Jake Kasdan’s “The T.V. Set” – 2006 Tribeca Film Festival Review

What happens when a solid script touches the hands of too many people and degenerates into a mess? Director Jake Kasdan has the answer in this hilarious film about the making of a TV show.

A nearly down-and-out writer named Mike (played by David Duchovny) has penned a script that is near and dear to his heart, but things go south in a hurry when the lead actor he wants doesn’t bag the job. He gradually begins to lose control of his artistic voice when one too many executives – led by Lenny, a character perfected by Sigourney Weaver – decide that they need to put business decisions ahead of plot lines. Add a slew of other players, including the clueless manager (Judy Greer), the hot lead actress (Haylie Duff look-alike Lindsay Sloane) and the impressionable new British network executive (Ioan Gruffudd), and the documentary-style feature takes a life of its own.

The solid cast for “The TV Set” almost didn’t happen, according to director-screenwriter Kasdan, who took six weeks to pen a script based on his experiences as a director for shows like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared.”

“I actually had an odd experience on this movie,” Kasdan said at an event hosted by the Apple Store, SoHo, in New York City. “I had cast the entire movie, and then for a variety of reasons, we ended up pushing back the [filming of the] movie by a couple of months and we ended up recasting the entire movie.

“We ended up with a fantastic ensemble,” Kasdan added. “I couldn’t have lucked out more.”