Beggars and Choosers (TV series)

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Beggars and Choosers
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
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes42
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 mins. (approx)
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJune 19, 1999 –
December 12, 2000

Beggars and Choosers is a 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 December 12, 2000.


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.


  • 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)

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
Emmy Award 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


  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]