© 2024 KUNR
Illustration of rolling hills with occasional trees and a radio tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Man Behind the Sitcom

The director and producer James Burrows is being honored this week with a career tribute at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Burrows is a veteran TV director who made his name with classic TV sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant, and Taxi.

After those franchise shows, Burrows went on to co-create and co-produce Cheers, for which he directed most of the show's 270 episodes. Since then, he has directed episodes of many other hit sitcoms, including Night Court, Frasier, Friends, Dharma and Greg and Will and Grace.

Currently, Burrows is working on the upcoming sitcom Courting Alex, starring Jenna Elfman. He has won both Emmy and Director's Guild of America awards. His father was Abe Burrows, who wrote the books for many successful musicals, including Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.