Beggars and Choosers (TV series)

Last updated
Beggars and Choosers
BeggarsAndChoosers.jpg
Genre Comedy drama
Created by Peter 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
Starring Beau 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 composer David Schwartz
ComposersFerocious Fish
Terry Frewer
David Schwartz
Stanley A. Smith
Jim Guttridge
Country of originUnited States
Canada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes42
Production
Executive producersKim Fleary
Peter Lefcourt
Scott M. Siegler
Lilly Tartikoff
ProducerCal Shumiatcher
CinematographyRon Orieux
EditorsLee Haxall
Kevin Krasny
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesGranada Entertainment USA
H. Beale Company
Release
Original network Showtime
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.

Contents

Synopsis

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

Episodes

Season 1: 1999–2000

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1
2
1
2
"The Mountainmen"Michael Ritchie Peter Lefcourt June 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 Gerber Charlie Hauck July 24, 1999 (1999-07-24)
88"Unsafe Sex"Stuart MargolinPeter LefcourtJuly 31, 1999 (1999-07-31)
99"The Velvet Curtain"UnknownDavid 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 Martin Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-LemingNovember 27, 1999 (1999-11-27)
1616"Always Leave 'Em Laughing"UnknownPeter LefcourtDecember 4, 1999 (1999-12-04)
1717"Faith, Hope & Chastity"UnknownEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerDecember 11, 1999 (1999-12-11)
1818"Russian Roulette"Fred GerberUnknownFebruary 19, 2000 (2000-02-19)
1919"Death in Malibu"UnknownPeter LefcourtFebruary 26, 2000 (2000-02-26)
2020"Fasten Your Seatbelts"UnknownEugenie Ross-Leming & Brad BucknerMarch 4, 2000 (2000-03-04)
2121"Disinformed Sources"Joanna KernsPeter LefcourtMarch 11, 2000 (2000-03-11)
2222"The Cherry Orchard"UnknownPeter LefcourtMarch 18, 2000 (2000-03-18)

Season 2: 2000–01

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"PMS.com" Joanna Kerns Peter Lefcourt June 27, 2000 (2000-06-27)
242"Fifty Three Percent Solution" Anne Wheeler Scott KauferJuly 4, 2000 (2000-07-04)
253"Sex and Violence" Richard J. Lewis Brad 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

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

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

YearAwardCategoryRecipientResultRefs
2000 Casting Society of America Best Casting for TV, Comedy PilotMarc Hirschfeld, Meg Liberman, and Joel ThurmNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Carl Reiner Nominated
2001 Canadian Comedy Awards Television – Pretty Funny Direction – SeriesCharles WinklerNominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding TV Comedy SeriesBeggars and ChoosersNominated

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edie Falco</span> American actress (born 1963)

Edith "Edie" Falco is an American actress. She is best known for portraying Carmela Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos (1999–2007), and Nurse Jackie Peyton on the Showtime series Nurse Jackie (2009–2015). She also portrayed Diane Whittlesey in HBO's prison drama Oz (1997–2000).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brandon Tartikoff</span> American television executive (1949–1997)

Brandon Tartikoff was an American television executive who was the president of NBC from 1981 to 1991. He was credited with turning around NBC's low prime time reputation with such hit series as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Law & Order, ALF, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Wings, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, St. Elsewhere, and Night Court.

Linda Wallem is an American actress, writer, and producer.

Isabella Hofmann is an American actress known for her portrayal of Kate in Dear John (1988–1992), Megan Russert in Homicide: Life on the Street (1994–1997), and Dr. Renee Dunseith in Providence (2001–2002).

Antony Root is a British television executive and producer. He has worked in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. He was formerly Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production for HBO Europe and Head of Original Production for WarnerMedia EMEA. He retired from this position in March 2023.

Hardball is an American crime drama television series that ran on NBC from September 21, 1989 to June 29, 1990, during the 1989–90 television schedule.

Teresa Parente is an American actress and singer.

Rudolf Martin is a German actor working mainly in the United States. He first appeared in off-Broadway productions and then moved on to extensive TV and film work. He has made guest appearances on numerous hit television series and recently started working in Germany as well. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keegan Connor Tracy</span> Canadian actress and author

Keegan Connor Tracy is a Canadian actress and author. She is best known for her roles as Audrey Malone in the Showtime comedy-drama series Beggars and Choosers (1999–2000), the Blue Fairy in the ABC fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time (2011–18), Miss Blaire Watson in the A&E drama series Bates Motel (2013–16), and Professor Lipson in the Syfy fantasy series The Magicians (2016–2020). Tracy's other notable work includes roles on the television series Jake 2.0, The 4400, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, Psych, and Battlestar Galactica.

The Promax Awards honor promotion, design, and marketing by a company or individual that is broadcast, published, or released in their respective markets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bonnie Hammer</span> American businesswoman and network executive

Bonnie Hammer is an American network and studio executive. As of 2020, her title is vice-chairman, NBCUniversal.

Randel A. Falco is an American media executive. Falco was president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc. from June 2011 until retiring in June 2018. Before joining Univision in January 2011 as Executive Vice President and COO, he served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of AOL from November 2006 to March 2009. Prior to his tenure at AOL, he spent 31 years at NBC, including serving as the network's president and COO.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warren Littlefield</span> American television executive (born 1952)

Warren W. Littlefield is an American television executive.

<i>Nurse Jackie</i> 2009 American medical comedy-drama television series

Nurse Jackie is an American medical comedy-drama television series. It premiered on Showtime on June 8, 2009, and its seventh and final season premiered on April 12, 2015. The series finale aired on June 28, 2015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BET Networks</span> American cable television division of Paramount Global

Black Entertainment Television LLC, doing business as BET Networks, is an American entertainment company that oversees the company's premium cable television channels, including its flagship service BET. It is a subsidiary of media conglomerate Paramount Global under its CBS Entertainment Group unit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gerhard Zeiler</span> Austrian businessman (born 1955)

Gerhard Zeiler is an Austrian businessman who is the current president of Warner Bros. Discovery International, part of Warner Bros. Discovery. Before taking up the role at Turner/Warner, Mr Zeiler was chief executive officer of the German media company RTL Group and a member of the executive board of Bertelsmann, the media conglomerate that owns the RTL Group.

John Joseph Agoglia was an American television executive noted for his work at NBC from 1980 to 1998, including a tenure as President of NBC Enterprises. He was considered one of the network's top negotiators, often heading complicated negotiations between NBC and producers, actors and television studios. Agoglia was instrumental in the decision to replace Johnny Carson, the departing host of The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno in 1992.

<i>Im Dying Up Here</i> American TV series or program

I'm Dying Up Here is an American comedy-drama television series created by David Flebotte. The pilot was written by Flebotte and directed by Jonathan Levine. It premiered on Showtime on June 4, 2017. The series is executive produced by Flebotte, Jim Carrey, Michael Aguilar, and Christina Wayne. It was announced on January 12, 2016, that Showtime had ordered the pilot to series based on the bestselling nonfiction book by William Knoedelseder of the same title. On September 8, 2017, Showtime renewed the series for a 10-episode second season. The second season premiered on May 6, 2018. On September 28, 2018, Showtime announced that it had canceled the series.

Richard Adam Ludwin was an American television executive and former vice president at NBC Television. He is notable as the executive who backed Jerry Seinfeld's series Seinfeld, which went on to become one of the most popular and successful television sitcoms of all time. During his 31 years at NBC, Ludwin worked with every The Tonight Show host—Steve Allen and Jack Paar, albeit after their time on Tonight, as well as Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Jimmy Fallon. He also helped guide the network through the Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno conflict in 2010, and was subsequently fired for vocally backing Conan against Jeff Zucker.

Scott Merrill Siegler, an American television executive and media investor who participated in the startup of TriStar Television studio, Netscape Communications, Pandora Media, and Granada America, was one of the first Hollywood broadcast executives to anticipate the entertainment potential in digital media. In 1993 he formed a partnership with James H. Clark, a.k.a. Jim Clark, departing CEO of Silicon Graphics and founder of Mosaic Communications, the forerunner of Netscape Communications.

References

  1. 1 2 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. 1 2 Steven J., Stark (2000-12-18). "'Beggars' Signs Off At Showtime". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-04-15.