Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who's out there???

I haven’t done this in close to a year. But today I want to hear from YOU. It’s nice for me to know who is out there and what you like or don’t like. So I’m asking you – especially you new readers and lurkers – if you wouldn’t mind going to the comments section, telling me where you’re from, how long you’ve been here, how you found it, and any thoughts on the content, yay or nay.

Which topics do you enjoy? Which turn you off? Based on your previous feedback I’ve made Friday Questions a regular feature, and you’ll notice I no longer bash George W. Bush.

In the past I’ve written about TV research. My problem is that networks use it as the gospel and make all key decisions on creative projects based solely on test results. You’d think after research said that THE PLAYBOY CLUB and HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN would both be embraced by viewers the networks would get the message (but that’s another story). Still, if you use research for input it can be a very useful tool. In this case, it’s my blog. I don’t have to gear my content based exclusively on research. So there will still be some baseball-related posts. But as a source of feedback it’s very helpful.

When I started this blog, almost seven years ago, I had no idea what to write. So I decided to try a lot of different things and see what stuck. What stuck was writing a lot of different things. Quite honestly, I’m amazed I haven’t run out of ideas (unless I have and just don't realize it). And there’s the fear that someday I will (if I haven't already).  Thank God  there’s always an Adam Corolla to pop up and say something stupid.

But I want to thank you for your readership. I’ve made a lot of great new friends and got a lot of shit off my chest as a result of this forum. For now I’ll continue to post something new every day and spare you banner ads. If you want to support this blog buy my book.

And keep coming back.  It's great to have you.  Okay, now it’s your turn.


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Dangeroso said...

From Chicago, been following the blog for a few years. I don't recall how I found the blog, but it was from a link on another site. I generally dig the content, specifically when you talk about the *process of writing/filming and how to overcome obstacles. I'm also a fan of the times you refer to comedy history or examples of failure/success on a current show.

Eric Blitz said...

My name is Eric from Michigan and I've been here around 2 years now. (Sound like I'm at an AA meeting.) I really dig the old radio stories and the travel logs from your baseball travels. Can't say that I have any aspirations of becoming a comic writer, but it's till interesting to read your insights.

Think I found the site through a link at Wil Wheaton's blog.

Stephen said...

I'm from Ireland and I found this blog in late 2009 when I was discovering Cheers for the first time and doing a lot of online research into the history of the show. Unsurprisingly, Ken, Google brought up your blog very quickly. I spent a solid week or so going through your blog and reading up on all of the different topics you discuss. Friday Questions quickly became a favourite feature, as did award show reviews and posts where you'd write short snippets on a multitude of topics. I love all of your stories about coming up in the industry and anything which relates to the history/development of TV as we know it. I'll admit that the baseball posts go over my head (we don't play a whole lot of that sport on the Emerald Isle) but you've piqued my interest in it a bit.

JulieSax said...

Hi Ken,
My name is Julie and I'm from Baltimore. I really don't remember when I started following you on Twitter, but I remember you from when you were an Orioles radio announcer. As a baseball and television aficionado, I always thought it was cool that you were able to have careers in both arenas. I enjoy your blog!

Take care,

MomQueenBee said...

I'm from Kansas (and there is not a Wizard of Oz joke that I haven't heard) and have been reading--well, less than a year since this is the first call for de-lurking I've heard. So far you haven't hit a topic I don't enjoy (I must have missed the George W. Bush years). Thanks for writing!

Graeme said...

Hi Ken, I'm Graeme from Waterdown Ontario, a small town just west of Toronto. No idea how I found your blog, but I've been enjoying it for a few years. I love the insight into the TV creative process, from writing to showrunning to directing. I'm also a big fan of MASH, Cheers, and Frasier (and I did watch AfterMASH a couple of times), so I particularly like behind-the-scenes stories on those shows.

I'm also a baseball fan, so I also like behind the scenes stories about your baseball career.

Brian said...

Brian from Seattle - Mariners fan and fan of your broadcasting talents on the radio. Have also been enjoying "Where the Hell Am I?" on my Kindle.

Amy said...

Hi Ken! I'm Amy from Atlanta, and I'm not entirely sure how I found the blog. I'm an aspiring TV writer, though, so surely reading about some such on the internet linked me here. I love your posts about the writing process, writing advice, insights into the current TV landscape, etc. Friday Questions are also a great feature! Love the blog!

Bg Porter said...

Been reading you for a very long time; can't remember how far back I go. From New Jersey. Not a baseball fan, so all those posts bounce off my head. I especially enjoy posts about the sausage-making of TV, your thoughts on the mechanics/theory of comedy, and the Friday questions. Also any with pictures of Natalie Wood.

Stephanie said...

Hi Ken,

I'm Stephanie from Plano, TX. I've been reading you blog for about three years. I picked it up from a link on Ken Tucker's blog on EW. Am reading your new book and love it. I'm just a few years younger and can really relate.

Kathy said...

Kathy from New York. I wrote a novel a few years ago and started looking at book review blogs, which led me to agent blogs, which led me to screenwriter blogs, which led me here. (I have a day job with a *lot* of down time.) I love the insider stories about coming up in the industry, and I especially love the "how to" entries -- the "new choice" of yesterday is a prime example. I've tried blogging myself and just couldn't make myself continue it, so I'm in awe of the fact that you can do it every single day. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Pennsylvania and I'm a huge M*A*S*H fan, loved it from beginning to end (though there are some stinker episodes here and there, the show never jumped the shark for me) -- but my favorite seasons are 3, 4, 5. Also love Cheers and Frasier, so I devour any behind-the-scenes info about any of those shows. I've been reading the blog for a couple years and I love it, so thanks for writing every day.

I *still* love Dharma & Greg said...

Hi Ken,

I'm in NYC and my job is as far from the entertainment and sports industry as is possible. I can't even remember how I found your blog, but I realized that you worked on many of my favorite shows at one point or another. The fact that you also announce baseball games is an added bonus. I was very sad that you did not have a meetup when you were in NY, because I feel like you would be an awesome person to grab beers with.

PeterM said...

I'm from Maine. Found this site while searching for reviews of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." I've been here since then on a mostly daily basis and read the site because it's funny and a good look behind the scenes of television writing.

Also, I'm too young to remember Natalie Wood when she was an actress, but I do appreciate the introduction to her and her work.

Susie Reynolds said...

Good morning Ken. I'm from Venice, CA, but I live in St. Paul, MN now (interesting to note most of us early commenters are from parts east, thanks for posting early in the AM!) I came to you from Earl Pomerantz's blog, which I also read. I enjoy all the TV stuff, as my dad was a driver in the business and I got to visit sets as a kid. I'm also a budding writer, although prose, not screenplays, but I think your advice transfers well. Being from LA originally, I love your radio wars posts. Although I am not a huge baseball fan, I like knowing what's going on behind the scenes so I appreciate those posts too. Sounds like I like it all, no?

Thanks for continuing to post and someday I'm going to get out there again for your seminar to stretch myself as a writer! Til then,


Helena said...

I'm Helena, from Sweden. I've been reading your blog for about 8 months. Not sure how I found it. I may have been searching for 'MASH' on Twitter and found your profile that way.

I love watching TV (mostly vintage shows, like MASH) and writing, so my favorite blog posts are those concerning anything related to writing and the making of TV shows. But I really enjoy your other posts as well; even though I'm not a radio person for instance, I still always find your radio posts interesting and entertaining. The baseball posts I admit I skip, since I've never watched baseball in my life. Nor do I read reviews of contemporary movies, since I seldom watch those (I like vintage in movies as well). Oh, and I love Friday Questions.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

from London -- tend to come across your posts every couple of months, flick through -- skim read a few, read in detail one or two. Despite being a prolific blog writer myself, I struggle as a reader! Also I tend to be more film centered and you write mostly about TV -- I always want to spend more time on your blog but never seem to get around to it.

But rest assured; alongside Jon August and Seth Godin, most of us see you as one of the most important bloggers around.

Kelly said...

Hi Ken! I've been a reader for several years--so long I've lost track of when I began. I followed a link on the old Hoffmania blog and was immediately hooked. I live in Syracuse (heard you on the radio when you were out here last year! That was a treat!). Cheers, MASH, Wings and Frasier are among my all-time favorite comedies and I always enjoy your anecdotes about working on them and other shows. The Friday Questions are great and, while I have no desire to try to write for television, I enjoy learning about the craft from your posts. I often discuss your posts with my husband and our teenagers, too!
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into the blog!

Bunkum said...

Hi Ken, I'm Andrew from the UK. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years and really enjoy it, although I can't remember how I ever found it in the first place.

I enjoy the behind the scenes posts, Friday Questions and also your reviews of awards ceremonies etc. I'm not really a fan of basebell, so tend to gloss over those posts.

What I would find really interesting (although this might be fairly time-consuming) would be to see a breakdown of a script that you have written with footnotes on why you chose particular names/phrases/locations/actions etc. and what other options you considered but decided not to go with. This would be just as good with a breakdown of one scene, rather than a whole half hour show, but it's something I reckon could be really instructive.

Thanks for all your work on this blog and for keeping us all entertained.

KT said...

Hi Ken, I'm Katie from Sydney, Australia. I discovered your blog a couple of years ago, but have only added it to my RSS feeds in the last few months. I can't recall what prompted me to do that.

I love your insights into comedy writing and your opinions on current happenings in the TV industry. Friday Questions are great. Like everyone, I'm a huge fan of MASH, Cheers, and Frasier.

The baseball posts are not for me - professional baseball is not a popular sport in Australia (I love cricket).

debbiemoon said...

Hi Ken! Debbie from Wales here. I'm a TV and film writer, and I found your blog via Alex Epstein's blog (I think. It was a while ago.)
I love Friday questions, and anything on comedy writing and writing in general. And I kinda like the occasional off-topic rant, too! Good blogs about the craft and the process of television are rare, and yours is one of the best. thanks for all the advice and inspiration!

Harrison said...

I found your blog about a year ago via a mention at the Onion's AV Club. I love Cheers and baseball, so it seemed to me like you had gotten the chance to live out my dream life. Thus the posts about those two topics stand out to me, as well as the ones that concentrate on the business aspects of both televeision and baseball broadcasting.

DrBOP said...

DrBop from Kingston Ontario Canada (the place that for MANY Americans is someplace up above Minnesota, or even TEXAS for that matter). And I'm allowed to say that because first, I'm a dual citizen of both countries, and I'm a decorated (love THAT term)USArmy VietNam Veteran. (Yep, get it from my friends ALL the time....."Let's see, first you went to Nam, THEN you came to Canada.....WTF???)
Anyhoo, found your site due to being hooked on "News From Me" burger-chomper :+) about 4 years ago. Just don't comment that much these days....and especially concerning your missives, they are quite succinct and pretty well say it all. Enjoy most of your posts (not interested in being a script/comedy writer, but even those are at least ok).....I like it when you get in a bit of rant mode, and your travel posts are lmao.
What I would REALLY like to see are MORE posts on your baseball experiences.....past, present or future.
And generally just keep that smile........on the dial, and I'll be a happy camper. Oh, and you can BASH Bushie family ALL you want, I just wish EVERYBODY would go after the idiot behind the throne(s).....Karl Rove. If I EVER run into that piece of SCUUUUUMMMMM......Oh, sorry, lost it a bit there, I FULLY realize there's LOTSA pieces of scum to go around without singling out that (MANY expletives deleted). See 'ya!
(Oh, and excuse me for a few minutes while I drop a tab of LSD and chug a 24-ouncer of tequila.....gotta get the mind set to interpret these THERE'S a drunk robot.)

Brooke McMaster said...

Hi Ken,

I'm Brooke, from the Gold Coast in Australia. I started reading your blog a year ago, more religiously now as your tweets remind me of new posts.
I've started making the steps to becoming a comic writer myself, so I really enjoy the technical aspects that you talk about. I'm a huge baseball fan, so I love reading those (even if they are spruiking for the Mariners!) and I always enjoy your posts that provide perhaps a different perspective on television shows in regards to someone who is older versus my younger impression.
Cheers is one of my favourite programs, so initially it was a question you answered on the show that brought my attention to you, as well as The Simpsons tag. The Friday questions are definitely my favourite, so please keep those up.
I just like the general contrast between your opinions and others in the comments section. It's nice to see a full perspective of a television program, person or film, that I perhaps hadn't thought of. It's something I think about when I write my scripts and trying to appeal to a larger audience.

Thank-you for writing this blog and also the seminar videos you emailed out. Really, truly helpful! x

Mike W said...

Hi, Ken. I am a New Yorker who lives in Seoul, Korea. I think I found your blog either through a MASH search or a link from Mark Evanier's blog, but I've been following the blog for a few years now. Being a MASH fan, as well as being interested in TV and radio production, I enjoy pretty much everything you post, especially reminiscences of work on TV shows.

Sérgio said...

My name is Sérgio, I live in Portugal. Hanging around for some years now, I think because of something I searched about either Cheers, Frasier or Wings. The topics I like the most are: Friday-questions, info about writing comedy (so let's say the "pure & technical" writingpart), your experiences on shows (so here it's more about the process of dealing with everybody: producers/actors/etc). Would love to see one day a post about a complete checklist of costs that has to be paid for producing an episode of a comedy-serie. Of course I'm aware of all the possible variables, but maybe you could give all your fans an insight in this matter. And I want to thank you for having had the possibility to listen to your, I can't remember the exact English word, online workshops/online Q&A about your experiences. Thank you for everything. Cheers.

Jeff Lawson said...

Hi Ken,

I'm from Winnipeg, Canada, and I've been lurking for a few months now. I can't remember exactly how I stumbled upon this place, but it was likely a link from some TV-related site.

I've been most fascinated by your stories of the inner workings of Hollywood and writer's rooms - I have no aspirations to write, but I'm very interested in how my favourite shows come to be.

I also love the stories of your time in radio. I'm less interested in baseball, but I honestly love the fact that the content of the blog is so eclectic. Wouldn't want you to change a thing.

The Milner Coupe said...

I found your blog via Ron Jacob's site. I enjoy it immensely and marvel that you and I have so many common interests and that I disagree with your opinions so often. Your comment section is a bonus and it's sometimes as funny as the post.

I have a very small hot rod blog (taking a year off) and have huge respect for your ability to post so regularly and to be so interesting. I posted every day for a year and found myself posting mp3s of my favorite songs when I was dry. Too time consuming for a working man.

Thank you for the hours of entertainment and good luck in the future.


chico385 said...

My name is Nick and I live in St. Paul Minnesota (for those of you who have never been here, it's the beautiful city next to Minneapolis. We are always overlooked nationally but I digress). I found the blog after watching the entire run of Cheers on Netflix. I wanted to find out more about the show and I did a search on Cheers and found your blog. I immediately read all of your Cheers posts and kept on reading all of your blogs. I really like your posts on anything to do with T.V. and any inside stories. I especially like it when you have stars comment on your site. I dont' care so much for the writing tips but that is just me. Keep up the great work Ken.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

I'm Ben from the UK - am a professional music journalist looking to make a start as a screenplay writer. I don't want to dictate what I want more or less of, but I always enjoy the technical advice posts and also the behind-the-scenes posts where you discuss the actual process behind what you do.

Thanks for writing!

Chris Santucci said...

Hey Ken,

I'm a 31-year-old male from Raleigh, NC. I learned of your site two months ago when I rummaged through Time Magazine's top 25 list trying to get ideas for own blog on films. As a lover of movies and television shows like MASH (which nurtured me through my freshman year in college), I truly enjoy your reflections and experience. Your thoughts on writing (whether it be for television of just in general) and experience have been most interesting. I especially enjoyed your telling piece on Bill Cosby and Andy Griffith. Never been a huge baseball fan, but your thoughts continue to be fun and insightful. Your recent pieces on the improv class has helped boost my confidence on my own writing.



Chester said...

From Toronto. I don't recall how I stumbled upon your blog two years ago, but I'm now a regular reader -- and I've even commented a time or two. I enjoy the insights you share on writing for television, Friday questions & answers...and even your rants.

I feel like I've gotten to know a number of those who comment frequently. An interesting group you got here.

Steph said...

Hi There! I've been reading your blog since this post:

was assigned in one of my production classes. We had to respond with our own blog post about whether we thought sitcoms were dead or not. I agreed that they weren't.

After that -- I immediately added the blog to my googlereader.

I'm now a doctoral student in media (yes, they're letting me get a PhD in television), so I love reading anything about the industry, the writing process, and the history of TV. I'm also comedy geek, so I dig anything discussing the craft of comedy.

Rodger O'Brien said...

Hi Ken. I'm Rodger (with a 'd' g-dammit)& came to your site on the advice of Mark Evanier who I've been reading for a few years. I checked my favorite list & it was on Feb. 21, 2012. I live in central NJ & grew up in Orange NJ. I,ve been enjoying every post but like friday's & the ones about classic tv, your reviews & altho I don't follow baseball much I like those posts too. I found the 1st group of letters asking me to prove I'm not a robot almost impossible but will keep trying.

Rebecca said...

Hi, Ken! I'm from DC. I found your blog when I was trying to remember the words to that "Albania" song Coach sang in Cheers. A Google search led to this blog and I was hooked. I really dig the Friday questions, and the posts where you break down an episode of a show you wrote and explain the process. I'm a science writer, but writing is writing, and I have incorporated a lot of things I have read in your blog to my own projects. I for one love it when you write about baseball. Care to break down the process behind calling a game?

KGHanson said...

Hello, Ken.

My name is Kevin and I am from Redondo Beach, CA.

I began reading your blog about 5 months ago on a recommendation by Bill Prady. He mentioned that if someone really wanted to learn about writing a comedy then your blog is a must read. I must say that I concur.

Thank you for the wonderful anecdotes and the keen insights.


Thomas said...

Hi Ken,

I'm Thomas from Ireland.

I found the blog via Mark Evanier's blog a few months ago which was about a month before I heard you on the Nerdist Writers Panel and got to enjoy a multimedia Ken experience.

I have an interest in screenwriting so those topics including showrunning, directing and "behind the scenes" anecdotes keep me subscribed but I also enjoy those other entertaining writings you post.

Thanks by the way!

Scott Cooley said...

Hi Ken - I'm Scott from Long Island. Do not recall how I found the blog, other than recognizing your name from various credits. But I really do enjoy it.

The behind the scenes stories are interesting without being gossipy or jaded. And old disc jockey tales are always welcome!

Do You Do Any Wings? said...

Hi Ken,
Greetings from Ipswich, UK. Being an admirer of Rob Long and William Goldman's books on what goes on behind the scenes, I was delighted when someone on a forum I frequent pointed me in your direction.
Thebaseball stuff I can take or leave, but I always enjoy Friday questions, especially anything that prompts you to take us behind the scenes to the writers room.
Thanks, and carry on the good work.

Roger Owen Green said...

I like your mix. Keep doing baseball, reviews, observations about showbiz

MFlaherty said...

Depressed, so I went looking for laughs, and found "Cheers," and then your blog, and then read your latest book. You're funny, and that's nice. Out here in the heartland, we need all the good humor we can beg.

Madame Duchery said...

Been following the blog for a few years under various pseudonyms (I change it up every once in a while to confuse the Internetz—disinformation is fun). I enjoy the posts on the craft of writing and, even more, when you rip celebrities or other a-holes a new one. Not a great fan of baseball, so I usually skim those.

The only thing that could really, really improve your blog would be to tag all your posts, at least going forward. That way someone could run a search on Friday questions, or Cheers, or Natalie Wood, or whatever, and read all your posts on that topic. It might bring you more readers. You could hire an intern to do it for your old posts. I bet you could even get one of your blog followers to do it for you. I know that I personally would dig into your archives more if you did that.

And, as someone with visual issues, I really, really hate your CAPTCHAs. I understand the need, however.

DaveMB said...

From Amherst MA, reading for several years, originally found you from James Wolcott IIRC, interested mostly in your great stuff on writing and the TV business. (Not professionally -- I'm a professor of computer science and an amateur actor and choral singer.)

gottacook said...

I'm in Maryland and have been a daily reader for 5 years or so, commenting irregularly. About the only thing I'd want added is this: When your old DJ broadcasts are played at someone else's site, would it not be possible for you to host them here as well?

I hardly ever watch sitcoms anymore, except for the occasional 1:30 a.m. Frasier on our local ex-UPN station. The only broadcast series I ever make an effort to see (we don't have cable, by choice, because we have teenagers) is The Good Wife. The only TV series we own on DVD is Pushing Daisies, which our whole family enjoyed; might have lasted longer than 22 episodes if not for the strike. These are the series I'd like to own but don't:
Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-2000)
The Prisoner (1967)
the Diana Rigg b&w and color years of The Avengers (1965-67)

As I've mentioned before, sometime last year I had my back turned in the kitchen (washing dishes) while listening to an entire Modern Family episode and enjoyed it a lot - but cannot actually stand to watch it, nor the several other pseudo-documentary series, nor 30 Rock, etc. I do like The Middle and Suburgatory, however; have seen each 4 or 5 times. Handheld cameras are as much a cliche today as tailfins on cars were in 1958-62.

*tarazza said...

I'm from Iowa and have been following for a few years as well. I read everything you post, though unsurprisingly I'm partial to the anecdotes you tell about specific people on TV sets and the like. And I love the "gossipy" posts even if you can't tell us which famous actor acted so abhorrently. I'm sure it can't be easy coming up with that stuff all the time, so I commend you for being entertaining every day.

Anonymous said...

From St Louis, I read everything you write. I've been following through Google Reader for about 5+ years, I think. I don't remember why I started, though. This was definitely pre-Sorkin days.

Bobby G said...

Hi Ken. Im Bobby G from Pennsylvania. I found your blog while looking for behind the scenes stuff from Cheers a few years back. I simply enjoy reading everything on your blog, from the behind the scenes stuff on all the shows you've been involved with, to your baseball posts. I work in the bowling business so I can sort of relate to Cheers in that you see the same quirky people every week. Imagine a Cheers type sitcom situated in a bowling center. Ha!

Bas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Zero said...

Have been reading I guess 3 or 4 years. Wil Wheaton recommended it for the behind the scenes accounts of TV shows. And that is what I really like is the stories about MASH, CHEERS, BECKER, Volunteers, etc. But like others have said, I read just about everything you post. I am from about 45 minutes outside Charlotte, NC.

Kirk said...

Hi, Ken.

What I said last time you did this.

Stew said...

I'm Stewart and I live outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I've been reading your blog for about 6 months now. I found it from a link on a MASH-themed site. I enjoy the Friday questions and anything you have to say about your experiences on MASH and Everybody Loves Raymond (2 of my all-time fave shows). I also enjoy your thoughts on older music (pre-80's). One question I have is whether you've been to PNC Park here in Pittsburgh, and, if so, your thoughts on it and the Pirates this year. A suggestion I have is to maybe do a recurring theme of your recollections of the best concerts you ever attended. Your blog is a must-read daily, so keep up the great work. Thanks and God bless.

Rinaldo said...

I'm in Delaware. I've been reading since... not sure, but I think it was from a link on the writers' blog for Heroes, first season, so that handles both that question and how I found the site.

I like all the posts dealing with writing, theory and practice of comedy, personal recollections of writing experiences, Friday Questions, all of that, love it. Not interested in the sports columns, and I also skip what I call the "oh my, what is the world coming to" essays (making fun of titles of new things, or current gossip, or whatever). But you know, those may be just what makes someone else's day, so I don't really mind them, I just move on.

katenhor said...

I'm from Vienna, Va and have been reading your blog for a year or two. I think I first found out about your blog from a reference in a Washington Post article...or was it the New York Times...not sure....Anyway I love your opinions on current happenings in the TV industry. Friday Questions are great. I'm a huge fan of MASH, Cheers, and Frasier and love your behind the scene stories on these and other great shows. I've become addicted to your blog and plan to buy your book for some fun beach reading in August.

Anonymous said...

I'm Chip from San Diego. I'm not a writer, but I enjoy hearing about your work. You have an honest voice that is generally kind and always entertaining. I have no idea how long I've been reading your blog, but it's got to be at least three or four years.

Thanks - I would miss it if it wasn't there.

Bob K said...

Hi Ken - I'm an education professor from Michigan who is also a writer. I found your blog well over a year ago and have no idea anymore how I stumbled across it. I an particularly interest in media and particularly enjoy the stories of how creating shows works. I rarely read your baseball things but often forward your television stuff to my daughter, who is a prof in communication arts. Thanks for writing the blog - I enjoy it.

Terry said...

I live in the Kansas City area and I've been reading for several years. I honestly don't remember how I stumbled across your blog, but I'm a huge fan of a number of shows you've worked on (Frasier, Cheers, The Simpsons and of course MASH).

What got me into your blog at first was reading the behind the scenes stuff from those shows. It was very interesting to hear what goes into putting them together from someone who was there.

What kept me coming back is a lot of the other stuff you talk about - in particular your stories about your early days in radio. I'm in radio myself, though I haven't been doing it for long and I'm on satellite so it's always interesting to hear stories from someone whose experience vastly differs from my own. I also enjoy the movie/TV reviews, travelogues and stories of your childhood.

I'm not much of a sports guy so the baseball stuff isn't really my thing (which is not to say I think you should remove it because I know there are plenty of others who do enjoy it).

My favorite, by far, is the Friday Questions. Thanks for making that a regular feature and for being a regular guy who takes the time to respond to all of our questions.

Rays profile said...

I think I've answered each time you've asked this, so why break up a streak? I've at least been here long enough to remember when you had an alternate blog when this one was acting up. Please tell us more of the anecdotes that would get you permanently kicked out of show biz if certain people heard them (just kidding).

Steely Dan said...

I'm from Baltimore and fondly remember your season broadcasting for the Orioles back in 1991.

I'm most familiar with your work as a writer from "Cheers," "The Simpsons," and (most especially) "Frasier" (I'm a huge "Frasier" fan (up until Niles and Daphne got together, at which point I think the show ran off the tracks)).

I can't remember how I found your 'blog. Probably as a link from someone else's 'blog. I'm guessing that I've been reading it since 2007 or 2008.

I'm also a regular reader of Mark Evanier's 'blog, so I enjoy seeing the occasional overlap in the stories the two of you discuss.

My favorite feature is the Friday Questions session. I wouldn't mind seeing that expanded to two or three days a week. Otherwise I'm generally most interested in the behind the scenes stories you tell (especially the more craft-oriented stories as opposed to the gossip-oriented ones). I also like hearing your insider's perspective on current show biz news (like the Dan Harmon meltdown, for instance).

Things I don't like? Mostly just your stories about growing up in the '60s. As a Gen-Xer who's been inundated with stories about the "good old days" of the 1960s my entire life, I have probably read all the baby boomer navel-gazing that I care to (Sorry!). But it seems like you're passionate about the topic (and I know you want to sell some books) so I usually just skip those posts.

Yours is one of my half-dozen or so favorite 'blogs and it's a genuine pleasure to read.

Mike Robertson said...

I've only been following this blog for a month or so; I can't believe I haven't known about it until now! I love the entries about comedy, writing, and inside showbiz stuff. I purchased the Kindle version of your book last week and am enjoying it, too. Thanks for sharing your interesting life with us!

Carol said...

I'm from the suburbs of Philadelphia - used to be Jersey, now it's Pennsylvania. Can't for the life of me remember how I found this blog, probably though a link somewhere else, possibly TV Tropes, but I've been reading it faithfully every day since.

I enjoy all your stories -okay, the baseball doesn't really hold my interest, but that's just me - and I love all the writer insights you have. I'm also an amateur actress, so I like reading the 'behind the scenes' hollywood kind of stuff. And I love your childhood stories.

Tim from Minnesota said...

Found your blog from the "best of" list. I've been a fan ever since. Read your free ereader book . You have a unique outlook on many subjects I enjoy. Please keep blogging Your humorous take on it all.

YetAnotherLurker said...

Found your blog through the TIME article, been lurking around here since then.

I enjoy your posts about what it's like to be a screenwriter, as well as your comments on current TV shows and scheduling. Your stream of consciousness posts are a particular favorite.

Currently watching M*A*S*H for the first time so that I can follow more of your posts. So you have at least one reader doing homework just to absorb more of your awesomeness. It is tremendously fun homework though, so no complaints.

Bill McCloskey said...

Ken, I found your blog about 3 or 4 months ago. I had finally grown fed up with my cable company so I cancelled it and went completely with Hulu and Netflix on a Roku box. One of the first things I did was watch all of the original Cheers episodes in order and then went on to the Fraisers.

While I was in the Cheers episodes I got interested in one of the characters and actors and did a google search, and found this blog. I've been hooked ever since.

Personally, I love the inside stories about the shows I've watched. I'm not a baseball fan so I skip those posts.

julian said...

hi ken,

i'm from ontario, canada. i found yr site through earl pomerantz's site. i've been checking in for a few years now.

i tend to enjoy the television, radio, and baseball stuff. i tend not to enjoy the travelogue/book excerpt stuff - but go for it, it's yr blog. i especially enjoy yr insight into scriptwriting and managing the social situation of being in a show.

all the best,

maggiechain said...

Mark Evanier's blog alerted me to your blog a few months ago, and now I read both every day. I am a former television writer, so I like reading about your experiences in television and thoughts thereon. Not so interested in baseball, but maybe you'll change my mind. I'm reading your book -- we are the same generation. I'm on the part about the Beatles and just want to say I saw the Beatles on their first tour. All 20 minutes of them.

Unknown said...

I'm Paul, i live in Chicago. I am not sure how i found your blog but it was looking up the lyrics for that awful irish band in that bar wars episode when i found it and i read it everyday.

I draw comic strips and write for two baseball blog sites. I have written two plays. So your site has come in handy for me.

I don't totally connect with the 'growing up in the 60's' posts but i'm not complaining/begging you to stop posting. (i still read it.) It's your site, you should be allowed to bash whoever you want, even if we disagree!

My favorite shows are The Simpsons, Cheers, many animated shows, and most recently Parks N Rec and Community.

Unknown said...

I'm Dan from Texas and have followed you for about a year. I have been recommending your blog to friends. I enjoy the 'behind-the-scenes" inside information about writing, plus the stories of your past shows. And, I really like the irreverence. Thanks for informing and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

I'm Sarah from Eugene, OR. I just started following you a couple of months ago. I write a weekly set of stories for a work communication and follow a handful of people that help me think outside the box of my profession. I can't remember how I found you, but you made the cut. Cheers!

VSaia said...

I'm from NYC. Don't think you've made your feelings for WHITNEY perfectly clear, Ken. But seriously, I think this is a great blog. I'm a writer so I love your insights and stories from the writer's point of view. I'm also a baseball fan, so I love those stories, too - thanks for the Vin Scully tribute. I think the diversity of subjects is what makes this blog strong. Found it via IMDB while reading the FAQ about Terry Farrell leaving BECKER.

David D said...

Hi Ken,

I'm David from Monroe, Michigan. I've been a regular on your site for 4-5 years. I believe I found your site from Mark Evanier's blog and I've been entertained and educated ever since. I've enjoyed all your posts....such a wide variety. I do favor any posting you do related to the shows you've worked on or television topics in general.....I'm a Network Programmer wannabe.....forgive me.

Poker Scotty said...

I found your site through the article. Other than being insanely jealous of your talent and experiences I very much enjoy reading your blog.

As a 20-year veteran of entertainment news in L.A., I especially appreciate the way you explain the "inside baseball" of the business, not talking down to your readers and being completely honest with us.

With the TMZ-ing of entertainment news I find I must make a major change professionally for my mental and physical health. Yup, I can no longer write stories on what underwear the Kardashians are wearing.

So your second career is inspiring as well.

Thanks Ken.

Michael said...

I THINK I've identified myself before, but I'm a history professor in Las Vegas who grew up wanting to be The Vin's partner on Dodger broadcasts and, at 47, still awaiting the call. I found this blog while searching the internet, but for what it's hard to say, since I'm a fan of baseball, comedy, and MASH, so Ken's name could have come up anywhere.

Love the blog just as it is. Still waiting for news of an exploding cream pie at Dick Whittington's place.

JRMurdock said...

Been lurking and reading for a few months. Saw too many posts from that Evanier fellow and got tired of reading one article here and one article there and just decided to subscribe and get my drivel first-hand.

Been fun and educational.

Donna said...

Hi Ken:

I'm Donna from San Antonio, Texas. I'm a documentarian, podcast host and producer. I've probably been reading your blog for about three years after looking up information on an episode of M*A*S*H (the episode filmed entirely from the patient's POV). I love all of the television history and behind the scenes stories that you give... and your travel stories.

Micah said...

I have been reading your blog for about a year, and it has become a daily destination for me. As someone who has often thought of wanting to pursue a writing career, your insights into the process and advice on writing has been incredibly interesting and entertaining. And helpful, should I someday actually get off my lazy ass and write something. All I can say is keep up the good work.

Lomedae said...

Hi Ken, I'm Jeroen from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, aged 41. I started following you early this year, I assume I came for some MASH reference, but I guess I stayed for the rest ;-) I am quite interested in script writing, quality television and American pop culture and I get more than my fill of those subjects on your blog. Not a big baseball fan so I tend to skip most of the sports articles.
I get a lot of enjoyment out of your blog, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :-D

Nancy said...

Hi Ken - I'm Nancy from Connecticut and I don't recall when or how I started reading your blog. Probably a link from someone else and I look forward to it!
I love everything television - especially the behind the scenes stories.

Patrick said...

I'm from Bournemouth in the UK, been following your blog on and off since I discovered you on twitter a couple of years ago :)

I'm a massive industry buff and love reading your recounts of your life behind-the-scenes, and enjoy seeing your outlook on the current US media. I just finished Warren Littlefield's fascinating) book "Top Of The Rock" and your more realistic attitude towards the industry is just as refreshing :)

Marco said...


Marco from Germany, following I guess 2 years+ now. Came here originally to find out more about some of my favourite shows that you worked on ("CHEERS", "FRASIER", "BECKER") and besides great inside into the production of these shows I found an entertaining blog I am following daily since then.

Also loved the insights into shows I did not follow that close ("MASH", "MARY TYLER MOORE" etc.).

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Greg said...

Hi, I'm Greg from Cleveland, Ohio and have been following your blog for about two years. I found it after falling down an Interent writing rabbit hole and have never left. I think it's totally cool that you're both a TV writer and a baseball announcer (Go Tribe!). I enjoy anything you write, so keep on keeping on, please. Thanks!

Britta said...

Transplanted to corn country in the middle of the States.

I came to your blog after Wil Wheaton wrote a post on his blog and mentioned your blog. (july 2010, I think).

I'm not a fan of the baseball/radio stories, but I come back the next day and am happy. I don't mind them, I just don't read them.

J. Allison said...

Hi Ken. I'm from Southern California and have been reading your blog for about a year. I became aware of the blog when you discussed it in a pre-game interview before an Angels-Mariners game last season. I guess when there's nobody else to interview the announcers interview each other :) But I don't mind...the announcers are generally more interesting than the athletes.

I find pretty much all your posts fun to read, probably because our backgrounds and interests overlap a lot -- SoCal, baseball, travel. So just keep doing what you're doing. And feel free to bash GW Bush just as much as you'd like!

volklfan said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now, it is usually one of the first things I do when I get to my desk.
I found your blog because of the TIME MAGAZINE recommendation.
It's cheesy but I feel that you are now a friend, not the type of friend that I actually converse with or have even met but the kind of friend that was my dad's friend years ago that now I am friends with on Facebook and isn't that the best kind of friend.
Thanks for keeping me grinning in the morning.

Ryan said...

I'm from Toronto. A friend linked me to your "If Sorkin wrote baseball" post when I was complaining about pre-Newsroom hype, so I guess I've been here a couple months? I also work in TV and obsess about baseball, so you're a pretty relatable read for me most of the time. The posts I end up enjoying most are the ones heavy on old-timey TV anecdotes.

William Jansen said...

My namie is William, I am a 36 years old, living in my native Denmark, and I work as a "mall cop" at a local tourist-attraction.

I own a TV, but have chosen not to install any channels, as I use it strictly for watching content downloaded from the web on a decent screen.

I have no recollection of how I found your blog, but as I love TV-programs, I stick around.

I am primarily interested in the history of the shows, you've been involved with. I like to know how stuff is made.

I couldn't care less about baseball.

Jason Roberts said...

My name is Jason. I'm in Los Angeles and also in the business but as an Assistant Director. Been reading for a while.

Bas said...

Hi Ken! I'm from the Netherlands. Found your blog through a retweet somewhere about 6 months or so ago.

I like your posts about (TV-writing) most, and the comedy/improv-stuff too. Hopefully I'll be able to make a living out of writing in the future.

Erika said...

I'm from Washington, DC. I've been following your blog for a little less than a year now. I think I found a link to this blog from John August's blog. I'm an aspiring writer. I grew up watching Cheers, and I love to read about the experiences of working professional writers. My favorite topics are those that discuss craft, critiques of t.v. shows, and an insiders view on the current state of television.

Geoff G said...

For about the last six months, I've been enjoying your blog's diversity. I'm not a baseball or even a sports person but I used to very much enjoy Bob Costas when he hosted Later. He had, for a talk show of that era, a fair amount of diversity. And of course baseball, which I really grew to appreciate more both as a sport and as a kind of lingua franca. Your blog, while in a dramatically different medium and format, is the closest thing I'm like to find that has that flavor.

As for things I like seeing? Well, I just finished the Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. It was interesting and good but frustratingly vanilla when it got down to brass tacks about the creative process. I got the feeling many people still had to work with other people. One person went so far as to say something like, in a very serious, non-joking manner, "I won't say who she is but she was a member of the original cast who didn't have much success afterward." Reading your blog at the same time was a nice contrast. Stories had real characters to them, largely positive but also some that really put a lens to bad behavior. Not in an intentionally hurtful or gossipy way but in a way that really brought insight into the ongoing creative process.

Not crunchy enough a request? Well, it sounds like you've brushed up against Jay Tarses--I'm hungry for more information about him. I loved Molly Dodd and am fascinated how he's gone from American TV to BBC radio. You may have talked about him before.

Another thing I haven't noticed anything about is the Showtime show about TV writers, Episodes. I'd love to hear you sound off on that.

Finally, last night I was watching an episode of Terriers written by Phoef Sutton. I wouldn't mind getting the inside scoop on how one goes from Cheers to a show like Terriers. (I thought it was a very good episode, btw.)

In any case, I'm enjoying the blog. Thanks for the free beer and sandwiches!

Audrey said...

I'm from London, UK and I've been following this blog for a few months now (I also followed the link from John August's blog to get here I think)

I'm an assistant at a production company (although I was a freelance script reader/intern when I started reading your blog) and I particularly enjoy writing-related anecdotes and tips, such as the post about actors giving feedback to writers.

Kathleen said...

I'm from San Diego. I've been reading your blog for several years now. I don't remember how I heard about it but it's the first thing I read when I get to work in the morning. Those pesky work emails can just wait.

I enjoy the inside stories from your t.v. shows and especially love your growing up in the 60's stories ... and yes, I bought the book!

MacGilroy said...

Hey, Ken.

Jim from Gilroy CA here. Been reading your blog for 4 or 5 years, not sure how I came here the first time. Especially love the behind the scenes stuff (MASH, Cheers, Fraiser, Wings, even Almost Perfect!)

Brian said...

From SF, reading via RSS for almost a year. Most interested in your writing on contemporary TV issues.

Mary said...

Baseball brought me to your blog. Like J. Allison above, I found you through the pre-game interview with the great Angels play caller, Terry Smith.

Growing up in So Cal just a few years behind you, I really enjoyed your Me Generation book's stories. It was our summer read for our book group of high school chums! We loved it! (Six copies sold to support the blog!)

Love the behind the scenes TV stories and hotel reviews!

katefate said...

I'm from Indiana. I enjoy your TV insider perspective on anything from remembering incidents in filming to the writing process to your thoughts on Dan Harmon.

Love the Friday mailbag!

Jeffrey Mark said...

Mr. Levine, you and I are certainly "Jew-fro" brothers (although I really had the Jew-fro in high school, while, I, uh, see in your pics that you used the "relaxers" back then. Nice touch. And you still didn't get the cheerleaders. Neither did I.

I got ripped-off and cheated outta a nice, cushy Northridge San Fernando Valley existence growing up when dad upped and moved our ass up to some hillbilly canning town called San Jose back in 1962. (Do you know the way?) Yeah, well, dad got a good gig at this little rag called the San Jose Mercury News. San Jose was always trying too hard to be an "LA wannabee" and never getting anywhere close. They even put up the exact same big blue street signs back in '68 all over town, and I thought, cool...has an exact LA vibe about them, maybe the town ain't half bad after all. They never bothered to put actual numbered addresses on them! Couldn't even do that right!

The only thing San Jose did right was give Kevin Pollak to the world...(and I don't think that was anything to brag about either...and I knew Kevin in high school, too. He was sorta in House of David AZA, my SJ Goy chapter, but all he ever wanted to do was just play in the basketball games we had with other Bay Area chapters.)

No, actually, San Jose had some damn great garage bands in '66 - I used to hang out with the Syndicate of Sound (Little Girl) and The Count Five (Psychotic Reaction - number one on KHJ!)Both bands lived in my tony Willow Glen 'hood when I was 10, 11.

You worked at Wallich's Music City in Topanga Plaza - I went there a number of times in the early '70s with my first cousins when my family had the good sense to come down to LA for Passover and summer vacation.(KHJ was automatically tuned in about half-way into the Grapevine.)I did my tour for a couple of years at the first TOWER records store in lovely Campbell back in '75. (San Jose wasn't even cool enough to get their OWN Tower Records store. See what I mean about SJ? I got ripped-off!)

You remind me of my older first cousin, Steve, who went to Monroe High in the Valley. Steve's 59 now, and also a failed TV show comedy writer-showrunner who became an attorney instead. He actually had a pilot filmed and NBC ran it back in the early '80s with other failed pilots on Saturday nights. Was a show about the crazy staff of a Mad Magazine-type publication. Desi Arnaz Jr. starred in it. It was pretty damn good, actually, but NBC never picked it up. Supreme bummer for cuz. He, like you, had a good dependable writing partner for years. Same league as you guys all the way, but couldn't catch the big break. (At least cuz got great season ticket seats for all Dodgers' home games as a consolation prize.)

Like you, I went into Top 40 radio and caught a good break on the air at K101 in San Francisco back in '80. One of my first nights on the air was the night John Lennon was murdered. Actually got to stay at the party for 3 years through 2 ownership changes and 2 PDs. (Thank God for the overnight shift! My saving grace.)

Anyhoo...thanks for the great years of MASH, CHEERS (although I was a "Diane fan" and lost interest in the show after she left) and FRAZIER. Gotta run out to the excellent weekday flea market here in Oakland to do my "hunter-gatherer" day job to find more old shit to sell on ebay. Hey, who knows, Ken...maybe next year I'll find a copy of your new book in a big pile of books on the ground there for fifty cents...don't feel sad my man, they ALL end up in a big pile on the ground for fifty cents. When I get home it's back to slaving away over a hot screen to toil on the one hour television show that I'm finally writing after all these years. My lifetime best friend who had a sex change operation years ago (male to female) just gave me the BIG HOOK my main character desperately needed. Revision time!!

Anonymous said...

Pam aka SisterZip

This blog was mentioned on the Facebook group Mr. Sorkin set up prior to “The Social Network”. I am 57, book buyer for a community college bookstore in a suburb of St. Louis, MO. My 27yo daughter is living in Portland, OR and doing stand-up comedy, so I make sure she sees this blog. Now whether she reads it or not…

I am a huge baseball fan. Was in heaven last September & October, obviously. So I do like your baseball stories. But I, also, like the blogs about writing & inside tv stuff. My husband & I like smart, funny, well written shows and have missed being able to enjoy something together. Finally, we have The Newsroom and Longmire that we can watch together. Neither are perfect, but they are a damn sight better than what is on most of the time. I love reading the comments. Everyone, for the most part, is articulate, funny, and smart.

Just keep doing what you do, Ken. If you write it, we will come. Uh, maybe I should word that differently…

MikeM said...

Michael from San Jose-

I have been reading your blog for 3 years now. I especially enjoy the behind the scenes stories from your past. Its great to hear the stories of old television.

You said something today that I found especially interesting about research and television shows. But I think you left something out-I watched the first episode of The Playboy Club (true confession!) and I was struck by how that show was created. Good cast, good look/design of the show, but absolutely terrible writing. A mob guy was killed in the first episode by a high heel to the throat? I watched that episode and I immediately thought that show will not last.

My all time favorite first episode was the episode of Bay City Blues, the baseball show by Stephen Bochco. They started the television season with the team winning a spot in the playoffs. OK, now what are they going to do for the next 20 episodes?

I think many television shows don't really think that we have to get the pilot absolutely perfect because we could lose everyone after that night.

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Live in the Seattle area. Have listened to you since your FIRST Seattle Mariner gig. I check out your blog every day, and have to admit I best like the baseball and miscellaneous topics you take on. Not so much the TV and writing topics though.

I also have a blog and would like to say you're most inspiring when it comes to my posts, which are about whatever the hell I feel like writing about.

I missed your FX McCrory lunch earlier this year and hope you get around to organizing another one.

Unknown said...

Pete from Chicago.

Love the insider TV stuff like the story where Bebe Neuwirth felt strongly about not carrying a purse for a joke. Interesting to see how relationships work in entertainment.

Please keep being honest as it's entertaining. If I wanted celebrity ass-kissing, I'd watch that hack, Ben Lyons.

Thanks for the blog!

Andy said...

Hi, I'm from the UK and to be honest I have been reading your posts for so long I can't remember how I came across your blog or why. But the reason why I keep returning, to generally lurk in the shadows reading, is I enoy the tone of your writing and the slithers of information which regularly pop up. There are very few blogs on the net which feel as relaxed as yours so I hope you keep it going for a long time

Jeff said...

I've been reading for 4 or so years, enjoy showbiz tales and baseball both.

Paul B said...

Paul from N Las Vegas -
The first blog I followed was Mark Evanier's, so hooked by his Mel Torme story that I bookmarked him as "Mel Torme Guy".
From him I found Mark Rothman (Mel Torme Guy's friend) and you (Mel Torme Guy's other friend). I pretty much enjoy it all, especially the insider stuff. I am very impressed by your ability to crank out so much stuff, always interesting, and apparently not a backup stack wharehoused for lazy days, since it always is timely. I guess you follow your own advice, that to be a writer you must write!
Thank you for helping me start my day with a smile.

Jaclyn M said...

I'm from Buffalo, NY and I have been following the blog for about a year. I first found it through a link someone had posted on a message board to your story about why Jay Thomas was fired from Cheers. Fascinating stuff!

My favorite part of the blog is the behind-the-scenes info on the TV shows you worked on. Although I was born in 1978, I grew up on Nick at Nite and have always been more familiar with shows from the 50s-70s than any period I actually lived through. (Although I did watch Cheers a lot when it was originally on.)

I don't care much for sports, but don't have a problem with those posts, since other people like them and I know I can just skip them.

Andrew Kamphey said...

Since I haven't read about you doing one of these who's out there??? then I must have been reading your blog for less than a year. Originally I'm from Tampa Bay, Florida but moved to Chicago when I graduated from college with a worthless general theatre degree and thought I was going to take over the world. Four months later I was working on a cruise ship as a stagehand. Quit that, broke up with the girlfriend, got depressed and ended up working in a TV station in Mongolia. Got fired (or laid off, they didn't pay us) three weeks in, ended up staying there for another two months before getting out and going back on a ship. Now I've been on a cruise ship for 4 years, back with the girlfriend, different job, better job, Now I'm in Europe and loving the world. I have so much time to write and I have no idea what I'm doing so I found your blog through John August's blog and still read both of yours. I like yours because you like sports. I've written a few scripts while on the ship and have made some videos but still don't know how to really get them out there since they were made all within the confines of a corporation even though they have nothing to do with that corporation. It's an odd place to be in the Intellectual Property field. I feel like I should be writing stuff I can actually use later but I only know what I see. It's an odd place to be. I'll be in Tampa Bay for a couple months, will you be announcing in Florida (vs. Marlins or Rays) anytime soon? I'll buy a ticket to the game just to come meet you if you have some time.

Beef Supreme said...

I'm in the western part of the nation, in a city small enough not to be able to reliably sustain a Triple-A team (though we get to keep ours for at least another year, woohoo!), but big enough to have an athletically fairly well known university.

I've been reading the blog daily for about 2 years, I think I ended up here through a link about American Idol, but I'm not sure. I enjoy that there's a variety of topics, but since I'm a huge sitcom fan, the columns about those are what keeps me coming back. Also, Becker is one of the most underrated sitcoms of all time...

seandelville said...

I'm from Toronto,found your blog through the link on writer Alex Epstein's site: Been a struggling actor for years and now moving towards being a struggling writer,so the industry stuff fascinates me. I am old enough to remember when Toronto had a contending baseball team (I believe Vin Scully called a few seasons for the Jays) so love that stuff too.
And yes,it is possible to enjoy both your site as well as Adam Carolla.

Billy W said...

Hi Ken! Greetings from Cape Canaveral, FL. Found your blog via Mark Evanier's blog. Been enjoying the read about 2 years. Never commented (until now). Love your behind the scenes stories about TV shows. I do have a question. Not sure if it's off topic, but... Do you have any thoughts/opinion about the DirecTV vs. Viacom dispute? I'm sure you've heard Viacom pulled 17 popular channels from DTV over $$ dispute. Who's side would you be on? The media company that owns the channels or the service provider/distributor? Thank you, Billy W.

Rich D said...

Rich and I live the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA area. Like most of the others, I can't remember how I first came to the blog a few years back, but it might have been through a Google Image search. I think you have a pretty good balance of posts right now. I'm not a baseball fan but I still find myself reading those posts because of they engaging way they're written.

Jenny H. said...

Hi Ken - I'm Jenny and I'm from Indiana. I found your blog around 6 months ago from Time's Top Blogs and have been enjoying it ever since. My favorite topics are the ones describing the writing process and inner workings of Hollywood (as a Midwestern CPA, I've always secretly thought it would be cool to write comedy). I love the random nature of your daily topics. Whatever you're writing about, I know it will be smart and funny. Keep up the good work!


Mike Carlin said...

Mike Carlin here... newish reader (Mark Evanier sent me).

I've been a comedy groupie and fan in general for years and I read for the "fly on the wall" insight into what goes on in the writers' rooms on any show.

I've been a comic book editor for about 30 years... and there are similarities to what goes down... main difference is that funny books ain't that funny anymore.

Anyways... great blog... and please do feel free to bash George W.

Mike C

Glenn said...

Hey Ken, I'm from Boston. I found your blog while searching for Cheers stories, trying to find a particular actor from a certain episode. I found the blog and have enjoyed it since. I like the behind-the-scenes stories for all the shows you've worked on.

Peter Boychuk said...

Hi Ken, I've been reading the blog for probably four years now. I start my mornings here. I'm a playwright in Vancouver, and I have some interest in screenwriting. Came across the site via Alex Epstein's blog. I enjoy your perspective on issues and the writing always makes me laugh. I never comment. If fact, this may be the first time I have ever commented on a blog. But I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this. Happy anniversary.

Sarah said...

I'm from New Jersey, been reading for probably 6-8 months? I don't actually remember how I found the blog, but I think it was probably via Twitter.

I really enjoy your Friday questions posts, and any of your posts about the ins and outs of writing and Hollywood. Thanks for all the great insight!

Anonymous said...

Ken, I love your blog! I am from Burlington, Iowa, and found it via a Google search on something I was wondering about Cheers. I particularly like reading your personal experiences and insights. I am not so much into the sports stuff, but your blog entries are never stale or boring no matter the topic. I hope you keep this blog going! Julie

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I'm Eduardo, from Rio de Janeiro. I've been reading these posts for over 2 years now.

I've recently spent two months in NYC, working on an original screenplay, as part of the NYFA's 8-week screenwriting program. I did manage to complete a first draft, but I still have a long way to go until I have something good enough to be filmed.

I first discovered you by name when I watched "Dancin' Homer" and "Saturdays of Thunder", back in the 1990's. Shortly after, I noticed you and David on the end credits of Cheers, listed as creative consultants. That caught my attention.

I always make it a point to look up writers' bios on IMDb, anytime their work catches my attention.

When I joined Twitter, back in 2010, I looked up any writers I might follow. I found you pretty quickly, and that's how I discovered the blog.

I love most of your topics. Friday Questions tends to be a favorite topic for me, since most of it involves learning the craft.

I didn't know you bashed Bush. I almost wish you'd get back to it.

The Curmudgeon said...

Been with you nearly from the beginning. I wish I'd been a rock 'n' roll DJ and a baseball announcer and able to schmooze so many Hollywood notables and not-ables. I watched M*A*S*H and Cheers back in the day and I think I'm funny (sometimes).

I'll stop there before you call your lawyer asking how to get a restraining order against an anonymous blogger.

I put in my regular plug for more baseball stories. But I enjoy the entire mix and your blog remains a daily read.

Randy said...

Arizona. Found it while reading MASH stuff on the internet. I love any and all MASH minutea

thomas tucker said...

Long time reader. Have bought the book on Kindle and thorooughly enjoyed it. I live in north central Washington State, previsoulsy lived in Austin, TX. I found the blog via surfing the web because I enjoy reading about classic comedy shows and life in the 60's. In fact, my favorite parts are reading stories about classic comedy shows and comedians from the 50's, 60's, and 70's.

Matt Tauber said...

I live in Cincinnati and have been reading for about 5 years. I found your blog via Mark Evanier's My favorite posts are the TV insider stuff, especially about shows that you worked on. I'm a big "M*A*S*H" fan and watched every episode of "AfterMASH" when it was on. I also like your stories about your radio days back when broadcast DJs could have fun.
I'm not a big sports guy, though as a Cincinnatian I must say "Put Pete in the Hall!" I'm also a conservative/libertarian, and as such not a big fan of your misguided political views.

Howard Hoffman said...

I hate when you do these posts because I always have to go to Staples and get another 5000 push pins for your map.

ScottyB said...

I'm Scott from one of Chicago's burbs. Been reading your blog daily since it made the 'Time' list because your writing style is pretty enjoyable. I don't follow baseball, so those entries really don't hold a lot of interest for me, but I most like reading your posts about the stuff we never see: how TV shows are written, run, and filmed, and how actors and writers deal with each other. The Friday questions are by far my favorite, tho.

Kevin said...

Kevin from Connecticut by way of Indiana. I no longer remember how I found this blog, but it's been about 4+ years?

Love your thoughts on new shows and the directions / choices they make. I always enjoy your summer movie and holiday movie previews.

Rob said...

Pittsburgher, don't remember how I got here, been a loyal fan for several years. I've been seeing your name on my TV screen since childhood. I love Friday Questions (you even answered a couple of mine!). Your blog revived my interest in MASH after I burned out on it a few years ago. Would like to hear about the making of "The Billfold Syndrome" (how did you find that actor?) and about what well-respected "classic" shows you never liked. And another request to visit the 'Burgh and take in a Pirate game. Wish you had a syndicated talk-radio show!

David Baruffi said...

Hi Ken,

My name is David Baruffi, I just graduated film school from UNLV, go Rebels! Around that time, I started writing my own entertainment blog which I update every 2-3 days or so. I'm a screenwriter by trade, but I watch my autistic brother most of my days, and that takes up most of my time, and as a result, I don't get to participate in the local film community as much as I'd prefer, so I started the blog as a way to get, some kind of my writing out there. I've had friends say that I should be a film critic anyway, so I figured if nothing else, I'll always be writing something. I don't remember how I ran into your blog, I think one of my Facebook friends may have posted an entry or two, and I'm happy to say that you're the first blog I check on my blogroll every morning. I'm a huge fan of most of the TV shows you worked on, so that interests me, as a writer, and I love any advice that you give on that front. I'm not sure what I'd ask you to improve upon or do more/less of. I like the Friday questions, although you never answer mine, that doesn't bother me too much. (My questions are never thought out as much as I'd like them to be anyway.) Anyway, I like pretty much everything on the blog, although sometimes I skip the baseball and radio entries. Radio's not really my field, and I'm a Phillies fan, so I'm really annoyed at baseball right now. Anyway, keep up the blog, I really do enjoy it. Very entertaining.

David Baruffi said...

Hi Ken,

My name is David Baruffi, I just graduated film school from UNLV, go Rebels! Around that time, I started writing my own entertainment blog which I update every 2-3 days or so. I'm a screenwriter by trade, but I watch my autistic brother most of my days, and that takes up most of my time, and as a result, I don't get to participate in the local film community as much as I'd prefer, so I started the blog as a way to get, some kind of my writing out there. I've had friends say that I should be a film critic anyway, so I figured if nothing else, I'll always be writing something. I don't remember how I ran into your blog, I think one of my Facebook friends may have posted an entry or two, and I'm happy to say that you're the first blog I check on my blogroll every morning. I'm a huge fan of most of the TV shows you worked on, so that interests me, as a writer, and I love any advice that you give on that front. I'm not sure what I'd ask you to improve upon or do more/less of. I like the Friday questions, although you never answer mine, that doesn't bother me too much. (My questions are never thought out as much as I'd like them to be anyway.) Anyway, I like pretty much everything on the blog, although sometimes I skip the baseball and radio entries. Radio's not really my field, and I'm a Phillies fan, so I'm really annoyed at baseball right now. Anyway, keep up the blog, I really do enjoy it. Very entertaining.

Brian Phillips said...

I am from Spring Valley, NY, just like Juliana Marguilies, I currently live in Georgia, a bit south of Atlanta.

Turn-ons: Behind the scenes stories, writing tips, the Friday questions.

Turn-offs: I appreciate your writings about baseball, but I am not a fan of the game. I don't watch the "reality" shows, so I didn't read those posts. Also, I dislike pushy people, crowded restaura...sorry that's for a magazine that's taken an interest in me.

This is one of my favorite blogs. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

Max Clarke said...


Longtime reader. Found you through a link on the blog, The Artful Writer.

Your blog is exceptional. I never miss it. If I could meet ten people in Hollywood, you would be on the list.

You're great at baseball and comedy shows and writing guidance.
For years, I've suggested you write a book about comedy writing. You've done the next best thing, interviewed and publicized Dan O'Shannon's new book.

There's only one low to your column, reviews of shows in the genre of Dancing With The Stars. The show has never interested me. Locally, the great radio host Ronn Owens used to cover similar shows, such as the singing contests. It's just me, I guess.

Your obituaries are about the best I've read. A shame you have to write so many, though, but at least you knew them and can pass along the stories.

My site is

Brent said...

Brent from Bothell WA. First heard you on your initial go-round broadcasting for the M's in 92-94 while the Rizzer was back in Motown trying to replace Ernie Harwell. Lost track of you after that, but when I heard of The Great Dave Niehaus' passing, I wondered if you were available for radio work as I'd enjoyed your broadcasts. Even with all the Dodger references. Did I forget to say I was originally from San Francisco/San Jose? It's interesting to hear your (and Ron Fairly's) take on the 60's Giants/Dodger rivalry.

Got to your blog through a mention of it during a pregame show - don't recall if it was you or Ricky that mentioned it, but I'm glad it was. Been reading it every day since.

Branson said...

Hello, I am in Montana and I mistakenly started following your blog thinking you were the other Ken Levine, and I stayed because of your interesting insight into an industry I know little about. I especially enjoy the Friday Q & A.

Albert Samaniego said...


From New York, NY. Somehow came upon your blog while trying to find the filming locations for "Bachelor in Paradise" about three months ago. Followed a link, read some (a lot)of your old posts and got hooked. I honestly had no idea who you were before then, but it seems that you wrote, or at least spec wrote a lot of my favorite shows growing up. Loved the book. My 60's were the 90's, but can totally relate to a lot of your high school experiences. Thanks for the good read!

Lifefeed said...

Boston. Been reading for four-ish years, I think. I found it when I was on the hunt for screenwriting blogs. I loved watching Cheers and reruns of MASH when I was a kid, and I love reading behind-the-scenes stories about it.

Bruno S. said...

I really enjoy your take on baseball, which I share a similar passion for. Going from being a college baseball player and really expanding my mind on and off the field with the sport, I've come to appreciate the game and the commentary you yourself bring to the blog and others I read.

I also like your television perspective, which I'm more interested in on a personal level. I like a perspective that is unique and intelligent, which you bring.

I'm pretty sure I found this blog on the Time's best blogs list.

***I'm a writer who loves to write about a bunch of different topics (sports, tv, pop cutlure, comedy) and if there is anything you can deliver in terms of advice as I continue to pursue a job in the field that would be much appreciated.

Much love.

Rob Hoffmann said...

From Richmond, VA. Found the blog a while back -- I think it was from a link on one of the sports-announcing sites. I read "It's Gone! No, Wait A Minute!" years ago, so for me, the blog serves as additional chapters of the book... :)

I have friends who aspire to acting and writing, so this gives me a view into what they want to be when (if) they grow up...

Andrea said...

I'm in KC, originally from Joplin, MO. I found this blog several years ago when I was teaching composition at a university in Kansas. I used articles and essays that I found online in my courses a lot, and one day I found your hilarious "How to Interview a Celebrity" blog entry. I'd been googling and looking for essays to use as supplemental materials for my course website (I think that was in 2007 or 2008). Anyway, I shared the link with my students as an example of humorous writing that also serves as a pretty accurate instructional essay. (My students enjoyed it, but I'm not sure enough of them had read sufficient celebrity profiles to understand just how accurate your essay was.) A huge MASH and Frasier fan, I started reading the blog regularly after that. I bought your most recent book as a gift for my dad. I'm not a baseball fan, so I skip all of your sports entries.

Jerry Smith said...

From Erlanger, KY. Been here about six months. I check in every day.

I found the blog through Mark Evanier's site, which I really enjoy. My favorite parts are behind the scenes anecdotes about the TV industry and how it works. How to deal with actors, how show-running and pilot season works. I have no use for network TV, but I love some cable shows and am fascinated by the industry.

The baseball stuff is not for me, but your passion jumps from the text and I like that you like it.

Overall, one of my favorite blogs to visit.

Anonymous said...

Mary K from Owego, NY where we recently learned what the phrase "come hell or high water" actually means. I followed a link to your blog and was completely entertained from the first reading. What hooked me forever was that I too still know all I ever learned about Albania from Coach's helpful musical tip.

Michael Davidson said...

Michael from Seattle. Been reading for a few years. Don't recall how I found it, but love the intersection of the best sitcoms from my childhood and my favorite baseball team.

Lyle said...

1. You don't return or respond to my postings, privately or publicly, and I'm not sure why. I've posed several questions, industry related, and have yet to hear from you. I do not post anonymously.

2. As to content? Keep on doing what you're doing. I enjoy it.

3. Came here because Mark Evanier ( recommended you.

lyle e davis
The Paper

Wallis Lane said...


I was ten years behind you, also growing up in Woodland Hills, and then also to Taft High and UCLA. I had no idea I was following a trail already boldly blazed. Found your blog a few years ago, I believe through Mark Evanier, and delighted in finding a resource that combined great stories of three of my favorite topics: Valley nostalgia, classic comedy writing, and baseball.

The photo gallery from your book brought back great memories of the Taft Band (T-A-F-T Fight Fight Fight)and the "rain" founatin in Topanga Plaza, or "Topanga Closet" as my little sister used to call it.

Thanks so much for your fascinating writing and your tireless and prolific work in maintaining this quality piece of real e-state.

Anonymous said...

Sharon from Los Angeles. I've been reading for about a year now, I think. I was introduced to your blog by a friend who is an aspiring TV writer. Not so interested in the baseball stuff as I am the TV stuff, but as far as I'm concerned, you may resume the GWB bashing forthwith.

Randy Meredith said...

From Columbus, OH. Been lurking for 2-3 years. Mark Evanier sent me. (I get the special Friends of ME discount, right?) I like the writing tips and stories of your days on MASH, Cheers, Frasierm etc. But I also enjoy the baseball columns too.

Ane said...

I'm Ane and I'm from Norway. I'm working on my masters in theatre studies while having a part time job with the dramaturge of a theater, so I've read my fair share of lousy stageplay scripts that people hope to sell. I found this blog a few months ago when I was trying to find a Frasier script (there was a detail I wanted to check because of a bet with my dad. I won.) So i googled "Frasier script" and this blog was google's best suggestion. So while I didn't find the exact script I was searching for, I found many interesting stories and anecdotes from the inside of the tv-world, and a lot of good advice on a lot of stuff. Thanks for that!

Thomas said...

Hi, I'm Thomas from London, and I hope to get into the industry as a comedy writer somehow. (Presumably by writing funny, though that doesn't mean anyone still reads unknown specs.) I presently make online games, and shove stories into those.
I like your range of articles, my favourites are when you focus on a specific facet of storytelling, or recall advice you were taught in the past.
My only irk is when you talk about older sitcoms as if they are objectively better. But you're an oldie, so it's forgiveable.

Rocky said...

Rocky from Seattle - I'm surprised there aren't more Seattleites, but love the diversity in locations your readers hail from.

Started reading a couple of years ago after (I believe) Lookout Landing linked you.

Like the baseball stuff, like the TV stuff, really like friday questions. As a writer and baseball fan you pretty much live my dream life.

Hope you have another meet up in Seattle, I wasn't around for the first one but would definitely stop by if there is a second!

Anonymous said...

Joe from San Francisco, been following for a few months. Found the blog after I was enraged that Sony fired Dan Harmon. I like the entries on the TV industry and tips for aspiring writers.

Eric J said...

Eric from So Cal. I've been a writer (non-fiction, motorcycle and woodworking) for 30+ years. Never any aspirations to be a TV writer, but I enjoy hearing about writers of all kinds and how they work. No idea how I stumbled upon your site, but I'm very glad I did.

For me, watching baseball is right up there with popping blackheads for entertainment, but I still enjoy your posts on your experiences in that field.

Thanks for your daily efforts. They are much appreciated. I've been encouraging a friend who worked at CBS News in the 70's and 80's to look at your blog and consider doing something similar.

Marty Fufkin said...

From Vancouver, Canada. I've been reading your blog for about 4 years after my TV-addicted sister (and media journalist) told me about it. I hardly watch TV anymore, and when I do, it's not sitcoms. But still, I really enjoy your insights into what goes on behind the scenes in TV land.

I grew up with MTM, Taxi, MASH, Cheers, Frasier. That was perhaps the last golden era of TV, as far as I'm concerned. When I see sitcoms now, even when they're good, there's a "seen it all before" quality about them. If there's a laugh-track, I turn it off. I watch more of the HBO/AMC dramas now, and the only comedy I watch is Curb Your Enthusiasm (is that a sitcom? i don't think of it as such because it's so out-there).

I like your reviews of new movies and TV shows. I like reading your take from a writer's perspective, which we don't get from mainstream critics. The blog format allows a kind of personal voice you don't see in other media.

And Friday questions ... never get enough of them!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm from Texas. I mostly like the posts about TV writing and TV in general. I think I've been reading for about a year or less. Found it through other TV blogs, I think. FYI, I don't mind a little GWB bashing. Been known to do more than a little myself.

Dale said...

Dale - Dallas Texas - Been reading for around 6 months, since Sepinwell linked from his blog. Love the content...

Favorite topics are the backstage stories and the writing process in general. No turn offs as of yet. I don't mind you hawking your book so much, as long as that keeps the banner ads away.

If I have a gripe, it's that I can't easily access all of the Cheers, Raymond, MASH stories in the archive. Once I hear a great Cheers story, I find that I would rather spend all day search for all of the great Cheers' stories.

Also, I'm a big Eric Nadel fan, so I love it when you dish dirt on that guy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,
I'm a comedian and comedy writer from NYC. I found you on a google search about comedy writing and now I read it daily. I love the stories from TV. Love the fact that you give back to younger writers. Love everything about it. Even the sports stuff. Although I'd like if you mentioned the Red Sox more often. Thanks for making my day brighter and helping me postpone work.

The Indian Bustard said...


Daily, faithful, long-time reader from Hyderabad in India - though I'm really from the south Indian state of Kerala. (Our claim to fame? The language we speak is Malayalam - a long palindrome.)

You may be happy to know that there are MASH and Frasier fans in India too - me, wifey, two daughters... for us, these were the American comedies closest to British classics like Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, Dad's Army, etc., so really, genius.

The kids are regular readers of your blog too, though I really hope they skipped your review of the Adult Video Awards...

Nixon said...

I'm a fairly new lurker...a radio production guy who lives and works in Seattle. I recently read your book and know a couple of guys who know you ('Jockey Jon' and 'Dave Randall'). I listen to you on the Mariners broadcasts and was surprised by your 'sailor mouth' and your TSM (time spent masturbating) in your book! But now I know you speak my language. I like your blog cuz it is random thoughts, as it should be. P.S.--Timothy Leary's motto was 'Tune in, turn on, drop out' your book it said something else. P.P.S.--I want to know about Neil Young's annoying behavior in the record store booth.

Lawrence Stone said...

Hello from San Diego. I've noticed your work since you were screaming your guts out in the mid-70's on 50,000-watt radio stations in Southern California. (I once sent you fan email; you replied you always wondered who was listening as you talked with those soup cans on your head.) Congratulations on the recognized success of your blog which I found shortly after its inception via the L.A. Radio People website. I work in law and occasionally write freelance articles, so I enjoy your writing style and sometimes email my favorites to my friends. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us every day.

Unknown said...

I am from the Netherlands (American living abroad) and I found your blog about a year or so ago while sick with the flu, watching Cheers and looking for some commentary about the show.

I really enjoy the blog, your writing is very interesting and of course it is great, as a blogger myself to read about your experiences as a television writer.
I particularly enjoy your talking about the inner workings of the business, how things go in the writers room and what the process is. The baseball stuff I can take or leave.

DBenson said...

Mark Evanier sent me, too.

The only change I can suggest is having you become an announcer for women's sports -- beach volleyball, etc. -- and replace your family with an old-school chauvinist sidekick and a sexy feminist boss.

Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing.

The Ames Family said...

I'm Becky from Southeast Washington state (wine country). I think I found your blog a year or so ago from a Twitter repost. As a Washingtonian, I love that you love the Mariners :) But I'm a huge TV buff, so this is a great match for me.

I love reading all your stories about how TV shows work, memories on set, LA history, etc. I'm a little too young for M*A*S*H (I've seen it in reruns), but I grew up watching Cheers, Almost Perfect, and Wings. I LOVE Friday questions!! And I appreciate that you care what WE think.

Keep up the awesome work!

Molly B. said...

I'm in Boston and I've been reading the blog for 1.5 years - after it was named one of the best blogs of 2011. I most enjoy the posts about your opinions on current events in the entertainment world. You may be interested to know that I'm making my major league debut tonight - I won a contest so I'll be throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't bounce!

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken, my name is Robert and I herald from England. I've been visiting your excellent weblog for close to two years now, I think I stumbled across "By Ken Levine" when searching for material on sitcoms - it was probably M*A*S*H or Cheers! - or I may even have been looking up info on your work, well however it happened it was a pleasan surprise to come across a great weblog from such a familiar sitcom name. I really enjoy and am fascinated by insights into the making of great (and even not so great;-)) television and movies particularly in an unvarnished and honest fashion, so your log is a must read. Also, baseball is my platonic ideal of a Great Game (yes, I *am* weird, thanks for noticing!) so there's that too...
I have to say that I enjoy when you let rip at things or people that deserve it, while remaining humane, fair (mostly), and funny; that said, can be hilarious when ou get pissed at smaler things and are slightly *unfair* too!
It must be pretty great to get so many responses, it's certainly great to see this marvellous chorus of Ken Appreciation. Keep it up K-Dog, as I believe the Kidz don't say. Friday Questions are great, insights into the good and bad of great sitcoms are always welcome, while your perspectives on modern sitcoms are welcome and oft astute (I still love Community tho, and I'm not *that* young unfortunately, o woe!). Finally, if you want to chastize venal politicos *do so* it's yr weblog, and America's the Land of the Free, isn't it?!

JasonA1 said...

My name's Jason, 24 yrs old, originally from Michigan, now living in Los Angeles, cobbling together a career with a (hyper)focus on game shows. I've been reading off and on for a year through links on Mark Evanier's blog, but now I make it a daily stop as I eat lunch at my desk.

I must have seen the entire series of "Frasier" six or seven times through, having watched it in syndication in junior high and high school, morning reruns in college, and now TiVoing the Hallmark Channel reruns at night to watch again. Thanks for all the writing - there are very few subjects you write about that I won't enjoy!

Alan Ekblaw said...

My name is Alan, I'm 52, and live in upstate New York. (Are we speed dating, or is this Bloggers Anonymous? Sorry, I'll stop trying to be funny.) Mark Evanier sent me over here; I've been following his writing in various doses for thirty years.

I'm certainly more interested in the television topics than the baseball play-by-plays, but I encourage you to keep writing whatever you want to. The writers that I find interesting, whether as critics, comics, crusaders, or raconteurs, have their own voice and opinions. For the most part, for instance, I'm not interested in what the average film critic thinks about the movie; I care about the viewpoint of an informed individual. So just do your thing, and it will all work out - but then, you knew that already.
P.S. Really? You're worried that I'm a robot? How many robocallers do you have following this blog anyhow?

Aaron said...

Aaron from Victoria B.C. Canada. I grew up with my parents watching cheers, and always loved the show, I think I came across your site doing a cheers search. Even though I have nothing to do with show business, I really love the behind the scenes stories you tell. I also love the Friday questions. I am always amazed that every time I come back, there is a new post!

Sue from San Diego said...

Love this blog Ken. Always funny, informative and very enjoyable. I especially love the rants.

Off the subject I just watched Sorkin in his "inside this episode" clip for The Newsroom and he paid homage to Mash. He said in last episode "I'll Try To Fix It" he wanted a "Radar O'Reilly moment" where there is internal squabbling going on and the real world steps in, like in Mash when there is high jinx going on and Radar says "wait for it, the choppers" or something to that effect. I would love to see your review of The Newsroom.

Jake Mabe said...

Hi Mr. Levine:

I am from Knoxville, TN. I found your blog about a year or so ago while doing web searches on "M*A*S*H," which is my all-time favorite episodic TV series. I, of course, knew you from your work on that show and on another favorite, "Cheers." (And, yes, "AfterMASH," which I actually liked.)

I love the posts about television, especially about a writer's experience. I am a writer myself in my own small way (I work for a group of community newspapers owned by E.W. Scripps) and have always been fascinated by TV writing. I grew up wanting to be Rob Petrie ("Dick Van Dyke Show.")

I also grew up wanting to be Ernie Harwell, so I love your posts on baseball and your experiences as a play-by-play announcer. Please keep those up!

And I love it whenever you write about Hawaii. It is my favorite state in the Union!

I also am a radio nut, so I enjoy hearing your experiences in that field.

I also love it when you write about comedy legends, particularly Jack Benny, who is an idol.

Your blog is always a welcome respite from the daily grind. Keep up the good work!

MacEwen Patterson said...

Living in Los Angeles, currently writing features professionally, interested in writing for television. I like the insight into on-set dynamics, learning about relationships between executives and writers. I'd love to learn more about developing and pitching shows. It's great to get insight from someone who's been in the game so long. I grew up on M*A*S*H* & Cheers, so I can related to a lot of the stories behind them. I also really enjoy baseball, so those posts are not lost on me. I found this blog about a year or so ago on the twitters.

Doug said...

My name is Doug and I live in Juneau, Alaska. I've read your blog most every day from July 20, 2009 (the bookmark saved that date). I think it was linked by Mark Evanier, who I also read every day.

My favorite posts concern your experiences writing/directing/running the shows you've worked on. They are educational and hilarious, which is the best mix for a blog.

I'm also indebted to you for turning me on to "Justified", now also a can't-miss for me.

I'm only sorry I wasn't in Seattle for the get-together you hosted. Hope you do it again.

Rockie Bee said...

I'm Rockie Bee from Murlind, and I've been following you for three years now. I must have been brought over by Mark Evanier's site.

DwWashburn said...

OK, I live in Vegas and have been reading your blog for about two years. Found you via I hardly ever read the posts having to do with the mechanics of writing TV shows. Mainly enjoy posts about celebrities that hold my interest. Also like your rememberances about MASH, Cheers and the Simpsons.

Harkaway said...

I'm an American who has lived in London for 27 years and have been reading the blog since 2008. I can't remember how I got here, but may have reported this when you asked the question before.

I read you because the topics you cover interest me, for example, the process of writing, working effectively with people, comedy in general. But I particularly like it when you analyze a recent show, some new phenomenon, a fellow writer, etc., because this calls forth an interesting discussion from your readers. Some people offer critiques, some rant, some reflect on an aspect, but the important thing is that you have gotten your readers to engage with your topic. That is what a good professor does in a seminar.

For this reason I check in every day and read through all the comments, even from the old discussions. I am always twice entertained: by your perceptive essay and the discussion it raises.


Duck Blood Soup said...

I think I first got to your site from Wil Wheaton's blog a couple of years ago and stuck around. I'm a software engineer in San Jose, CA. I really appreciate the TV recommendations (thanks for Episodes and Justified) and the behind the scenes stories.

I also look forward to your writing insights. My brother and I are nearing completion on a novel and it's interesting to see how your suggestions line up with what we had to discover on our own.

Brian S said...

Hi Ken,

I live in Northridge and I am a middle school teacher for the LAUSD. Although I have never commented before, reading your blog has been part of my daily routine for several years. I do not recall how I found your blog although it may have been through Alan Sepinwall's blog (I cannot remember if I found you through his blog or vice versa). I continue reading your blog because I admire the shows you have worked on and enjoy your wit.

LulunLou said...

Lori, from Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Found the blog after it was featured on Time website for top blogs to read.
I love the history of TV shows and the stories are amazing! I'm opposite of most people...I am not a huge fan of the baseball stuff.
Keep it up though, keeps me coming back!

Sean in NoCal said...

I am from No-Cal and found your blof from a ling on Wil Wheaton's blog.
What do I like about this blog? Pretty much all of it. I like that is is an inside view of the TV world. I like that it is a little inside the baseball broadcaster's world. I am an obessive baseball fan and love when you write baseball stories.

What don't I like? The constant Adam Sandler and Whitney bashing. Not that I like either of these things either, but you've kinda beaten the joke into the ground.

I read the blog every day and have for about two years or so now.

unkystan said...

Hey Ken. Greetings from the Bronx!
Been reading you for years but I have no memory of how I found you, just glad that I did. If I didn't I never would have known about "Father Ted" or "Corner Gas". The behind the TV scenes and Friday questions are my favorites but I devoure everything else too! Funny, when I see your name pop up on my TV screen I say to myself, "my pal Ken did this! Must be good!" And it always is. Regards from the east coast!

Dan K said...

This is Dan from New Jersey. I found your blog from the post about the M*A*S*H set insomeone's backyard and have been reading it ever since. I love to read about your television expolits, your days in the radio bixz and your time as a kid. Not so much the sportscasting stuff since I don't really follow sports. But I read you every day!

Andrew Wickliffe said...

I started reading your blog many years ago, back when I lived in Evanston, IL and you'd post about that sex shop in Skokie.

I can't remember how I found it but I used to talk about it nonstop. I still do whenever the opportunity arises, but people seem to know about it now.

You've answered my questions--early on--about Mannequin 2, but ignored me when I tried to get you to participate in a podcast about it. Which hurt me deeply, Ken, very, very deeply.

I love Friday questions, love the example scripts (I once wrote a CHEERS episode for an MFA class, but before you and David Isaacs started I think).

I discovered Becker because of your blog... which pisses me off a little since the DVD releases are spotty.

I'm a daily reader (via RSS and Instapaper usually)

Andy said...

Mr. Levine,

Hi, Name is Andy. Youngin (27) from Northeast TN, where I'm a humor columnist for a local alternative weekly. I think I came across your blog through Pop Candy, sometime last year. I'm a big student of both Comedy and TV, I loved the piece you did on Jack Benny recently, as I wish more people my age knew what a delight his work is.

Thanks for the blog, I take great enjoyment out of it!


Dave Gordon said...

Hi Ken, from Basingstoke in the UK, alternatively known as Boringstoke or Blazingsmoke. Occasionally post as Loosehead.
I first came to LevineLand about 3 years ago, from that guy Evanier's blog. Whatever happened to him...

I'm a big fan of the insider gossip on US TV shows that we get over here. As a Brit, the baseball coverage is a bit "meh!", and I think your blog suffers from a lack of cricket instead.

Chet Swanson said...

Ken, I’m from Everett, WA (north of Seattle – home of the Aqua Sox) and have been following your blog for about a year. Can’t remember how I came across it, but I have enjoyed almost every moment of my reading. I also follow you on Twitter. I love the Friday questions and when you talk about baseball, although I’m not really an avid baseball fan. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Chet Swanson

Jeff Stanzler said...

Ken, my name is Jeff and I'm from Ann Arbor, MI. While I love it when you talk actual baseball, the inside baseball about the TV business is great, too. I do think that the Tony Randall Show is a lost classic, so I would love to hear more about that...maybe a good Zane Lasky story or two?
Keep up the great work, Ken, and's a treat to read your blog.

Tom M said...

Tom McGowan said...

Hi Ken! I've found your blog when someone sent me a link to your post about the passing of the great David Lloyd. And I've been reading ever since. I love TV, travel, and baseball so I'm very happy spending a few minutes with you every day! Especially love Friday Questions. All the best, Tom

Anonymous said...

Came for the Wings blog, stayed to find out more!

Marshfield, MA

Dave Creek said...

Hi, Ken, I'm from Louisville, KY and love reading your behind-the-scenes stories of working in television.

I'm a fellow broadcaster, but I've worked in TV news for over three decades, so it's a different kind of TV from what you do.

At the same time, I'm also a published science fiction author, so I can also identify with what it takes to create a storyline and work it into shape. Win-win!

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of Old Time Radio such is on Sirius. Shows like "Suspense, The Whistler, Jack Benny and anything with Elliott Lewis". How do you feel about the writers for those shows?I'd love to see a post about "Old Time Radio".

Thank you


Topio said...

Hi this is Javier Silva from Mexicali, Mexico I really enjoy your blog specially when talking about TV/movie history with a lot of experience and Knowledge which is not something you find easily in the blogosphere.

Sometimes I think you could take a little bit of time in your blog to talk to the people that you've known that work in the different areas of the tv/movie production since I guess you have made several friends other than writers, directors and actors.
for example it would Be interesting to hear something from a good DP, Second Unit Director or stunt coordinator besides their funny histories how they go about their business. keep up the good work.

Brian Phillips said...

Actually, he has talked a bit about Old Time Radio, in a sense. One of the greatest and star-studded shows was "Dick Tracy in B-Flat" on the Command Performance show. One of the writers of that show was Ken Levine's mentor, Larry Gelbart.

daz said...

I'm Darryl In Brisbane Australia.

I like most of what you write here. I'm fascinated by screenwriting and the production process, so that's always interesting.

Your baseball posts make almost no sense to me, not just because baseball is an invisible fringe activity in Au, but our professional sports competitions (and sports broadcasting) are setup completely differently. (I really should pester you with some Friday questions about the baseball business)

I do like it when you get a bit fired up about something, and there's a sharper edge to what you write than usual.


Anonymous said...

I'm from Texas. I found your blog while searching for some of the funniest blogs to read and your's showed up. I really enjoy the detailed articles about the writing and directing process. The insight into what is happening and how decisions get made is intriguing. It's a unique viewpoint that you don't get to find anywhere else, especially from such a unique viewpoint. I don't really enjoy the baseball stuff, but I'm also not a baseball fan, so I may be a bit biased.

Ben said...

Hi Ken,

From Miramichi, been following the blog for years although I'm not entirely sure if it was originally through Jaime Weinman that I dound your blog. The Friday questions are probably my favorite feature, but I like the insight into some of my favorite sitcoms over the years.

Brian said...

I'm a New Yorker in my fifties. Writer. Teacher. I think I first found your blog through a reference in James Wolcott's blog. I've been reading you for about two years, and the main thing I have to say is that I enjoy everything you do here: the anecdotes, the comments about current shows and other cultural events. I just like to read your stuff. So as far as I'm concerned, it'll be great if you add new things and great if you keep everything the same. Thanks for your great work.

ChrisF said...

I'm Chris from Massachusetts and have been reading for around two years now. I studied film and screenwriting before my current job (making video games) and love hearing the behind-the-scenes stories of making television, and your insights on writing and comedy. Friday questions are fun, and I particularly enjoy when you bring in other voices to answer questions or offer counterpoint to your opinions. The blog is great as it is; thanks for writing it!

Anonymous said...

The Gong of Doom,

Currently semi-homeless and been living semi-miserably in motels in Maine for way too many months. Found the blog about 8 months ago, through a mention on another site, which I can't for the life of me recall, but it mentioned your's as one of the best blogs about tv writing and such.

Maybe the original site was related to Friday Night Lights.

Maybe not.

I like the info about being in the writers room, though I am more than a bit disappointed that you seem to pretty much just cut and paste the same blog post for a couple of days around Christmas. To me that's cheating your audience.

If you don't feel up to writing a post for a couple days during that time, then just don't post anything.

Also, I wish there was a bit more variety in the Friday questions, they seem very Cheers/Frasier/MASH oriented. I understand that you can only answer the questions that people write, but I'd guess there would be more topics than just Cheers/Frasier/MASH.

Haven't bought your book, because the local library system got a couple of copies, so I have it on hold.

Geseke said...

I'm in Winnipeg, Canada. A lurker since the early days, I discovered you after Lee Goldberg mentioned you on his blog.

I enjoy pretty much everything you write, except the baseball stuff. Now, if you want to write about hockey, I'll pay more attention!

Anna said...

Hi Ken,

My name is Anna and I live near Portland, Oregon. I heard an interview with you on A Closer Look Radio about a year ago (?) and immediately subscribed to your blog.

I am a write but not a screenwriter and I enjoy all your posts.

Thanks for the great work!

Susan said...

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and I just found your blog in the past few months...and it's already a favorite! I love when you share inside stories...loved MASH and Wings, especially. I also love when you share behind the scenes glimpses...especially in your Friday Questions. Thanks for a great read every time I check in! :)

Joey H said...

Hi Ken,
Joey here. I've been reading for a few years, ever since Evanier first plugged it.

After a radio-tv career, I now teach news, sports, and production at the college level. Your Mariners partner Rick Rizzs was a college classmate of mine at this same university.

I enjoy the show biz, radio, and baseball posts...and particularly the Friday questions.

BTW, I have BOTH of your books.

Larry Asher said...

I started following your blog because I've been a fan of your Mariners broadcasts since your first tour of duty a few years ago. It was only after I started reading that I got into your primary topic, which is writing for television. Like reading the New Yorker, it's always fun to become absorbed in something you didn't think you cared about, and your blog truly delivers on that. So, I'd say, give me more baseball and broadcasting stories, but honestly, you can talk about whatever you want. I'll still gladly read it.

TShirt Designer Extraordinaire! said...

Laurie from Florida...not sure if that is a =)or a =( guess it depends upon the day...seeing as how we are pretty much the coldest state in America right now, I guess we are on the upswing. I am completely new to your blog, I found it completely by accident when I was searching for a an easier way to post and line up photos on blogspot (I have a little hobby Tshirt blog) and imagine this, you wrote your post in 2010 and I am still having the same effin problem, if there is an easier way, it eludes me. Anyway, I read some of your stuff and found it fun and real. Thanks for that! Keep being you. Peace.

Satnam Khalsa said...

I found your blog through Alan Sepinwall. When Harry Morgan died Alan linked your tribute to Harry. I live in Northern Virginia. I am studying film at George Mason University. It's been interesting to see your perspective as a writer while learning about the more technical aspects of movies.

Rob From Amersfoort said...

I’m from the Netherlands. I found your blog while trying to write a script for a Paul Verhoeven filmmaking competition (I failed, I should have included more sex and blood I guess).

I can’t relate to baseball (that’s so American). I love everything else, including the episode videos you post now and then.

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