James Burrows

Director, Producer, TV series creator
One of the most celebrated directors in television comedy history, James Burrows earned numerous Emmys for his crisp, fast-moving direction on such iconic series as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77), "Taxi" ... Read more »
Born: 12/30/1940 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Director (95)

Disjointed 2016 - 2017 (TV Show)

Director

Superior Donuts 2016 - 2017 (TV Show)

Director

2 Broke Girls 2011, 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

Crowded 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

Mike and Molly 2010 - 2012, 2016 (Tv Show)

Director

3rd Rock From the Sun 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Busting Loose 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Cafe Americain 1977 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Caroline in the City 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Cheers 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Chicago Sons 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Conrad Bloom 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1990, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2005, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Courting Alex 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Dharma & Greg 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Fay 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Fired Up 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Flesh 'n' Blood 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Flying Blind 1971 - 1973, 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Friends and Lovers 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Gary Unmarried 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Director

George & Leo 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Good Time Harry 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Hank 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Hudson Street 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Husbands, Wives and Lovers 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Ladies Man 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Laverne and Shirley 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Lou Grant 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Madigan Men 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Madman of the People 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Men Behaving Badly 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Newsradio 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Pacific Station 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Phyllis 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Rhoda 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Roc 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Stark Raving Mad 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Szysznyk 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Taxi 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Associates 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Betty White Show 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Bob Newhart Show 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Fanelli Boys 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Hogan Family 1977 - 1992, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Marshall Chronicles 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Millers 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1997, 2004 - 2005, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Preston Episodes 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Secret Lives of Men 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Stockard Channing Show 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Ted Knight Show 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Tony Randall Show 1970 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Tortellis 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1991, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Weber Show 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Union Square 1977 - 1991, 1994 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Veronica's Closet 1971 - 1973, 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

We've Got Each Other 1971 - 1973, 1975 - 2001, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Will & Grace 1970 - 2002, 2004 - 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Director

Wings 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1990, 1994 - 1999, 2004 - 2005, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

Sean Saves The World 2013 (Tv Show)

Director

Better With You 2010 (Tv Show)

Director

Bleep My Dad Says 2010 (Tv Show)

Director

Romantically Challenged 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Director

Two and a Half Men 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1997, 2003 - 2005, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Director

Back to You 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Director

The Big Bang Theory 2007 (Tv Show)

Director

The Class 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Director

All Is Forgiven 1985 - 1986, 1994 - 1996, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Best of the West 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1996, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Dear John 1977 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1996, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Free Country 1977 - 1978, 1982 - 1983, 1985 - 1986, 1994 - 1996, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Partners 1994 - 1996, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

The Boys Are Back 1994 - 1995, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

The Stones 2004 (Tv Show)

Director

Friends 1994 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

The Nerd 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Director

Cheers: Special 200th Episode Celebration 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Director

Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Segment Director

Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Segment Director

Channel 99 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Big Shots in America 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Director

At Your Service 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Director

P.O.P. 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Director

Every Stray Dog and Kid 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Director

Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Director

Partners 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Plant Family 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Director

Your Place or Mine? 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Director

Bumpers 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Director

Calling Dr. Storm 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Director

Roosevelt and Truman 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Director

Butterflies (TV Show)

Director

In the Lion's Den (TV Show)

Director

Man With A Plan (Tv Show)

Director

More Than Friends (TV Show)

Director
Actor (9)

An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Interviewee

The Comeback 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cheers 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside TV Land: The Pitch 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Ted Danson: One Lucky Guy 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Influences: From Yesterday to Today 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 10th Annual American Comedy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Performer

The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Presentation 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer
Production Management (1)

Out on the Edge 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Production Manager

Biography

One of the most celebrated directors in television comedy history, James Burrows earned numerous Emmys for his crisp, fast-moving direction on such iconic series as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77), "Taxi" (ABC/NBC, 1978-83), "Cheers" (NBC, 1982-93), which he also co-created, and "Will and Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), among countless others. Burrows brought a quick-witted, theatrical pace to half-hour comedies that elevated them beyond the standard gags and banter to short plays that resonated with audiences beyond their weekly time slot. As a result, he became the go-to guy for both new and established shows to bring an element of style, wit and class to their seasonal lineup. In doing so, Burrows was among the most honored television directors in the medium's history and one of the few television directors average viewers recognized by name.

Relationships

Debbie Burrows

Wife

Ellie Burrows

Daughter

Abe Burrows

Father
often collaborated with composer-lyricist Frank Loesser co-wrote the book for the hit Broadway musical "Guys and Dolls" which won the 1951 Tony for Outstanding Musical co-wrote and directed the original Broadway production of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" won 1962 Tonys for Outstanding Musical, Author Musical Play and Outstanding Director of a Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize

Katherine Burrows

Wife
divorced

Laurie Grad

Sister
born in June 1944

Ruth Levinson

Mother
married Burrows's father in 1936 divorced in 1948

EDUCATION

High School of Music and Art

New York , New York 1958

Oberlin College

Oberlin , Ohio

School of Drama, Yale University

New Haven , Connecticut

Milestones

2002

Directed the Dexter Prep pilot

2000

Helmed the pilot for the ABC sitcom "Madigan Men"

2000

Directed the pilot for the NBC sitcom "The Weber Show/Cursed", starring Steven Weber

1999

Directed the pilot of the NBC sitcom "Stark Raving Mad"

1998

Helmed episodes of the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace"; earned Emmy nomination for the pilot; as of 1999-2000 season, became an executive producer

1998

Staged a revival of the play "The Man Who Came to Dinner", starring John Mahoney at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago; production transferred to Barbicon Theatre in London for brief run in July

1996

Directed the premiere episode of "3rd Rock from the Sun" (NBC) starring Jane Curtin and John Lithgow

1995

Directed the pilot/premiere and several episodes of the Fox sitcom "Partners"

1995

Directed the pilot/premiere and several episodes of the NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City"

1995

Directed the pilot/premiere of ABC sitcom "Hudson Street" starring Tony Danza

1995

Directed the pilot/premiere of the sitcom "NewsRadio" (NBC)

1994

Helmed the pilot/premiere of the popular sitcom "Friends" (NBC)

1993

Helmed the pilot/premiere installment of "Frasier" (NBC)

1991

Directed the pilot outing of the Fox TV sitcom, "Roc" starring Charles Dutton

1990

Helmed the pilot/premiere episode of the hit NBC sitcom, "Wings" (NBC)

1988

Directed the premiere of the NBC sitcom, "Dear John", starring Judd Hirsch

1987

Executive produced and helmed the premiere episode of "The Tortellis", a short-lived "Cheers" spinoff

1986

Helmed the premiere of "Valerie", starring Valerie Harper (show later renamed "Valerie's Family" and still later "The Hogan Family")

1982

Feature directing debut, "Partners", a police comedy-drama starring Ryan O'Neal and John Hurt

1979

Helmed episodes of "The Associates", an acclaimed but short-lived ABC sitcom

1978

Helmed episodes of "The Ted Knight Show"

1977

Directed his first sitcom pilot, "Bumpers", starring Richard Masur; series was not picked up

1975

Directed episodes of the CBS sitcom, "Friends and Lovers"

1967

First theater job, assistant stage manager on "Holly Golightly", an unsuccessful Broadway production based on Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's", starring Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain; first met Moore

Directed episodes of "The Tony Randall Show"

Helmed episodes of "The Bob Newhart Show" beginning with the third season

Directed episodes of "Phyllis", an MTM spinoff (dates approximate)

Directed episodes of "Rhoda", a spinoff from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Wrote a congratulatory letter to Moore after she returned to TV in the hit CBS sitcom, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Served as stage manager on the road company of "Cactus Flower"

Directed episodes of "The Betty White Show"

Hired by Grant Tinker, Moore's husband, to direct episodic TV for MTM Television in the mid-1970s

Debut as a principal director on a series, "Taxi"; assignments included the pilot, three subsequent season openers on ABC and many other episodes; did not remain with the show for its 1982-83 season on NBC

Earliest directing assignments, helming episodes of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" beginning with the fifth season

Directed for off-Broadway dinner theater

Directed 10 episodes of "Laverne and Shirley"

Directed episodes of "Lou Grant", a dramatic MTM spinoff

Served as stage manager on the Broadway production of "Forty Carats"

Co-created, served as executive producer and directed nearly every episode of the hugely successful NBC sitcom, "Cheers"

Spent about five years working as a stage manager for his father, playwright-director Abe Burrows

Bonus Trivia

.

In August 2001, Burrows filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Warner Bros. Television claiming the studio had cheated him out of a share in the syndication revenue of the NBC sitcom "Friends".

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Burrows tied the record held by George Schaefer for most nominations by the Directors Guild of America in 1999 when he received his 15th nomination for the pilot of the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace".

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In 2000, with his 16th DGA nomination, he became the most nominated director in the Guild's history, and continued that streak the following two year with his 17th and 18th nominations.

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As of 2001, he has received 21 Emmy nominations, making him the most nominated director of TV series and movies. Burrows has won five of the awards.

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