HUMANITAS Trustees, Winner Participate In Hollywood Reporter Roundtable

Which singer-turned-actress got the boot from Fox's ratings juggernaut Empire?

"There was a character that I wrote into the original pilot who was Hakeem's love interest, a mother figure, [played by] Macy Gray," says series co-creator Lee Daniels. "There was a love scene, and [network executives] said, 'This is too much.'"

That's just one revelation to come out of THR's candid — and at times heated — roundtable featuring six top drama writer-producers, including Daniels, 55; Damon Lindelof, 42 (HBO's The Leftovers), Alex Gansa, 54 (Showtime's Homeland, up for a best drama series Emmy this year), Michelle King, 53 (CBS' The Good Wife), Sarah Treem, 34 (Showtime's The Affair); and Beau Willimon, 37 (Netflix's House of Cards, also vying for a drama series Emmy). The topics touched on everything from race to ignoring critics to the pressures and rewards of running TV's hottest dramas.

For the first time, you can watch the roundtable discussion, debuting today on SundanceTV as part of the cable channel's new original nonfiction series, Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter, produced in partnership with THR. And come back to on Monday for the full, uncensored discussion.

The series is comprised of 14 hourlong episodes, with the first of seven episodes — the Drama Actress Roundtable — kicking off Sunday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m. ET/PT on cable systems and at 8 a.m. PT on satellite systems (Dish and DirecTV). New episodes will air every Sunday leading up to the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 20.

The first half of the season will present filmed roundtable panels featuring Emmy nominees and other top stars of the year's most buzzed-about shows, including drama actors and actresses, comedy actors and actresses, creators and showrunners from both comedies and dramas, and reality show hosts and producers. Guests will discuss everything from their individual projects to their craft and true stories of the business that keep them coming back for more. The panels will present thoughtful, informative takes on the film and television industry today.

Sunday, Aug. 30: Drama Showrunner Roundtable

Lee Daniels (Empire: Fox) Alex Gansa (Homeland: Showtime) Michelle King (The Good Wife: CBS) [HUMANITAS Winner]Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers: HBO) [HUMANITAS Trustee] Sarah Treem (The Affair: Showtime) Beau Willimon (House of Cards: Netflix)

Sunday, Sept. 6: Comedy Showrunner Roundtable

Kenya Barris (Black-ish: ABC) Alec Berg (Silicon Valley: HBO) Robert Carlock (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Netflix) Jay Duplass (Togetherness: HBO) Steven Levitan (Modern Family: ABC) [HUMANITAS Trustee] Jill Soloway (Transparent: Amazon)

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter:

UncategorizedJosh Neimark