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The Business


The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.

The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.


Santa Monica, CA




The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.






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With Discovery on the way in, what does the future hold for HBO?

KCRW resumes its conversation with James Andrew Miller, author of “Tinderbox,” the new book about HBO. He talks about more recent HBO history, including the 2020 launch of Warner Media’s streaming service. When asked whether he thought naming the streamer HBO Max was a good or bad idea, Miller responded, “I think it’s one of the great branding disasters of all time.”


‘Tinderbox’: HBO has drama on and off the screen

For his exhaustive new book on HBO, James Andrew Miller talked to 600 people about the network that brought us “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Veep.” Behind the scenes, executives were playing their own “Game of Thrones.” In the first of a two-part conversation, Miller tells KCRW about his new HBO oral history, “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers.”


Netflix’s ‘Procession’ is a therapeutic experiment, using drama to ease past trauma

The new Netflix documentary “Procession” follows Dan Laurine and five other victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, as they use drama to ease the burden of their traumatic childhoods. They write and re-enact scenes from their past — scenes that are not at all graphic but still carry a powerful emotional charge. Laurine and “Procession” director Robert Greene tell KCRW how they hope their film can help facilitate change for other survivors.


Kieran Culkin on why his edgy ‘Succession’ persona sometimes follows him off-screen

Kieran Culkin has found a defining role playing Roman Roy, the snarkiest of the siblings on HBO’s “Succession.” Culkin tells KCRW about acting from an early age, facing his fears while fulfilling a dream as host of “Saturday Night Live,” and how he sometimes finds it hard to turn off that very snarky Roman Roy persona.


Netflix’s ‘Found’: International adoption, uncovering complicated family histories in China

The Netflix documentary “Found” follows three Chinese cousins, adopted as babies by very different American families. Thanks to DNA, the teen girls found each other. Then they travelled to China seeking clues about their past, and got the help of a young Chinese genealogist with her own complicated family history. Director Amanda Lipitz and producer Anita Gou tell us how their emotional film “Found” benefitted from a big helping of kismet from start to finish.


What went wrong on the set of ‘Rust?’

Bryan Carpenter has worked as an armorer — the person responsible for overseeing weapons — on series such as “Queen of the South” and “Cloak & Dagger.” He has a lot of thoughts about what appears to have gone wrong on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust.” The biggest issue of all? The apparent presence of live ammunition. “That never should occur,” Carpenter says. “That would be the worst case scenario — to introduce a live round onto a movie set that’s using firearms.”Carpenter details...


How Edgar Wright makes original movies in an industry obsessed with franchises

KCRW revisits its conversation with filmmaker Edgar Wright. His music documentary “The Sparks Brothers” celebrates two musicians whose work he loves. Ron and Russell Mael are brothers who make up the band Sparks, and they’re a pair of complete originals. Wright is an original, too. His hit movie “Baby Driver” and upcoming thriller “Last Night in Soho” are based on ideas he made up. And he can’t help but wonder why movie studios aren’t willing to take a few more chances on fresh ideas. Plus,...


The return of HBO’s ‘Succession’

The third season of HBO’s award-winning black comedy “Succession” was supposed to premiere a year ago, but the pandemic halted production for many months. Series creator Jesse Armstrong says despite the delay, the cast was soon back in the zone when they finally reunited. Armstrong tells KCRW how the road to “Succession” began with a script about an imagined Murdoch family dinner, and explains why he re-writes his scripts — full of lacerating insults — throughout the production process.


Writer Danny Strong on his quest to make Hulu’s ‘Dopesick’

Before he co-created the hit show “Empire,” writer Danny Strong won accolades for two HBO movies based on real events. So when he wanted to make a series about the opioid epidemic based on Beth Macy’s book “Dopesick,” he thought he’d be met with open arms. Instead, he found no one was much interested in his pitch. He tells KCRW about his quest to make a limited series version of “Dopesick,” which eventually found a home on Hulu.


As the Academy Museum opens, Los Angeles finally has a grand space devoted to movies

After budget blowups, a leadership change and many delays, the long-awaited Academy Museum is finally open. KCRW takes a whirlwind tour with museum president Bill Kramer to hear how exhibits cover all aspects of the movie business. And there are lots of fun sightings, including ruby red slippers, the typewriter used to write “Psycho,” Leo’s “Revenant” body cast, and even the famous Rosebud.


IATSE behind-the-camera workers make movies and TV shows happen. They may soon authorize a strike

For the first time in decades, the crew members who make movies and TV shows are threatening to strike. Members of IATSE — the union that covers cinematographers, editors, costumers and many more behind-the-camera jobs — say they’ve had enough of low wages and long hours without sufficient breaks. Script coordinator and IATSE member Shawn Waugh tells KCRW why he will vote to authorize a historic strike.


‘Plan B’ and ‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales on making her directorial debut with 2 films

Natalie Morales built up a bunch of acting credits on shows including “Parks and Recreation” and “The Grinder.” But what she really wanted to do was direct. When her agents didn’t get on board, she dropped them and got new ones. Now she’s made not one but two features. Morales tells KCRW about her double directorial debut with the films “Plan B” and “Language Lessons.”


Sterlin Harjo on creating FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’ with an Indigenous cast and crew

Before he co-created the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs,” Sterlin Harjo directed three micro-budget films in his home state of Oklahoma. He had knocked on Hollywood's door, but somehow he never could find financing. No one wanted Native films, and Harjo almost left the industry entirely. Then he teamed up with his friend Taika Waititi to make a coming-of-age show about four Native teenagers. FX liked “Reservation Dogs” so much, they’ve already ordered a second season.


‘The Other Two’ creators Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly on the return of their pop culture send-up

The critically beloved sitcom “The Other Two” follows the trials of the older, struggling siblings of a 13-year-old overnight pop sensation. The series creators knew the first season got lost in the shuffle when it ran on Comedy Central. For season two, the show moved to HBO Max, and is a lot easier to find. Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider tell KCRW about the return of “The Other Two,” and how they decide which celebrities to skewer.


‘Hacks’ creators Jen Statsky and Paul W. Downs on their Emmy-nominated comedy series

Jen Statsky and Paul W. Downs are two of the three creators of the Emmy-nominated comedy series “Hacks.” The HBO Max show features Jean Smart as a veteran comedian fighting to hold onto her long-running Las Vegas gig. In real life, Smart also wanted the show to go on — even when her husband died unexpectedly with a week of shooting left. Downs tells KCRW, “We knew from working with [Smart] that she is all in, she is fully committed. And so in that way, we looked to her in this time as well.”


‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’: How voice actor Jeff Bergman brings Bugs Bunny and Sylvester to life

Jeff Bergman’s name may not ring a bell, but he has some very recognizable alter egos: Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat and Yogi Bear, to name a few. Bergman is the voice of many of the cartoon stars of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” His repertoire includes nearly 200 voices, including Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Showtime’s “Our Cartoon President.” He tells KCRW about some of the challenges of this often overlooked profession.


Director Shawn Levy on the ups and downs of making ‘Free Guy’

Director and producer Shawn Levy’s new movie “Free Guy” — a big-budget original starring Ryan Reynolds as a video game character — had its release date pushed three times because of the pandemic. The film is finally opening exclusively in theaters. But heading into opening weekend, Levy wasn’t sure if people would go. “I have to confess, I don’t know,” Levy says. “I don’t know what the reaction will be to going to theaters, and going to theaters for a new movie.” The producer-director...


Producer Jason Blum on the battle around compensation in Hollywood: ‘I hope there will be a lot of lawsuits’

Producer Jason Blum thinks stars and filmmakers deserve a piece of the profit from their work. So naturally he opposes a push from studios to pay Netflix-style flat fees instead. But that didn’t stop him from taking a big flat fee to make three new “Exorcist” films. Blum weighs in on big battles underway in the industry, including Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney. He hopes it’s the first of many.


Media mogul Barry Diller defends Scott Rudin, decries cancel culture

For nearly the past decade, media mogul Barry Diller has backed award-winning movies and Broadway shows from now embattled mega-producer Scott Rudin. Asked about allegations that Rudin engaged in a decades-long pattern of abusive behavior, Diller pushes back. In part two of KCRW’s conversation with the Diller, he emotionally defends Rudin and decries cancel culture.


Barry Diller on the rise of streaming and why Hollywood ‘does not exist anymore’

Barry Diller, who made his name as a powerful studio boss, recently told NPR that “the movie business is over.” Expanding on those views, the legendary mogul and former chairman of Paramount and Fox tells KCRW why, with the pandemic and rise of streaming, Hollywood will never go back to what it once was. In the first of a two-part conversation, Diller — now the chairman of online empire IAC — weighs in on a transforming industry and its future.