The Friday Questions are beginning to stack up so I thought I’d add an extra day. Feel free to leave your Friday (or Thursday) Questions in the comments section. Thanks. Meanwhile, I may review PETER PAN tonight and pre-empt Friday Questions or move them to one weekday next week to totally confuse you.
Tyler starts us off:
I've noticed in the first couple of seasons of Frasier that a smaller version of Cafe Nervosa is sometimes used. It's the area up stage near the bathrooms. But after those first few years we never see this version again. So I guess my question is was there a need for a small set early on that was later resolved?
Very observant, Tyler. Yes, there were two versions of Café Nervosa. There was only so much room on Stage 25 at Paramount so if the episode required a large swing set (say a ballroom for a wedding scene), the size of Café Nervosa could be adjusted to accommodate it. Roy Christopher did an amazing job designing the FRASIER sets.
How often does a showrunning partnership dissolve and has there ever been an instance where, like this Levitan/Lloyd divorce, two separate camps and sensibilities continue production?
Partnerships can dissolve. There is enormous pressure showrunning a series and it can take its toll on many relationships.
What I don’t know is whether either of these shows had separate writers for each co-showrunner or the staff worked with both. That would be tough, I imagine because then it’s like you’re working on two separate shows.
Ken, have you ever had a line or bit of business that you felt was funny but just wouldn't get a laugh no matter what you did with it?
Too many times to count. I toss it out and replace it with something else. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. On the other hand, there are intended straight lines that out of the blue get laughs. Don’t know why but I just thank the Comedy Gods and move on.
Brian Phillips queries:
With no disrespect to David Isaacs, have you co-written with someone else?
Yes, I co-wrote a spec screenplay that sold to MGM with Robin Schiff. (Robin also co-created and ran ALMOST PERFECT with me and David.) I co-wrote the musical THE ‘60S PROJECT with Janet Brenner that was produced at the Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut in 2006.
Still, my real partner is David and we continue to work on projects together to this day.
Charles Jurries wraps it up.
Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) and Bill Cosby have been accused of some terrible things, and the repercussions have been in part taken out on their current projects and/or shows in syndication. As someone who’s worked on many legendary TV series, do you ever wonder if something will come out to distort, even temporarily, the show's legacy? (Something like the Stephen Collins or Bill Cosby allegations.)
Not until you brought it up. Actually, no. I think I know the actors I worked with well enough to be reasonably certain they weren’t those kinds of people.
Whether the allegations are true or not, there have been rumors about Cosby for years.
So keep watching MASH and CHEERS and FRASIER all starring upstanding actors.
A number of you have asked if I could do my play, A OR B? in Seattle or Philadelphia or wherever. I would be happy to do it anywhere.
If you are a producer or theater group that would be interested, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org. I would hope a two-character romantic comedy with minimal sets would be an attractive prospect to some regional venue. I'd love to go to Seattle or Philly or even Broadway if I have to. That's how much I believe in this play. Thanks much.