KCRW's The Business

KCRW's The Business


Hosted by Kim Masters, The Business looks deep inside the business of entertainment. A half-hour of thoughtful and irreverent dialogue with Hollywood's top deal-makers, filmmakers, moguls, artists and agents, The Business will clue you in on who's making pop culture pop and what's keeping Hollywood's Blackberries juicy.


For Billy Eichner, his time 'On the Street' got him an Emmy nom  

Billy Eichner has had recent roles in Hulu's Difficult People, Netflix's Friends from College, and in the upcoming season of American Horror Story on FX. But it's through his truTV game show, Billy on the Street, that he's in the Emmy race. He tells us about the evolution of his person-on-the-street antics and why not every celebrity is a good fit for the show.

Producer Gigi Pritzker on 'Genius,' her first foray into TV  

Gigi Pritzker didn't plunge headlong into the movie business -- her original life plan was to run an NGO in Nepal. An accidental journey to film school set her on a path to producing lots of films, including the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water. But she'd never done television until Genius, on the life of Albert Einstein, demanded to be made as a series. The first season of the National Geographic anthology series is now up for 10 Emmys.

How the doping doc 'Icarus' morphed into a real life thriller  

Bryan Fogel's original plan for his documentary Icarus was to investigate pervasive doping in cycling by becoming a human guinea pig. He recruited chemist Grigory Rodchenkov in Moscow to guide him. Then Rodchenkov was revealed as the architect of Russia's state-run doping program -- and he was ready to blow the whistle. Fogel helped Rodchenkov flee, and then things got really scary.

'Girls Trip' breakout Tiffany Haddish & director Malcolm D. Lee  

Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish is having a star-is-born moment with the raunchy comedy Girls Trip. Haddish says the movie has already changed her life, and she has big plans for where her career goes from here. Haddish and Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee tell us about filming during the actual Essence Festival and yes, a certain scene involving a grapefruit.

Curtis Armstrong on 'Revenge of the Nerd' and a colorful career  

Character actor Curtis Armstrong auditioned for the 1984 comedy Revenge of the Nerds, hoping to play the lead. The filmmakers saw him in the lesser role of Booger. At first, Armstrong told his agent, no way. But that role became a standout in Armstrong's long career as a character actor in film and TV. He shares stories of Booger and beyond in his new memoir.

Director Matt Reeves on 'War for the Planet of the Apes'  

Filmmaker Matt Reeves knew his new film, War for the Planet of the Apes, had to work even without any help from computer-generated effects. He tells us about shooting whole film first with his actors in special motion capture suits, and shares early thoughts on his next project, The Batman.

Allen Hughes on the experience of directing 'The Defiant Ones'  

Filmmaker Allen Hughes has been friends with music moguls Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for years. But when he set out to make the new HBO documentary series The Defiant Ones -- about their careers -- Hughes found that getting them to open up on camera wasn't easy.

Revisiting Gloria Calderón Kellett on 'One Day at a Time'  

When Norman Lear decided to reboot the classic sitcom One Day at a Time, this time with a Latino family, he wanted a writer-producer who could offer an authentic voice to the project. He found that person in Gloria Calderón Kellett, who incorporated much of her own background into the show, including making the family Cuban.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj on telling the story of 'new brown America'  

As a Muslim comedian, Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj found he could relate to political reporters when he agreed to the daunting challenge of doing the first White House Correspondents' Dinner of the Trump administration. Minhaj tells us about crafting his routine in just three weeks, and the far slower process of creating his new and very personal Netflix special, Homecoming King.

How David Mandel & his 'Veep' writers became "mini soothsayers"  

For the past two seasons, former Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm writer David Mandel has been showrunning HBO's Veep. And while the show can have eerie parallels to reality, Mandel tells us that more often than not, it's real life that ends up imitating Veep.

Shawn Levy on 'Stranger Things' and redefining his career  

Director Shawn Levy built a career on the ‘Night at the Museum’ franchise, but wanted to break out of his box. He set out to produce, and this past year scored with the Oscar-nominated movie ‘Arrival’ and the Netflix megahit ‘Stranger Things.’ He tells us how he went about getting the industry to reconsider him.

In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability  

Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."

Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir  

Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.

'American Gods' showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green  

The novel American Gods features countless mythological characters gearing up to fight an epic battle. The writer-producers of the new adaptation on Starz were determined to do justice to the book -- even if that meant constantly moving production and pushing the budget. Showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller tell us why they're not worried about critics who say the show is confusing, and go into the thinking behind an especially memorable, explicit sex scene.

Comedian Vir Das offers 'Abroad Understanding'  

After selling out stadiums in India, comedian and actor Vir Das is looking to break through in the US with his new Netflix special, Vir Das: Abroad Understanding. He tells us about making the jump from Bollywood to Hollywood and how he hopes his pointed humor can redefine expectations in India and America.

Margaret Atwood and Bruce Miller on 'The Handmaid's Tale'  

Author Margaret Atwood realizes that Hulu's adaptation of her Dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale has gotten a huge PR boost, thanks to a turn of events that hardly seemed possible when work on the series was underway. Atwood and showrunner Bruce Miller talk about adapting the story for television and the eerie timeliness of the new series. 

Kitty Green on her unconventional documentary 'Casting JonBenet'  

Kitty Green's new film, Casting JonBenet, is an experiment in nonfiction storytelling. The documentary shows a series of people from Boulder, Colorado, auditioning for roles in a movie about the infamous 1996 murder. Green never really intended to film a reenactment of the crime, but it was hard to explain to the actors what she did intend. She tells us how she got people on board and speculates on the reasons behind the country's continued fascination with the still unsolved murder.

In 'Free Fire,' Ben Wheatley wants to "meet the audience halfway"  

British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has built up a cult following with his hyper-violent, darkly funny movies. His newest film Free Fire is an action comedy starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and a whole lot of guns. The movie has the broadest commercial appeal of any of his work to date, but it's still a Ben Wheatley film, which means, spoiler alert...a lot of people die.

Bassem Youssef and Sara Taksler on 'Tickling Giants'  

Known as the "Jon Stewart of Egypt," Bassem Youssef hosted a satirical news show that was the first of its kind in the Middle East. The show was immensely popular, until the military-backed government forced Youssef off the air and out of the country. Youssef and director Sara Taksler tell us about their documentary Tickling Giants, which profiles Youssef’s leap from heart surgeon to super star satirist. 

Damon Lindelof on the end of 'The Leftovers'  

Writer-producer Damon Lindelof wrapped up the hit series Lost in 2010, and he still gets lashed by fans who hated the ambiguous ending. Now as Lindelof launches the final season of The Leftovers on HBO -- another series that revolves around a mystery -- he still cares what people think of his work, but this time, he's stay far away from Twitter.

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