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Monday, May 13, 2013

Richard Boone Day On The OTN.

Well, obviously I'm not going to talk about about "Have Gun, Will Travel"
That show has been rerun for an eternity.
It doesn't need the OTN's help.

What do these names have in common?

Richard Boone

Warren Stevens

Bethel Leslie

Harry Morgan

Ford Rainey

Guy Stockwell

Lloyd Bochner

Jeanette Nolan

Laura Devon

Robert Blake

June Harding

That's right.
All of them except one was never accused of murder.
But aside from that, they were all regulars on "The Richard Boone Show" in 1963.
And by regulars, I mean regulars.
This was a one-hour filmed anthology series, and these same actors appeared as different characters every week.
It was television's first, and I believe only attempt at Repertory Theater.
It was a fascinating concept.
They made thirty-five episodes, and every episode was fascinating.
I vividly remember an episode where Warren Stevens played an office worker who was a Korean War veteran who had gone off the deep end, and decided to relive the war by holding all of his co-workers hostage by machine-gun-point.
Richard Boone appeared in about half the episodes, and narrated all of them.
It was a really ambitious try, and should definitely be seen again.

The other show I'm placing in nomination that starred Richard Boone is "Medic"
I had never seen "Medic" when it first appeared.
I was seven years old, and it was on way past my bedtime.
Not that I would have had much interest in it then anyway.

But it has vanished.
I caught up with a few episodes of it on YouTube.
It was a first rate show.
The first really serious dramatic show about medicine.
And the only half-hour dramatic show about medicine that I know about.
Richard Boone employs a Jack Webb style of acting.
The show in general could be considered the "Dragnet" of medicine.
It's use of narration, music, and "Just the facts, ma'am" approach.
And I found myself learning interesting facts about medicine.
Interestingly enough, its creator was James E. Moser, who wrote for "Dragnet" on radio, and then went on to create "Ben Casey"
So "Medic" sort of bridged the gap between the two.
Let's find a place for it.

Until next time,

Mark Rothman, CEO of the 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.
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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
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  3. A couple of points about The RICHARD BOONE SHOW:

    - It came about because Reynolds Aluminum wanted a replace ment for THE DICK POWELL SHOW, which was being folded because of Powell's death.
    Reynolds told NBC thstbif they could come up with something similar to the POWELL anthology, they'd take it in the same timeslot for the same money.

    - Right then, Richard Boone had folded HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, and was putting an anthology idea together with Buck Houghton (late TWILIGHT ZONE) and was looking for a sponsor and/or network to pick up the tab.

    But that works two ways.

    - The BOONE SHOW started out by getting Clifford Odets to be its chief writer and story editor (sort of like Rod Serling was at TWILIGHT ZONE).
    But Odets died only a few weeks into filming, after completing only one script of his own, and without being able to consult on any of the others.
    After that, everybody (Reynolds, NBC, Boone himself) took turns losing faith in the whole project.
    And that's how one-season wonders happen.
    TV GUIDE wrote this all up at both ends of the process; I cribbed much of this (hurriedly) from those articles.

    More when I get it ...

  4. My recollection was that the network had promised Richard Boone a serious dramatic show as part of the price it paid to get him to commit to the last season of Have Gun Will Travel.

  5. I read your very entertaining blog every night and am especially enjoying your OTN musings. I'm not sure if you were aware of it but, to connect some more dots between Boone and Jack Webb, Boone's last show, Hec Ramsey, a western in one of the Mystery Movie wheels, was exec-produced by Webb.

  6. Last night I dug out the old TV GUIDEs in question, and I found I had misremembered a few things.

    First off, I forgot that Richard Boone's main supposter in this venture was Goodson-Todman Productions.
    The game show people.
    Nobody remembers this, but G-T was always trying to diversify into drama, with fitful success (their main hit was THE REBEL).
    Anyway, G-T put the people and the package together, and put it into the marketplace.
    CBS had first look, but didn't want an anthology.
    Reynolds Aluminum was cool to the anthology, but that was what networks and producers were offering them.
    The BOONE SHOW won out over a number of contenders, which included Four Star, which wanted to sort-of continue THE DICK POWELL SHOW with a different host (Ronald Reagan was one of the proffered candidates).
    So Reynolds chose BOONE and NBC (in POWELL's old timeslot), and they were off to the races.
    Until Clifford Odets died.
    And NBC didn't figure on PETTICOAT JUNCTION being a hit (even with Red Skelton as a lead-in).
    And the network started sending notes and watching for budget overruns ...
    And you can guess the rest.

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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."