One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media’s 26th William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American media and is dedicated to media’s creative community. This evening honors "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” a musical comedy-drama filmed for the Internet that centers on the battle between an arch villain and a superhero for the love of a young woman. Executive Director at the Paley Center in L.A. Craig Hitchcock offers opening remarks and tells how "Dr. Horrible" is the first Web-based program to be honored by the Paley Center. He then acknowledges William C. Paley, son of the festival's namesake. Hitchcock also introduces the evening's moderator, TV Guide critic Matt Roush. Roush tells how "Dr. Horrible" was originally seen on the Internet as a three-part series. Joss Whedon, the man responsible for "Dr. Horrible," then introduces the production, which is shown in its entirety. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 100007.) Following the screening, Roush introduces the panelists: producer/director/writer/composer Joss Whedon; writer/composer/cast member (Bad Horse Chorus #2/Dead Bowie) Jed Whedon; writer Zack Whedon; writer/composer/cast member (Groupie #1) Maurissa Tancharoen; and cast members Nathan Fillion (Captain Hammer), and Felicia Day (Penny). Panelists touch on such topics as: if brothers Joss, Jed, and Zack had collaborated on previous projects; how Tancharoen is dealing with her marriage to Jed being four days away; the genesis for the project; how Joss was inspired by the video on the writers’ strike which Jed and Tancharoen filmed; whether shooting the production in six days was “harrowing”; Fillion being “happy” that Neil Patrick Harris (who plays Dr. Horrible) couldn’t join the panel; how Fillion and Day were recruited for the project; getting permission to film a “Dr. Horrible” song on the Universal Studios lot; how Joss lensed “Dr. Horrible” via “waivers and favors”; why “Dr. Horrible” is both a model for similar projects and “an anomaly”; composer Stephen Sondheim’s influence on the score; the Whedon brothers being raised on show tunes; if “Dr. Horrible” is a turning point for web-based productions; the evolution of Internet-based series; why Joss hasn’t used Twitter; making a commentary track with additional songs for the show’s DVD; how Fillion’s previous job as a karaoke host gave him the confidence to take a role which required singing; why Joss sought out the same horse for a scene in “Dr. Horrible” that he previously used in “Angel” and “Dollhouse”; the hidden talents of co-star Simon Helberg (Moist); how the script’s tragic ending was kept a secret from fans until the show’s debut; the immediacy of feedback when a show is seen on the Internet; and how the show’s trailer got prematurely leaked. Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: why Joss cast Harris – with whom he’d never worked -- in the title role; what the plot of a sequel might entail; if Joss is “a feminist”; whether there’s a pecking order between web-based shows, television shows, and movies; whether it’s realistic for amateur filmmakers to try to follow in the tradition of “Dr. Horrible”; the making of comic books based on various “Dr. Horrible” characters; if the FOX network has continually proved problematic for Joss; and if “Dr. Horrible” was Joss’s way of critiquing the superhero genre.


  • DATE: April 14, 2009 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:58:11
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 100007
  • GENRE: Seminars


  • Craig Hitchcock … Host
  • Matt Roush … Moderator
  • Maurissa Tancharoen … Panelist
  • Jed Whedon … Panelist
  • Zack Whedon … Panelist
  • Felicia Day … Panelist
  • Nathan Fillion … Panelist
  • Joss Whedon … Panelist
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Simon Helberg
  • William C. Paley
  • Stephen Sondheim