"An uproarious behind-the-scenes account of the creation of the hit television series describes how comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld dreamed up the idea for an unconventional sitcom over coffee and how, despite network skepticism and minimal plotlines, achieved mainstream success, "--NoveList.
The New York Times bestseller about two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld—“A wildly entertaining must-read not only for Seinfeld fans but for anyone who wants a better understanding of how television series are made” (Booklist, starred review). Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. But against all odds, viewers did watch—first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly forty million Americans were tuning in weekly. Fussy Jerry, neurotic George, eccentric Kramer, and imperious Elaine—people embraced them with love. Seinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s intimate history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be. Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers into the writers’ room and into a world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant. Seinfeld created a strange new reality, one where years after the show had ended the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, and Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sites from the show. Seinfeldia is an outrageous cultural history. Dwight Garner of The New York Times Book Review wrote: “Armstrong has an eye for detail….Perhaps the highest praise I can give Seinfeldia is that it made me want to buy a loaf of marbled rye and start watching again, from the beginning.”
The hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld—the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world, altering the lives of everyone it touched. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly forty million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sights from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry’s famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV.
The bestselling author of Seinfeldia offers a fascinating retrospective of the iconic and award-winning television series, Sex and the City, in a “bubbly, yet fierce cultural dissection of the groundbreaking show” (Chicago Tribune). This is the story of how a columnist, two gay men, and a writers’ room full of women used their own poignant, hilarious, and humiliating stories to launch a cultural phenomenon. They endured shock, slut-shaming, and a slew of nasty reviews on their way to eventual—if still often begrudging—respect. The show wasn’t perfect, but it revolutionized television for women. When Candace Bushnell began writing for the New York Observer, she didn’t think anyone beyond the Upper East Side would care about her adventures among the Hamptons-hopping media elite. But her struggles with singlehood struck a chord. Beverly Hills, 90210 creator Darren Star brought her vision to an even wider audience when he adapted the column for HBO. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha launched a barrage of trends, forever branded the actresses that took on the roles, redefined women’s relationship to sex and elevated the perception of singlehood. Featuring exclusive new interviews with the cast and writers, including star Sarah Jessica Parker, creator Darren Star, executive producer Michael Patrick King, and author Candace Bushnell, “Jennifer Keishin Armstrong brings readers inside the writers’ room and into the scribes’ lives…The writing is fizzy and funny, but she still manages an in-depth look at a show that’s been analyzed for decades, giving readers a retrospective as enjoyable as a $20 pink cocktail” (The Washington Post). Sex and the City and Us is both a critical and nostalgic behind-the-scenes look at a television series that changed the way women see themselves.
"Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's deft weave of social history and sharp entertainment reporting explains how [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] made the world safe for Lena Dunham" (Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls)—the making of a classic and groundbreaking TV show, as experienced by its producers, writers, and cast. When writer-producers James L. Brooks and Allan Burns dreamed up an edgy show about a divorced woman with a career, the CBS executives they pitched replied: “American audiences won’t tolerate divorce in a series’ lead any more than they will tolerate Jews, people with mustaches, and people who live in New York.” Forty years later, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the most beloved and recognizable television shows of all time. It was an inspiration to a generation of women who wanted to have it all in an era when everything seemed possible. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted tells the stories behind the making of this popular classic, introducing the groundbreaking female writers who lent real-life stories to their TV scripts; the men who created the indelible characters; the lone woman network executive who cast the legendary ensemble—and advocated for this provocative show—and the colorful cast of actors who made it all work. James L. Brooks, Grant Tinker, Allan Burns, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Georgia Engel—they all came together to make a show that changed women’s lives and television itself. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is the tale of how they did it.
In celebration of the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary, TV writer Kimberly Potts writes a Seinfeldia-like definitive history of the show that changed the family sitcom and made an indelible impact on pop culture. There isn't a person in this country who hasn't heard of The Brady Bunch. Whether it's the show they watched growing up, or the one their parents did--whether adored, or great to poke fun at--The Brady Bunch is unarguably one of the most enduring and inspiring TV shows of our time. It's lived a dozen lives, from its original comedy debut and big-screen movies, to the Emmy-winning TV auteurs it has inspired--everyone from Vince Gilligan to Jill Soloway--and promises to live many more. In The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch, TV and pop culture writer Kimberly Potts will draw upon her deep knowledge of and appreciation for The Brady Bunch and television and pop culture history, as well as her contacts, connections, and experience, to provide an industry insider narrative of The Brady Bunch. With fresh interviews, The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch will examine the show's lasting effects on its audience and take readers behind-the-scenes and into the lives of our most beloved characters, all to document why The Brady Bunch was one of the most groundbreaking shows of its time--and why it remains to this day, unforgettable.
Larry David, the man behind two of the most successful and critically acclaimed sitcoms in television history, is the focus of this biography. This unofficial guide follows the career that has accorded him status as a comic genius and garnered a fanatical following—from his early exploits as a stand-up comic to his role as producer and cocreator of Seinfeld and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. It explores the back-story of the conception and development of Curb Your Enthusiasm, a mostly improvised sitcom in which the actor stars as a fictionalized version of himself. The comic’s on- and off-screen relationships with colleagues and friends such as Richard Lewis, Ted Danson, Wanda Sykes, Mary Steenburgen, and the cast members of Seinfeld are discussed, and a detailed episode guide to every season of Curb Your Enthusiasm completes this informative and entertaining glimpse into the life and creative process of a great comic talent.
Seinfeld. For more than 33 million viewers, the Emmy Award-winning television show has become a Thursday night ritual. Even though the show has ended, Jerry Seinfeld's distinct brand of humor can still be yours. In his #1 New York Times bestselling book, SeinLanguage, Jerry Seinfeld has captured on the page his views on topics ranging from Raisinettes to relationships, from childhood to cop shows, and from parents to power suits. This must-have book for all fans—and who isn't a fan?—remains available in both paperback and hardcover. From the Paperback edition.
A backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron's revered trilogy--When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle--which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham. In I'll Have What She's Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron's New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron--who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it--ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members. Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron's fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separatel balked at playing Mail's Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless' Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing ... in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America's most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I'll Have What She's Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.