NEW GIRL Writer-Executive Producer Speaks

…And we, um, read:

Kay-CannonInterview with Kay Cannon, the Hilarious Writer Behind “New Girl” & “Pitch Perfect”
by Anne McCarthy

You may have never heard Kay Cannon‘s name, but you’ve definitely laughed at her jokes. An alum of Chicago comedy group The Second City, Cannon landed a job as a writer and co-producer on 30 Rock. Tina Fey wrote of Cannon in Bossypants: “Her success at the show is a testament to why all parents should make their daughters pursue team sports instead of pageants.”

These days, Cannon she is currently a writer and co-executive producer on the television series New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel and is the writer of hit 2012 comedy Pitch Perfect and its just-announced sequel.

Cannon took time from her busy schedule of nursing, writing and being hilarious to answer a few questions for us.

ANNE MCCARTHY: You are a wife, a new mom, and an Emmy-nominated writer on a hit TV show. What do you say to people who ask, “How do you do it all?!” and how annoying is that question?

KAY CANNON: Not an annoying question one bit.  My answer is this: I don’t do it all.  Not even close.  I work on a show with a kickass writing staff, I have a kickass partner of a husband who is there for me at all times both personally and professionally and, I don’t mean get too braggy here… but I have a kickass baby, too.  She pitches jokes and shits at the same time—a real multi-tasker, that one.

At the end of the day, no one ever does anything all by themselves.  I never quote anybody, but I do agree with something that legendary women’s college basketball coach Pat Summitt once said which is, “Make sure you shave that before the game.”  Wait—no, not that quote.  I’m certain she’s said that more than once.  It’s, “You win in life with people.”  I love that quote and couldn’t agree more.

You are an alumna of Second City. How did your time there shape you as a writer and as a human being?

Second City was the first job I ever had where I was made to write.  I was so scared— and not very good at it.  Even if I came up with some decent ideas, the thought of sitting down at a computer and writing a draft of something that others would read was very intimidating to me.  Especially since I considered myself mostly as a performer.  I can remember telling a fellow Second City cast mate that I could probably put together a decent writing submission for SNL if I worked really hard on it.  But then if they liked it and hired me, I would have to be a writer!  I couldn’t think of anything worse!

The Second City was a job where you had to write or you wouldn’t get paid.  Luckily, it was a wonderful education in how to use my improvising skills and techniques to help my writing and vice versa. As far as what Second City did for me as a person?  Well it’s a great place to make connections with other people that last a lifetime.  Some of, if not most of, my dearest friends I met at The Second City.  It’s a wonderful community.

What are your favorite kind of characters to write?

I guess goofball characters.  It’s really fun to write lines for 30 Rock’s Tracy Jordan or New Girl’s Schmidt.  When a character can get away with saying almost anything, it opens the door to some good times.

Your film Pitch Perfect was a huge hit and a fan favorite. How did that project come about?

Read it all

TV Series Creators Tell Us What’s Happening on Their Shows

The creators/showrunners of THE BIG C, NEW GIRL, and SMASH dish about the shows.

A little anger, a little reflection, a little praise…kind of what being a TV writer is really about.

the_big_c_hereafterTHE BIG C Final Swason: Does Cathy Have to Die? by Lesley Goldberg

Showtime sends The Big C off with a four-episode final season, subtitled Hereafter, that will mark somewhat of a departure for the dramedy about a woman (Laura Linney) fighting, living and potentially dying after a battle with cancer.

With Hereafter, the series from executive producersDarlene Hunt and Jenny Bicks will shift from 30-minute episodes to four hour-long installments (and compete in the miniseries Emmy category) as Cathy Jamison’s final chapter unfolds.

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Hunt and Bicks as well as Emmy nominee Linney to preview the final season’s format changes and what’s in store for viewers of the series that hits close to home for its creators. Here are 12 things to know about The Big C: Hereafter.

Why four episodes?
“We wanted to do hourlongs this year just to shake things up and have fun,” Bicks says. “Four was a good number and it allowed us to span a year again — we start in September and we go to May.” With so much time to cover, each episode will connect to the one before but there will be a significant time jump between each hour. “We are tracking certain progressions of stories for each of the characters over the course of those four episodes.”

Read it all

NEW GIRL Creator Liz
Meriwether Talks Flashbacks,
Finales and Fornication

by Michael O’Connellnew_girl_jake_zooey_liz_a_l

With its romantic arc clipping along at a pace that would make other chemistry-inclined comedies blush, New Girl delivered another watershed moment during Tuesday’s episode.The Hollywood Reporter chatted with creator and ep Liz Meriwether about “Virgins” and where it leaves the show as it heads towards the May 14 finale. As they say, spoiler alert.

After breaking the romantic tension between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) with a kiss just three months ago, New Girl ended Tuesday’s episode with the awkward duo in bed. It was appropriate, given the episode focused largely on flashbacks to how each of the central five characters lost their virginity, but it opens up Pandora’s Box of worms that Meriwether and the writers will attempt to wrangle over the last two episodes of the season.

“We wondered if we should end the season with them having sex,” Meriwether tells THR, “but we ultimately decided that would feel more expected.”

Read it all

enhanced-buzz-wide-17599-1367360671-17SMASH Creator Theresa Rebeck Emailed Me by Kate Aurthur

In late January, I wrote a story about the musical drama Smash: what went wrong with its first season, and NBC’s attempt to reboot it. Its creator, Theresa Rebeck, was a significant figure in the story; she was fired during the first season, and a new executive producer/showrunner, Joshua Safran, was hired to take the show in a new direction. Which failed: NBC moved Smash to Saturday nights, where it has been drawing lower and lower ratings. It is all but dead.

On Monday, I heard from Rebeck.

enhanced-buzz-wide-26816-1367358526-10

Read it all

What Have We Learned from the 1st Week of the 2012 Season?

Some interesting bits, actually:

After One Week, Which TV Shows Look Good and Which Seem Doomed? – by Josef Adalian

Congratulations, fellow TV viewers: We’ve survived another premiere week! The networks threw all manner of new shows our way and forced us to fill our DVRs to bursting with returning favorites. It seems only fair that we repay their kindness by rushing to judgement about how their new lineups fared out of the gate, from the obvious winners to the Romney-esque losers. Yes, yes: One week does not a season make, particularly in an era when shows debut year-round and many viewers watch shows on their own damn schedules. But that caveat aside, we still think there are some early lessons to be drawn from the early days of the new season.

It’s more important than ever to pay attention to time-shifted viewing...

NBC has emerged from the Dark Ages

Fox is off to a rocky start...

We can already tell which shows are sticking around and which are doomed

TV’s grizzled veterans continue to defy gravity

Read the details