Not only are we generating an enthusiastic response to the OTN, but some controversy as well.
I received an e-mail from the great writer and blogster Mark Evanier:
"Okay, Rothman. Explain to me how "Harrigan and Son" could have been a
comedy knockoff of "The Defenders" when it debuted a year earlier."
I responded thusly:
Some weasel at ABC saw the original two-part "The Defender", which aired on "CBS's "Studio One In Hollywood" in
Two hours worth. Same premise. Same characters.
Three years before "Harrigan and Son"
Written by Reginald Rose, who was the creative muscle on what then became "The Defenders"
Starring, as the Prestons, Ralph "FDR" Bellamy, and Billy "Priceline" Shatner.
The weasel at ABC was impressed, and thought it could be knocked off comedically.
Okay, it's not likely, but it is plausible.
I do not go down without a fight. We needed Ruby Goldstein to separate us.
Your comments and suggestions have been most welcome.
And quite accurate.
But I still have plenty of nominees left to offer up.
I've got two today:
Around 1963, James T. Aubrey was named head of programming at CBS.
James T. Aubrey was known as the biggest prick in Hollywood at the time.
He was also known as "The Smiling Cobra"
He fired people with a big smile on his face.
One of his first acts as head of programming was to get into bed with, figuratively and probably literally, with the actor Keefe Brasselle.
Anyone remember Keefe Brasselle?
His big credit was that he starred as Eddie Cantor in the biopic "The Eddie Cantor Story".
It had come out in subsequent years that he had come out as gay.
So he probably had first hand knowledge of just how big a prick Aubrey had, er, was.
He wrote a thinly veiled, malicious, pure fiction of life at CBS, called "The CanniBalS"
His caps, not mine.
Aubrey rewarded Brasselle with his own variety hour, "The Keefe Brasselle Show"
I remember seeing it.
It was an ego excursion.
I know a couple of writers with extensive variety show credits who worked on that show.
They described it as the low point of their careers.
They described it that way over and over again.
At the drop of anything.
Aubrey also offered Brasselle the opportunity to produce, or at least have his name listed in the credits as producer, on three other series that same year: "The Baileys of Balboa", "The Cara Williams Show, and "The Reporter".
Maybe it had to do with Brasselle flaunting his alleged Mafia connections.
The first two are certainly obscure, but do not deserve any consideration
"The Reporter" was set in New York, and I think was shot in New York, and had quality talent associated with it.
Jerome Weidman was the writing muscle on "The Reporter", and it starred Harry Guardino, always an interesting actor.
Another show that came out of Aubrey's stable that same year was "Mr. Broadway"
"Talent Associates, David Susskind's production company produced "Mr. Broadway"
Susskind always produced quality goods.
Craig Stevens. as we have well established, was a boring actor. And he played Mr. Broadway, in which he played a press agent.
I don't know if he was as boring as he was on "Peter Gunn".
I think I only saw "The Reporter" and "Mr. Broadway" once.
And my memories of them are very vague.
The only other press agent I recall being portrayed was Sidney Falco, at his greaseballiest, by Tony Curtis, in "Sweet Smell of Success", one of the great movies.
And he was brilliant.
I'm sure Stevens was far more upscale, thus far more boring.
Both shows went thirteen weeks and out.
"The Keefe Brasselle Show" lasted for less than that.
And it inflicted so much pain on those writers.
Imagine if it had gone a full thirteen.
Brasselle quickly faded from the scene after that, which perhaps casts doubt on his alleged Mafia connections.
Both of these dramatic series provide a major curiosity factor for me.
Those are todays entries.
I'm looking forward to more of yours.
CEO of OTN.
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 email@example.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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."