Mike (David Duchovny) has written a bold new television series, a combination of drama and comedy that he believes is something new and different. It is called "The Wexler Chronicles" and it deals with a young lawyer whose brother committed suicide. But he must contend with the very different tastes of Lenny (Sigourney Weaver), the ratings obsessed president of PDN who loves the reality program "Slut Wars" since it has produced great numbers for the network. Her right hand man is Richard (Ioan Gruffudd), who has just come over from the BBC to try his hand at American television. He understands and empathizes with Mike's creative struggles.
Things go badly for the writer when his choice for the lead actor is bypassed for Zach (Fran Krantz), a wildly erratic and insecure young man. He is chosen in the network casting session because he doesn't have a beard like the other actor auditioning for the part. Zach's true colors come to the fore when he obnoxiously tries to be romantic with his attractive co-star (Lindsay Sloane).
Lenny gives Mike a hard time on the suicide theme in the series. She wins and even Alice (Judy Greer), Mike's manager, can't understand his inflexibility since the name of the game is getting on the air. Mike's wife Natalie (Justine Bateman) empathizes with her husband but is worried about the bills given they have a second child on the way.
Writer and director Jake Kasdan does a credible job depicting the dynamics of prime-time television in America with its sleazy programs and its slavery to ratings and ad dollars. David Duchovny vividly conveys Mike's angst as he watches his creative baby go through one change after another. It doesn't help that his bad back collapses under the burden of so much stress and disappointment. Sigourney Weaver's Lenny has the best lines in the movie, and she makes the character a real piece of work. Ioan Gruffudd puts in a stellar performance as the Englishman whose wife finds Hollywood a garish place and returns home with their son.
Special DVD features include scenes deleted, audio commentaries, and Behind the Scenes: The Making of The TV Set.