The Business

by KCRW (webmaster@kcrw.org) · · · · 19 subscribers

The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter...

A week after TV writer Liz Feldman lost a family member unexpectedly and found out her fertility treatment had failed again, she took a meeting with some producers, having been told she didn’t need to come with ideas. So she was immersed in loss and blindsided when she was asked …
You may have never heard of Clarence Avant, but this enigmatic manager, producer and record executive has touched the lives of a wide array of people you have heard of: Bill Withers, Hank Aaron, Barack Obama. Director Reginald Hudlin tells us about his new Netflix documentary ‘The Black Godfather,’ which …
This week, Jemele Hill tells us about her years at ESPN, where she had a good career until she drew the wrath of the White House by tweeting that Trump is a white supremacist. She thought she was stating the obvious, but eventually, Trump tweeted about her. Jemele Hill tells …
Growing up in Rockford, Illinois, Bing Liu was obsessed with making skateboarding videos with his friends. Over the course of more than a decade, one of those mini-movies morphed into a feature-length documentary, ‘Minding the Gap.’ This week, as the film is being honored with a Peabody award, we’re revisiting …
It’s TV staffing season: when writers look for jobs. But this year, writers have fired their agents in their battle over packaging fees. Still, showrunners Mike Royce and Valentina Garza say the seats in the writers rooms will be filled. They tell us about building a writing staff without agents, …
As a follow-up to his podcasts about exercise guru Richard Simmons and then Y2K, Dan Taberski set out to investigate the darker aspects of the long- running show ‘Cops.’ Taberski tells us about making ‘Running from COPS,’ the product of an 18-month deep-dive into in the show. Turns out, if …
Growing up, Sally Wainwright visited Shibden Hall, a historic house and park in West Yorkshire. But she wasn’t taught much about Anne Lister, who had lived there in the 19th century. Years later, Wainwright learned that Lister was truly ahead of her time: a businesswoman and a gay-marriage pioneer. Wainwright …
For years, Ryan O’Connell was in the closet: not because he’s gay, which he is, but because he was ashamed of having cerebral palsy. His cover? He’d been hit by a car--which was true. But eventually, that lie took a toll. O'Connell wrote a book about it, and now, with …
Director George Tillman Jr. felt called to make ‘The Hate U Give’--about a black teen who divides her time between her mostly white high school and her mostly black neighborhood. He wasn’t daunted by the fact that the film was based on a novel for young adults. He tells us …
What’s it like to be suddenly famous at 16? Justine Bateman found out when she was cast as Mallory in the hit NBC sitcom ‘Family Ties.’ More than 30 years later, she has a lot to say about fame--so much, in fact, that she’s written a book on the subject. …
In 2008, ‘The Sentence’ director Rudy Valdez was working low-level production jobs when, out of the blue, his sister received a lengthy mandatory prison sentence on charges related to years-old drug crimes committed by her ex- boyfriend. Valdez tells us about becoming a filmmaker after setting out to document the …
A new documentary about Quincy Jones looks at his incredible life and career that connected him to musicians from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. Jones also composed dozens of film scores and produced movies and TV shows. We talk to Jones and director Alan Hicks, who made the documentary with …
As a teenager, Ethan Hawke had a breakout role in ‘Dead Poets Society.’ Hawke’s agents said they could make him into a huge star, and they were not thrilled when Hawke said he had something else in mind. Hawke tells us about pushing back against uberagent Michael Ovitz, marching to …
Writer-producer Carlton Cuse devoted six years of his life to the ABC megahit 'Lost.' When the show ended, he realized he'd have to figure out what to do next. Now showrunner of Amazon’s new 'Jack Ryan' series, Cuse talks about life after 'Lost' and why it took three-and-a-half years and …
Over the weekend, the New Yorker published a second story by Ronan Farrow about Les Moonves. This one chronicled six more allegations of graphic sexual misconduct by the CBS CEO. Moonves is now out at the company.
Laurie Kilmartin had some thoughts after Louis C.K. did a surprise set at a New York comedy club less than a year after revelations of his sexual misconduct. She tells us what a path to redemption in the era of Time’s Up might look like, and why C.K.’s recent appearance …
Soon after Tanya Saracho got the green light to write a pilot for her first TV series, she contracted a dangerous spinal infection that left her stuck in bed for months. But Saracho rallied and her show 'Vida' premiered on Starz. This week, we’re revisiting our conversation with Saracho, a …
When John Cho got an offer to star in the new movie ‘Searching,’ a thriller set entirely on computer screens, he didn’t have to search for an answer: it was no. Cho explains his initial hesitations about the digital drama, and first-time feature director Aneesh Chaganty tells us how he …
Growing up in Rockford, Illinois--a city outside Chicago that’s seen better days--Bing Liu was obsessed with making skateboarding videos. Over the course of more than a decade, one of those mini-movies morphed into a feature-length documentary. ‘Minding the Gap’ uses 12 years worth of verite footage to tell the story …
Author Kevin Kwan and director Jon M. Chu passionately wanted the movie version of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to play in theaters. So they turned down a huge offer from Netflix and took their chances with Warner Brothers. Chu and Kwan talk about what they did for love when they made …