Saturday, October 3, 2009

Five best books on working in television

Seth Freeman, a multiple Emmy-winning writer for television, created the series Lincoln Heights.

For the Wall Street Journal he named a five best list of books on working in television.

One title on the list:
When Hollywood Had a King
by Connie Bruck
Random House, 2003

Master power broker Lew Wasserman is the "king" of the title. His colorful reign as an agent and studio executive at MCA and Universal Pictures, roughly from 1950 to 1990, is insightfully recounted by New Yorker writer Connie Bruck. Her fascinating behind-the-scenes portrait also provides a revealing account of collusion and insider deal-making. Particularly striking is the brazenness of the cozy relationship between MCA and NBC, which once reached the point where NBC allowed MCA executives to set the network's own prime-time schedule with "fourteen series that were either produced or sold by MCA." Wasserman cultivated presidents of both political parties, but he was especially proud of his bond with Ronald Reagan, who had been helpful to MCA as the leader of the Screen Actors Guild in the early 1950s and whose fading acting career MCA later helped revive. Bruck details how Wasserman used his connections to Washington and to another major power center, the mob, to great effect, contributing to his legendary "aura of invincibility."
Read about all five books on Freeman's list.

Also see: Cheers writer Rob Long's five favorite TV books.

--Marshal Zeringue