Q&A: TV’s Power Producers Probe Primetime via TVGuide.com


We asked these seven producers to give us their thoughts on the new season. Here’s their take.

TV Guide Magazine: What new or returning show are you most excited to see?
Darryl Frank: The Affair (Showtime).
Justin Falvey: Denis Leary’s Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (FX); Olive Kitteridge (HBO).
Jonathan Littman: Gotham (Fox).
Shonda Rhimes: This year I am all about Black-ish (ABC). Kenya Barris‘ pilot was really funny and I think the cast is great — I’m kind of a Tracee Ellis Ross stalker fan.
Greg Berlanti: Though not technically a new show, I’m most excited to see what Valerie Cherish has been up to on The Comeback (HBO).
Sarah Timberman: Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS, 2015).
Carl Beverly: Gotham (Fox).

TV Guide Magazine: What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
Frank: Flipping Vegas (A&E), Million Dollar Listing (Bravo), and some of my friends have been concerned that I get caught up in too many marathons of Lock Up (MSNBC).
Falvey: Catfish (MTV), My Crazy Obsession (TLC).
Littman: Scandal (ABC).
Rhimes: None.
Berlanti: Any reality show with the word “naked” in the title, I’m watching.
Timberman: Drunk History (Comedy Central).
Beverly: Morning Joe (MSNBC) at 3 a.m. and Face the Nation (CBS).

TV Guide Magazine: Which actors are poised for stardom?
Frank and Falvey: All of the kids on Red Band Society have incredible potential.
Littman: Shad Moss and Charley Koontz (CSI: Cyber).
Rhimes: Kelly McCreary. She’s guest starring on Grey’s Anatomy right now but man, is she turning in interesting and layered performances. Also Matt McGorry (How To Get Away With Murder), who is so, so funny.
Berlanti: All of them, they are each incredible.
Timberman: Jocko Sims (Masters of Sex).
Beverly: Is that a trick question? All of them.

TV Guide Magazine: What failed show do you consider the one that got away?
Frank and Falvey: Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000, NBC).
Littman: The Whole Truth (ABC’s 2010 legal drama with Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney).
Rhimes: My first pilot, War Correspondents (first developed in 2003 for ABC, now being reworked as a feature). We haven’t made it yet but we will in some form. So it has yet to get away.
Berlanti: The early canceled show most people bring up is Jack & Bobby (2004-2005, The WB’s drama about two brothers, one of whom would eventually become president).
Timberman: Fade to Black, a script by Party of Five creators Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser (about Hollywood in the McCarthy era, developed in 2008 for Showtime).
Beverly: Kidnapped (2006-07, NBC drama starring Jeremy Sisto) and Michael Mann’sRobbery Homicide Division (2002-2003, CBS).

TV Guide Magazine: Which app, tech device or item can’t you live without?
Frank: Apple TV. It’s where I watch Netflix and HBO GO, and use AirPlay to view all our rough cuts and casting reels.
Falvey: Dropbox = saving trees = a light briefcase.
Littman: iPad.
Rhimes: My iPad mini.
Berlanti: My laptop — it goes everywhere with me.
Timberman: I am the last of the BlackBerry holdouts.
Beverly: The New York Times (print edition) and my Galaxy S4.

TV Guide Magazine: What’s the best part of your job?
Frank and Falvey: Working with Steven Spielberg and with each other for almost two decades.
Littman: Taking a project from pitch to air — the full creative journey.
Rhimes: Writing.
Berlanti: Discovering new talent — writers, actors, directors.
Timberman: Doing creative work with people I love.
Beverly: Marrying great source material with the perfect writer: Justified and Graham Yost;Elementary and Rob Doherty.

TV Guide Magazine: What’s the most frustrating part?
Frank: Getting outlines, scripts or cuts at 11 p.m. on Sunday and being expected to give notes at 9 a.m. the next morning.
Falvey: Watching a great show die a slow, premature death.
Littman: Budgets.
Rhimes: Writing.
Berlanti: Going home always feeling like I have more work.
Timberman: Doing creative work with people I love.
Beverly: Delivering bad news to our writing partners. Always the worst!

TV Guide Magazine: What would you be doing if you weren’t in the TV biz?
Frank: Something I’m already doing: Making wine.
Falvey: Something I’m already doing: Drinking Frank Family wine.
Littman: Politics or philanthropy.
Rhimes: About four years ago, (outgoing Disney-ABC Television Group president) Anne Sweeney crowned me an official Disney princess, so I guess I’d be singing to birds and ruling an animated kingdom.
Berlanti: American History teacher.
Timberman: Still working in publishing.
Beverly: Trying to get in.