Beth McCarthy-Miller

Beth McCarthy-Miller

Beth McCarthy-Miller warmed up for her whirlwind career with a double major at the University of Maryland in entertainment media and government. After an internship at CNN, McCarthy-Miller soon realized news was not for her, and decided to focus on music. Through family contacts, she landed her first job at MTV in 1985 where she started her nine-year stint as an intern, soon becoming an assistant to one of the vice-presidents. Her organizational skills made enough of an impression for her to be invited to work on the MTV Video Music Awards, and she quickly escalated to directing original programming for the network in 1988. By 1993, McCarthy-Miller had already worked with R.E.M. and Janet Jackson, and was instrumental in developing the influential MTV programming experiment "Unplugged" (MTV 1989-) directing episodes featuring music legends like Neil Young, Tony Bennett, and Nirvana. Between 1993 and 95, McCarthy-Miller worked on the MTV version of "The Jon Stewart Show" (MTV 1993-94, Syndicated 1994-95). In 1996, she helmed her first MTV Video Music Awards, and returned to direct four out of the five VMA broadcasts between 2001-05. In 1995, McCarthy-Miller started directing "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975-), eventually directing 218 episodes over 11 years. She was only the fourth director to helm SNL since the show debuted. She left the show in 2006 at the end of season 31, to begin working on prime-time network sitcoms.While the director continued to specialize in complex live awards shows, comedy specials and tribute telecasts, she began to more earnestly branch out into sitcom territory in 2008, with single episodes of the Megan Mullally vehicle "In the Motherhood"(CBS 2009) and the award-winning Amy Poehler sitcom "Parks and Recreation" (NBC 2009-15), and a pair of episodes of the Christina Applegate as amnesia vitcim sitcom "Samantha Who?" (ABC 2007-09). On October 14, 2010, "30 Rock" creator and star Tina Fey drafted McCarthy-Miller to take on a production nightmare with tremendous rewards and consequences: a live broadcast of the sitcom. McCarthy-Miller already had a long relationship with the show, for which she directed 24 episodes. But this episode, which capitalized on the shared experience of the SNL veterans, had 128 camera cuts in the first act alone, was filmed in front of a live audience, and demanded two separate broadcasts (with many substitute jokes) for East Coast and West Coast viewers. The meta exercise -- a live show about a live show -- was a ratings bonanza heaped with critical praise, and McCarthy-Miller repeated the live concept on the April 26, 2012 episode. In 2011, McCarthy-Miller worked on three episodes of the Jason Biggs mid-season replacement "Mad Love" (CBS 2011) and 22 episodes of the Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality show starring comedian Tom Papa, "The Marriage Ref" (NBC 2010-11). She also worked on the male-bonding sitcom "Man Up!" (ABC 2011), which only lasted eight episodes before it was canceled. Following that, she worked another doomed sitcom, titled "Work It" (ABC 2012), about men who dress as women to seek employment at a pharmaceutical company. The critically-lambasted show lasted two episodes before the network pulled the plug.In 2011, McCarthy-Miller directed four episodes of a groundbreaking sitcom that paid homage to the changing landscape of American life, "Modern Family" (ABC 2009-) and worked on "Happy Endings" (ABC 2011-13), an ensemble relationship comedy that got off to a shaky start but eventually won over critics. McCarthy-Miller then rolled up her sleeves for episodes of "The Mindy Project" (FOX 2012-), created by and starring "The Office" (NBC 2005-13) ex-pat Mindy Kaling, the Matthew Perry vehicle "Go On" (NBC 2012-13), and critical darling "Community" (NBC 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015).