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.


Harvey Fierstein returns to 'Hairspray,' this time on live TV  

Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein won one of his several Tonys for his performance as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. Now, he's reprising the role for NBC's live version of the musical, which airs December 7. He tells us about the weighty task of transforming into Edna and changes he made to the script when adapting it for television.

Noah Oppenheim on writing 'Jackie' and running NBC's 'Today'  

Noah Oppenheim spent his 20s working on NBC news shows. Then he left, hoping to make it as a writer in Hollywood. After a stint as an executive in reality TV, his first-ever script, Jackie landed on The Black List. Six years later, the film is finally premiering. Oppenheim tells us about watching Darren Aronofsky hand the project over to Chilean director Pablo Larrain, and his unusual career path, which has now taken him back to NBC, as a senior vice president in charge of Today.

Director David Mackenzie on 'Hell or High Water'  

Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie is Scottish, but he was instantly drawn to the Texas tale of two brothers turned bank robbers in the drought-stricken, post-recession American West. He tells us about his efficient, stripped-down approach to making one of the best-reviewed films of the year.

Making 'Moonlight' with persistence and kismet  

Director Barry Jenkins and producer Adele Romanski tell us about making their awards-contender Moonlight, about a gay African American boy growing up surrounded by poverty and drugs in Miami.

Pablo Azar on why acting in Spanish means no union benefits  

Telenovela star Pablo Azar often plays characters who live in a world of wealth. But Azar's reality is not so glamorous. Acting jobs with Telemundo come without union protections that are standard in English-language productions. Azar says even the stars of Spanish-language productions shot in the US are often forced to work other jobs. For him, it was driving for Uber. Then, writer-director Jonas Cuarón and actor Gael García Bernal tell us about their "political horror film" Desierto.

How Adam Irving stayed the course to make 'Off the Rails'  

First-time filmmaker Adam Irving faced a lot of obstacles telling the tale of compulsive New York train thief Darius McCollum. But Irving was determined to get his movie Off the Rails made. He tells us how he did it, and what he learned about making and marketing documentaries along the way.

Rebecca Hall, "Christine"  

When Rebecca Hall told her agents she wanted to play the title role in a tiny indie film about Christine Chubbuck, a TV news reporter who committed suicide on live television in 1974, her representation said...are you sure? Hall tells us why she took a gamble on the new film ‘Christine,’ and talks about watching Marvel slash her role in ‘Iron Man 3.’

Prolific showrunner Steven Bochco on his new 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 new memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. He shares some of those stories with us, plus gives an update on a possible LA Law reboot. 

Filmmakers Jack Riccobono & Chris Eyre on 'The Seventh Fire'  

Director Jack Riccobono and producer Chris Eyre's documentary The Seventh Fire takes an unflinching look at gang life on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota. Their journey to get the film made had several unexpected twists and turns, including a boost from Natalie Portman and Terrence Malick.

Married showrunners in rival universes; 'Amanda Knox' directors  

TV writer-producers and married couple Marc Guggenheim and Tara Butters recently found themselves running shows on opposite sides of the superhero wars: Butters at Marvel's Agent Carter and Guggenheim at DC Comics' Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. Plus, the directors of the new Amanda Knox Netflix documentary on their quest to go beyond salacious headlines. 

Trevor Pryce goes from the NFL to Netflix with 'Kulipari'  

Trevor Pryce spent 14 seasons as a defensive end in the NFL. In the off-season, he devoted himself to various creative endeavors, including his passion project: an original animated series. Once he retired, he made his show his way, and Kulipari: An Army of Frogs is streaming now on Netflix.

James Andrew Miller on 'Powerhouse,' an oral history of CAA  

James Andrew Miller has worked on in-depth oral histories of Saturday Night Live and ESPN. His newest book Powerhouse, traces the history of CAA, the dominant, but secretive Hollywood talent agency. He tells us how he got notoriously press-shy agents, including Michael Ovitz, to go on the record. 

Jimmy Kimmel on hosting his own show plus the Emmys  

Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been on ABC for almost 14 years, making Kimmel one of the "grizzled veterans" of late night. Kimmel tells us about the struggle of the early years of the show, accidentally creating the first late night viral video and his plan for hosting the upcoming Emmy awards.

Revisiting Louis C.K. and his web series experiment  

When comedian Louis C.K. created and self-financed his new web series Horace and Pete, he kept the production a secret and did absolutely no advertising. He tells us about risking his own money and making Horace and Pete completely on his own terms.

For The Americans' showrunners, collaboration is key  

Writer-producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields had never even met before they were teamed up to work on the FX spy series The Americans. What started as a blind date, of sorts, led to a creative friendship and one of the most critically acclaimed dramas on cable. Now Fields and Weisberg, as well as the stars of their show, are Emmy nominated for the series' fourth season.

'Grease: Live' Director Thomas Kail & Actor Sterling K. Brown  

Thomas Kail won a Tony for directing Hamilton on Broadway. Now he’s up for an Emmy after directing the TV musical Grease: Live on Fox. He tells us how having a specific vision for your project up front can save money in the long run. Then, actor Sterling K. Brown, also Emmy-nominated for his portrayal of Chris Darden on the FX limited series The People vs. O.J. Simpson, shares how he transformed into the complicated prosecutor.

Robert Smigel & Triumph take on the election in Hulu special  

Robert Smigel and his foul-mouthed puppet Triumph the Insult Comic Dog have been harassing unwitting subjects for almost 20 years. It's no surprise that in this election year, they found fertile ground (for Triumph to poop on). A two-part special on Hulu takes Triumph on new adventures on the campaign trail and at the conventions.

Mike Birbiglia on how improv made him a better director  

Comedian Mike Birbiglia's new film Don't Think Twice follows a close-knit improv group that starts to feel the strain when one of its members gets a big break on a hit TV show. Birbiglia tells us what improv and directing have in common, and how he's set out to "hand-deliver" his film to theaters.

James Schamus makes directorial debut with 'Indignation'  

James Schamus was a successful producer of independent films with his company, Good Machine, and then as the CEO of art-house label Focus Features for 13 years. In 2013, he was fired and decided to try something new. Schamus tells us about calling the shots on his directorial debut, Indignation.

Joe Berlinger Reflects on Long Career & New Tony Robbins Doc  

Joe Berlinger says his mind is boggled by the criticism of his new film, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru. Some critics think Berlinger should have approached his subject with a more skeptical eye, but the award-winning veteran documentarian says that was never the point of the movie.

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