I'm particularly interested in what the maker of "Broadcast News" has to say about "Network."
The official word: James L. Brooks – whose brilliant career includes three Oscars® for writing, directing and producing the Best Picture winner Terms of Endearment (1983) and an unprecedented 20 Emmys® for such series as The Simpsons, Taxi and The Mary Tyler Moore Show – will appear on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Tuesday, Jan. 10, as the network's Guest Programmer for the month.
Brooks will join TCM host Robert Osborne introduce four films, including the nostalgic comedy My Favorite Year (1982), which allows Brooks to reflect on his own early years in television. As an added bonus, Brooks will also introduce a 1953 sketch from the legendary variety series Your Show of Shows, which served as the basis for the fictional show in My Favorite Year.
The following is the complete schedule for the Jan. 10 Guest Programmer lineup, featuring James L. Brooks:
8 p.m. (ET) – Your Show of Shows: "This is Your Story" (1953) – Brooks calls this sketch from the popular Golden Age of Television series starring Sid Caesar "the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life." The skit features Caesar as a reluctant participant on a This Is Your Life-style show, Harold Morris as his overwhelmed uncle and Carl Reiner as the host.
8:15 p.m. (ET) – My Favorite Year (1982) – This whimsical charmer stars Peter O'Toole in an Oscar-nominated performance as a faded matinee idol whose drinking and womanizing threaten to derail his guest appearance on a live comedy series. Mark Linn-Baker is the young comedy writer assigned to keep the gentleman in line. Jessica Harper, Joseph Balogna and Lainie Kazan co-star in this film, which was lovingly directed by Richard Benjamin.
10 p.m. (ET) – Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb (1964) – Stanley Kubrick's hilarious Cold War comedy stars Peter Sellers in three different roles, including a British military officer taken hostage by an renegade American general, a U.S. President facing a nuclear crisis and a German scientist who hopes the crisis could mean the return of the Nazis. George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull and James Earl Jones co-star in what Brooks hails as the funniest movie ever made.
11:45 p.m. (ET) – Network (1976) – This prescient film from director Sidney Lumet follows the behind-the-scenes wrangling over a network news program after its anchor becomes unhinged on camera. Brooks praises Oscar-winning screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky as "the most powerful screenwriter who ever lived." Predicting the rise of reality television and other media trends, this satirical masterpiece also features Oscar-winning performances by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight, as well as nominated performances by William Holden and Ned Beatty.
2 a.m. (ET) – Prince of the City (1981) – Making its TCM debut, this emotionally gripping police thriller from director Sidney Lumet stars Treat Williams as a New York City police officer who blows the whistle on departmental corruption. Brooks describes the film, which is based on a true story, as "the clearest look we'd had at the justice system." Jerry Orbach and James Tolkan co-star.