Saturday, October 30, 2010

Katey Sagal sings

Here's an episode of the MARY series that David Isaacs and I created for Mary Tyler Moore in 1985.  Thanks to reader Benson for posting it on YouTube.    This is the episode that features Katey Sagal singing.   We knew she was a terrific singer (she was one of Bette Midler's Harlettes) but the character she played in the show was a real curmudgeon, not the kind of person who would just break into song. 

So we constructed a story to justify it.  The episode was directed by Ellen Falcon, written by me and David, and Richard Gilliland was the guest-star. 



10 comments:

Steve said...

I enjoyed this series and was disappointed when it was cancelled. My theory was that sitcom audiences couldn't accept a character who was essentially still Mary Richards transplanted into an unsupportive if not outright hostile work environment.

(Though had "Mary" gotten the long run it deserved, Katey Sagal wouldn't have been free to do "Married," and Married wouldn't have evolved the way it did. So things happen for a reason.)

The episode featuring the debut of drama critic John Astin's play is still one of my all-time sitcom episode faves.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rob!!

James said...

Thanks for posting it. I liked the show. I thought it had promise and it was gelling by the end of the season. But CBS was bouncing it all over the place. I wish it would come out on DVD. Or even Hulu.

Trip said...

Katey can sing her buns off. They use her sometimes on Sons of Anarchy. Her version of "Bird on a Wire" for the musical montage at the end of a recent episode was aces.

escalante blogger said...

That's memorable..

A_HOmer said...

Her singing was excellent in the concluding episode of the original "Futurama" series, when her character Leela was dragged in to sing in the opera with the Robot-Devil that Fry wrote for her. In fact her voice skills were put to great use in that series (and missing the regional accent).

As for Mary, I think the problem is it seems too familiar, too soon. She should have worked somewhere in contrast to a newsroom atmosphere - like she's a tv producer, in Burbank, and the series is about a woman character who is single...

benson said...

Used the search engine on this blog and this answered both my question and some of the points brought up by others.

CBS wanted an updated version of her old show, believing that Mary’s audience would only accept a more mature version of Mary Richards. We listened to them instead of doing our original idea. That was our first mistake.

The premise everyone agreed upon was that Mary, a high class fashion writer found herself unemployed when her magazine folded. She winds up working at a Chicago tabloid, the kind that views the Sun-Times as if it were the NY Times. We tried to put her in a much funkier, edgier arena than WJM. And we tried to give her a love interest. Our inspiration was HIS GIRL FRIDAY. We wanted someone who was handsome, charming, and kept Mary completely off guard. Was he a cad or just pushing her to be better? We hired James Farentino who was GREAT.

KEN LEVINE said...

Hey Benson,

Email me. bossjock@dslextreme.com.

thanks.

Ken

Tom said...

Dylan's "Positively 4th Street" as "our song...." Priceless.
Thanks for posting this.

Mel Ryane said...

It's always worth it when funny takes the risk to be unfunny. Doesn't happen enough, if ever, in sitcoms anymore.