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Guest Programmer: James L. Brooks
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Guest Programmer: James L. Brooks - 1/10

James L. Brooks, TCM Guest Programmer for January, is a genuine triple threat as a producer, writer and director in both movies and television. He won three Oscars® for a single film [Terms of Endearment, 1983] and has scored an unprecedented 20 Emmy Awards. Among other highlights from his film career are Starting Over [1979], Broadcast News [1987] and How Do You Know [2010], while his TV credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi and The Simpsons.

Reflecting his own early years in television, Brooks selects My Favorite Year [1982], Richard Benjamin's comedy about the misadventures of a guest star (the "wildly funny" Peter O'Toole) on a 1950s TV comedy series based on Your Show of Shows. As an added treat, Brooks introduces an actual episode from that series, "This is Your Story" [1953], which he considers "the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life."

Brooks' other choices include two stinging satires, Stanley Kubrick's 1964 Dr. Strangelove (the "funniest picture ever made") and Sidney Lumet's 1976 Network, written by Paddy Chayefsky (the "most powerful screenwriter who ever lived"). His final pick is the TCM premiere of Lumet's Prince of the City [1976], a story of corruption among New York City policemen that emerged as "the clearest look we'd had at the justice system."

by Roger Fristoe

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