Unforseen Pleasures

Sting's Greatest Hits!

The Magical 250th Episode

A Mad Mad Mad 'Mad Men'

Just Get Me There

Making History

The Eighteenth Season

'Inside' the Oscars

Cheers and Tears

A Surprising Discovery

Some Words About Some Music

What Is It Really Like?

A Bloomin' Miracle

Some Midwinter Fireworks

The Joys Of Kitsch

A Parade Of Guests

How It All Started

Scarlet Fever

The Horny Manatee

The Strike Is Over!

I Believe I Can Fly

My First Night In Paris

Christmas Past

What About Bob?

My First Blog. My First Confession.

Unforseen Pleasures

Host James Lipton tells you what's coming up on 'Inside.'

This blog is humbly and sincerely dedicated to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to respond to my previous ones. Before I began blogging several years ago, I had no idea what a pleasure it would be to find myself face-to-face, so to speak, with some of the viewers in the 89,000,000 homes we’re privileged to enter on Bravo in America, and in 125 countries around the world. When Mona Aho speaks to me from Helsinki, Finland, I listen – as I listen to all of you who voice your opinions on this site.

Honestly, encountering you via this blog is one of the unforeseen pleasures of the last fifteen years of Inside the Actors Studio.

And now we’re entering our Sixteenth Season, an honor of which all of us who create the show are keenly aware. Occupying an hour of the time of millions of people who have watched the show over the years isn’t just a privilege: it’s a responsibility. Our responsibility. To you.

To be precise: it’s a responsibility to bring to you the artists you’d like to sit down with in your living rooms, and to ask them the questions you would ask. That’s my mission during the two weeks of preparation for each guest: to intuit to the best of my ability not only what the artists know and think and care about, but what you know and think and, most important, care about. When, through good fortune, those two paths merge, I’ve done my job – and so has Inside the Actors Studio.

I hope that’s the case in the upcoming episodes, I hinted at the guests in my last blog. Now I can reveal them. You – and we – can look forward to four consecutive Mondays of laughter (a lot of it), tears (it seems to come with this franchise), and revelations (guaranteed) – beginning with Mickey Rourke on August 31.

This is one of the tears and revelations episodes. In fact, it’s the only episode I can recall in which at moments you can hear the audience gasp. Mickey, who is famously private, found himself facing a theater filled with fellow members of the Actors Studio, led, in the first row, by the co-artistic directors of Actors Studio West, Academy Award winner Martin Landau, and director of “On Golden Pond,” “The Rose,” etc. Mark Rydell. I’ll confine myself to telling you that what you’ll witness is a homecoming the likes of which you’ve never seen, in which Mickey opens himself to the theater audience – and you – as he has never done before.

On September 7, you’ll be hosting in your living room, as I host him on the stage, one of the fastest rising stars in the Hollywood firmament, Jason Bateman, fresh from his run on the historic “Arrested Development” and his critically hailed performance in the Oscar-nominated “Juno.”

On September 14, I recommend seatbelts in your armchairs as the creator and cast of “Family Guy” assemble on our stage for a hilarious, irreverent look at themselves, each other, their characters and their spectacularly successful show. This is, quite simply, unlike any Inside the Actors Studio you’ve ever seen.

On September 21, this cavalcade of talent reaches a hilarious and touching climax as Amy Poehler, the star of “Saturday Night Live” and her own sparkling new series “Parks and Recreation,” delivers (among many other things) a definitive discourse on the art and singular joys of improvisation, of which she’s an acknowledged master (mistress?).

I hope you enjoy all these episodes, each unique, each our way of saying to you, “Thanks for stopping by.”

The Magical 250th Episode

James lets you know how you the viewer can shape the show's record-shattering episode.

The amazing journey of Inside the Actors Studio continues at an accelerating pace.


We are entering our Nineteenth Season, shattering our own record for cable TV longevity.

We have received out fifteenth Emmy nomination, another record.

We are celebrating these milestones with yet one more record: our 250th Episode.

And just to add another layer of icing to the cake, this will be an Inside the Actors Studio episode unlike any of the preceding 249.

Why? Because this time, you, our viewers in 94,000,000 homes across America on Bravo, and in 125 countries around the world, are going to cast it.

Over the years since 1994, we've had thousands of viewer responses to the show, on the internet, in the media and even -- and often -- on the street and in every conceivable public space, where I'm approached by kind strangers with, "My favorite show was. . ." "My favorite moment was. . ." "My favorite guest was. . ."

So, when my Bravo colleagues and I gathered around a table to ask ourselves, "How do we celebrate the 250th?" we realized the answer was staring us in the face: "Let's let those good people who have shared this amazing journey with us take over and pick the best moments, episodes, and guests of the past eighteen years, and we'll reprise them on the 250th, with full on-air credit to the viewer whose proposal we've selected."

Victor Hugo said, "Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come" and clearly this is an idea whose time has come.

And the social networks of cyberspace, another idea whose time has come since we began the series, enable us to reach out to. . .you out there, wherever you are and whatever you think.

So we invite you to share your all-time favorite moment, guest or episode, and the reason for your choice, by commenting here at, on Bravo’s Facebook page, or on Twitter using the hashtag #IAS250. If we choose your response, it will be read on the show, as the introduction of the moment, guest or episode you’ve proposed, signed and certified by you.

It’s as simple as that: you, our viewers are the casting directors of this historic 250th episode -- and your wishes will be our commands.

We await your responses and decisions. Then you and your friends and family can gather before the electronic hearth later this fall to watch an unprecedented cavalcade of stars, chosen -- and presented -- by YOU and your fellow viewers.

In the meantime, happy reminiscing. We’re sure this will be our best show ever because it’s now in your capable hands.