Ken Levine (screenwriter)
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Ken Levine (born February 14, 1950) is a writer, director and producer in the television and film industry, and an author. Levine has worked on a number of television series, including M*A*S*H, Cheers (for which he shared Outstanding Comedy Series honors at the 35th Primetime Emmy Awards), Frasier, The Simpsons, Wings, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker and Dharma and Greg. Along with his writing partner David Isaacs, he created the series Almost Perfect.
Levine has also been a radio and TV play-by-play commentator for Major League Baseball games, having worked with the Baltimore Orioles (1991), Seattle Mariners (1992–94, 2011-2012), and San Diego Padres (1995–96). From 2008 to 2010, he co-hosted the KABC Dodger Talk radio call-in program after every Los Angeles Dodgers game, as well as the station's weekly Sunday Night Sports Final program. During his second stint with the Mariners, he returned to help fill in for the deceased Dave Niehaus.
For several years in the 1970s, Levine was a disc jockey using the air name "Beaver Cleaver" on several West Coast Top 40 radio stations including KYA San Francisco, KFMB-FM San Diego, and KTNQ, KIQQ and KHTZ Los Angeles.
"By Ken Levine" Blog
His blog, By Ken Levine, was rated one of The Best 25 Blogs of 2011 by Time Magazine. Every day, Levine offers up a variety of essays on his experiences, his observations and his advice. The major topics he writes about include:
- Advice to aspiring and working TV writers
- Behind the scenes looks at the TV business
- Travelogues about oddball and not-so-oddball places he visits for business or pleasure
- Reviews of pop culture phenoms and hidden gems/travesties
- His life in baseball
- Recollections of his radio career
- Memoirs of growing up in L.A. in the 1960s
He also writes a once-a-week Friday Questions column where Levine answers three or four questions submitted by his readers.
In what the Los Angeles Times called an epic "Blog Fight!", Levine responded to an assertion in New York Magazine by Roseanne Barr that her sitcom Roseanne was doomed due to sexism and her lack of creative control. Levine said "...Roseanne is a monster. No amount of spinning on her part is going to change that. No amount of 'woe is me', 'no one understands me', 'I’m the only one who cares' laments are going to change the fact that she treated people like shit. Routinely. Constantly. Knowingly."
Barr responded with an obscenity-laced rejoinder which included this challenge: "I am pretty sure that women who have worked for you in the past (if indeed there were ANY) worked in a hostile work environment. Let me know, women writers out there–how were you treated on Ken Levine’s staff?" Levine posted an answer from Almost Perfect co-creator Robin Schiff: "There are many sexist guys in the business, but Ken Levine is not one of them. The most sexist thing he ever did was blather on about baseball with the other men in the room despite the fact that I was visibly bored. Hardly grounds for a lynching."
But Schiff did offer, "I totally agree with Roseanne that there is rampant sexism in the industry. A couple of weeks ago, the WGAw released its executive summary finding that (in addition to dismal stats for ethnically diverse or older writers), women comprise only 28% of working writers. We still make less money than men. All you have to do is look at the writers onstage accepting Emmys for late night talk shows and sitcoms to see that women comedy writers are on the endangered list."
The Simpsons episodes
Awards and nominations
- 1979 - Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: M*A*S*H: "Point of View" (with David Isaacs)
- 1979 - Nominated: Humanitas Prize for 30 Minute Network or Syndicated Television: M*A*S*H: "Point of View" (with David Isaacs)
- 1979 - Nominated: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: M*A*S*H: "Point of View" (with David Isaacs)
- 1980 - Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: M*A*S*H: "Good Bye, Radar, Part II" (with David Isaacs)
- 1980 - Nominated: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: M*A*S*H: "Good Bye, Radar, Part I and Part II" (with David Isaacs)
- 1983 - Won: Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series: Cheers (with James Burrows, Glen and Les Charles and David Isaacs)
- 1983 - Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Cheers: "The Boys In The Bar" (with David Isaacs)
- 1983 - Nominated: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: Open All Night: "Terry Runs Away" (with David Isaacs)
- 1984 - Won: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: Cheers: "The Boys In The Bar" (with David Isaacs) (Tied with Glen and Les Charles for the Cheers pilot, "Give Me a Ring Sometime")
- 1988 - Nominated: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: Cheers: "Never Love a Goalie - Part I" (with David Isaacs)
- 1990 - Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Cheers: "Death Takes a Holiday on Ice" (with David Isaacs)
- 1990 - Nominated: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: Cheers: "Jumping Jerks" (with David Isaacs)
- 1992 - Won: Writers Guild of America Award for Episodic Comedy: Cheers: "Rat Girl" (with David Isaacs)
- 1994 - Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Comedy Series: Frasier: "The Show Where Lilith Comes Back" (with David Isaacs)
- Authored "It's Gone...No, Wait A Minute...", a diary of his season broadcasting with the Baltimore Orioles (1991), which was released in 1993.
- Ken Levine at the Internet Movie Database
- Ken Levine's blog
- Ken Levine Interview
- Ken Levine - Awards and Recognitions at IMDB
- Ken Levine interview video at the Archive of American Television
- IMDb listing for "Almost Perfect (TV Series)"
- IMDb listing for "Volunteers" (1985)
- IMDb full crew for "Mannequin: On The Move"
- Baltimore Sun article, "Ken Levine brings story-telling talent to Orioles broadcast booth," April 08, 1991
- My Northwest article, "Ken Levine: From Hollywood producer to broadcaster," Jun 4, 2011
- Baseball Reference.com
- Blog fight! 'Cheers' writer trades barbs with Roseanne Barr, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2011
- New York Magazine article, "And I Should Know," May 15, 2011
- IMDb full crew listing of "Dancin' Homer (1990)"
- IMDb full crew listing of "Saturdays of Thunder (1991)"
- Ken Levine Awards and Nominations at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
- Ken Levine library holdings at Writers Guild Foundation