41
Harlan Ellison on working with the Writers Guild of America
02:07
Harlan Ellison on writers not getting respect in Hollywood
03:33

Diane English

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Diane English on loving writing for television
00:35
Diane English on her writing process
01:07
Diane English on being flexible with writing so actors can bring their own magic to the piece
01:23
Diane English on her voice as a writer
00:55

Norman Felton

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Norman Felton on his big break writing plays
02:02

Dorothy Fontana

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Dorothy Fontana on being mentored in television writing by Samuel Peeples
01:11
Dorothy Fontana on the challenges of being a woman writer and using D.C. Fontana on her scripts so that she would be given a chance
03:01
Dorothy Fontana on her writing process and philosophy
10:12

Tom Fontana

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Tom Fontana on the writing process of St. Elsewhere and becoming a producer on that show
02:45
Tom Fontana on coming up with script ideas for St. Elsewhere
03:00
Tom Fontana on constructing the stories for Homicide: Life on the Street
05:40
Tom Fontana on the darkness of his writing style
02:33

Horton Foote

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Horton Foote on his writing process, and using his own life for ideas
05:25
Horton Foote on the importance of casting, and on the writer working with actors
03:32
Horton Foote on how he feels about directing as a writer
01:03
Horton Foote on writing for cable networks
02:15
Horton Foote on the importance of creating a mood or setting for a story
02:53

Ron Friedman

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Ron Friedman on making the transition from writing for variety shows to writing sitcoms
04:49
Ron Friedman on acting as a troubleshooter for shows, including A Year at the Top, and on writing for Barney Miller
02:23
Ron Friedman on making the transition from writing sitcoms to writing dramas
01:40
Ron Friedman on his writing process
03:22
Ron Friedman on dealing with writers block
02:00
Ron Friedman on how his process for writing drama differs from his process for writing comedy
01:29
Ron Friedman on joining the Writers Guild, and on how it benefits writers
03:57
Ron Friedman on what he enjoys about teaching writing
03:24
Ron Friedman on advice to aspiring writers, and on his children who are writers
02:24

William Froug

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William Froug on writing his first play/production in college
00:45
William Froug on writing for radio
02:09
William Froug on teaching screenwriting at UCLA and his philosophy on screenwriting
04:18
William Froug on writing books on screenwriting
00:19

Lowell Ganz

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Lowell Ganz on his early writing partner Mark Rothman and their writing process on The Odd Couple
04:09
Lowell Ganz on working with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall on The Odd Couple
02:21
Lowell Ganz on his advice to young writers
02:05
Lowell Ganz on the key to his success in writing
03:23
Lowell Ganz on his and Babaloo Mandel's approach to writing pilots and various unsold pilots
03:16

Larry Gelbart

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Larry Gelbart on getting his first break while still in high school writing for Danny Thomas on the "Fanny Bryce Maxwell House Coffee Time" radio show, because his father convinced Thomas, who was a customer at his barbershop, that the teenager could write
02:21
Larry Gelbart on lessons he learned about when to ask for a raise, and the value of having fun with language
03:32
Larry Gelbart on the process and structure of writing Bob Hope's monologues
04:01
Larry Gelbart on the valuable lesson of writing with a beginning, middle, and end in mind for a sketch while working on the Red Buttons Show
01:22
Larry Gelbart on the rigorous schedule the writers had on Caesar's Hour
02:04
Larry Gelbart on the differences between writing for Broadway versus television; and the changes in the profession since TV's "Golden Age"
02:53
Larry Gelbart on the differences between television in the UK versus the US in the '60s
01:45
Larry Gelbart on his advice to writers: "maintain your identity as an artist"
03:14

Vince Gilligan

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Vince Gilligan on the advice he received from his mentor, Mark Johnson, to not move to Los Angeles at the beginning of his career, which he felt helped his writing style
05:19
Vince Gilligan on initially turned down a job as a television writer, but going back to it after hitting a spell of bad luck in the business
02:56
Vince Gilligan on the writers' room at The X-Files; on the first episode he wrote as a staff writer "Pusher"; on the writing process
02:17
Vince Gilligan on "Folie Aux Deux" - an X-Files  episode he wrote and how the visual element was incorporated into the show; on why the visual is as important as the dialogue
Vince Gilligan on how writers "break" a story

Gary David Goldberg

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Gary David Goldberg on the atmosphere of the writers' room on Family Ties
01:59
Gary David Goldberg on advice to aspiring television writers
04:01

Everett Greenbaum

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Everett Greenbaum on the formula for a hit sitcom
01:19

Earl Hamner, Jr.

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Earl Hamner on working with Rod Serling and writing teleplays for The Twilight Zone
12:22
Earl Hamner on why he writes
00:26
Earl Hamner on being known as a homespun, folksy writer
00:37
Earl Hamner on his writing style
03:17

Paul Henning

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Paul Henning on getting a job at a Kansas City radio station and pursuing a career as a writer
04:35
Paul Henning on beginning to seriously consider a career in writing
05:13
Paul Henning on differences between writing for the radio and television versions of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show  
00:32
Paul Henning on the writing process for the television version of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show  
01:26
Paul Henning on his writing philosophy of placing characters above jokes
01:13

Buck Henry

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Buck Henry on the challenges of writing for The Garry Moore Show; on writing for someone else's voice
Buck Henry on the challenge of writing comedy about dark or difficult subject matter
Buck Henry on satire and the history of the satyr play - "nothing is sacred until somebody hurts you"; on what is off-limits to him
Buck Henry on why he enjoyed writing on Get Smart; on the different "voices" of comedy teams
02:07
Buck Henry on the myth of "pitching"; on identifying primarily as a writer but loving acting
Buck Henry on his advice to aspiring writers

Winifred Hervey

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Winifred Hervey on her writing strengths on Benson
00:50
Winifred Hervey on the difficulty of having her writing disregarded or thrown out
00:57
Winifred Hervey on the writers' room of The Golden Girls
02:09
Winifred Hervey on differences between writing for multi-camera and single camera shows
01:02
Winifred Hervey on her process for writing pilot episodes
03:52
Winifred Hervey on her writing process
03:17
Winifred Hervey on what she likes about writing
01:05
Winifred Hervey on advice to aspiring writers and producers
01:15

Silvio Horta

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Silvio Horta on advice to aspiring writers
01:02
Silvio Horta on his writing process
00:45

Roy Huggins

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Roy Huggins on learning to write for the screen
02:37

David Isaacs

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on their early collaborative writing process
06:31
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on how they collaborate
04:02
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on dealing with writers' block
02:25
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on The Writers Guild of America
02:12
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on writing for different genres
02:15
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on advice to aspiring writers
02:41

Seaman Jacobs

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Seaman Jacobs on being a freelance writer, and on writing with a partner
02:29
Seaman Jacobs on writing for Family Affair, and on the craft of writing for sitcoms
04:28
Seaman Jacobs on what makes a successful television comedy
01:29
Seaman Jacobs on his writing process with his partner
02:14

David Jacobs

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Writer/show creator David Jacobs on writing
00:07
David Jacobs on writing when he has something to write
00:54
David Jacobs on advice to young writers
00:30

Al Jean

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Al Jean on his writing process
00:55
Al Jean on advice for aspiring writers and for those who want to get into animation
01:47

George Clayton Johnson

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George Clayton Johnson on thinking he could be a writer - and starting to plot out "Ocean's Eleven"
06:56
George Clayton Johnson on an episode of The Twilight Zone he wrote ("Kick the Can") that was used in the film version directed by Steven Spielberg and caused some trouble with the Writers Guild
09:23
George Clayton Johnson on his process for writing episodic television
04:43

Irma Kalish

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Irma Kalish on the process of writing with her husband Rocky and how they divvied up responsibilities
11:06
Irma Kalish on writing for Popular Publications, a pulp magazine, and getting paid a penny a word in her early days as a writer
00:33
Irma Kalish on the difference between writing books versus writing for television
Rocky Kalish on writing for Martin & Lewis in their early radio career, as a boost to his career with wife Irma
01:26
Irma Kalish on writing sketch humor
00:40
Irma Kalish on how writing the All in the Family  episode dealing with cancer helped her friend, and impacted her feeling about her profession "you never know how many people you've touched"
02:11
Irma and Rocky Kalish on how they work together and how they determine what is funny
01:05
Rocky and Irma Kalish on tackling scripts with social import in the 1970s
02:30
Irma Kalish on her advice to aspiring writers
01:25

Rocky Kalish

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Irma and Rocky Kalish on how they work together and how they determine what is funny
01:05
Irma Kalish on the process of writing with her husband Rocky and how they divvied up responsibilities
11:06
Rocky Kalish on writing for Martin & Lewis in their early radio career, as a boost to his career with wife Irma
01:26
Irma Kalish on writing sketch humor
00:41
Irma Kalish on how writing the All in the Family  episode dealing with cancer helped her friend, and impacted her feeling about her profession "you never know how many people you've touched"
02:11
Rocky and Irma Kalish on tackling scripts with social import in the 1970s
02:30
Irma Kalish on her advice to aspiring writers
01:25

Lucille Kallen

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Lucille Kallen on the key to writing television comedy
02:54

David E. Kelley

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David E. Kelley on writing a lot of episodes of his shows himself (Chicago Hope and Picket Fences)
01:58
David E. Kelley on his writing process
01:44

Barry Kemp

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Barry Kemp on his role in the writing process on Taxi
02:45
Barry Kemp on the writing process for Newhart
03:55
Barry Kemp on his writing process
01:42
Barry Kemp on advice to aspiring writers
02:01

Michael Patrick King

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Michael Patrick King on starting to write plays - "One Act" and wanting to be a writer
00:58
Michael Patrick King on his rule - "Follow the Green lights"
00:42
Michael Patrick King on questioning oneself when you're creative
00:37
Michael Patrick King on turning in the very best version of his work
01:23
Michael Patrick King on the writers' room on Will & Grace
02:02
Michael Patrick King on the writers of Sex and the City
04:08
Michael Patrick King on the three layers of the writers' room of Sex and the City
04:50
Michael Patrick King on keeping the writing fresh on Sex and the City  and personal space in a writers' room
05:50
Michael Patrick King on advice for aspiring writers and producers 
01:05

Ernest Kinoy

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Ernest Kinoy on advice to aspiring writers
01:55

Arnie Kogen

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Arnie Kogen on his writing process
05:12
Arnie Kogen on what he likes about writing, and on writing in groups
03:00
Arnie Kogen on continuing to write for "Mad Magazine" and how he juggles it with his television work
01:28
Arnie Kogen on joining the Writers Guild and on his retirement
01:11
Arnie Kogen on advice to an aspiring writer
00:42

Rita Lakin

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Rita Lakin on her writing process, and on joining the Writers Guild
03:50
Rita Lakin on advice to aspiring writers
00:18

Glen A. Larson

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Glen A. Larson on utilizing "predicament humor" in his writing
01:55
Glen A. Larson on his learning process at Universal Television
03:51
Glen A. Larson on mentoring other writers
01:36
Glen A. Larson on the writing process for Battlestar Galactica
02:15
Glen A. Larson on advice to aspiring writers
01:32

Norman Lear

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Norman Lear on the rigorous schedule writers had in the Golden Age of Television and on his personal life at the time
05:30

Stan Lee

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Stan Lee on his signature, "As told by Stan Lee"
00:58
Stan Lee on the ease and fun of comic book writing
02:44
Stan Lee on writing
02:05

David Lee

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David Lee on becoming a producer for Cheers  in 1985 and the writing process on Cheers
04:10
David Lee on advice to aspiring writers
00:35

Ken Levine

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on their early collaborative writing process
06:31
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on how they collaborate 
04:02
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on dealing with writers' block
02:25
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on The Writers Guild of America 
02:12
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on writing for different genres 
02:15
Ken Levine and David Isaacs on advice to aspiring writers
02:41

Barry Levinson

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Barry Levinson on what he liked about writing sketch comedy
01:50
Barry Levinson on his writing process
03:22

Steve Levitan

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Steve Levitan on the moment he considered writing for sitcoms, and making the connections that got him a job in the industry
08:52
Steve Levitan on the writers' room at Wings
03:58

William Link

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William Link on his writing style 
18:22

Christopher Lloyd

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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

Chuck Lorre

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Chuck Lorre on writing for Roseanne
02:32
Chuck Lorre on writing for My Two Dads, originally called Who's Dad?
06:34
Chuck Lorre on the writers room on Grace Under Fire 
02:52
Chuck Lorre on the benefits of collaborating with other writers
02:02
Chuck Lorre on his advice to writers starting out
01:03

William H. Macy

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William H. Macy on his writing process with his writing partner Steven Schachter
02:18
William H. Macy on the Shameless episode, "Can I Have a Mother," which he wrote with Steven Schachter, and what he saw in the writers room
02:16

Loring Mandel

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Loring Mandel on adjusting his style of writing to the material
05:05
Loring Mandel on his writing process
02:04
Loring Mandel on subjects he's drawn to writing about, and on the politics of his work
03:49
Loring Mandel on advice to aspiring television writers
00:48

Sonia Manzano

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Sonia Manzano on writing for children on Sesame Street
02:29
Sonia Manzano on her advice to writers
01:00

Ann Marcus

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Ann Marcus on how writing for television has changed
02:18
Ann Marcus on the process of writing for soap operas
02:08
Ann Marcus on the difference between writing a daytime and night-time serial
05:20
Ann Marcus on advice to aspiring writers
03:21

Garry Marshall

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Garry Marshall on his early literary writing influences
01:27
Garry Marshall on tailoring writing for the star of a show
02:10
Garry Marshall on comedy writing from life experience
02:25
Garry Marshall on the differences between the fictional writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show and the actual ones
01:27
Garry Marshall on the advice Milt Josefsberg gave him about the financial rewards for writing for a Lucille Ball show
01:28
Garry Marshall on Tony Randall and Jack Klugman's professionalism raising the bar for his sitcom writing
01:21

Richard Matheson

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Richard Matheson on his writing schedule, on outling, on rewriting, and on reading aloud his scripts
04:02
Writer Richard Matheson on creating suspense and fear in his work
01:47
Richard Matheson on his advice to aspiring writers
01:59

David Milch

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David Milch on the process of writing for Hill Street Blues
02:20
David Milch on his writing process
05:31
David Milch on the key to creating a series
01:48
David Milch on advice to aspiring television writers
00:38

Paul Monash

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Paul Monash on how he got work as a freelance writer in the 1950s, and on the challenge of writing for live television
01:42
Paul Monash on his writing style, and on his writing process
09:45
Paul Monash on working with an agent, and on taking on the role of producer
05:10
Paul Monash on advice to aspiring television writers
02:40

Garrett Morris

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Garrett Morris on working as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live
29:00

Tad Mosel

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Tad Mosel on finding his writing style and on his influences 
04:47
Tad Mosel on writing an adaptation as opposed to writing an original piece
05:16
Tad Mosel on how the technological advances in camera work affected writing for television and on the challenges of writing to accommodate costume changes
08:19
Tad Mosel on writing to commercial breaks for live television and on adapting "A Death in the Family" for the stage
02:56
Tad Mosel on his writing process
10:28
Tad Mosel on working in Hollywood as opposed to working in New York
02:34
Tad Mosel on the pressures of writing and performing for live television and the decline of live television
02:28

Michael Moye

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Michael Moye on the writing process for Good Times
02:22
Michael Moye on the writing process for The Jeffersons
02:06
Michael Moye on rules for writing characters on The Jeffersons
02:58
Michael Moye on a change in the writing process on The Jeffersons
03:52
Michael Moye on his writing style
02:28
Michael Moye on advice to aspiring TV writers
03:11

Thad Mumford

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Thad Mumford on what he likes about writing
01:32
Thad Mumford on his advice to aspiring writers and on how he'd like to be remembered
01:44

Agnes Nixon

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Agnes Nixon on using her own experiences and dreams as material for her soap opera writing
01:41
Agnes Nixon on how the process of writing soap operas evolved throughout her career
04:45

Bill Nye

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Bill Nye on the writing and editing on Bill Nye, the Science Guy
06:54

Carroll O'Connor

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Carroll O'Connor on how his experience as an actor informed his dialogue writing
01:02

Bernie Orenstein

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Bernie Orenstein on he and Saul Turteltaub's responsibilities as producers of That Girl and what they looked for in staff writers
03:43
Bernie Orenstein on collaborating with his writing/producing partner Saul Turteltaub
00:54
Bernie Orenstein on his writing process when writing a novel or play
01:50
Bernie Orenstein on the process of writing for television
02:10
Bernie Orenstein on the process of writing for television
02:10
Bernie Orenstein on his writing process when writing a novel or play
01:50
Bernie Orenstein on advice for aspiring writers
00:26

Gail Parent

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Gail Parent on what made her a good television writer
00:58
Gail Parent on advice to aspiring television writers
01:29

Bill Persky

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Bill Persky on getting started as a writer for television, and the story of the 10 pounds of comedy material
Bill Persky on his favorite comedy joke, which he wrote for The Steve Allen Show, about Ben Casey
Bill Persky on the limitations of writing and why he wanted to be a director

David Pollock

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on their collaborative process
02:36
Elias Davis and David Pollock on dealing with writer's block
01:42
Elias Davis and David Pollock on advice to an aspiring television writer
03:05

Abraham Polonsky

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Abraham Polonsky on advice to aspiring writers, on his dislike of the internet, and on his mother
02:35

Carl Reiner

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Carl Reiner on being head writer and producer on The Dick Van Dyke Show
01:30
Carl Reiner on being a writer
00:43

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on his process of editing his scripts
01:38

Larry Rhine

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Larry Rhine on having writing partners, and on writing for Here's Lucy
05:34
Larry Rhine on advice to aspiring television writers
04:00

Andy Rooney

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Andy Rooney on making changes to his writing style when he started working for Arthur Godfrey
03:23

Phil Rosenthal

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Phil Rosenthal on transitioning from acting to writing and his first job as staff writer on
13:27
Phil Rosenthal on the 3 most important things about writing sitcom scripts that he learned from Alan Kirschenbaum
03:46
Phil Rosenthal on the writer's room of Everybody Loves Raymond and the dynamic between male and female writers
03:19

Mark Rothman

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Mark Rothman on his good instincts as a writer
04:17
Mark Rothman on advice to aspiring writers
07:52

Aaron Ruben

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Aaron Ruben on Sheldon Leonard's "seminars" which were held with The Andy Griffith Show writers
03:34

Stanley Rubin

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Stanley Rubin on writing his first screenplay and working with Marshall Grant
02:04
Stanley Rubin on joining the Screenwriter's Guild and helping to negotiate the first minimum basic agreement
03:01

Sol Saks

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Sol Saks on breaking into comedy writing, during the radio days
01:38
Sol Saks on noticing that on My Favorite Husband he was distracted from the set so he wouldn't interfere with production regarding changes in the script
01:23
Writer Sol Saks on his philosophy of comedy writing and writing in general
02:09
Radio and TV writer Sol Saks (Duffy's Tavern, Bewitched) on not believing in writer's block
00:56
Writer Sol Saks on learning his first (amusing) lesson— in the 8th grade— on how writers are treated
01:37

Jay Sandrich

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Jay Sandrich on a favorite episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show that presented a difficult writing challenge
01:40

Bob Schiller

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Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on plotting scenes backwards on I Love Lucy
00:32
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on I Love Lucy
01:52
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on I Love Lucy and a typical workweek
10:09
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on writing Lucille Ball's physical comedy into the scripts of I Love Lucy
00:37
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on Maude and Norman Lear's involvement with the writing
02:52
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on winning the WGA's Paddy Chayefsky Award for Television Achievement
01:07
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on their writing style and discipline, on why they've had a successful writing partnership
04:11
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on advice to aspiring comedy writers
02:31
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on why their writing has held up over the years
00:21

Lew Schneider

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Lew Schneider on coming up with storylines for Everybody Loves Raymond, and working with producer Phil Rosenthal
06:01
Lew Schneider on the process of writing Everybody Loves Raymond, and on a typical workweek on the show
05:11
Lew Schneider on advice to an aspiring television writer
01:06

Sherwood Schwartz

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Sherwood Schwartz on the writer's, director's and producer's role in a production
01:39
Sherwood Schwartz on his approach to storytelling
04:17

Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

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Lorenzo Semple, Jr. on advice to aspiring television writers
06:20

Richard Shapiro

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Richard Shapiro on his goals as a writer
00:28
Richard Shapiro on the challenges of being a freelance TV writer
01:00
Richard Shapiro on defining himself as a writer
00:33
Richard and Esther Shapiro on their pitching style
01:06
Richard and Esther Shapiro on advice to aspiring television writers
01:28

Esther Shapiro

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Richard and Esther Shapiro on advice to aspiring television writers
01:28

Mel Shavelson

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Mel Shavelson on advice to aspiring writers
03:12

David Shaw

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David Shaw on the process of writing scripts for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
02:18
David Shaw on advice to aspiring writers and his proudest career achievement
01:04

Sidney Sheldon

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Sidney Sheldon on why he loves writing more than directing
00:47
Sidney Sheldon on his process for writing novels
01:28
Sidney Sheldon on differences between writing for film and television and writing novels
01:00
Sidney Sheldon on his writing process
00:59
Sidney Sheldon on advice to aspiring television writers
01:08

David Shore

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David Shore on coming up with story ideas
04:56
David Shore on the advice he would give to young writers
00:58

Treva Silverman

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Treva Silverman on pitching a story; how it can be a humbling experience
02:29

Sam Simon

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Sam Simon on his advice to aspiring writers
00:30

John Singleton

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John Singleton on writing "Boyz n the Hood"
03:47
John Singleton on his writing process
01:46
John Singleton on what he likes about writing
00:32
John Singleton on writing for film and television, and feeling it's the same, especially as television becomes more cinematic
01:18

Darren Star

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Darren Star on trusting your own instincts as a writer and not allowing the audience to influence your choices
02:16
Darren Star on what he likes about writing
01:58
Darren Star on his writing process
01:35
Darren Star on advice to aspiring writers
01:09

Ben Starr

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Ben Starr on his love of writing
00:49
Ben Starr on his writing routine
02:20
Ben Starr on advice to aspiring television writers
01:10

Leonard Stern

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Leonard Stern on his advice to aspiring writers- keep writing!
02:49

Jeremy Stevens

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Jeremy Stevens on the writing process on Everybody Loves Raymond
10:14
Jeremy Stevens on the writers' room at Everybody Loves Raymond
12:50
Jeremy Stevens on using situations from his life on Everybody Loves Raymond
10:56

Norman Stiles

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Norman Stiles on the early process of writing for Sesame Street
04:41
Norman Stiles on writing for the actors on Sesame Street
03:39
Norman Stiles on writing for the ensemble of Sesame Street
01:35
Norman Stiles on collaborating with the writers on Sesame Street  as head writer of the show and what he looked for in a writer
03:14
Norman Stiles on keeping his writing for Sesame Street  fresh over several decades
04:06
Norman Stiles on the craft of writing 
03:32

Howard Storm

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Howard Storm on the challenges of writing for an established character like All in the Family's Archie Bunker

J. Michael Straczynski

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J. Michael Straczynski on the secret of his writing
02:47

Saul Turteltaub

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Saul Turteltaub on working with his writing partner Bernie Orenstein
02:38
Saul Turteltaub on the craft of writing: "You don't write the first page unless you know the last page"
01:47
Saul Turteltaub on writing on a typewriter, and his partner Bernie Orenstein getting a computer long before he did
01:20
Saul Turteltaub on what he likes about writing
01:55
Saul Turteltaub on advice to aspiring writers
00:44

Bruce Vilanch

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Bruce Vilanch on staying topical with his writing for the Academy Awards shows
Bruce Vilanch on honing his comedic talents in writing; on advice to aspiring writers

Ellen M. Violett

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Ellen M. Violett on the craft of writing adaptations for television
02:32
Ellen M. Violett on the craft of adapting works for television
02:21
Ellen M. Violett on what she likes about writing for television
05:26
Ellen M. Violett on advice to aspiring television writers
01:12

Matthew Weiner

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Matthew Weiner on his ability to remember dialogue and moments vividly, which he later used in writing for television shows like Mad Men
01:22
Matthew Weiner on knowing when to stop rewriting 
05:51
Matthew Weiner on not wanting to use repetition in the dialogue of Mad Men
01:29
Matthew Weiner on the writers' room on Mad Men; on taking risks
01:33

Bob Weiskopf

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Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on plotting scenes backwards on I Love Lucy
00:32
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on I Love Lucy
01:52
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on I Love Lucy and a typical workweek
10:09
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on writing Lucille Ball's physical comedy into the scripts of I Love Lucy
00:37
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on the writing process on Maude and Norman Lear's involvement with the writing
02:52
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on winning the WGA's Paddy Chayefsky Award for Television Achievement
01:07
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on their writing style and discipline, on why they've had a successful writing partnership
04:11
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on advice to aspiring comedy writers
02:31
Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf on why their writing has held up over the years
00:21

John Wells

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John Wells on crafting the stories of China Beach using real life stories from veterans 
04:17
John Wells on the writing of ER and the use of real medical terminology in the scripts
07:10
John Wells on his writing process
05:58
John Wells on how writing for television differs from writing for feature film
03:07
John Wells on advice to aspiring writers
02:10

Dan Wilcox

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Dan Wilcox on the writing process on Captain Kangaroo
01:54
Dan Wilcox on the writing process of Sesame Street
07:56
Dan Wilcox on writing the characters of Captain Kangaroo
05:17
Dan Wilcox on his writing process and dealing with writers block
04:49
Dan Wilcox on what he likes about writing and advice to an aspiring writer
02:09

Larry Wilmore

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Larry Wilmore on dealing with pilot season
01:57
Larry Wilmore on writing for Sister, Sister for showrunner Sy Rosen, and on learning to write for a sitcom
03:45
Larry Wilmore on his writing and editing process
03:37

Terence Winter

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Terence Winter on wanting to become a sitcom writer
04:03
Terence Winter on rules for writing The Sopranos and the writers' room on the show
03:48
Terence Winter on directing and writing The Sopranos episode - "Walk Like a Man"
04:54
Terence Winter on working with the other writers on The Sopranos
03:48
Terence Winter on advice to an aspiring writer
00:54