Hi guys. It's Greg Garcia. I'm looking forward to answering any questions you guys have about the business of TV, everything from developing a project to running a show, or if you just have any questions about any of the shows I've done (or when I worked at Burger King during the 2008 Writer's Strike).


proof! https://twitter.com/CBSTVStudios/status/385151840184061953

This was a lot of fun, but I've gotta go work on some more episodes of The Millers. Thank you all so much for asking me such great questions, and thanks for watching my shows. I hope you tune in to check out The Millers on Thursday night after Big Bang Theory. If you like it, tell all your friends to watch. If you don't, keep your mouth shut. Thanks.

Comments: 160 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

tctfchamp75 karma

Who was Earl Jr. real father and did Earl ever finish the list?

GregGarcia336 karma

We never really got the chance to fully figure it out but the talk in the writers room was that Earl Jr’s Dad was going to be someone famous. Like Dave Chappelle or Lil John. Someone that came to town on tour and Joy slept with. But when we got canceled we never got the chance to figure it out. I was worried about doing a cliffhanger but I asked NBC if it was safe to do one at the end of the season and they told me it was. I guess it wasn’t.

I had always had an ending to Earl and I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to see it happen. You’ve got a show about a guy with a list so not seeing him finish it is a bummer. But the truth is, he wasn’t ever going to finish the list. The basic idea of the ending was that while he was stuck on a really hard list item he was going to start to get frustrated that he was never going to finish it. Then he runs into someone who had a list of their own and Earl was on it. They needed to make up for something bad they had done to Earl. He asks them where they got the idea of making a list and they tell him that someone came to them with a list and that person got the idea from someone else. Earl eventually realizes that his list started a chain reaction of people with list and that he’s finally put more good into the world than bad. So at that point he was going to tear up his list and go live his life. Walk into the sunset a free man. With good karma.

GozerJr28 karma

Would you ever consider doing a Kickstarter for a My Name Is Earl movie?

GregGarcia45 karma

I don't think so. I don't think I would feel comfortable asking the fans to finance a movie. I'm not real familiar with Kickstarter, so I'm not being critical of other people that have done it but it would feel a little strange to me. If a studio wanted to do a My Name is Earl movie, I'd certainly be up to it.

Geekosexual17 karma

I still quote Patty the Daytime Hooker, one of my favourite supporting cast members ever. I loved when she turned up in subsequent episodes (and I kind of hoped she mentioned her good boob in True Blood).

Back in the 80’s and 90's if you were a guest star on a sitcom, you were basically never seen again. Is it important to you to write supporting characters that can appear in future episodes?

GregGarcia17 karma

Yes. It is important to me. Often we will have a small role, but I'll make sure I cast somebody I really like so we can bring them back in the future. Greg Binkley, who plays Barney on Raising Hope, is a great example of that. In the Raising Hope pilot, the role of Barney only had two lines, but I asked Greg to do it because I knew he'd be coming back a lot. Now he's a series regular. I think it's fun for the audience to broaden your world and visit guest characters from time to time.

biggj2215 karma

I'm in college now and I want to be a T.V. writer. How do I start?

GregGarcia37 karma

I think the first thing you should do is pick your favorite show on TV, sit down and write an episode. You need to prove to yourself that you can do it. Show it to your friends, see what kind of response you get. After that if you're feeling confident, you need to move to Los Angeles and give it a shot.

roguecit15 karma

I love Raising Hope (have seen every episode about 3 times) and I was wondering what would you say makes the Chance family special? As in, when you came up with the idea, what elements did you add to the Chances to make sure the show was as great as it is?

GregGarcia19 karma

What I love about the Chance family is how much they love each other. Even though they're constantly screwing things up, at the end of the day they have each other's back. And I was very lucky to get actors who felt very real and were people who the audience wanted to root for.

chooter15 karma

What's your favorite thing about your job?

GregGarcia19 karma

I enjoy all aspects of my job. I'm lucky to be able to get to write, sometimes direct and edit, but my favorite part of the job is when all of that is done and I can just sit back with my family and watch the finished episode.

radioashley13 karma

I never really comment on AMA'ings, but I'll do it this once cause I fuckin' love My Name is Earl.. so yeah, Hi Greg! :)

GregGarcia29 karma

Thank you so much. I didn't know what AMA was until today, but I did it because I heard you were gonna be here.

Nuclear_Winterfell10 karma

Did Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee being Scientologists ever lead to any particular weirdness on the Earl set, or any stories you might have wanted to do but couldn't?

GregGarcia25 karma

No. To be honest, I don't know a lot about most religions, but I feel that anything that people believe in that makes them feel good about themselves and lead a good life is worthwhile for them.

the1andonlyerick9 karma


GregGarcia21 karma

I was lucky I had a little "nest egg" saved up. I had an idea for a book and I worked at BK for a month. But I didn't have to live on my part-time salary. I did however gain even more of a respect for the people that work there as well as having, in some cases, two other jobs. It's very hard work.

CrotchetyBOFH8 karma

Do you know what it's like to have the children wake you up in the middle of the night wanting more Mountain Dew?

GregGarcia19 karma

I do not. My advice would be to switch to Sprite.

Frajer7 karma

If you were writing a list like Earl what would be on it?

GregGarcia22 karma

More things than I'd like to mention here, but here are a few:

-- I borrowed a girl's car in college once. It broke down and she never saw it again. In the last few years, I got in touch with her and bought her a computer to say I'm sorry. The computer was worth more than the car. -- I let 30 mice loose during a high school performance of Grease. Although it was really funny, the people on stage weren't happy about it.
-- I lit a dumpster on fire when I was six. -- I once killed a man.

vancyon6 karma

Is the Millers anything like My Name is Earl and Raising Hope? Will there be lots of references and the same recurring characters?

GregGarcia11 karma

I wouldn't say The Millers is like My Name is Earl and Raising Hope, except for the fact that I find all three of the shows very funny. My Name is Earl and Raising Hope are single camera shows, and because of the way they look, people often compare the two. With The Millers being a multicamera show, I don't think people will see as many similarities, but hopefully they will find it as funny as I do.

shivverz6 karma

Where did you get the inspiration for Raising Hope? Big fan of this show and loved Earl as well!!!

GregGarcia21 karma

The main inspiration for Raising Hope was the anger over the fact that they canceled My Name is Earl. I wanted to do another single camera comedy so I could quickly hire the same crew that I had loved working with for four years. I was interested in doing a domestic comedy, so I thought of the most twisted way I could of putting a baby in a house full of people that had no idea what to do with it.

entersoundman5 karma

Did My Name Is Earl go in the direction you thought it would when originally coming up with the concept? Big fan!

GregGarcia12 karma

I can't honestly say that I knew exactly where the show would go. When you write a pilot, you have somewhat of an idea of what the show will be like going forward, but you never know 100%. Then you sit in a room with a bunch of talented writers and you all kind of find the direction together. There are certainly some twists and turns on My Name is Earl I would have never expected, some good, some not as good. But what I loved about that show was it was always taking chances.

Wookiee725 karma

What is your favorite Mr. Tony story?

GregGarcia9 karma

I have to say that my favorite Mr. Tony story was my first day working with him. When he asked me a question on the air and I nodded and he said "Don't nod you idiot, it's radio." Then I turned on my mic and I don't remember what I said, but it made him laugh. Then after the show he told me I was funny and I could talk whenever I wanted to. One of the greatest days of my life.

Moonburner5 karma

Greg, (thanks for the hilarity)

Okay question(s)

  1. How do you push that race card so close to edge without offending every race out there? I find it hilarious.

  2. Oh please oh please, when is season 3 of raising hope coming out on netflix?! Thanks

GregGarcia6 karma

As far as the race card goes, I'm not sure how to answer that. I know we've done jokes now and again that deal with race, and we always just try to be honest and edgy without being offensive.

I'm not sure when Season 3 of Raising Hope is coming out on Netflix. Nobody tells me that kind of information.

doublestop235 karma

What's your favorite memory from working on "Family Matters"?

GregGarcia15 karma

Family Matters was a long time ago, so I'm having trouble coming up with a specific memory. But what comes to mind is how much fun we used to have in the writers room. Many of the writers I'm still friends with now. Also, I had become friends with Jaleel White when I was a PA by Step by Step, so the day I got hired as a writer on Family Matters and he came to my office to celebrate was a really cool day.

GozerJr5 karma

I know I already asked a question, and thanks for answering it, so I hope you dont think I'm being greedy, but I also remember there was supposed to be a My Name Is Earl Comic book, whatever happened with that?

GregGarcia10 karma

It was briefly discussed during our first season to do a comic book, and at first I thought the idea was pretty cool. But then when I realized I wouldn't have the time to really oversee it and have the control I would have wanted to have, I decided it was better not to do it.

_WASABI_4 karma

What's something you hate about the business?

GregGarcia13 karma

I don't know if there's anything I would say I hate about the business. I consider myself very lucky to get to do the job that I do every day. Sometimes I'm not a fan of how critical some people can be, especially when you know how hard it is to put together a show every week. I don't really care anymore if people say bad things about my shows, but sometimes you feel bad for other shows knowing how hard they're working.

ShogunAlex4 karma

What's the best prank you have done or been victim of while working?

GregGarcia23 karma

I think my favorite prank I've ever done while working was when I was working with Alan Kirschenbaum on Yes Dear. I wrote his office phone number in a bathroom stall at LAX and next to it I wrote "If you wanna hear a joke, call this number." A year later, someone sitting on the toilet called him and asked to hear a joke. He was so confused. I fell on the floor laughing like a mental patient.

dipmeinhoney4 karma

1) How did you get into the business? 2) How does someone get the credit for Creating a show? 3) How's Guy Endore-Kaiser doing?

GregGarcia5 karma

I got into the business by being a production assistant and working my way up to writer. Normally how you get credit for creating the show is you write the first episode. In fact, I think that's the only way. Guy is doing great, especially after last night's Saints win. He introduced me to a place called Veggie Grill today. To my surprise, it wasn't disgusting.

13693110073 karma

What are you looking forward to doing with Raising Hope?

Also, loved the episode where they went to the TV studio and ragged on NBC for cancelling Earl.

GregGarcia5 karma

Unfortunately I'm not very involved with Raising Hope anymore. A guy named Mike Mariano is running that show and doing a very good job. I help out when I can, but I'm very busy with The Millers. So I'm looking forward to watching Raising Hope this season just like the rest of you.

OneWhoDoubts3 karma

Hi Greg, Just wanted to say hi and thank you for your work, My Name is Earl and Rasing Hope have given me many laughs and often leave me with a good moral.

GregGarcia5 karma

Thank you very much. Obviously we try very hard to make you laugh and if you feel good afterwards, we've done our job. Thanks for watching.

-GingerBeer-3 karma

I love that Raising Hope supports the Washington Capitols so subtly and consistently; any particular reasoning behind the "Delmarva" pride?

GregGarcia7 karma

I grew up in Arlington, VA and I'm a big Capitols fan. You'll be seeing some Capitols stuff on The Millers this season as well.

kingmannys3 karma

anything funny or memorable the cast did when the cameras weren't rolling?

GregGarcia22 karma

One time during a rehearsal of a scene on My Name is Earl, Burt Reynolds was supposed to slap Ethan Suplee in the face. Even though it was a rehearsal, he kept slapping Ethan as hard as he possibly could. Ethan just stood there and took it. At one point I told Ethan I'd give him $50 for every time Burt slapped him, and at the end of the day I had to give him $950.

kingmannys10 karma

19 slaps over and over again?! that's insane! poor guy. Is Ethan as cool as I picture him to be?

GregGarcia22 karma

Ethan is amazing. He's an amazing actor and a great guy. You have no idea how smart you have to be to play dumb so well.

tavir2 karma

Do you know what the deal is with the weird song/chant that jason lee and ethan suplee sometimes do that showed up on some of the earl extra features? (Kinda sounds like "eedeebongadah")

GregGarcia6 karma

It's Ediebotnagort. It's this silly song they would sing on set with each other. They've known each other for a really long time and have a lot of fun inside jokes between them. That was just a goofy song that would make everybody laugh, especially how seriously they would sing it.

vancyon2 karma

Who's the best actor/actress you've ever worked with?

GregGarcia7 karma

This is a very hard question to answer because I've worked with a lot of talented people and you're setting me up to get myself in trouble. But I'm going to answer anyway. I could seriously name 10 people right now and I would be being honest. But if you're forcing me to say one, I'm gonna say Garrett Dillahunt. The guy has done so many different things over his career and been amazing in all of them.

tctfchamp2 karma

Do you have any new projects you're working on at the moment besides The Millers?

GregGarcia12 karma

I shot a single camera pilot recently called Super Clyde starring Rupert Grint that didn't get picked up, but I'm very happy to say that CBS is going to put it on the internet on October 9th -- both on CBS.com and a bunch of other places. I was really happy with the way it turned out, so I'm excited people are going to see it. The Millers is taking up a lot of my time right now, but I do have a few things in development that I'm supervising. They are all in the early stages.

Pookie_Princess2 karma

Who has been the biggest diva that you've worked with so far? Why was he/she so difficult to work with?

Have you ever dated anyone in the industry? Do you think your name and identity has helped or hurt you when it comes to relationships? There's the idea that Hollywood is full of gold diggers or fake people who pretend to like you so they can use you. Is it pretty common and has it affected you?

GregGarcia8 karma

The biggest diva I've ever worked with by far is a writer named Bobby Bowman. He's incredibly talented, but if you don't tell him every day how pretty he is, he throws a fit.

I've never dated anyone in the industry. I went to college with my wife and she moved out to Los Angeles shortly after I did. She didn't marry me for the money, but she often says that she stayed because of it.

tctfchamp2 karma

Are you a fan of Breaking Bad? If so what did you think of the finale?

GregGarcia9 karma

I absolutely love Breaking Bad. I thought the finale was amazing. I'm sad it's over. Breaking Bad, The Wire and The Sopranos are the three best shows that have ever been on television.

IAMABlerd2 karma


GregGarcia7 karma

Currently on the air, my favorite comedies are Louie and Eastbound and Down.

Growing up, I watched everything from Father Knows Best to Happy Days. I loved everything Garry Marshall did.

Ehran2 karma

Have you tried the whopper in other countries (not canadia)?

GregGarcia6 karma

I think I might have had a Whopper in London when I was 18. But the drinking age was 18 and it was late, so I don't remember.

Ehran1 karma


Big Mac or Whopper?

GregGarcia7 karma

Whopper. 100% Whopper.

ClearlySituational1 karma

Why did you get into TV business?

Did you want to do anything else before starting your career?

GregGarcia3 karma

I worked in radio briefly in Washington DC before I got the chance to come to LA and give television writing a shot. I've always enjoyed trying to make people laugh and I've always loved sitcoms. So when I graduated college, I thought I would give it a shot. Luckily it's worked out.

ClearlySituational2 karma

Do you have any advice to anyone else trying to get into the business right now?

GregGarcia3 karma

It totally depends on what you want to do. If you want to work on sitcoms, the best advice I have is to get a job as a production assistant, get the lay of the land, and work hard to head in the direction you wanna head in.

amandacherie1 karma

I want to learn how to write tv shows and movies. Any advice? How did you start? Thanks!

GregGarcia3 karma

I started by watching TV 12 hours a day since the age of six. And then eventually sitting down to write a script in college. My advice is to pick your favorite TV show and write a script.

tctfchamp1 karma

What do you have planned for The Millers and what would you like to accomplish with the show?

GregGarcia3 karma

So far the only thing I have planned is to hopefully do a funny show every week. The writers have been working hard to come up with episodes and so far I'm very pleased with what we'e doing. As far as what I want to accomplish, I hope to do a good job behind The Big Bang Theory and give CBS another hit comedy to add to their arsenal.

djgirlfriday1 karma

Hello, Greg!

Congrat's with the Millers. I have previously worked for ABC television (non-creative) and now for CBS under their radio division. I produce radio commercials, but have always had a passion for script writing. I would really love to submit a script within this network. What is your professional advice? Do I dare submit this script with no Agent or without submission of treatment to the WGA East?

GregGarcia5 karma

It can be very difficult breaking into the business of television writing. The way I got in was to be a production assistant and then get writers to read my scripts, and then they passed them on to their agents. I guess my advice would be to submit your scripts to agencies and see if you can get signed.

Sir_Noobington0 karma

Will you follow me on twitter? @ptcoughlin

GregGarcia6 karma

If I still had a twitter account, I would. I'm sure you would be very entertaining, but I no longer have a twitter account.

diMario-1 karma

I'm Dutch and I don't watch much TV anyway. Am I missing something?

GregGarcia16 karma

Probably not. If you weren't raised to be addicted to TV like myself, you're probably better off just being Dutch.