Circuit Q&A – What’s Your Favorite James L. Brooks Work?


**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**

Famed producer, director, and screenwriter James L. Brooks turns 82 years old today. To celebrate his prolific career spanning from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “The Simpsons,” we’re taking a look at his impressive oeuvre. Truly, the Emmy and Academy Award winning Brooks has left an indelible mark on the world of comedy.

The Early Years

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” created by James L. Brooks and. Allan Burns

Brooks grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey and prepared for a career in the entertainment industry as a student at New York University. He eventually dropped out of NYU and became an usher, and later a journalist, for CBS. From there, Brooks transitioned to TV writing. He worked as a story editor for “My Friend Tony” and created the show “Room 222.” But his big break came in 1970 when Brooks co-created the landmark comedy series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” alongside Allan Burns. Brooks earned several Primetime Emmys for his work on the critically-acclaimed show. After spawning two spin-off shows “Mary Tyler Moore: Rhoda,” and “Lou Grant,” he went on to create the critically acclaimed and Emmy award winning, if commercially unsuccessful, series “Taxi.”

Film Work and Return to TV

In 1979 Brooks turned to film for the first time in his professional life, writing and producing “Starting Over,” starring Burt Reynolds, and directing, producing and writing the Academy Award-winning “Terms of Endearment” in 1983. Following his Oscar-winning film, Brooks used his journalistic experience at CBS as a springboard for “Broadcast News,” a 1987 romantic comedy that he directed, wrote and produced.

“The Tracy Ullman Show,” created by James L. Brooks, Jerry Belson, Ken Estin and Heide Perlman

That same year, Brooks produced “The Tracy Ullman Show,” which led him to the work of Matt Groenig, with whom he created “The Simpsons.” The show is famously the longest-running series in history. The show has seen continued success, while Brooks maintained several other producing partnerships from 1991-1995, serving as an executive producer on the series “Sibs,” “Phenom,” and “The Critic.” In 2001 he executive produced the series “What About Joan.”   

Brooks still worked in film in the 90s and early 2000s, directing “I’ll Do Anything” in 1994, “As Good as it Gets” in 1997 and “Spanglish” in 2004. He produced the beloved romantic comedy “Say Anything” and Wes Anderson’s first feature “Bottle Rocket” in 1996. Here’s to an incredible career and the man behind the camera who made some of our favorite films.

What’s Your Favorite James L. Brooks Work? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!