The Business

By KCRW, Kim Masters

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Category: TV & Film

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The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter...

Episode Date
Showrunner Carlton Cuse on ‘Jack Ryan’ and life after ‘Lost’

Writer-producer Carlton Cuse devoted six years of his life to the ABC megahit 'Lost.' When the show ended, he realized he'd have to figure out what to do next. Now showrunner of Amazon’s new 'Jack Ryan' series, Cuse talks about life after 'Lost' and why it took three-and-a-half years and many millions of dollars to bring the renowned Tom Clancy character to television for the first time.

Sep 14, 2018
Banter update: Leslie Moonves out at CBS following second Ronan Farrow exposé

Over the weekend, the New Yorker published a second story by Ronan Farrow about Les Moonves. This one chronicled six more allegations of graphic sexual misconduct by the CBS CEO. Moonves is now out at the company.

Sep 10, 2018
Comedian Laurie Kilmartin on Louis C.K. and her book ‘Dead People Suck’
Laurie Kilmartin had some thoughts after Louis C.K. did a surprise set at a New York comedy club less than a year after revelations of his sexual misconduct. She tells us what a path to redemption in the era of Time’s Up might look like, and why C.K.’s recent appearance wasn’t it. Kilmartin also tells us about bout the challenges that still face female comedians in 2018 and her book, ‘Dead People Suck.’
Sep 07, 2018
Revisiting showrunner Tanya Saracho on ‘Vida’

Soon after Tanya Saracho got the green light to write a pilot for her first TV series, she contracted a dangerous spinal infection that left her stuck in bed for months. But Saracho rallied and her show 'Vida' premiered on Starz. This week, we’re revisiting our conversation with Saracho, a former Chicago-based playwright. She tells us how she ended up running the first all Latinx writers room in cable.

Sep 03, 2018
‘Searching’ star John Cho and director Aneesh Chaganty

When John Cho got an offer to star in the new movie ‘Searching,’ a thriller set entirely on computer screens, he didn’t have to search for an answer: it was no. Cho explains his initial hesitations about the digital drama, and first-time feature director Aneesh Chaganty tells us how he convinced his dream lead to swipe right on ‘Searching.’

Aug 25, 2018
Bing Liu on his coming-of-age documentary, ‘Minding the Gap’

Growing up in Rockford, Illinois--a city outside Chicago that’s seen better days--Bing Liu was obsessed with making skateboarding videos. Over the course of more than a decade, one of those mini-movies morphed into a feature-length documentary. ‘Minding the Gap’ uses 12 years worth of verite footage to tell the story of 3 young men--Zack, Keier, and Liu himself, each coming of age in the shadow of abuse.

Aug 20, 2018
Jon M. Chu and Kevin Kwan on the crazy gamble of 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Author Kevin Kwan and director Jon M. Chu passionately wanted the movie version of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to play in theaters. So they turned down a huge offer from Netflix and took their chances with Warner Brothers. Chu and Kwan talk about what they did for love when they made the first major studio movie to feature an all Asian cast in years.

Aug 13, 2018
Director Desiree Akhavan on ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’

After her first feature premiered at Sundance to strong reviews, director Desiree Akhavan thought finding money to make a second film would be a snap. But after striking out in LA, Akhavan’s quest to make another project ultimately landed her in London. She tells us why she thinks the Brits are more open to her ideas, and talks about her newest film, ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post.’

Aug 06, 2018
Banter update: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves accused of sexual misconduct in New Yorker exposé

Late on Friday afternoon, a New Yorker investigation by Ronan Farrow dropped, revealing accusations of misconduct against Leslie Moonves by six women. The CBS board met on Monday and announced that Moonves would remain at work while the board works to hire outside counsel to conduct an investigation.

Jul 30, 2018
Director Matt Tyrnauer on ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’

A new documentary explores the incredible life of 95-year-old Scotty Bowers--a prolific pansexual pimp to the stars. Bowers says he set up liaisons for celebrities from Cary Grant to Rock Hudson to J. Edgar Hoover--all from his base in a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard. Director Matt Tyrnauer tells us about his film, ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.’

Jul 30, 2018
Marti Noxon on ‘Dietland,’ ‘Sharp Objects’ & the power dynamics of TV

As showrunner Marti Noxon was preparing to film her new series ‘Dietland’ on AMC, a former colleague from another AMC show, ‘Mad Men,’ accused series creator Matthew Weiner of sexually harassing her. Noxon decided to make a statement in support of the writer, Kater Gordon. Noxon tells us why she felt the need to speak up and talks about her two new series-- ‘Dietland' and ‘Sharp Objects.’

Jul 16, 2018
Revisiting 'Blockers' director Kay Cannon

‘Blockers ’is comedy writer Kay Cannon’s directorial debut. When she was hired for the project, she had some work to do on a script about girls, written by a bunch of guys. 'Blockers' is now out on DVD, and we're revisiting our conversation with Cannon. She tells us how she made ‘Blockers’ funnier and more feminist.

Jul 16, 2018
For ‘Leave No Trace,’ director Debra Granik goes into the woods

Debra Granik’s new movie, ‘Leave No Trace’ follows a father and daughter living completely off the grid, in the woods. Granik could have cast a big name to play the daughter, and perhaps gotten a bigger budget, but she says that’s not how her style of filmmaking works. Instead, she went with an unknown teenager from New Zealand.

Jul 09, 2018
Showrunner Courtney Kemp on ‘Power,’ the most-watched series on Starz

Courtney Kemp, creator of the Starz drama ‘Power,’ is one of the few women of color running her own TV show. With the push for increased diversity in the industry, Kemp says it’s easier for networks to open their wallets than their hearts. As 'Power' returns for a 5th season, Kemp gets real about being a parent and a showrunner, and how she wishes her series had been marketed differently in earlier seasons.

Jul 02, 2018
Tim Wardle on making the twist-filled ‘Three Identical Strangers’

Tim Wardle was working at a production company in London when he first heard about identical triplets separated at birth in the 1960’s and adopted by three different families. The brothers knew nothing of each other’s existence until they were reunited by chance at age 19. Wardle talks to Matt Holzman about how he got to make the crazy story told in his new documentary ‘Three Identical Strangers.’

Jun 25, 2018
As a director, Simon Baker rides the waves and takes a ‘Breath’

After seven seasons starring in the CBS series ‘The Mentalist,’ Simon Baker made his feature directing debut with the coming-of-age film, ‘Breath.’ Shot in part in the wild waters off the West Coast of Australia, ‘Breath’ stars two teenagers who had never acted, but were excellent surfers. Baker tells us how compared to surfing, acting is the easy part.

Jun 15, 2018
Banter update: John Lasseter to leave Disney following 'missteps'

After a late Friday news dump, we re-banter about John Lasseter's departure from Disney, discuss why he had to go, and what this means for the world of animation. Plus, a look ahead to Tuesday's expected decision on the AT&T trial.

Jun 11, 2018
Morgan Neville on his unexpected tearjerker, 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'

Director Morgan Neville knew his new documentary about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers and his neighborhood would be emotional. But he wasn’t prepared for theaters full of mass sobbing. He tells us why Mister Rogers makes us cry and how he made the deeply touching film, 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'

Jun 11, 2018
Dan Goor on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s’ dramatic reversal of fortune

Usually cancellation means death for a TV series, but these days, there is hope for resurrection. Showrunner Dan Goor went through an emotional Tilt-A-Whirl when his cop comedy ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ was dropped by Fox after 5 seasons, only to be brought back to life by NBC just one day later. Goor takes us through the topsy turvy ride.

Jun 04, 2018
Revisiting 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' showrunners

Amazon’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ tells the story of Midge Maisel--the perfect well-to-do 1950’s New York housewife who turns to stand-up comedy when her husband leaves her. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband and producing partner Daniel Palladino tell us about the work that goes into filming a period series in Manhattan and their painstaking process for selecting music for the show.

May 28, 2018
Tentative TV writer no more: Showrunner Tanya Saracho on ‘Vida’

Soon after Tanya Saracho got the green light to write a pilot for her first TV series, she contracted a dangerous spinal infection that left her stuck in bed for months. But Saracho rallied and her show 'Vida' has just premiered on Starz. A former Chicago-based playwright, Saracho tells us about her tough first experiences as a TV writer and how she ended up running the first all Latinx writers room in cable.

May 21, 2018
Justin Simien on ‘Dear White People’ and fighting impostor syndrome

As the series ‘Dear White People’ launches its second season on Netflix, the show about black students grappling with life at a fictional Ivy League university maintains a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Creator Justin Simien tells us about writing things satirically and then watching them become reality. And he explains why for many years, he didn’t believe he could be a part of creating pop culture.

May 14, 2018
Director Alexandra Dean on ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’

The documentary ‘Bombshell’ explores the life and legacy of Hedy Lamarr, a star from Hollywood’s golden age and an inventor whose ideas are still in use in wireless technology. Her inventions weren’t recognized until late in her ultimately tragic life, and never made her any money. ‘Bombshell’ director Alexandra Dean tells us about Lamarr’s extraordinary career, on-screen and off.

May 07, 2018
Content chief Susanne Daniels on growing YouTube Red and 'Cobra Kai'

Susanne Daniels has run the entertainment divisions of The WB, Lifetime and MTV. In those days, she sometimes faced a challenge of convincing big names to come to her network. Now, she oversees original content at YouTube, and she says getting talent is not a problem. She tells us about making the transition from traditional TV to streaming, and how YouTube Red is evolving with projects like ‘Cobra Kai.’

Apr 30, 2018
Director Chloé Zhao & star Brady Jandreau on ‘The Rider’

When director Chloé Zhao met horse trainer Brady Jandreau on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, she knew she wanted to put him in her next project. Then, Jandreau--a rising rodeo star--suffered a devastating riding accident, and Zhao knew she had the starting point of her new film. Zhao and Jandreau tell us how they made ‘The Rider’ on location in South Dakota on a shoestring budget with first-time actors.

Apr 23, 2018