or


[01/11/18 - 12:34 PM]
"The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling," Two-Part Documentary from Judd Apatow Exploring the Life of the Legendary Comedian, Debuts March 26 and 27, Exclusively on HBO
When Shandling passed away in 2016, he was widely remembered as a top stand-up comic and the star of two of the most innovative sitcoms in TV history.

[via press release from HBO]

"THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING," TWO-PART DOCUMENTARY FROM JUDD APATOW EXPLORING THE LIFE OF THE LEGENDARY COMEDIAN, DEBUTS MARCH 26 AND 27, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

"You're either the happiest person I know," Judd Apatow once told his friend and mentor, Garry Shandling, "or you've completely lost your mind." Shandling responded, "That's about right."

When Shandling passed away in 2016, he was widely remembered as a top stand-up comic and the star of two of the most innovative sitcoms in TV history. But to those who knew him, the "real" Garry Shandling was a far more complex person. Now, Apatow has created a remarkable portrait of this iconic comedian in the four-and-a-half-hour documentary THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING, which debuts in two parts MONDAY, MARCH 26 and TUESDAY, MARCH 27, exclusively on HBO.

The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Epic in scope and intimate in detail, THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING features conversations with more than 40 of Shandling's family and friends, including James L. Brooks, Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, David Coulier, Jon Favreau, Jay Leno, Kevin Nealon, Conan O'Brien, Bob Saget, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman, and four decades' worth of TV appearances, along with personal journals, private letters and candid home audio and video footage that reveal his brilliant mind and restless soul.

"Give what you didn't get," wrote Shandling in a journal late in his life, the mantra of a self-proclaimed "spiritual warrior" still challenging himself to transcend his own insecurities, despite achieving so much in the face of loss, betrayal and tragic twists of fate. From childhood tragedy to heartbreak, professional betrayal and unexpected physical trauma, to his emergence as a powerful teacher, friend and guiding spirit for a new generation of talent, Apatow's documentary not only chronicles one man's ability to survive the ups and downs of a life in show business, but also offers a profound investigation into the power of comedy to elevate the human spirit.

Shandling experienced a normal existence growing up in Tucson until age ten, when his older brother and only sibling, Barry, died from cystic fibrosis. His parents barely discussed their older son's passing, and his mother, Muriel, began clinging to her younger son, developing an intense and sometimes troubling bond that would later generate some of his comedy material.

Shandling's unlikely path towards success, through an encounter with George Carlin and an impulsive move to Los Angeles after college, took a turn in 1976, when he was involved in a serious traffic accident, resulting in a near-death experience. As he recovered, he noted in his diaries, which he began keeping in 1977, "Do it - you are ready, be a comedian. It is the real me. The secret is to be myself."

Explains Jim Carrey, "I thought of Garry as someone who told the audience, 'You're alright, because I have all these problems.' But he did it in a way that was so incredibly clever, you had to respect him at the same time."

Shandling made the leap from the pinnacle of stand-up success, appearing on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," to develop his comic persona into something that would redefine television comedy. Realizing that one of his strengths as a standup was simply the ability to "talk to people," he created a show where talking to the audience was the central focus - "a show that allows Garry to be Garry," as his journals read.

"It's Garry Shandling's Show" was a decade ahead of its time, the first modern "meta"-sitcom that brought him a new legion of devoted fans and elevated his profile in the industry. "It was kind of a revelation," remembers Conan O'Brien about the show's three-season run. "It showed everybody, this is what kind of show can exist." He also met Linda Doucett, who became his fiancée, began building a new home, and was even rumored to be heir apparent for the host seat on "The Tonight Show."

Part two of THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING offers an extensive examination of "The Larry Sanders Show," his landmark HBO comedy series. Colleagues remember the demands of producing material that met Shandling's high standards, while his diaries reveal an ongoing struggle with complacency and search for authenticity. The impact of "Larry Sanders" was immeasurable. "That show will outlast all of us," says Jay Leno.

But in the wake of the show's success, soul-wrenching tragedy, fueled at times by Shandling's own demons, played itself out. Sanders and Doucett broke up and he fired her from the show, leading to a lawsuit, which in turn raised financial questions that led Shandling to sue his manager, Brad Grey, for $100 million, a case that took years to resolve and cost him many friendships, as well as threatening his ongoing pursuit of spiritual peace.

"I see him as a tortured person, because he was always trying to rise above," remembers Kevin Nealon. "I mean, his core was good. I think it was the skin around that core that he was trying to break away from." After "The Larry Sanders Show" ended, Shandling's neuroses and insecurities became more evident, as he worked through unexpected emotional, physical and professional crises.

The ailing Shandling found solace in community. Sunday morning basketball games on his home courtyard brought friends together and kept him emotionally connected, while a mentorship of younger comics gave his life fresh meaning. "He was a comic angel," recalls Sacha Baron Cohen.

A successful gig hosting the Emmys(R), creating unique extras for the DVD release of "The Larry Sanders Show" and an appearance with his friend Jerry Seinfeld on "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (where Shandling opined about death and mortality) hinted at some of the lessons he'd learned in his lifelong quest for peace.

As his friends say farewell and some of Shandling's most personal, heartfelt letters and thoughts are shared, Apatow's documentary, like its subject, transcends easy definition, being at once hilarious, sad, fascinating and, above all, completely authentic.

THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING is directed and executive produced by Judd Apatow; co-executive produced by Joe Beshenkovsky and Mike Bonfiglio; supervising producer, Josh Church; produced by Sam Fishell and Amanda Glaze; co-producers, Wayne Federman and Chris Wilcha; edited by Joe Beshenkovsky; directors of photography, Matt Bass and Jonathan Furmanski; music by Mike Andrews; animation by Stefan Nadelman. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [january 2018]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
 


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[06/17/18 - 08:42 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "Jurassic Park" Tops Adults 18-49 for NBC
The Peacock's telecast of the 1993 film leads the night in demos.

[06/16/18 - 08:28 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers, Shares Demo Crown with NBC
Said duo edges a low key evening among adults 18-49.

[06/15/18 - 11:26 PM]
Development Update: Friday, June 15
Updates include: Viceland's "Desus & Mero," Comedy Central's "The Opposition with Jordan Klepper" to end; The CW's "The Flash," "Supergirl" add regulars; and Matt Barr to lead "Blood & Treasure" for CBS.

[06/15/18 - 02:26 PM]
E!'s "Total Bellas" Hits Series High in All Key Demos Pulling in Over 1 Million Total Viewers Pacing Toward Its Biggest Season Yet
E! further spins the numbers for Sunday, June 10.

[06/15/18 - 01:31 PM]
"Lucifer" Fans, Rejoice: Netflix Has Picked Up the Show Up for a Fourth Season!
The streaming service broke the news via social media this afternoon.

[06/15/18 - 12:43 PM]
BYUtv to Debut Two Family Oriented Cooking Shows on June 19, "Best Cake Wins" and "Donna Hay - Basics to Brilliance Kids"
"Best Cake Wins" is a fun and friendly baking competition series designed to make a child's most desired birthday cake a reality.

[06/15/18 - 10:04 AM]
Apple Announces Multi-Year Partnership with Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey's projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.

[06/15/18 - 09:55 AM]
Giuliana Rancic Returns as Co-Host of "E! News" Beginning September 4th
Rancic, who has been part of the E! family since 2002 when she first joined as correspondent at "E! News," co-anchored the program from 2005-2015.

[06/15/18 - 09:03 AM]
Video: Enter a New Reality When "Kiss Me First" Launches on Netflix June 29 - Trailer Debut
Netflix's YA drama series follows a young woman who recently lost her mother and has been left adrift in London.

[06/15/18 - 08:41 AM]
HBO Wraps Production on Comedy Special Starring Drew Michael, Directed by Jerrod Carmichael
Shot in Los Angeles last month, the special will debut on the network later this year.

[06/15/18 - 08:23 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers with Repeat Lineup
The Eye also shares the adults 18-49 with ABC and FOX.

[06/14/18 - 11:42 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, June 14
Updates include: "Star Trek: Discovery" makes another showrunner change; Leah Remini to star in multi-camera pilot for FOX; and Peter Outerbridge tapped for Netflix's "V-Wars."

[06/14/18 - 12:30 PM]
Netflix Teaming with Eddie Murphy on "Dolemite Is My Name!"
Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess and Da'Vine Joy Randolph also star in the film.

[06/14/18 - 11:47 AM]
Showtime(R) Orders "Black Monday" to Series
Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall star in the project, formerly known as "Ball Street," from creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahan.

[06/14/18 - 11:32 AM]
Three-Time Emmy(R) Award Winner Jean Smart Joins Cast of Bravo Media's "Dirty John"
Smart will join Connie Britton and Eric Bana in the scripted anthology series based on the articles and breakout true crime podcast of the same name from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard.