John Wells on the TV Biz; Mike Royce on 'Men of a Certain Age'

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Veteran TV producer John Wells on the state of the television business and how he has migrated from broadcast where he produced ER and The West Wing (both on NBC) to cable with Southland (TNT) and Shameless (Showtime). Wells appreciates the creative freedom that comes from working in cable and laments that broadcast networks haven't been willing to take risks with scripted programming these days. In fact, Southland had started out as an NBC drama but with six episodes of the second season in the can, the network pulled the plug. Wells talks about his anger over that decision and how he and his collaborators scrambled to make adjustments so that they could keep the show alive on TNT. Plus, Mike Royce, show-runner of TNT's Men of a Certain Age, on co-creating that Peabody-Award winning show with Ray Romano and how their midlife despair gave rise to this unconventional "dramedy."

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Banner image; John Wells (mustache and headphones) on the set of Showtime's Shameless. Photo: 2011 © WBEI





Kim Masters