Charging into the weekend with Friday Questions.
David G. starts us off:
Following up on the "Bebe Neuwirth as a regular on Fraiser" question: Was it ever on the ... uh ... radar to have Larry Linville come in as a regular on "AfterMASH"? (Actually, that's a serious question. There was a switchover in the hospital administrator character between seasons, and it would've made an interesting character dynamic for Frank Burns to show up as Potter's boss!)
We absolutely approached Larry, but he wasn’t interested. The studio was big on bringing back anyone from MASH. I remember one of the execs lobbied hard for us to bring Hot Lips back. We made an offer to Loretta Swit who declined. And this exec said, well, does it have to be her? Why can’t we just get another actress to play Hot Lips? I said I’d put an offer out to Diana Ross.
In the MASH episode "Wintchester Tapes"..there is a mention of a "Beanpole Levine"..Was that a shout out to you?
Yes, and no. I pronounce my name Lee-Vine, not La-Veen, but I was in the rewrite when we came up with that. And I was a beanpole… back then.
After the recent Taylor Swift-Apple dust-up, her actress friend Jaime King, who co-starred on HART OF DIXIE, also tried complaining that actors don't get paid anything when their shows are viewed on streaming services. Do writers get royalties from streaming services? Does it depend on how old the show is and the contracts in place at that time?
We supposedly get royalties based on some formula, but it’s all bullshit. We basically get nothing. Between the various series I’ve written for and directed, I must have at least 100 episodes streaming right now. Like I said, even with that sizable number, I make practically zip.
Douglas Trapasso wonders:
Since the launch of the Simpsons, and King of the Hill and (sigh . . . ) Seth McFarlane's shows, animation has become a more common presence in the past two decades on TV. But most of the successful shows have been of the family/sitcom genre. Can you picture a drama with deeper themes e.g. Mad Men, The Wire, succeeding as an animated show?
Well, anything is possible – certainly today. But I think it would be difficult. Lots of adults don’t respond to animation or they think it’s just for kids. The argument can also be made, if you’re going to realism in drama, why not use actual people?
The beauty of animation is that you have the ability to stretch reality. Why not take advantage of that?
Bill Jones is next.
That Harry Coyle video was awesome. But I have a follow-up question: What are the announcers watching in the booth (besides the live game, of course)? Do they have all the monitors, or a subset of the monitors, or just one monitor with the same thing the home viewer sees?
Also, how do the announcers know that an instant reply is about to be shown?
We just have one monitor that shows what is going out over the air. We also have headsets and the director can speak directly into our ear. They’ll tell us when they’re going to a replay or want to show us the bullpen or alert us to a promo coming up.
It takes a certain skill to be talking on television while the director is yammering into your ear. You need great concentration and focus to not be distracted and also to process the director’s instructions.
What's your Friday Question?