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The Man Behind the Sitcom

The director and producer James Burrows is being honored this week with a career tribute at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Burrows is a veteran TV director who made his name with classic TV sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant, and Taxi.

After those franchise shows, Burrows went on to co-create and co-produce Cheers, for which he directed most of the show's 270 episodes. Since then, he has directed episodes of many other hit sitcoms, including Night Court, Frasier, Friends, Dharma and Greg and Will and Grace.

Currently, Burrows is working on the upcoming sitcom Courting Alex, starring Jenna Elfman. He has won both Emmy and Director's Guild of America awards. His father was Abe Burrows, who wrote the books for many successful musicals, including Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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