Thursday, January 5, 2017

End of Year Roundup: Memorable Quotes from My 2016 in the TV Trenches

Some notable quote-ables from my 2016 stories, panels and podcasts:

Jimmy Kimmel on hosting the Oscars: "If asked, I would do it. That’s not to say I wouldn’t immediately regret saying yes, as I do with almost everything I agree to. The Oscars really does seem like a no-win situation, but in a way that makes you want to win. It’s a challenge, and nobody’s ever happy with the host." (September)

Gina Rodriguez: "You do not live in this world alone. It really blows my mind when celebrities or anyone with any amount of social status or power doesn't use it to make things brighter. If everyone did that it would be more of a shiny place." (December)

Ilene Chaiken on writing "Empire" in the Trump era: "A lot of us feel more rage. It’s probably going to come out in some of what we write. We still want to tell great stories, we want to be entertaining. But if I had an agenda before, I sure as hell have an agenda now." (November)

David Blaine admits that eating glass is taking a toll on his body: “Every time I drink hot and cold, I really feel it. That one I’ll agree with [the dentist] on. It doesn’t mean that I’ll stop. But I’ll agree with him.” (November)

James Burrows on the late Grant Tinker: “I owe my entire television career to him." (November)

Marc Summers on the legacy of "Double Dare": “I was backstage at a Bruno Mars concert and they said, ‘Do you want to meet him?’ He saw me, runs down the hall, throws his arms around me and hugs me. I said, ‘Oh, my God. Do you know who I am?’ And he goes, ‘You raised me.’ It’s like, that was weird.” (November)

"Parks and Recreation" executive producer Mike Schur on how the show accurately predicted a 2016 Cubs World Series win: “Honestly it seems like a big magic trick that we predicted this, but it wasn’t really a magic trick, it was just being a big baseball fan and knowing what they were doing.” (November)

Tracey Ullman on the recent trend toward darker TV comedy: “I’m a bit older now, but some of the younger stuff, I just say, jeez, just end it all now! The world’s coming to an end, it’s all a bit bleak.” (October)

Jon Glaser on playing a douche-y version of himself: "“Why am I good at being a dick? But when you’re doing comedy, its fun to be an asshole and get to act like a real jerk. It’s enjoyable because it’s not real.” (October)

"The Walking Dead" executive producer Greg Nicotero on shooting the show's brutal season opener: "It quite frankly had a tremendous effect on all of us. All the actors and myself included. When it was over, I was like, 'I literally need to detox from this for two weeks' because it was just so heartbreaking." (October)

Michel'le on watching the Lifetime biopic based on her life: "This is no joke. I would never want anyone to live this life. I’m watching myself, when I watched them portray me and Dr. Dre and it touched me in different way… it was a very eye-opening experience. I didn’t see it that way [at the time]. I thought it was just normal for me.” (October)

David E. Kelley on how his last CBS show, "The Crazy Ones," soured him on broadcast TV: “They’re more into making elevator music than they are good product. I realized that the goal wasn’t to make something that people could be proud of or invest in, but something compatible to just go with the business model. I had to look at other avenues." (October)

"Insecure" executive producer Prentice Penny on being African-American in predominantly white writers' rooms: “It can be difficult, it can be uncomfortable at times. Do you make a stand on this thing, and if you do, are you going to be considered ‘The black guy who’s doing this’? But you don’t want to let it slide… it’s like chess. And you’re trying to be a good writer in the room. There’s all these levels of not just the work, but the perception of how you’re perceived in the work. To navigate that can be tricky.” (October)

Mark Cuban: "“Donald Trump’s branding is like how they branded cigarettes in the ’60s. You can put the Marlboro Man [out there] and make him look like there’s something positive [to smoking] – even though when you buy their product, you are going to die and there’s a good chance he is going to kill you.” (September)

Ted Danson: "My new philosophy in life is you go find the most creative people in the room, and then ask them very nicely if you can be a part of what they're doing." (July)

"This Is Us" executive producer Dan Fogelman: "Life is very cinematic and its big and beautiful and ugly and messy. That's what the show is about." (September)

Greg Berlanti: "It’s just as powerful to me when a little boy comes up to me and talks about Supergirl and thinks she’s just as cool as The Flash. It feels like it’s part of the revolution happening in general on television. As there are more shows, people are getting better at realizing there should be more shows about, and for, and by, everybody from all walks of life." (September)

NBC research president Alan Wurtzel: "I think we can fairly say that the DVR’s reign is about to end." (July)

Kevin Bacon on doing an Amazon show: "From the time I signed on to 'The Following' things have already vastly changed in the entertainment world in general. It’s an adjustment for me. I started making movies in 1977, and I didn’t even think about the idea that I would ever be on a television show. Once I finished the 'Guiding Light,' I was like, 'I’m done with television!' So to be on whatever you call it, a platform, it’s wild." (August)

"Making A Murderer" filmmaker Laura Ricciardi: "There were no winners here and there continue to be no winners." (August)

"Hawaii Five-O" producer Peter Lenkov on tackling "MacGyver": "Am I going to be called ‘the reboot guy’? Yeah, probably. Is that bad? Maybe for some people. It’s not bad for me." (August)

Netflix's Ted Sarandos on whether there's "too much TV": "There are too many mediocre, safe shows on TV.” (July)

Conan O'Brien: "There are days where you say how you feel about things. I’m sure I probably lost some people after Orlando, when I said how I felt about people having semi-automatic weapons and how that made no sense to me. I’m sure there’s a lot of people in this country who thought, “screw you, pal.” But at a certain point you just don’t care." (July)

Wayne Brady on how it's now cool to be a game show host: "Being a game show host was very much akin to being a local affiliate weatherman – and no offense to local affiliate weathermen, but there’s a stereotype. But now everyone’s coming to sit at our table. I kind of paved the path, for black men specifically, the Anthony Andersons, the Steve Harveys, the Michael Strahans. That wasn’t looked upon as the coolest gig in the world. I think that flipped the paradigm a little bit.” (July)

"Modern Family" executive producer Steve Levitan: "It always struck me that this lobbying group, the NRA, has so much power. It’s a perfect symbol that something’s wrong, that things aren’t right in our country. The injustice is so overwhelming that it’s hard to ignore and it just pisses me off." (July)

Chuck Lorre on bringing realness to his comedy: “Broken people trying to repair their lives, I can relate to that. I know a lot of people that can relate to the comedy in the repair business of a person’s life. I think we’re all in the process of doing a little mending.” (June)

Lorne Michaels defends having Trump host "SNL": "Last fall, the people you thought were part of the moment, or what was happening, were Trump, Bernie and Hillary. And we had all three on the show pretty early. You catch a lot of grief for doing it but it’s what we’ve always done, and what I think the audience expects us to be doing." (June)

Jerrod Carmichael on the delay in NBC renewing "The Carmichael Show": “For what I think this show has contributed to the network, I found it disrespectful. Not that I entered into the television business for all the respect in the world.” (June)

Former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath on Prince: "In an age where everyone knows everything about everyone, you never knew everything about him. He kept you curious. But for someone so unique, he seemed incredibly approachable. He was so fucking incredibly talented. Everything about him: style, choreography, attitude, and the most undeniable musical chops you ever heard in your life." (April)

Dan Rather: "With investigative reporting, there are really only a few places still trying to do it. It’s increasingly difficult to find a regular outlet for the kind of journalism that I and others got in the business to do.” (April)

Pharrell Williams: “I’m praying that women come together and save this nation. You think about the destructive things that have come from mankind, it’s mostly men.” (December)

NBC alternative president Paul Telegdy, on Trump: “What’s going on demonstrates, if nothing else, the enormous amount of responsibility that goes with the job of putting out the version of someone that we do in a TV show. I think his persona seems to be in lockstep with his persona on the show… I don’t think where Donald is in this campaign is any surprise to anyone who was close to him.” (May)

Harry Connick Jr. on why he's doing a talk show: "In a day, I can reach more people than I do in an entire tour." (July)

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