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James 'Jimmy' Burrows

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TV Executive

The Resume

    (December 30, 1940- )
    Born in Los Angeles, California
    Birth name is James Edward Burrows
    Frequently addressed by the nickname, Jim Burrows
    Television director, producer, and actor
    Son of playwright and director Abe Burrows
    Directed over 1,000 episodes for television; directed over 50 television pilots
    Winner of 10 Emmy Awards, between 1980 and 2006
    Best known as the co-creator of the long-running, popular television sitcom, 'Cheers' (1982-1993)
    Formed Charles Burrows Charles Productions with writers Glen Charles and Les Charles, in 1982
    Known for his work as a director for television sitcoms Taxi, Wings, Frasier, Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dharma and Greg, Will and Grace, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly, and 2 Broke Girl$
    Honored with a special NBC tribute, 'Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows,' hosted by Andy Cohen & Jane Lynch, and featuring cast reunions for the cast members of Cheers, Taxi, Friends, Frasier, The Big Bang Theory, Will & Grace and Mike & Molly (February 21, 2016)
    Started out as an apprentice director for episodes of shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Laverne & Shirley,

Why he might be annoying:

    He directed the pilot for Caroline in the City.
    He recycled his 'Laverne and Shirley' format when directing the unfunny '2 Broke Girl$' show.
    He is on-par with Norman Lear and Rob Reiner, but has failed to secure a similar 'household name' level/status.
    His shows are known for consistently featuring 'hidden face characters,' usually spouses, who are never directly seen on the camera.
    Danny Devito claimed that he would stand up and pull his crotch whenever he found a line delivery to be funny.
    When asked in a Television Archives interview where he was during the live hour-long 'pregame' event, for the last episode of Cheers, and later the Tonight Show's post finale show, he replied 'I was drunk somewhere.'
    His All-Star 'Tribute' turned out to be disappointing; if anything, heavily edited and not offering for any stimulating insights (and overshadowed by the hype surrounding the potential for a 'Friends' reunion, which didn't happen either).
    Part of the problem might have been that, while the casts from at least five hit sitcoms had assembled under one roof for their individual reunions, Burrows was solidly anchored in the audience (wouldn't it have made more sense to actually have him on the stage with the performers he directed so successfully?)
    He said 'I'll tell you what I love about directing: the surprise... You may think that you know what will be funny as shit but then a group of bused-in Middle Americans says it IS shit and you're shaking your head in dismay. This surprise I find exhilarating.'

Why he might not be annoying:

    He is tied with George Schaefer for the most nominations ever received from the Directors Guild of America, 15 in total (as of 2016).
    Between 1980 and 2006, he garnered Emmy nominations for directing a Comedy episode on an almost yearly basis, with only 1997 and 2004 being the exceptions; He has won in the category on five occasions.
    He directed every episode of 'Will & Grace' during its eight-year run.
    He was the son of a Tony/Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist, but managed to get out of the man's shadow to become very successful in his own right.
    Jennifer Aniston got teary eyed thanking him at his Tribute (media outlets blew it out of proportion claiming that she wept profusely).
    He is credited with developing a style that revolutionized the American sitcom from its traditional structure.
    He was able to stylistically combine physical comedy with wide-frame reaction-shots, so that the audience could react to jokes in sync with the characters themselves (at the time an oddly theatrical approach to the medium).
    He is possibly the most sought-after pilot director for sitcoms, mainly because he is known for laying the groundwork for successful series within the first episode, alone.
    He donated a digitally remastered set of 'Cheers' episodes to the Museum of Television and Radio on behalf of Paramount Pictures (2001).
    He started out working in theater as a stage manager and traveling play director.
    He incorporated more stylized lighting in television studio shoots, more sophisticated that what was customary to that point.
    He was one of the first sitcom directors to increase the typical multi-camera television shoot from three to four cameras.
    He made cameos in both Friends (director of the movie Joey butt-doubles for Al Pacino in) and Cheers (the the customer who knocks on the door in the final scene of Cheers, only to be told 'we're closed').

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 0% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 11 Votes: 54.55% Annoying
    In 2020, Out of 75 Votes: 44.00% Annoying
    In 2019, Out of 24 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 29 Votes: 89.66% Annoying