Are you ready for ‘em? Here are this week’s Friday Questions.
The first one comes from an anonymous source. PLEASE leave a name.
Is there any chance for passed-over pilots to be resurrected/resubmitted by some set of circumstances, or are they just dead forever, despite the fact that passing on them might have been a big mistake, and different current management might take a different view?
UNDER ANDREA, the pilot David Isaacs and I wrote that is now being staged every Monday at the Whitefire Theatre as part of DEAD PILOTS SOCIETY – three very funny passed over pilots (get your tickets now), was picked up by NBC several years after Fox passed. It does happen… but rarely.
However, let’s say you have a drawer full of unsold pilots (like all writers do) and something you do takes off and becomes a monster hit. All of a sudden, everybody is clamoring to do those unsold pilots. CBS recently revived an old Vince Gilligan pilot, BATTLE CREEK after the enormous success of BREAKING BAD.
Who knows? Maybe someone will want to revive UNDER ANDREA. David and I would become the envy of every television writer in America -- getting paid three times for the same project.
I was watching some M*A*S*H* outtakes and noticed that when an actor fouled up his lines that Harry Morgan [in scenes he was a part of] popped off with that actor's line. So was he one of those actors that memorized the whole script? Is it easier for actors to memorize the whole thing or just their parts?
The best at it I’ve ever encountered was Tony Randall (Felix from THE ODD COUPLE). He always had the entire script memorized. He also on occasion would correct some of his fellow actors if they didn’t say a line exactly as written, which you can imagine endeared him tremendously to the rest of the cast.
At the end of season 6 of Frasier (Episode 6.23 - Shutout In Seattle) The three men drown their sorrows at a little bar after each being unlucky in love. It almost seemed as if they were setting up the bar to be the new regular spot, the new cafe nervosa. Was there ever a plan for that little bar that did not come to fruition?
No. The FRASIER series took great pains in trying to go their own way. Establishing a regular bar would cross too closely into CHEERS country.
We've seen single-camera comedies do live episodes (30 Rock) or multi-camera shows (Scrubs), but has a multi-camera show every tried the single-camera format? If not, do you think it would work?
Multi-camera shows routinely will go outside and film multiple scenes outside single camera style. When I was directing DHARMA & GREG we went up to San Francisco and filmed a big crowd scene at Ghirardelli Square. I’ve shot horseback riding scenes at Griffith Park, car chases, numerous scenes on the Paramount, 20th, and Radford New York streets. I always love it. Thirty guys I don’t know named “Dave” all buzzing about with walkie-talkies. Scaffolding. Snow machines. I feel like a real director!
Worth mentioning is that a number of sitcoms started off as single camera but switched to multi-camera. HAPPY DAYS and THE ODD COUPLE are two that spring to mind. And both shows benefited greatly from the switch.
Wayne weighs in:
Do you think one day kids will look back at their classic TV comedy and say "You know they just don't make shows like GIRLS any more.
Remember the episode where that anchorman's daughter got her butt licked between the cheeks? Shows today are just crap. Pure crap!"
You may look back and wonder what exactly you found funny at the time, but there’s a certain comfort that will always be attached to the shows you loved in your youth. Hey, I still like THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.
What's your Friday Question?