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Who Is Alex Trebek?: A Biography
After a contestant wrote “We love you, Alex!” as his Final Jeopardy! answer, fans around the world quickly chimed in to proclaim their own love and support for beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. In the wake of his devastating cancer diagnosis, the moment provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on what the show - and the man – meant to them.It was no surprise, since millions of devoted viewers have long considered Alex Trebek to be a part of their daily lives ever since he began hosting the show in 1984. Now, bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak gives readers a look at Trebek's early life, his career, and his personal life throughout the years, drawing on many sources to tell his full story for the first time.There are many surprises, like the fact that Trebek was almost 50 when he discovered that he had a half brother, as well as the revelation that for a short time he actually dreamed of becoming a priest. The native Canadian also struggled with depression after the failure of his first marriage, and for years afterward he despaired of ever having a family of his own until he met the woman who would become his soulmate.Who Is Alex Trebek? is the first biography of the much-loved game show host, and as such, celebrates the man who has created a remarkable legacy that will live on in popular culture for generations to come.
Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV
When America wakes up with personable and charming hosts like Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts, and George Stephanopoulos, it's hard to imagine their show bookers having to guard a guest's hotel room all night to prevent rival shows from poaching. But that is just part of the intense reality New York Times staff writer Brian Stelter reveals in TOP OF THE MORNING--a gripping look at the most competitive time slot in television, complete with Machiavellian booking wars and manic behavior by the producers, executives, and stars. Stelter is behind the scenes as Ann Curry replaces Meredith Vieira on the Today show, only to be fired a year later in a fiasco that made national headlines. He's backstage as Good Morning America launches an attack to dethrone Today and end the longest consecutive winning streak in morning television history. And he's there as Roberts is diagnosed with a crippling disease-on what should be the happiest day of her career. Featuring exclusive material about current and past morning stars like Katie Couric and all the major players of the 2000s, TOP OF THE MORNING illuminates what it takes to win the AM, when every single viewer counts, tons of jobs are on the line, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Among the questions Stelter answers for the first time: Why did NBC really decide to oust Curry from her chair? What was her replacement Savannah Guthrie's reaction? Was Matt Lauer really at fault? So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and discover the dark side of the sun.
Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates
From the man widely hailed as "the Dean of Moderators" comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than forty years of televised political debate in America. A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America's presidential elections - and with them the course of history. Drawing on his own experiences as "the man in the middle seat," in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer isolates and illuminates what he calls the "Major Moments" and "killer questions" that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.
Starting Over: The Explosive New Autobiography
The next installment in a powerful and extraordinary life story by one of Britain's best-loved television starsDenise Welch has always been open about her life, and has refused to let media intrusions and lies slow her down. But now, as she starts a whole new chapter in her life, she wants to set the record straight and reveal the true story of the last few tumultuous years.She writes movingly about the breakdown of her marriage and how she and ex-husband Tim Healy really feel about each other - and how she is coping as a single parent. She comes clean about the recent claims of an affair that have sold millions of tabloid papers. She also takes us behind the scenes on Dancing on Ice and describes coping with the fall out from her winning appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, including the vicious cyber stalker who urged her to kill herself.Intimate, funny, completely honest, just like Denise herself, Starting Over is one woman's very personal journey. It shows that it is never too late to follow your heart.
Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons
In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.
From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; Aladdin; and Mrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.
Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital
The Emmy Award-winning star of General Hospital chronicles his astonishing and emotional life journey in this powerful memoir—an inspiring story of success, show business, and family, and his struggle with mental illness.Maurice Benard has been blessed with family, fame, and a successful career. For twenty-five years, he has played one of the most well-known characters on daytime television: General Hospital’s Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. In his life outside the screen, he is a loving husband and the father of four. But his path has not been without hardship. When he was only twenty, Maurice was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.In Nothing General About It, Maurice looks back to his youth in a small town and his tenuous relationship with his father. He describes how his bipolar disorder began to surface in childhood, how he struggled to understand the jolting mood swings he experienced, and how a doctor finally saved his life. For years Maurice was relentless in his goal to be a successful actor. But even after he “made it,” he still grappled with terrifying lows, breakdowns, and setbacks, all while trying desperately to maintain his relationship with his wife, who endured his violent, unpredictable episodes. Maurice holds nothing back as he bravely talks about what it was like to be medicated and institutionalized, and of how he learned to manage his manic episodes while on the set of GH.Nothing General About It is also an incredible love story about an enduring marriage that demonstrates what those vows—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—truly mean. Maurice also pays tribute to the community that has been there for him through thick and thin, and ruminates on the importance of both inherited and created family.A shocking, riveting, and utterly candid memoir of love, adversity, and ultimately hope, Nothing General About It offers insights and advice for everyone trying to cope with mental illness, and is a motivational story that offers lessons in perseverance—of the importance of believing in and fighting for yourself through the darkest times.
Notes From the Upside Down: An Unofficial Guide to Stranger Things
If you devoured Stranger Things on Netflix and you’re looking to fill the demogorgon-sized hole in your life, then look no further than Notes from the Upside Down. This fan-tastic guide has every fact you could ever wish for - from insights into the origins of the show, including the mysterious Montauk Project conspiracy theory; a useful eighties playlist (because, of course); and much more.If you’ve ever wondered why Spielberg is such a huge influence, which Stephen King books you need to read (hint: pretty much all of them), or how State Trooper David O’Bannon earned his name, then this book is for you.Entertaining, informative, and perfect for fans of eighties pop culture, Notes from the Upside Down is the Big Mac of unofficial guides to Stranger Things - super-sized and special sauce included.
In this heartfelt, funny, and touching memoir, one of the stars of Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning smash-hit Queer Eye reveals how an Englishman raised in a traditionally religious home became a fashion icon—and the first openly gay, South Asian man on television—simply by being Naturally Tan.
Monty Python Speaks!: The Complete Oral History (Revised and Updated Edition)
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its BBC debut, a revised and updated edition of the complete oral history of Monty Python—an insightful, in-depth portrait of the brilliant and hysterically funny show that transformed modern comedy.
Make It Reality: Create Your Opportunity, Own Your Success
From carrying camera gear on the sets of MTV’s Road Rules, to pioneering the celebreality genre by creating such breakout hits as The Surreal Life and The Flavor of Love, and now as one of today’s most prominent figures in the television industry—Cris Abrego’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary.As a young boy growing up in L.A., Abrego spent his formative years glued to his family’s TV set, forging his dream of one day working in television. With unrelenting drive, he overcame countless obstacles to build his own reality TV production company in his garage, which, by his mid-thirties, he sold to one of the world’s largest television production companies, before being tapped as their co-CEO. In Make It Reality, Abrego provides practical and motivating lessons collected from almost twenty years on the frontlines of television, including: how to visualize and your goals and work tirelessly to attain them; when to take risks and push boundaries; and how to continually raise the bar for yourself and realize there are no limits on what can be achieved.Success isn’t about your pedigree or your connections: it’s about vision, leadership, and courage. Abrego’s story is unforgettable, full of heart, and inspiring to anyone seeking to transcend all obstacles and achieve true success.
Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night
In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic legacy. Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.Zinoman argues that Letterman had three great artistic periods, each distinct and part of his evolution. As he examines key broadcasting moments - "Stupid Pet Tricks" and other captivating segments that defined Late Night with David Letterman - he illuminates Letterman’s relationship to his writers, and in particular, the show’s co-creator, Merrill Markoe, with whom Letterman shared a long professional and personal connection.To understand popular culture today, it’s necessary to understand David Letterman. With this revealing biography, Zinoman offers a perceptive analysis of the man and the artist whose ironic voice and caustic meta-humor was critical to an entire generation of comedians and viewers - and whose singular style ushered in new tropes that have become clichés in comedy today.
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View"
When Barbara Walters launched The View, network executives told her that hosting it would tarnish her reputation. Instead, within ten years, she’d revolutionized morning TV and made household names of her co-hosts: Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But the daily chatfest didn’t just comment on the news. It became the news. And the headlines barely scratched the surface.Based on unprecedented access, including stunning interviews with nearly every host, award-winning journalist Ramin Setoodeh takes you backstage where the stars really spoke their minds. Here's the full story of how Star, then Rosie, then Whoopi tried to take over the show, while Barbara struggled to maintain control of it all, a modern-day Lear with her media-savvy daughters. You'll read about how so many co-hosts had a tough time fitting in, suffered humiliations at the table, then pushed themselves away, feeling betrayed—one nearly quitting during a commercial. Meanwhile, the director was being driven insane, especially by Rosie.Setoodeh uncovers the truth about Star’s weight loss and wedding madness. Rosie’s feud with Trump. Whoopi’s toxic relationship with Rosie. Barbara’s difficulty stepping away. Plus, all the unseen hugs, snubs, tears—and one dead rodent.Ladies Who Punch shows why The View can be mimicked and mocked, but it can never be matched.
The Kardashians: An American Drama
From the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Rich comes a blockbuster unauthorized biography of one of the most famous and ubiquitous family dynasties in contemporary culture: The Kardashians.Secrets and scandals of the Kardashians, so closely held that not even hard core fans have heard about them, are finally exposed in New York Times bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer's forensic dissection of the infamous reality TV clan. From the curious life of patriarch Robert Kardashian, whose family meatpacking business was tainted by scandal, to "momager" Kris Jenner’s top-secret plan for the future, The Kardashians reveals the untold, definitive story based on two years of investigative reporting and scores of candid, on-the-record interviews, ranging from childhood friends to powerful business associates, who break their silence for the first time.In the decade since the Kardashians first appeared on the scene, millions of speculative words have been written about their drama-filled lives. But most has been tabloid hype and gossip column fantasy. Until now.
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox
Carol Burnett pulls back the curtain on the twenty-five-time Emmy-Award winning show that made television history, and she reminisces about the outrageously funny and tender moments that made working on the series as much fun as watching it. Carol delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and improvisations that made The Carol Burnett Show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. While writing this book, Carol rewatched all 276 episodes and screen-grabbed her favorite video stills from the archives to illustrate the chemistry of the actors and the improvisational magic that made the show so successful. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her costars to the impressive list of guest stars, Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode. With characteristic wit and incomparable comic timing, she details hiring Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway; shares anecdotes about guest stars and close friends, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White; and gives her take on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise.This book is Carol's love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show. Get the best seat in the house for "eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox."
I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends
In I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends former Bachelor "villain" and season 16 winner Courtney Robertson shares her story of love and heartbreak, and the reality of appearing on reality TV. For the first time ever, a former Bachelor contestant takes us along on her journey to find love and reveals that "happily ever after" isn't always what it seems.
A Helluva High Note
Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record executive, and a successful music publisher whose songs have been recorded by such superstars as Pink, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Santana, Steven Tyler, Celine Dion, and so many others. She was also the feisty fourth judge on American Idol. But success wouldn't have happened for her without the dark times of defeat. Filled with the grace, raw honesty, and haunting emotion of her hit songs, A Helluva High Note is the soundtrack to Kara's life - an intimate anthem about living, creating, loving, stumbling, picking herself up again, and ultimately succeeding. Passionate, wise, funny, and down-to-earth - filled with memorable and inspirational tales from the heart and trenches of life, business, and the world of entertainment - Kara's story proves that finding, cultivating, and following your own true voice really is possible.
Full of Heart
Martinez, J. R.
An inspirational journey from tragedy to triumph In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol when the Humvee he was driving hit an antitank mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Out of that tragedy came an improbable journey of inspiration, motivation, and dreams come true. In Full of Heart, Martinez shares his story in intimate detail, from his upbringing in the American South and his time in the Army to his recovery and the indomitable spirit that has made him an inspiration to countless fans. J.R. Martinez always had a strong spirit. Raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then Hope, Arkansas, by a single mother from El Salvador, he was well known at school for his good looks and his smart mouth. At seventeen, showing an early determination and drive that would become one of his trademark qualities, J.R. convinced his mom to move to Dalton, Georgia, where he believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. His positive attitude earned him a spot on a competitive high school football squad, but when his college dreams collapsed, he turned to the U.S. Army. A few months later, he found himself serving in Iraq. When J.R.'s humvee hit a mine and exploded--just one month into his deployment--he was immediately evacuated to a San Antonio medical center, where he spent the next thirty-four months in grueling recovery. Seeing his disfigured face for the first time after the accident threw him into a crushing period of confusion and anger. His spirits were low, until he was asked to speak to another young burn victim. J.R. realized how valuable and gratifying it was to share his experiences with other patients and listen to theirs. He'd found a calling. His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto J.R.'s spirit and strength. His resilience, optimism, and charm were also noted by Hollywood and scored him roles on All My Children and Dancing with the Stars, where he was the season thirteen champion. Today, J.R. tours the country sharing his story and his lessons for overcoming challenges and embracing hope, lessons that abound in this book. Full of Heart is an unforgettable story of a man who never gave up on his dreams. After being injured in Iraq, J.R. Martinez became a motivational speaker, actor, and winner of season thirteen of Dancing with the Stars. Martinez lives in Los Angeles
The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV
Before Colton Underwood captured the hearts of millions on The Bachelor, he was a goofy, socially awkward, overweight adolescent who succeeded on the football field while struggling with personal insecurities off it. An All American gridiron hero, he was also a complex, sometimes confused, soft-hearted romantic wondering how these contradictions fit together. Old-fashioned and out of step with the swipe right dating culture of today, he was saving the most intimate part of life for the love of his life. If only he could find her…Now, in The First Time, Colton opens up about how he came to find himself and true love at the same time via the Bachelor franchise. Unencumbered by cameras and commercial breaks, he delivers a surprisingly raw, endearing, and seriously juicy account of his journey through The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Bachelor, along with what has happened with him and Cassie Randolph since his season wrapped. He opens up about being dumped by Becca, his secret dalliance with Tia, what it was like to be the world’s most famous virgin, his behind-the-scenes conflicts with production, and how his on-camera responsibilities as the Bachelor nearly destroyed him after he knew he had already fallen in love with Cassie.A memoir for Bachelor Nation and anyone who believes in the magic of love, The First Time carries a simple but powerful message: It’s okay to laugh and cry and occasionally jump over a fence, if it means coming one step closer to the right person.
Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek
This is the unauthorized, uncensored and unbelievable true story behind the making of a pop culture phenomenon. The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films. The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek, told by the people who were there. Hear from the hundreds of television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators and cast as they unveil the oftentimes shocking story of Star Trek's ongoing fifty-year mission - a mission that has spanned from the classic series to the animated show, the many attempts at a relaunch through the beloved feature films.Make no mistake, this isn't just a book for Star Trek fans. Here is a volume for all fans of pop culture and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of a television touchstone.
Captive Audience: On Love and Reality TV
A portrait of a marriage intertwined with a meditation on reality TV that reveals deep and surprising connections, Lucas Mann's Captive Audience turns to the shared act of watching to explore the meaning of intimacy, performance, love, and the search for an authentic life.
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