Insights from writers facing distinct challenges

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This week, leftovers! We bring you three interesting conversations with previous guests--all writers--that we didn’t have time to air before.

First up is TV comedy writer Janis Hirsch. Her sitcom credits include ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘Frasier,’ and ‘Will & Grace.’ She joined us on the show last fall, in the early days of the #MeToo movement, and told us a powerful story: she lost a dream job on the Showtime series, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,’ after being severely harassed in the writer’s room.

We also asked Hirsch about the lack of work for actors with disabilities. She had polio as an infant and walks with the help of crutches.

According to the disability rights group Respectability, people with disabilities make up 20 percent of the population, but have almost no presence on screen. Of the roles that do exist for disabled characters--on television, 95 percent of the time, they’re played by an able-bodied actor.

Next up, Armando Iannucci, the political satirist and creator of the HBO comedy ‘Veep.’ He recently spoke to us about his new film, ‘The Death of Stalin.’

I also asked him about his next movie: an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel ‘David Copperfield.’ Iannucci is going to take some liberties with the source material--Dev Patel will play the title role--but I wanted to know what he would do about some of the novel’s least interesting characters.

He tells us how when it comes to Dickens’ women, quite a bit of rewriting will be necessary.

Finally, a short conversation with married couple Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino. The two came on the show to talk about Amazon’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ but earlier in their careers, they both worked on the hit sitcom ‘Roseanne,’ though at different times. I asked them what they thought of the news that in the new version of that show, the title character is a Trump supporter.

Roseanne returns to ABC on March 27.




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker