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Schur, Kaling, Meriwether Talk TV v. Film #TCA14

Fox's comedy showrunners talked film v. television and revealed some show secrets Sunday during the TCA summer press tour.

“Nora Ephron used to make movies for grownups, and I don't think movies for grownups happen anymore,” said Brooklyn Nine-Nine cocreator and executive producer Michael Schur. “The $45 million sort of movie about adult people living on earth is gone. It’s like, it’s someone holding a powerful magic shield and fighting aliens, or it’s a $2 million indie situation.”

Schur discussed the creative differences between television and film in a session where he sat alongside eight fellow producers from Fox comedies, including New Girl creator and executive producer Elizabeth Meriwether; The Mindy Project creator and executive producer Mindy Kaling; Brooklyn Nine-Nine cocreator and executive producer Dan Goor; The Last Man on Earth creator and executive prodcuer Will Forte; The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean; Family Guy executive producers Rich Appel and Steve Callaghan; and Bob's Burgers creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard.

Referring to The Mindy Project—whose creator and star Kaling sat two seats away from him—Schur added, “I personally love the fact that there is a real romantic comedy on television that is just like a serialized short film that we get to see a new chapter of every week. And I feel like the people who want to write stories for grownups are going to end up doing it on television instead of film.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

--Comparing the creative flexibility in television to that found in movies, Kaling said of movies, “Usually it’s characters who look like me asking their beautiful white friends questions.”

--“I think people at the time have the ability to kind of tell a long story about a group of characters and adult characters,” said Meriwether of television, picking up on the TV v. film thread. She added, “As someone who loves the romantic-comedy genre, I don’t think there’s a lot of space in the movie industry right now for the kind of story that I want to tell.”

--The Simpsons' Jean teased the identity of the character scheduled to die in the upcoming season premiere by hinting that the actor who performs the voice of the doomed character has won an Emmy for said performance. The episode, he added, will be titled “Clown in the Dumps.”

-- Jean also joked, “I wanted to announce that we’re doing a crossover with Scooby Doo to find Casey Kasem’s body.”