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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Your Kicks.

When I was an adolescent, I thought that "Route 66" was absolutely THE coolest show.
Two guys, in their twenties, tooling around the country in their new Corvette.
Every year, a new Corvette.
They survived by taking odd jobs, so how they could afford a new 'Vette every year is a question worth examining.
They must have talked their way into some great trade-ins.
They drove to that driving theme music of Nelson Riddle's.
For me, it was also quite exotic.
See, I had never been outside the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut until I myself was in my early twenties.
So all these places they drove to were the equivalent of another solar system.
Since so much of it was shot on the streets of whatever city they were in, it was like I was actually visiting these places.
Little did I realize that none of them were as good as anything in the Tri-State area.
Nor did I realize at the time that it was the sister ship to "Naked City"
The muscle on both shows was its Executive Producer, Herbert B. Leonard.
He shuttled directors back and forth to work on one show or the other.
I think it was part of their deals.
The writing overlapped from one show to the other as well.
But Herbert B. Leonard was the ringmaster.
Rita Moreno once volunteered the information that Herbert B. Leonard was an absolute genius.
She appeared in the movie "Popi", which Leonard produced.
Arthur Hiller directed it, but according to Rita, Leonard saved it.
There were a group of kids in it who simply could not act, and using every editing trick in the book, Leonard managed to get acceptable performances out of them.
I didn't watch "Naked City" when it was first on in Prime Time.
Bob Newhart had his first variety show, the one he won an Emmy for just after it was cancelled, and it was on opposite "Naked City" in 1961.
In 1962, a new series "The Eleventh Hour", the first series to deal with psychiatry, was on opposite "Naked City"
And as I was concerned more with my own mental health than another cop show, I opted for "The Eleventh Hour"
So I didn't realize that "Route 66" and "Naked City" were even second cousins.
If I had, things might have been different.
They're running "Route 66" on MeTV, and it is currently my second favorite dramatic show that they run.
The only problems are that the writing is a little too poetic and artsy-fartsy for my taste.
Funny how this didn't bother me when I was an adolescent.
Also, at some point, they lost George Maharis, who definitely added some paprika to the proceedings.
They are currently showing episodes where Maharis had abandoned ship, I think because of health reasons, and Martin Milner became a solo act.
Later on, they added Glenn Corbett to fill the passenger seat.
Glenn Corbett was a complete stiff, and the show suffered for it.
Later on, he died and became an even bigger stiff.
But not enough has been said about Martin Milner.
He was a wonderful actor.
Good enough to go solo on "Route 66" for as long as he did.
And he turned in some wonderful performances.
Catch him in a five minute hilarious turn as an M.P. in the movie "Mister Roberts"
This, of course, was before he allowed himself to be turned into a Jack Webb-style emotionless actor on "Adam-12"
On this show, he gave Glenn Corbett a run for his money.
The thing about fifty or so years of perspective is that both Milner and Maharis are both into their 80's now.
I'm sure the Corvettes have aged better than they have.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. There are SO many interesting shows that never see the light of day that there should be an Obscure Television Network. I know I have a number of neat programs I would nominate.

  2. I imagine that you are referring to "The Eleventh Hour"
    And that you're referring to the RECENT light of day.
    You're right.
    Let's form the OTN.
    Beginning next time.
    The shows I have in mind might only appeal to my readers, but that's a good place to start.

  3. You are absolutely right! I was inspired by your mention of "The Eleventh Hour" to think of the many lost sheep that I cherished in their day. I wonder if any of mine will make your list. Onward OTN!

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  6. An interesting aspect of Naked City was that it was filmed on the real streets of New York City; not on a back lot. I remember hearing or reading way back then that the prop NYPD patrol cars used for the show were painted in bright, garish colors, as opposed to the real police cars, that were just black and white. This was to prevent bystanders from mistaking them for the real thing. The show was filmed in black and white, so they looked normal on the tube.

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."