Shows to Stream with Tufts Connections

Our watch list spotlights actors, directors, and others with Jumbo ties

If you’re binge-watching TV shows and movies during this pandemic (like most of us), you can maintain your connection to Tufts by streaming these choices, which feature Tufts alumni in front of or behind the camera. From The Simpsons and Mad Men to West Wing, this sampler of work by Tufts entertainers will help keep your virus worries at bay. Let us know at if we’ve left out any of your favorites.


Hank Azaria, A85, H16

The Birdcage—In the Mike Nichols-directed American film version of “La Cage Aux Folles,” the owner of a Miami drag club must host his son’s extremely conservative future in-laws. As the club owner’s maid, Azaria does physical comedy with shrimp and ill-fitting shoes. (Netflix)

Grosse Pointe Blank—In this black comedy with a great soundtrack, a hitman returns to his Michigan hometown for his 10-year high school reunion, tailed by an FBI agent played by Azaria. (HBO)

The Simpsons—Azaria voices several residents of Springfield, U.S.A., on the long-running cartoon series, including the incompetent Chief Wiggum and irascible tavern owner Moe Szyslak. (Disney+)

Jessica Biel, Attended Tufts (A04)

The Sinner—Biel was nominated for an Emmy for her role as a troubled woman who inexplicably stabs a man to death on a beach in the first season of this twisty anthology series. Biel also serves as a series producer. (Netflix)

David Costabile, A89

Breaking Bad – Costabile plays an assistant in a meth lab led by a chemistry teacher with terminal cancer who turns to crime to support his family and gets entangled in the drug trade. (Costabile reprised the role in the prequel series Better Call Saul.) (Netflix)

Suits –Costabile is Daniel Hardman, the co-founder of one of NYC’s top law firms, in this legal drama about a talented college dropout working as a law associate. (Hulu, YouTube TV)

Peter Gallagher, A77

While You Were Sleeping—A lovelorn Chicago woman is mistaken as the fiancée of a comatose mugging victim (Gallagher), and develops a fulfilling relationship with his family in this surprisingly sweet romantic comedy. (Showtime Anytime)

Center Stage—Dance students vie for spots in a prestigious New York ballet company run by Gallagher’s arrogant and exacting director and choreographer. (Netflix)

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist—In this delightful dramedy, Gallagher plays Zoey’s father, who cannot speak because of a brain disorder but breaks out in song-and-dance numbers that only she can see. Jason Wang, A01, and Eric Tannebaum, A85, are two of the show’s executive producers. ( and Hulu)

Grace and Frankie – In this comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women brought together after their husbands declare their love for each other, Gallagher plays a recurring role as Nick Skolka, a tech CEO who tries to steal the women’s business idea. (Netflix) 

Molly Glynn, J90

Chicago Fire – The late Glynn played a recurring role as an ER doctor in this action-drama series exploring the personal and professional lives of the firefighters and first responders of the Chicago Fire Department. (, Hulu, YouTube TV)

Dan Hedaya, A62

Clueless—In this modernization of Jane Austen’s Emma, Hedaya plays the hot-tempered litigator father of ditzy but well-meaning Cher. (Video on demand)

Dick—What if Woodward and Bernstein’s informants were two teenage girls who stumbled on the Watergate coverup by accident? This comedy examines that possibility, co-starring Hedaya as a daffy President "Dick" Nixon. (Crackle)

The Usual Suspects—Hedaya is one of the police investigators trying to determine the identity of notorious criminal Keyser Soze in this twisty and clever whodunit. (Epix)

William Hurt, A72, H05

Broadcast News—James L. Brooks’ classic drama about TV journalists co-stars Hurt as an ambitious future network anchor. (Video on demand)

A History of Violence—Hurt was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in this tense action thriller about a peace-loving small-town man who tries to move on from his former violent life while being hunted by his mobster brother (Hurt). (Video on demand)

The Big Chill—Hurt is part of a group of college friends who gather to mourn after a friend’s funeral. (Crackle)

Stephen Kunken, A93

Billions – Kunken plays Ari Spyros, an investigator for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in this dramatic series about the high-stakes battle between two powerful figures in New York high finance. David Costabile, A89, (see above) also appears in the series as Mike “Wags” Wagner, COO of Axe Capital, and Brian Koppelman, A88, (see below) is the show’s co-creator and executive producer. (Showtime, Hulu, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video)

The Handmaid’s Tale – In this dystopian series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, Kunken plays Commander Warren Putnam, one of the ruling elite in the Republic of Gilead, where fertile women are enslaved as “handmaids” to bear children for government officials. (Hulu)

Oliver Platt, A83

Frost/Nixon—In this gripping film, Platt plays the executive editor who assisted British journalist David Frost with his famous interviews with the disgraced former President Nixon. (Starz)

West Wing—Platt has a recurring role as White House general counsel Oliver Babish on the witty and acclaimed political drama series. (Netflix)

Fargo—This anthology series about shocking violence in small-town Minnesota is based on the charming and Academy Award-winning Coen brothers’ film. In the first season, Platt plays “Supermarket King” Stavros Milos, who must deal with the consequences of a lucky windfall. (Hulu)

The Three Musketeers—This rambunctious adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic adventure novel co-stars Platt as the fun-loving Porthos, one of the titular swashbucklers. (Disney+)

Sendhil Ramamurthy, A96

Heroes—In this TV series, ordinary people with superpowers rush to stop a cataclysmic event before it occurs. Ramamurthy plays a geneticist researching the origin of their abilities. ( and Amazon Prime Video)

Rainn Wilson, Attended Tufts (A88)

The Office—The hapless staff at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company includes Wilson as Assistant (to the) Regional Manager Dwight K. Schrute, a socially-awkward beet farmer and innkeeper. (Netflix)


Christopher Brown, A91

Mad Men—Brown served as art director for this stylish series, which follows executive Don Draper’s efforts to stay atop the high-pressure world of advertising in 1960s New York City. (Netflix)

Rob Burnett, A84

The Fundamentals of Caring – Written and directed by Burnett, this film follows the adventures of a frustrated retired writer (Paul Rudd) who takes a job as a disabled teen’s caregiver and sets out on a spontaneous road trip with him. (Netflix)

Jennifer Burton, Tufts professor of the practice, Film Studies, with Tufts advanced film students

Old Guy – In this six-episode comedic series centered around ageism in media, family man Harry decides to get back into acting after retiring from his traditional job, only to land roles as underdeveloped characters that highlight narrow stereotypes about old age. Burton produced the series alongside Tufts film students, and part of it was shot on the Tufts Medford-Somerville campus. (Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook TV, Instagram TV)

Sunshine de Leon, J93

Curiosity, Adventure, & Love—This de Leon-directed documentary centers around the story of her Cuban-born American grandmother, who left her home at 18 to begin an adventure in the Philippines in the 1930s. (Tubi, Amazon Prime Video pay per view)

Stephen Engel, A83

The Big Bang Theory – Engel served as a writer and consulting producer for this popular comedy about two socially-awkward, nerdy scientists at Caltech who move across the hall from a beautiful, street-smart aspiring actress. (YouTube TV) 

Jeff Greenstein, A84

Will and Grace – Greenstein was an executive producer and writer for this sitcom about two best friends: Will, a corporate lawyer, and Grace, an interior designer, who share a New York City apartment. The show was ground-breaking for its portrayal of gay principal characters. (, Hulu)

Brian Koppelman, A88

Ocean’s Thirteen—Co-written by Koppelman, the third and final film in the Ocean’s trilogy has Danny Ocean and his crew back together to bring down Willy Bank, a ruthless casino owner who wronged one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff. (Amazon Prime Video pay per view)

Dara Resnik, A00

Home Before Dark—Resnick is the creator and executive producer of this dramatic mystery series about a young girl, Hilde, who seeks to find the truth about a cold case that everyone in her small town—including her father—has tried to hide. (AppleTV+)

Alexsandra Lloyd Sanford, J98

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer—Distinguished political scientist Ian Bremmer offers his insight and analysis on recent global events, speaks with renowned experts on current issues, and answers questions submitted by viewers in this weekly show. Sanford is executive producer of the show and is CEO of GZERO Media, a digital-first media company. (PBS)

Ben Silverman, A92

Jane the Virgin—Jane Gloriana Villanueva’s plan to save herself until marriage is upended when a doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her. Things become even more complicated when she learns the baby’s father is her boss, Rafael. Silverman is one of the show’s executive producers. (Netflix)

Ryan Webb, A90

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—As assistant prop master, Webb hunts down just the right hats (and other period-perfect items) for this series about housewife-turned-comedian Midge Maisel, set in 1950s Manhattan. (Amazon Prime Video)

The 1950s world of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel comes to life thanks to the work of assistant prop master Ryan Webb, A90. Photo: Nicole Rivelli/Amazon StudiosThe 1950s world of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel comes to life thanks to the work of assistant prop master Ryan Webb, A90. Photo: Nicole Rivelli/Amazon Studios

Gary Winick, A84

13 Going on 30—The late Winick directed this sweet comedy about a teenager who wishes to be an adult and learns that she does not like the woman she grew up to be. (Starz)

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