Friday, December 14, 2012

Who really created BEWITCHED?

Aloha from Hawaii where the tradewinds are whispering Friday Questions:

Derrick starts us off:

How is it decided who gets credit for creating a series? I was reading a piece about the old sitcom Bewitched awhile back, and while a gentleman named Sol Saks is credited in every episode as creator of the series, I got the impression from the article that nearly half of the guys associated with the series in its first season claimed at some point to have been the one who REALLY dreamed up the whole thing. While I'm sure at least some of that is latter-day glory-seeking, how (and who) decides who gets credit for creating a television series?

Fifteen guys can take credit but Sol Saks wrote the pilot and is the sole creator of the show. Period.  By the way, Sol Saks was a fabulous writer and did great work throughout his career. Check out the pilot of BEWITCHED. It’s pretty great. By the way, Mr. Saks passed away last year... at age 100.

Where things get sticky is when different writers are brought on at different times during the writing of the pilot. Then it goes to arbitration. And whoever gets story credit ultimately gets created by credit.

Bill Jones wonders:

Hi Ken. I have a question about "imitator" shows--you know, the shows that appear in the wake of a hit show, where it's clear that everyone else is trying to copy the success of the previous show. Examples include all the FRIENDS knockoffs in the mid-90s (remember TWO GUYS, A GIRL, AND A PIZZA PLACE?) or, more recently, NEW NORMAL, which is so clearly a knockoff of MODERN FAMILY.

How do these knockoffs come about?

Networks spread the word that they’re looking for the next FRIENDS. But in truth, they don’t even have to. We all know networks chase whatever’s popular at the moment. You come in excited to pitch a totally original concept and they’re disappointed you’re not bringing them “GLEE but in Law School.”

I can't tell you how many times my writing partner David and I were told by networks to give them another MASH.  We said we couldn't.  MASH was unique.  One time we sold a pilot about an improv group and a network exec said, "Great, but you make it more like MASH?"

Not that this copycat practice is new. Way back in the ‘60s when BATMAN became a big hit, camp superheroes appeared quickly on all the other networks. There was CAPTAIN NICE on NBC and another one so forgettable I can’t even tell you the name. I’m shocked I still remember CAPTAIN NICE.

A few years ago we wrote a pilot for NBC. It was a very urban sophisticated comedy. When they bought it we were told their mandate was to return to the Must See TV smart comedies of yesteryear. We turned in the first draft, they loved it. Hardly any notes. They were thrilled.

Then MY NAME IS EARL premiered, did well, and all of a sudden the mandate changed to “rural” comedies. Our can't-miss project was dead.

So not only are you chasing the elusive zeitgeist, you’re shooting at a moving target.

Of course, it's one thing when networks are all chasing monster hits.  But I'm hearing tales of NEW GIRL knockoffs.   NEW GIRL is only in its second year and struggling to stay alive.  Not exactly SEINFELD.

From Carson:

When an actor exits a scene or they are not in a particular scene, where are they? Do they go out and watch the scene? I'm of course referring to a show shot with an audience.

They generally go backstage or to their dressing rooms. Sometimes they'll go to make up. Often times they’re changing wardrobe. We discourage actors standing on the stage. It takes the audience out of the show to see the actors out of character.

If an actor wants to watch the show, there is a quad-split (the four monitors) backstage out of the audience’s view. They generally don’t because that’s where all the agents and managers congregate.

Max Clarke asks:

About actor names, did the Charles brothers get it that their good name "Sam Malone" was also "Sam Alone" when they wrote the pilot? Considering the end of the series and that last shot of Sam alone, it was perfect.

No. It was a coincidence. And at the time they created the character they had no idea he would not wind up with anybody. Also, there’s no significance attached to Norm being the “Normal” bar patron.

Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments section. Mahalo.

54 comments:

Richard Y said...

You would not be thinking of The Greatest American Hero with William Katt, Connie Sellecca and Robert Culp would you?

Murray said...

My youthful encounter with the networks chasing fads was "Animal House". The legendary comedy got them pretty excited because that new Fall Season, each network featured a frat house comedy premise. I forget which network scored the actual rights to "Ahimal Hous" and some of the movie's stars. Way too blatant a demonstration of chasing fads and reeking of unoriginal thinking.

Bob Gassel said...

I'm guessing he's referring to CBS's "Mr. Terrific", where a wimpy auto mechanic temporarily gained super-powers by taking special pills...just the ticket for the drug laced 1960's!...By the way, as a 7 year old, it was my favorite show.

luciuspaisley said...

I could fix NEW GIRL with just one suggestion.

Lose the NEW GIRL.

All the other characters are more interesting and certainly portrayed by better actors. From what I've seen, she's not even the member of the group who brought them all together.

Fuck, I just realised why it's called "NEW GIRL".

Forget everything I just said, I'm clearly retarded.

Orangutanagram said...

Why is James Burrows credited as co-creator of Cheers? He didn't write the pilot, though he directed it. Was he a part of the team with the Charles brothers from the start, or did they appreciate his contribution so much that they shared the creator credit with him?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the copycat thing extend into movies too, although they tend to get copied at the development stage, rather than after it's a hit? For example: "What? That studio is working on a world-killing asteroid movie? We need one too!"

Andy said...

I remember a Non Sequitur comic strip that came out around the time TITANIC was released. It showed two identical panels with a group of Hollywood executives sitting around a table. The first panel was labeled: "What Hollywood Executives SHOULD take away from the success of TITANIC." The man at the head of the table in that panel said, "If we let the creative people do their jobs, they'll turn in an artistic, commercially viable product."

The second panel was labeled: "What Hollywood Executives WILL take away from the success of TITANIC." This time, the man at the head of the table says, "Ships, baby! We need more movies about ships!"

Is it bad that this sort of copycatting exists...or is it bad that it exists because the public really does respond to it?

Mike Barer said...

18Mr. Terrific was terrific to me, as too young to be an objective critic. The spy shows spawned a lot of immitators in the 60s and the Munsters and the Adams Family had similar premises as did Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeanie.

Kirk said...

A portion of the CAPTAIN NICE pilot can be found on YouTube. Written by Buck Henry, it's actually pretty funny. It's closer in sensibility to GET SMART (which Henry co-created) than BATMAN.

Richard John Marcej said...

@ Murray
The three TV shows "inspired" by the movie National Lampoon's Animal House was Brothers and Sisters on NBC, Co-Ed Fever on CBS and Delta House on ABC.
Delta House actually had actors and characters (Dean Wormer for one) from the movie.

ARR said...

"NEW GIRL is only in its second year and struggling to stay alive. Not exactly SEINFELD."

Actually, that sounds exactly Seinfeld.

MBunge said...

CAPTAIN NICE? MR. TERRIFIC? Can we get some love for the THE GREEN HORNET? When Seth Rogan's vastly underrated movie came out, they ran a marathon of the show on sci-fi and it blew me away. If you'd told me someone did a a nearly piece-by-piece imitation of BATMAN, but removed all the comedic subtext, I've have assumed it totally sucked. TGH is shockingly good, much like the early years of the Superman show.

Mike

Larry said...

One of the best pieces I've ever read on the TV biz is about how Jeffrey Lieber helped create then got kicked off Lost, even though he gets a credit on every episode. You can read it at

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2007/Cast-Away/

PS I also loved Mr. Terrific as a kid.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Isn't New Girl in and of itself a rip off? From what I understand, it's basically a rehash of the unsuccessful TBS sitcom, My Boys.

Any way, as for the Bewitched thing, I heard/read similar things as well: I remember reading that Sol Saks was hired to write the pilot episode, but I also read that back in those days, whoever wrote the pilot episode of a series automatically was billed as the "creator". Likewise, I read that the show was really the brainchild of Screen Gems executive Harry Ackerman (also executive producer for the show, I believe), but again, Saks wrote the pilot, and received creator credit for it. Not trying to contradict you, Ken, but that's what I had remember hearing as well, so I think Derrick posed an interesting question.

I DO know that producer/director Bill Asher, and Elizabeth Montgomery both had a lot of creative input on the show, but I guess that kind of goes without saying.

Pat Reeder said...

Count me as another who remembers "Mr. Terrific" fondly, even though it's about the earliest thing I can remember watching on TV. I looked it up at IMDB and discovered that it and "Captain Nice" debuted on the exact same night and aired their last episodes the following year on the exact same night.

Oliver said...

New Girl isn't "struggling to stay alive". It's not the megahit it initially looked like it was, but it's going to run for at least four seasons and reach syndication, which is a victory for any sitcom.

The weirdest copycat on the air is Go On, which was pretty shamelessly designed to be a copy of Community, which is odd since Community is still on the air, on the same network and has never been a hit. Even weirder is how Go On changed the format in ways that made it much worse, such as adding an unnecessary workplace element and not developing its ensemble properly.

Dana Gabbard said...

I love the aphorism that everyone in Hollywood wants to be first to be second.

Maybe Capt. Nice stayed with you because of its star, the wonderful William Daniels?

And let us not forget the executive who green lit the Lost pilot also lost his job (because of its high budget) before it aired and became a hit. If you want a friend in showbiz, get a dog...

Another whose creative input was significant on Bewitched is Danny Arnold, who produced most of the first season.

In a similar situation in the world of Disney comics, recently it has been disclosed then Disney Publications head George Sherman along with a Disney executive came up with the idea of Super Goof (this was circa 1965). Heretofore Western Publishing editor/writer Del Connell was credited as being creator in fan histories. Sherman evidently took the idea to Connell who fleshed it out and wrote the early appearances of the character. Some feel this slights Connell's contribution but in my view taking the bare idea (Goofy as a Superhero) and working out the mechanics is creatively significant and the histories as updated reflect that.

GRayR said...

And I can't help but remember:

"M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH (which was itself based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker)." (WIKI)

I had forgotten the book. Did you ever read the book?

John said...

The super-hero craze actually pre-dated "Batman" -- the network suits on Sixth Avenue glommed onto the burgeoning sales of comic books (Marvel and DC) and the efforts in 1965 to bring a Superman play to Broadway (which got huge publicity even if it didn't come close to killing its cast members the way the recent Spider-Man play on B'way did. However, both plays were about as equally successful).

NBC and CBS already had Hanna-Barbera cranking out both super hero shows and super hero parodies by the fall of '65, and ABC's success with "Batman" really cause the genre to blow up ... and then flame out a couple of years later (NBC and CBS's prime-time parody efforts were apparently because they decided what made "Batman" was the high-camp comedy, not the concept, villains or any sense of drama. The only person who seems to have believed the networks had the right idea was Joel Schumacher, based on his 1997 "Batman and Robin" fustercluck).

As far as "Bewitched", I've been of the idea that while Sol Saks wrote the pilot, producer Danny Arnold was the one who did the key casting that allowed it become the success it was -- IIRC, the original choices for leads were Tammy Grimes and Dick Sargent, instead of Liz and Dick York, while the supporting actors (David White, Agnes Moorehead, Marion Lorne, Alice Pearce and George Tobias) really made the show, especially in the more adult-targeted first two seasons.

Brian said...

I like Last Man Standing. Sure, its predictable, but Nacy Travis is great in it.

Ken - what do you think of Homeland and The Last Resort? I heard that Homeland was renewed up for another season, but that Last Resort was cancelled.

DBenson said...

The deal with the hero shows is that both were explicitly sitcoms, devoid of the camp seriousness of BATMAN (which itself collapsed into sitcom, lacking only the laugh track). MAN FROM UNCLE was closer to BATMAN than the super-sitcoms.

CAPTAIN NICE was a game attempt to do for superheroes what GET SMART did for spies, with a lot of the same people (sans Brooks and Henry, I think). In fact, one of CAPTAIN NICE's running gags was salvaged for GET SMART:
-- "Don't tell me that [bad thing happened]"
-- "[bad thing happened]"
-- "I asked you not to tell me that."

MISTER TERRIFIC was itself a bit closer to a spy parody, sending an affable amateur undercover armed with a super-power pill. "Hymie" from GET SMART was on hand as the hero's slick womanizer buddy.

GREEN HORNET was a show I wanted to love, but it was ultimately neither fish nor fowl. Straight stories came off as too simplistic in a half hour, and at the same time too stodgy to fit with the comic-book awesome of Black Beauty rotating out of the floor and screaming out through a rec room. Didn't help that it was packaged as marketed as another BATMAN.

Paul Duca said...

Don't forget THE DOUBLE LIFE OF HENRY PHYFFE, with Red Buttons as a everyday nebbish taking the place of his lookalike, a Bondian superspy, after his accidental death.

Also, long ago someone claimed that Sol Saks was a pseudonym for Bernard Slade, who was the story editor in the first season (or two?).

gottacook said...

Two other Get Smart/Captain Nice connections (I watched both as well as Mr. Terrific when they were on; I was 10 or so):

Don Adams can be heard in the opening song, speaking "That's no nut, boy" (whereupon the singers return with "That's Captain Nice").

The same author who wrote the Get Smart novels (William Johnston) wrote a Captain Nice novel. Yes, I owned it, as well as Get Smart books #2 and #3; they worked perfectly well as what you'd call YA novels today.

gottacook said...

John - I actually saw that Superman musical in spring 1966, my first time in NYC with my parents, age 9. It was billed as a "musical comedy" (I still have the program); it only lasted about 4 months, I think. Superman, played by Bob Holiday, was in a harness with cable and didn't perform acrobatic flying of the Spider-Man sort.

The songs were by the Bye Bye Birdie team of Adams & Strouse; the book was by David Newman & Robert Benton who went on to share credit for the very different Superman movie of 1978. The best song was probably "You've Got Possibilities" sung by Linda Lavin; it turned up in a Target commercial a few years ago. (Lavin as well as the top-billed Jack Cassidy played newly invented characters.)

Phillip B said...

I'd suggest that occasionally a knock-off can rise above the original - while the sitcom version of Ferris Buehler did not last, Parker Lewis Can't Lose was a pleasure to watch - for one example.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the guys (Robert Pirosh and Marc Connely) who wrote "I Married a Witch" REALLY write "Bewitched"?

Anonymous said...

One of the more baffling clones in recent years is Elementary. Hero who notices everything and knows everything with odd personality traits. Sounds a lot like the Mentalist. Hey, let's make another Mentalist and then put it in the same time slot and see if anyone notices. If you were watching The Mentalist, you probably hang around for this one, if you weren't you might give it a try because of the Sherlock Holmes angle. Not to mention the other rip offs that I know of - Psych and The Finder. Although, maybe The Mentalist was a rip off of Psych, I don't remember which came first.

John

Mike Doran said...

Since no one else has mentioned it ...

Thetitle role of Mr. Terrific was played by Stephen Strimpell, a New York stage actor who went back to being that after MT's fast flop.

Strimpell passed away a few years back, but not before giving an interview to FILMFAX magazine in which he basically trashed the whole enterprise, and in particular John McGiver, who played his boss.

Parrish said...

Maybe Capt. Nice stayed with you because of its star, the wonderful William Daniels?

And if you want to get a very chilly reaction from the wonderful Mr. Daniels, ask him about Captain Nice, as a friend of mine did. The smile turned to a frown and Daniels asked my friend, sharply, "Why would you bring that up?" and ended the conversation very quickly.

Mark Murphy said...

Sol Saks also wrote a wise and charming book about comedy writing, called (appropriately enough) "Funny Business."

unkystan said...

Right now it seems the wildest, funniest and most original comedy is "Raising Hope". Three years in but no love from FOX. Hate "Mindy" (can't understand a thing she says) Thoughts?

Cap'n Bob said...

Bewitched should credit Rene Claire, whose 1942 movie I Married a Witch, with Fredric March and Veronica Lake, set the premise in motion.

VP81955 said...

"Bewitched" should credit Rene Clair, whose 1942 movie "I Married a Witch," with Fredric March and Veronica Lake, set the premise in motion.

And "I Married A Witch" was derived from "The Passionate Witch," the last novel written by Thorne Smith, master author of ribald fantasy (he wrote "Topper," "Topper Takes A Trip," "Night Life Of The Gods" and many other gems, most of which were adapted in films and later TV series). His books are a bit dated by current standards, especially given their frequent hoary ethnic stereotypes, but once you get past that, they still amuse.

Copycat concept programming continued into the 1990s. After the success of the first season of "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" in 1996-97, ABC decided to go virtually all fantasy for TGIF the following year, resulting in a lackluster bloc of short-lived teen fantasy sitcoms that lacked the charm of "STTW." (And "Sabrina" lost much of that charm, too; showrunner Nell Scovell left after the first season, and the series became more formulaic and less interesting.)

Mike said...

Perhaps Ken could post next Friday's answers a day early.
The normal post time is 2pm GMT and I'm concerned that those of us living East of the Atlantic will not be around to read them.

ScottyB said...

Great insight, as usual, regarding knockoffs. Even today, I wonder how interesting a series might be if it was pitched to be everything the flavor of the day wasn't, in a way that everyone in viewer-land would immediately get that it was going against the other program's grain.

It would be our little joke that we were all in on, and we'd all get the joke, and it would be good. How awesomely cool would that be?

ScottyB said...

Kudos to @unkystan for 'Raising Hope'. While I don't keep up enough to know whether it's actually not getting any love from Fox, it really *is* the quirkiest, strangest, best sitcom on TV -- AND definitely not a knockoff of 'My Name Is Earl'. Two entirely different personalities from the same creator, except I can't imagine what Greg Garcia would come up with in the same vein after 'Hope" has it's run. But whatever it was, he'd give, say, Judd Apatow a run for his money, methinks.

Wayne said...

I'll tell you who created "Bewitched." The Winklevoss twins.

Storm said...

I'm SO glad I read through the comments before I mentioned "I Married A Witch"; I always thought "Bewitched" was loosely based on it. But I said to myself, "Self, you KNOW that VP81955 is gonna be ON IT and lay down the Old Hollywood knowledge". And I was right. :)

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

VP81955 said...

I'm SO glad I read through the comments before I mentioned "I Married A Witch"; I always thought "Bewitched" was loosely based on it. But I said to myself, "Self, you KNOW that VP81955 is gonna be ON IT and lay down the Old Hollywood knowledge". And I was right. :)

Jeez, I never realized I carried that kind of presence here. I'll try to use it wisely. :)

Matt Patton said...

Actually, I think THE MENTALIST is meant as a rip-off of CASTLE (smirking amateur-sleuth hero teamed with grumpy female detective)--and both of them feel like a gender-switched rip-off of the Hildegarde Withers mysteries by Stuart Palmer (that led to some very amusing movies starring Edna Mae Oliver and James Gleason in the mid-1930's).

As for ELEMENTARY, it's a rip-off of the BBC SHERLOCK series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Amusingly, Johnny Lee Miller, who plays Holmes, appeared recently with Cumberbatch in a stage production of FRANKENSTEIN at the National Theater in England, where they switched the roles of monster and monster-maker. At some point, the Holmes/Watson teams really should make cameo appearances on each others shows . . .

unkystan said...

Actually The Mentalist is a rip-off of (the superior) Psych. In fact the Psych characters once joked about it.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Sometimes Ntworks don't even have to look for copycat projects. They just look around the stuff that has been offered them and buy whatever is the most like that hit. I don't know if that was the situation wih Staley and Long's series about a couple of twentysomethings living i an appartment in New York together, but they did get shot done soon after that for being an 'obvious Friends rip-off'. You really should have Rob Long tell you the story. I seem to remember they were ordered to have a funny neighbour because a show with only a group of friens would never work and they caved in and did that and then were blamed for it or something like that.

Cap'n Bob said...

Thanks for the deeper dig, VP. I'm familiar with Thorne Smith but haven't read any of his works.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

New Girl is pretty consistently #1 in Hulu's listing of "popular shows" with Mindy Project not too far behind. So I gotta ask if Hulu takes a little beak wetting from Fox to bump those shows up in that list.

Lou H said...

When NBC bought your pilot and then killed the project, were you allowed to shop it to anyone else?

The Comic Scholar said...

When a writer in television uses a pseudonym, do people usually address them by their real name or the pseudonym? Also, on contracts which name do they sign?

cadavra said...

Actually, if ELEMENTARY rips off any show, it's MONK: OCD hero, long-suffering female sidekick, sympathetic police captain played by actor who usually plays villains...

That may have been me who asked Daniels about CAPTAIN NICE at a 1776 Q&A several years ago. I did get him to concede (based on the audience's applause when I brought it up) that an unseen-for-40-years show that ran 13 weeks could still get a big hand couldn't be a total loss. He added that the only good thing about it (in his mind) is that it's where he met Buck Henry, who promptly cast him in THE GRADUATE.

D. McEwan said...

"Paul Duca said...
Don't forget THE DOUBLE LIFE OF HENRY PHYFFE"


Too late. Already forgotten.

I remember enjoying but not admiring both Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific. William Daniels certainly elevated the former. I was in high school when they were on. I tired of Batman (except when Vincent Price or Tallulah Bankhead were on as guest villains) quite quickly.

"Anonymous said...
Didn't the guys (Robert Pirosh and Marc Connely) who wrote 'I Married a Witch' REALLY write 'Bewitched'?"


I see that VP81955 set you straight on that, and shares my love of Thorne Smith. I Married a Witch was indeed based on that novel by Smith, one of my literary idols and role models, one of the great comedy novelists, paving the way for Patrick Dennis. (Though all of Thorne's novels involved fantasy premises while none of Dennis's did.) I don't ever recall laughing harder while reading a novel than I did at the fish-fight scene in Nightlife of the Gods. The movie of his Turnabout is very funny. The novel is MUCH funnier. Thorne's books set the standard I try to reach towards in my own work. (And his characters generally drink every bit as much as my Tallulah Morehead does.)

And secondly, the premises were pretty vastly different. Bewitched was about an almost-normal marraige except the wife had magical powers. I Married a Witch was about a witch and her warlock father, executed for black magic, returning from the grave centuries later to seek revenge by marrying and making misarable the descendant of the man who executed them. It was part of Thorne's genius to take a horror premise HP Lovecraft would have liked and turning it into a screwball romantic comedy.

"Matt Patton said...
Actually, I think THE MENTALIST is meant as a rip-off of CASTLE


Both shows premiered the same season, same month. They are, I agree, nearly identical shows, but they came at the same time and neither can be a rip-off of the other one.

I would enjoy Elementary a lot more (It's not a bad show) if they weren't pretendng that this guy is Sherlock Holmes. I am a huge, lifelong Sherlockian (Wanna see my pictures of myself stalking about the actual Dartmoor in my deerstalker? I'm a seriously strong Sherlockian), and that guy ain't no Sherlock Holmes. I could almost wish it ripped off Moffett's Sherlock more closely, because Sherlock gets the character right, Elementary does not. It's just a standard CBS formula show, fairly well-plotted, little different from several shows now on the air, but very little like the work of A.C.Doyle.

Tom said...

Re: Sam "Alone" and Norm -
You just shot my college media criticism professor's theories all to hell. And that was back when he was a lowly first-year associate prof. He's now the go-to guy on CNN, newspapers, etc whenever reporters need a quote about pop culture events' impacts on society.

Mike Doran said...

The Mentalist is a kind of dig at Medium, which began airing afew years earlier.

Mentalist's lead character is named "Patrick Jane", which is an obvious poke at Medium's star Patricia Arquette, who was married at that time to Thomas Jane.

About Captain Nice:

In a couple of episodes, John Dehner played a character caled The Great Medulla, a wonderfully bogus nightclub mindreader who (I thought) deserved his own show.
That, or at least to be added to Get Smart as a recurring character.

If all these shows about faux psychics come from anywhere ... well just say that Medulla dates back to 1967, so there.

Becky Jolly said...

Becky Asks... Here's my Friday Question. I've been watching The Dick Van Dyke show on Hulu lately. In several episodes Rob displays his pet allergy with extremely believable sneezing. Any idea how he was able to play that so consistently? If an actor on one of your shows had to play a quirk like that how would he or she handle it?

MikeN said...

So they approved your show, and then dropped you upon seeing My Name is Earl? Somehow I think you are exaggerating the level of enthusiasm for your show the first time around. My Name Is Earl appears to be a flop all around.

John P said...

I got excited when I thought you were doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything/Q&A) on Reddit. It was the other Ken.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/156gvi/i_am_ken_levine_creative_director_of_bioshock_and/

Would you ever consider doing one?

Anonymous said...

I was (still am) a huge fan of Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show. It would cool if Nick brought out a new version or rerunned the old one. I have a few episodes on tape I recored as a young teen. My 10 year old daughter thinks that The Amanda Show is dumb. But it is classic way cool 90s TV.