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The TV Set (2006)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 28 April 2006 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
The story of a TV pilot as it goes through the Network TV process of casting, production and finally airing.

Director:

Jake Kasdan

Writer:

Jake Kasdan
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Alan Cumming, David Julian Hirsh, Krista Allen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Duchovny ... Mike Klein
Sigourney Weaver ... Lenny
Ioan Gruffudd ... Richard McCallister
Judy Greer ... Alice
Fran Kranz ... Zach Harper
Lindsay Sloane ... Laurel Simon
Justine Bateman ... Natalie Klein
Lucy Davis ... Chloe McCallister
Willie Garson ... Brian
M.C. Gainey ... Hutch
Wendle Josepher ... A.D.
Philip Rosenthal ... Exec. #1 / Cooper (as Phil Rosenthal)
David Doty David Doty ... Exec. #2 / Rose
Matt Price ... Exec. #3 / Berg
Simon Helberg ... TJ Goldman
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Storyline

A television network is making a pilot of Mike's quirky comedy based on the aftermath of his brother's suicide. As the network suits ask for change after change, and as Mike struggles with compromise, there are strains on families, execs who show rushes to their children, leads who feel each other out, and assistants who put a smile on everything. Can an honest show get made in the world of reality TV chasing an audience of teen-aged boys? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A place where dreams are canceled

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Call Me Crazy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,531, 8 April 2007

Gross USA:

$265,198

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$265,198
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Lenny was written with Ben Stiller in mind. See more »

Quotes

Richard McCallister: [Re scheduling] Why not "The Wexler Chronicles"?
Lenny: Against "Infidelity 101"? We'll get killed.
Richard McCallister: Well, we'll do better than we will with "Cheating Heart." You said so yourself, Lenny. "Sex will always beat disgusting foods. But in a fight between sex and sex, the sexier show will win," and they have the sexier show. Seems to me that the only way to counter them is to go with an actual scripted story with characters and... *stories* and things. If only for the 35-and-ups. At least we'll do some kind ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits an elimination round from the fictional reality show "Slut Wars" plays, featuring Seth Green as the host. See more »

Connections

Features Out of Sight (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Make It Right
Written by Inara George and Michael Andrews
Performed by Anita Clearburg
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They don't call it 'the idiot box' for nuthin
11 September 2013 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

This movie is for those of us sorry schmucks who have worked our hearts & brains to the bone, only to be told by some soulless corporate suit that our creative efforts are not required.

What, me bitter?

"The TV Set" is a great comedy/drama about a writer who realizes his 1 shot at success requires him to sell out to mediocrity. This paradox leads to some great acidic fun. The movie gets its power from a great script as could only be conceived by a person (writer/director Jake Kasdan) who has seen the spectacle in real life. It builds momentum through brilliant acting, as could only be pulled off by actors who've lived the nightmare in real life. Presented with moments of riotous satire (stick around after the credits to see a scene from the network's golden egg, "Slut Wars"), the humor is spot-on with great deadpan deliveries all around.

I don't usually harp on a film's casting, but in this case it was flawless, from the smallest roles (loved the wardrobe lady!) all the way up to Sigourney Weaver as the "soulless suit" who massacres the script, much to the applause of her corporate toadies.

INTERESTING TRIVIA: Sigourney's character "Lenny" was originally written for a man. But due to late scheduling problems they gave it to Sigourney. She insisted that no changes be made to her lines, and even the male name "Lenny" was kept. The result is possibly the funniest clueless exec you've ever seen. Pay attention to her, as almost every one if her lines is classic, such as: "This is not just an opinion here! We have the research from other shows. Suicide is, like, depressing to 82% of all people."

Omg I had to rewind that one and play it again to get the laughs out.

I will warn you, though, I wouldn't call this "uproarious" the way the DVD box advertises (I'm sure some corporate suit came up with that marketing angle). No, like any good satire, its power is in subtlety. No wisecracking punchlines, no slapstick pratfalls, no fart gags. Well OK, 1 fart gag, but you'll agree it really punctuates the point.

Jake Kasdan, himself a veteran of many ill-fated TV pilots, gives us a film that very few can claim to be: an honest & mercilessly uncompromising joyride til the end. It reminded me of the brilliant Christopher Guest satires of the entertainment industry: "Waiting for Guffman", "For Your Consideration", "Best in Show", and the king of them all: "This is Spinal Tap".


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