Thursday, March 09, 2017

The making of FRIENDS

Okay, my new podcast episode is up.  Last night there was some snafu with the server and they posted the wrong podcast.  Either that I morphed into two women.  But it's up now and simple click above on the big gold arrow and you can listen.

Or you can click here to listen to all the podcasts and subscribe. 

It's one of my better shows, thanks to Jeff Greenstein.  He was one of the writer/producers of FRIENDS from the pilot through its first year, and he's got some great stories on alternate casting, network interference, alternate titles, testing, and the usual crap that goes on when making a pilot, even one as terrific as theirs.   I bet there's lots of stuff you didn't know.

So check it out and please subscribe.   There's other fun stuff in there too, like how my writing partner and I couldn't get a pilot on ABC if we were Michael Eisner.

And now back to today's regularly scheduled blog post. 

16 comments :

Brian said...

Great Episode Ken!

I wish Jeff had said something about the actors salary. Marta Kauffman had said she hated paying 1 million per episode to the actors. But I feel it was worth it after so much hard work and great success.

Neil said...

Nice podcast again Ken!

Would have been nice if he had shared as to how much residuals all those creators, writers, actors got. That is one big gravy train.......

Talking of residuals, just searched the net and found that you are worth 15 mil !!! Great going Ken.

blinky said...

I would love to hear your review of Get Out. I went in with high hopes and left with a cloud of little question marks floating around my head like a Warner Bros. cartoon character.

Ken Levine said...

Gee Neil. That's news to me.

Neil said...

Ha Ha...... I got it here:
http://www.celebritynetworth123.com/richest-businessmen/ken-levine-net-worth/

The pic is not yours (the game developer's), but the details like age are.

John Hammes said...

Some years ago, Jack Klugman offered some good natured words and sage advice, in reference to said sitcom: "... the "kids" make more money in two days than Tony (Randall) and I made in five years of doing 'The Odd Couple'. They may have made more money, but I bet they didn't have more fun, than we did".

Mike Barer said...

Very well done. Friends has stood the test of time, in my opinion, better than Seinfeld. Of course, Michael Richards may have had a hand in that.

Ismo Rauvola said...

My first Friday Question to you.
In episode 10 of your podcast you talk about how the premise of Almost Perfect is shattered by Les Moonves kicking out the boyfriend. Do these guys, producers, bosses, whoever, non-writers ever take the blame for fouling up a potential hit show? You said somewhere that it's always the writers' fault, but have the bosses ever owned up to having made a mistake?

Brian said...

Mike, True but FRIENDS became famous and is still loved across the world for striking a cord with new audience. But SEINFELD is somewhat American-specific 90s show, hence its popularity is mainly here.

Ken Levine said...

Neil,

That's the other Ken Levine who created Bioshock.

David G. Whitham said...

Enjoyable as always, Ken. I just wish you could have devoted a longer segment to interviewing Jeff.

Nolan Howe said...

Another great episode Ken! Enjoyed hearing about your pilot experiences and all of the Friends dish. I also enjoyed your story about reading the news with the hiccups - though if your really using a tape recorder to record your podcast that's rather charmingly anachronistic.

Johnny Walker said...

I think you're really finding your feet now, Ken. Really enjoyed that episode!

Ralph C. said...

Jeff should write a book.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

GREAT interview Ken. This one zipped along.
Interviewing is a tough gig, and when it's done right, the interviewer is not noticeable, and the spotlight is on the guest.

I liked how you weaved your own stories before and after the interviews that actually had something to do with the interview topic.



FRIENDS, is one of those rare sitcoms that had the same exact MAIN cast/characters from start to finish, with no additions or subtractions.

FRIENDS, FRASIER, GOLDEN GIRLS, SEINFELD, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, I LOVE LUCY, HILYM.

Cap'n Bob said...

Enjoyed as always. I was especially happy to see you bring in Foster Brooks at the end.