May 4 • 9M

Pod: 'Martini Shot' - Handling the Talent

Debut! Rob Long's Hollywood observational essays join 'The Ankler'

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Rob Long
Listen in as The Ankler team and industry insiders break down Hollywood’s latest business headlines, power struggles and trends shaping the future of entertainment.
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The Martini Shot podcast is now part of The Ankler podcasts. Follow us (and like us!) at Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, and follow us on Twitter. Also please subscribe to The Ankler at TheAnkler.com for more podcasts and stories like these about the entertainment industry.


When you’re filming a movie or a television show, when it’s the last shot of the day, the First Assistant Director will call out, This is the Martini Shot!

Meaning: after this shot is done, we’re calling it a day.  After this shot, you get your martini.     

Since 2004, veteran TV scribe Rob Long has been recording short commentaries on the foibles and fortunes of working in Hollywood on his Martini Shot podcast. For a decade and a half, the segments aired on KCRW and today we’re delighted to have Martini Shot join The Ankler family and bring it to our subscribers.

In this first Ankler installment, Rob explains why managing “the talent” — a term applicable to anyone in senior studio management, show-running, agencies or production — sometimes calls for techniques that are more commonly associated with calming infants. Or 19th century schizophrenics. Rob also reveals the strategy to winning any exchange involving talent, notes, deals, or even controversies that play out in the media. He guarantees it. Are you listening, Mr. Chapek? And don’t miss his example of Netflix vs. Apple, which somehow managed to miss subscriber targets and bury “disappointing” viewership for season 2 of The Morning Show…and then went on to win the Oscar for CODA.

More about Rob: he’s been a television writer and producer for a long time. Longer, frankly, than anyone could have predicted. He’s a co-founder of the conversation and podcast network, Ricochet, a regular contributor to Commentary magazine and the Washington Examiner, and a contributing editor at National Review.

Early career milestones include being writer and co-executive producer of television comedy Cheers, and you can hear him discuss that experience in The Case For Broadcast TV in last week’s Ankler Hot Seat podcast.

Later career milestones include “a string of canceled television shows,” two books, a weekly commentary on public radio, a column for the English-language Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National and occasional writing for Time and (what was then) Newsweek.

His first book, Conversations with My Agent, chronicled his early career in television. It was published in the U.K. by Faber & Faber, in the U.S. by Dutton, and in France by Actes Sud. His second book, Set Up, Joke, Set Up, Joke, was published in November 2005 by Bloomsbury.

Rob’s Martini Shot will be back every Wednesday. Listen and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app, and remember to subscribe to The Ankler.

If this was forwarded, we invite you to subscribe and join the entertainment insiders already addicted to The Ankler’s analysis, stories and podcasts.

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New on The Ankler

Great reads:

Great listen:

  • Pod: The Case for Broadcast TV. Rob Long joined The Ankler Hot Seat last week to discuss Hollywood’s struggle to find the right business model.


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