November 6, 2019
Cougar Town began as a joke between co-creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel: Could you actually make a show with a name that bad? Well, they did just that—with the resulting show running for six seasons and more than 100 episodes on ABC and TBS. Biegel joins the Hollywood Uncorked panel and the week’s guest host, screenwriter Karen McCullah (Legally Blonde, House Bunny), to talk all things Cougar Town while appropriately helping swig back three bottles of Dolcetto. Along the way, Biegel chats about getting his start on Scrubs, the pain and joy of his short-lived sitcom Enlisted, and how writing for TV has changed in his decade-plus in entertainment.
October 18, 2019
Veteran producer Matt Gross boasts credits across all genres and platforms, from movies like Fired Up and Across the Universe to TV projects like Sons of Liberty, Dirty Sexy Money and Day Break. Fortunately for the Hollywood Uncorked panel, Matt is almost as passionate about wine as he is about entertainment—especially about the wines in this episode, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Joined by guest co-host and producer of the new Creepshow series Brian Witten, Gross talks about his transition from movies to television, what makes a good producer, and gets honest about the most disappointing thing that ever happened to him in Hollywood.
September 11, 2019
Brian Duffield has made a name as one of the most versatile screenwriters in Hollywood—from making waves at age 23 with his first comedy spec Your Bridesmaid Is A Bitch to writing the McG-directed Netflix thriller The Babysitter to co-writing Insurgent, the uber-successful second installment of the Divergent franchise. As he joins the panel and guest co-host Arvind Ethan David to drink through three perfect-for-fall bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir, Brian talks about the emotional rollercoaster that is writing in Hollywood, the horrible day job at Lucky Jeans he got to quit after selling his first script, and the infamously plagued production of his first produced screenplay, Natalie Portman-starrer Jane Got A Gun.
August 21, 2019
It wasn’t enough for author Tommy Wallach to simply write the New York Times-bestseller We All Looked Up. He also had to go and record an entire album of original music to go with it. Turns out, music and writing are just two of Wallach’s many talents, which also include devising the popular escape room, Lab Rat, which was recently named the 8th best escape room in the world. In this episode, Hollywood Uncorked honors Wallach with three bottles of blends as unique as he is, while guest co-host Arvind Ethan David joins in a discussion of how Wallach got his start in writing, the painful process of getting a novel to the screen, and the ever-evolving nature of interactive storytelling.
August 7, 2019
As a veteran exec in the animation divisions at Dreamworks and Sony, Michael Lachance has conceived and developed some of the most iconic animated movies of the past two decades—from helping concept Shrek 2 as his first project out of college to pitching Jeffrey Katzenberg the title and idea for Kung Fu Panda. In this episode, Michael helps the guys taste through three bottles of Napa Valley Chardonnay while discussing his approach to overseeing the new family & animation division of Miramax, how he generates his countless roster of movie ideas, and what it was like trying to keep up with Katzenberg’s epic executive schedule—including his legendary Sunday meetings at his house.
July 24, 2019
While 3Pas Studios has risen to become a top Hollywood producer of TV and movies oriented toward Latino audiences, VP Carlos Aguirre says its mandate is really no different than any other production company: find amazing material and bring it to the screen. In this episode, Carlos details his journey from journalism to mainstream studios like Paramount and Fox Television—and finally to his current role in the feature division of Eugenio Derbez’s production company. While sampling three truly unique examples of Malbec from Argentina, Carlos discusses whether Hollywood is really getting better at bringing diverse voices to the screen, the future for multicultural entertainment, and how his Hollywood career began with a chance phone call from Fox after they found his resume on Monster.com.
July 10, 2019
As the EVP of Development and Production at Walden Media, Naia Cucukov has touched a string of the company’s family-oriented releases, from A Dog’s Purpose to Steven Spielberg’s The BFG to the surprise 2017 hit Wonder, which went on to gross more than $300 million. In this episode, Naia helps the panel with their continuing exploration of the Nebbiolo-based wines of Italy’s Piedmont area by knocking back three bottles of Langhe. Along the way, she discusses what she looks for when scouring for potential film properties, the unique place that Walden holds in the entertainment industry as a true production company-studio hybrid, and the immense pressure of adapting beloved family titles for the screen.
June 26, 2019
Has there ever been a joke so offensive that Fox’s Family Guy didn’t want to touch it? We get the answer to that question and many more as we sit down with one of the show’s longest-tenured writers and its co-executive producer, Kirker Butler. With three bottles of 2015 Barbaresco providing our highest-rated wine night ever, Kirker talks about how he originally caught the attention of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane with a sample script for the show, his stint going to The Cleveland Show (and back), and how his path to one of the most incendiary shows on television included working as a radio preacher in Kentucky.
June 12, 2019
Tamara Chestna has traveled that rarest of Hollywood paths: from production executive to working screenwriter. In this episode, she sits down to talk about the unusual journey, the Amy Poehler-directed comedy Moxie she recently had greenlit by Netflix, and why the ongoing battle between agencies and the Writer’s Guild are so awkward (and not fun) for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Chestna’s manager and Episode #59 guest Ava Jamshidi steps in as guest co-host to help the group field test three lesser-known bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc against the king daddy in the category: Kim Crawford.
When screenwriter Adam Pava (The Boxtrolls, The Lego Movie 4D) landed a gig as the writing assistant for Phil Lord & Chris Miller’s MTV animated series Clone High in the early 2000s, he knew immediately he was in with the right two guys. And while the controversial show was short-lived, Pava’s professional partnership with the prolific writing and directing duo has flourished—helping spawn Pava’s own successful animation writing career. As he joins the Hollywood Uncorked panel in knocking back three amazing bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (including the show’s highest-rated wine ever), Pava talks about what it’s like being part of the informal crew of Lord & Miller collaborators, the endlessly evolving process of developing The Boxtrolls movie, and his secret for sustained success in Hollywood.