Two fascinating new books reveal the secrets behind iconic female-centric shows
Who Run the World?
Cred: Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell
The 30-year TV vet has written for Late Night With David Letterman, The Simpsons, and Murphy Brown. She also collaborated with Sheryl Sandberg on a little book called Lean In.
Cred: Stealing the Show by Joy Press
The former entertainment editor lands juicy interviews with power showrunners, including Shonda Rhimes (Scandal), Jill Soloway (Transparent), and Lena Dunham (Girls).
Scovell on the Glass Ceiling
“In Hollywood, the glass ceiling is not actually made of glass. Instead, it’s made of that Terminator metal that shatters then reconstitutes and reforms…. In Hollywood, you rise up fighting or you go down fighting. Either way, you’re fighting.”
Press on the Glass Ceiling
“Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling...Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer may impersonate women behaving badly, but behind the scenes they are hardworking perfectionists. There’s less room for reckless behavior when an entire gender is being judged.”
Just the Funny Parts: Stress much?
Minutes before a crucial meeting, Scovell — who’d given birth two weeks earlier — had to bolt into a bathroom to hand-express a blocked milk duct.
Stealing the Show: Stress much?
Shonda Rhimes clocked the dialogue speed with a stopwatch on the Scandal set to ensure actors said their lines fast enough.
Just the Funny Parts: Fun Fact
This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia guest-starred on Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a football player who votes for Libby as class president based on her platform of “more pizza at lunch.”
Stealing the Show: Fun Fact
While filming a memorable threesome scene, Transparent’s Gaby Hoffmann was actually pregnant, baby kicking, while a body double played out the more strenuous bits.
Just the Funny Parts: Surprise Cameo
The “smooth and charming” Matt Lauer, who tries to cajole Scovell onto the Today show after she writes an exposé on former boss Letterman.
Stealing the Show: Surprise Cameo
Nineties R&B group En Vogue, whom Roseanne and Tom Arnold wanted to develop a sitcom about, but “none of them could talk.”