Beggars and Choosers (TV series)

Last updated
Beggars and Choosers
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
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes42
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
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.



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.



Season 1: 1999–2000

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
"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. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"" 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

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

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  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.