You’ve heard about these bile-filled e-mails between “Undeclared” exec. producer Judd Apatow and “That ’70s Show” E.P. Mark Brazill. The war began when Brazill read an Oct. 23 story in Daily Variety that “’70s Show” star Topher Grace would appear as a guest on “Undeclared.” This simple sentence would set the men on a path into the arena known as Thunderdome.
Brazill went ballistic when he read the article. No one had yet checked with him about a Grace appearance — and Brazill was still holding a huge grudge against Apatow over an incident from almost a decade ago: Brazill thinks Apatow stole a sketch idea for “The Ben Stiller Show,” even though the “Stiller” production schedule would make it almost impossible for that to have happened.
After phone calls went unreturned, a heated e-mail exchange between the two FOX executive producers. And then, those e-mails made their way into other e-mail boxes and soon all over the internet. Judd Apatow’s take on the whole matter? “I can think of nothing less important in the world than this,” he said. Yes, but we can’t think of anything more entertaining. Thanks for providing us with a much-needed distraction.
Enter this Thunderdome of e-mails — two men enter, one man leaves…. Here’s how we received it:
I’ve attached a series of emails that were sent between Judd Apatow and Mark Brazill (who created “That 70s Show” with the Turners). Topher Grace expressed interest in being on “Undeclared” and Brazill flipped out and wouldn’t let him. When Judd called him to find out why he couldn’t be on Undeclared, Brazill didn’t return his phone calls so Judd emailed him. As far as Judd remembered, Brazill was a nice guy he kind of new from his early days of stand-up.
-XXXX (name deleted to protect the innocent)
JUDD APATOW DELIVERS AN OLIVE BRANCH ^ Mark, ^ I am writing you because I left a message but did not hear back. I understand from Gail Berman that you were upset about me not calling you to ask if Topher could do our show. Since Fox executives were talking to Topher about it I thought it was cool with you. Also, since I hadn’t written it et, I wasn’t at the point of asking if it was possible to have him do it. I would have called your show then. I mentioned the names of several people who were interested in doing cameos on our show to the Variety guy. They decided to only mention Topher. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it. I didn’t realize it would create a problem. I never wished to offend you. If there is some protocol to people on Fox doing guest shots on other Fox shows, I didn’t know what it was. Regardless, I’m sorry that this resulted in such a mess. If you are mad at me about this or something else from our past, please tell me. I only remember us having fun in the early nineties and it troubles me that it seems like you have a beef with me. ^ Best regards, ^ Judd Apatow ^ ————————————————————
MARK BRAZILL FIRES BACK ^ Judd, ^ Yeah, we were friends in the early nineties. And if you don’t recall what happened, I’ll remind you. I had a pilot at MTV called “Yard Dogs” about a rock band living in Hollywood. I told you about it and you proceeded to completely rip it off, storyline and all, for the Ben Stiller show. You called it “Grungies.” MTV and UTA were working on an overall deal (MTV’s idea) with me, based on that pilot. When it turned up on your show everything went away overnight. I had just had my son Jack and I had no job, no money, nothing. There’s a saying, “I forgive but I don’t forget. And I don’t forgive.” So, now you know. Although I kind of think that you already did. ^ -Mark ^ ————————————————————
Get the rest of the nastiness in part two of HOLLYWOOD & BILE>>>
Posted on December 7, 2001 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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