Beggars and Choosers (TV series)

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Beggars and Choosers
BeggarsAndChoosers.jpg
GenreComedy-drama
Created byPeter Lefcourt
Brandon Tartikoff
Written byBrad Buckner
Chris Cluess
Wendy Goldman
Charlie Hauck
Peter Lefcourt
Scott Kaufer
Eugenie Ross-Leming
Julia Sayres
Lynn Seifort
David Shore
Directed byGeorge Bloomfield
Fred Gerber
Joanna Kerns
Sheldon Larry
Richard J. Lewis
Stuart Margolin
George Mendeluk
Ron Oliver
Ron Orieux
Michael Ritchie
Helen Shaver
Sandy Smolan
Anne Wheeler
Charles Winkler
StarringBeau Bridges
Justin Carroll
Colin Cunningham
Kaj-Erik Eriksen
Isabella Hofmann
Carol Kane
Keegan Connor Tracy
Brian Kerwin
Rudolf Martin
William McNamara
Bill Morey
Paul Provenza
Klodyne Rodney
Charlotte Ross
Tuc Watkins
Theme music composerDavid Schwartz
Composer(s)Ferocious Fish
Terry Frewer
David Schwartz
Stanley A. Smith
Jim Guttridge
Country of originUnited States
Canada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes42
Production
Executive producer(s)Kim Fleary
Peter Lefcourt
Scott M. Siegler
Lilly Tartikoff
Producer(s)Cal Shumiatcher
CinematographyRon Orieux
Editor(s)Lee Haxall
Kevin Krasny
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Granada Entertainment USA
H. Beale Company
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJune 19, 1999 (1999-06-19) –
February 6, 2001 (2001-02-06)

Beggars and Choosers is an American comedy-drama series broadcast by Showtime. Developed by Peter Lefcourt and Brandon Tartikoff, the series was a comedic, behind-the-scenes look at network television. Its 42 episodes aired between June 19, 1999, and February 6, 2001.

Synopsis[edit]

The tongue-in-cheek series centered on Rob Malone, President of LGT, and his efforts to boost the network's sagging ratings with Lori Volpone, the scheming Vice-President of Development, and Malcolm Laffley, a gay man who came out of the closet to clear himself of sexual harassment charges levied against him by a woman. Each episode provided amusing insight into how a network runs, from how its executives deal with temperamental stars to how they make big budget deals while trying to keep the network financially stable.

Characters[edit]

  • Rob Malone (Brian Kerwin)
  • Lori Volpone (Charlotte Ross): The ambitious Vice President of Development for LGT
  • Malcolm Laffley (Tuc Watkins)
  • Kelly Kramer (Christina Hendricks)
  • Cecile Malone (Isabella Hofmann): Rob's wife
  • Brad Advail (William McNamara): An agent who is a thorn in Rob's side
  • Parker Meridian (Paul Provenza): The egomaniacal star of the hit LGT show Parker's Pals who is romantically involved with Rob's daughter Audrey
  • Audrey Malone (Keegan Connor Tracy): Rob and Cecile's slightly flaky 21-year-old daughter
  • Emory "E.L." Luddin (Bill Morey): The frequently comatose founder and former CEO of LGT
  • Lydia "L.L." Luddin (Carol Kane): E.L.'s wife, whose plans for an eponymous variety show are thwarted when Dan Falco buys the network
  • Casey Lenox (Sherri Saum): A young ambitious new hire at LGT that Lori Volpone fears could threaten her career path
  • Dan Falco (Beau Bridges): A Buddhist who acquires ownership of LGT after obtaining 53% of the company's stock during a power struggle between the Luddins
  • Wayne (Alex Zahara)

Episodes[edit]

Season 1: 1999–2000[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1
2
1
2
"The Mountainmen"Michael RitchiePeter LefcourtJune 19, 1999 (1999-06-19)
33"Once More Unto the Breach"George BloomfieldPeter LefcourtJune 26, 1999 (1999-06-26)
44"Hat Trick"Charles WinklerPeter LefcourtJuly 3, 1999 (1999-07-03)
55"The Ethel Merman Story"Sandy SmolanPeter LefcourtJuly 10, 1999 (1999-07-10)
66"The Deal"Stuart MargolinDavid ShoreJuly 17, 1999 (1999-07-17)
77"Sex, Drugs & Videotape"Fred GerberCharlie HauckJuly 24, 1999 (1999-07-24)
88"Unsafe Sex"Stuart MargolinPeter LefcourtJuly 31, 1999 (1999-07-31)
99"The Velvet Curtain"TBADavid ShoreAugust 7, 1999 (1999-08-07)
1010"Touched by an Angel"Rick WallaceStory by : Lynn Siefert & David Shore & Charlie Hauck
Teleplay by : David Shore & Charlie Hauck
August 14, 1999 (1999-08-14)
1111"Is It Good or Bad for the Jews?"Sandy SmolanCharlie HauckAugust 21, 1999 (1999-08-21)
1212"White Woman's Burden"Charles WinklerJulie Sayres and Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerAugust 28, 1999 (1999-08-28)
1313"Shakedown in Puerto Vallarta"Sandy SmolanPeter LefcourtSeptember 4, 1999 (1999-09-04)
1414"Don't Try This at Home"Charles WinklerDavid ShoreSeptember 11, 1999 (1999-09-11)
1515"Star Whores"Richard MartinBrad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-LemingNovember 27, 1999 (1999-11-27)
1616"Always Leave 'Em Laughing"TBAPeter LefcourtDecember 4, 1999 (1999-12-04)
1717"Faith, Hope & Chastity"TBAEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerDecember 11, 1999 (1999-12-11)
1818"Russian Roulette"Fred GerberTBAFebruary 19, 2000 (2000-02-19)
1919"Death in Malibu"TBAPeter LefcourtFebruary 26, 2000 (2000-02-26)
2020"Fasten Your Seatbelts"TBAEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerMarch 4, 2000 (2000-03-04)
2121"Disinformed Sources"Joanna KernsPeter LefcourtMarch 11, 2000 (2000-03-11)
2222"The Cherry Orchard"TBAPeter LefcourtMarch 18, 2000 (2000-03-18)

Season 2: 2000–01[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
231"PMS.com"Joanna KernsPeter LefcourtJune 27, 2000 (2000-06-27)
242"Fifty Three Percent Solution"Anne WheelerScott KauferJuly 4, 2000 (2000-07-04)
253"Sex and Violence"Richard J. LewisBrad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-LemingJuly 11, 2000 (2000-07-11)
264"Dog Day Afternoon"Sheldon LarryPeter LefcourtJuly 18, 2000 (2000-07-18)
275"The Naked Truth"Richard J. LewisScott KauferJuly 25, 2000 (2000-07-25)
286"An Asian in the Sun"Ron OliverChris CluessAugust 1, 2000 (2000-08-01)
297"The Leak"Fred GerberWendy GoldmanAugust 8, 2000 (2000-08-08)
308"Hello Dalai"Stuart MargolinEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerAugust 15, 2000 (2000-08-15)
319"Zero Tolerance"George MendelukPeter LefcourtAugust 22, 2000 (2000-08-22)
3210"The Wartime Consigliere"Stuart MargolinScott KauferAugust 29, 2000 (2000-08-29)
3311"Be Careful What You Wish For"Helen ShaverBrad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-LemingSeptember 5, 2000 (2000-09-05)
3412"Killer Sushi"George BloomfieldPeter LefcourtSeptember 12, 2000 (2000-09-12)
3513"The Woodhouse Conundrum"Ron OliverScott KauferDecember 5, 2000 (2000-12-05)
3614"Moles, Meatloaf & Myrna Loy"David Warry-SmithEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerDecember 12, 2000 (2000-12-12)
3715"Fathers & Sons"Helen ShaverPeter LefcourtJanuary 2, 2001 (2001-01-02)
3816"Hitting the Bottle"Charles WinklerScott KauferJanuary 9, 2001 (2001-01-09)
3917"Golf War Syndrome"Cal ShumiatcherBrad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-LemingJanuary 16, 2001 (2001-01-16)
4018"We'll Always Have Burbank"Charles WinklerScott KauferJanuary 23, 2001 (2001-01-23)
4119"From Russia with Love"Stuart MargolinEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerJanuary 30, 2001 (2001-01-30)
4220"The Long Goodbye"Richard J. LewisPeter LefcourtFebruary 6, 2001 (2001-02-06)

Production notes[edit]

The series was created by former NBC television executive Brandon Tartikoff who based the series on his own experiences. Tartikoff, whose wife Lily served as a producer on the series, died of Hodgkin's Disease two years before the series debuted.[1]

Filmed in Vancouver, Beggars and Choosers was produced for Showtime by Granada Entertainment USA and distributor by Buena Vista Television.[2]

Reception and cancellation[edit]

Beggars and Choosers garnered very positive reviews from critics and, according to Showtime executive vice president of original programming Gary Levine, had a loyal audience,[1] but ratings for the series remained low. Showtime canceled the series after two seasons in December 2000.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Refs
2000 Casting Society of America Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot Marc Hirschfeld, Meg Liberman, and Joel Thurm Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Carl Reiner Nominated
2001 Canadian Comedy Awards Television – Pretty Funny Direction – Series Charles Winkler Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding TV Comedy Series Beggars and Choosers Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b De Vries, Hilary (2000-07-02). "The Makers of TV Are Happy to Mine Their Own Business". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  2. ^ a b Steven J., Stark (2000-12-18). "'Beggars' Signs Off At Showtime". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-04-15.

External links[edit]