Wednesday, August 01, 2018

EP83: The Making of CHEERS

Ken walks you through the process of producing an episode of CHEERS from start to the finish. From the writers room to the stage to the editing bay you’ll be there step by step. 

Listen to the Hollywood & Levine podcast!


Mike Barer said...

Great episode!

i could be a bob said...

I think you had left Cheers by 1989 (perhaps you were in Syracuse calling games?) but I was lucky enough to catch the filming of Cheers "Feeble Attraction" where Norm has to fire his secretary Doris, aka the Morton Salt Girl. I haven't seen it in years, but I swear it was shot with no swing sets. All of it took place in the bar. And if we were there 90 minutes I think I'm over-guessing. Some cues were missed, some lines flubbed, hair and makeup had to discretely adjust Ted's piece due to Rebecca's sawdust burst through the door- but it was an amazing episode to see live.

Years later I think I saw you direct an episode of Becker, which was a fun show to see filmed.

FQ: By any chance did you get to see any Seinfeld show filming? I again was lucky to see The Fatigues episode. With the "Ovaltine" bit and "You think about your knife, the only friend who hasn't betrayed you..." etc. They had so many sets, but still did the outdoor walk & talks and other sets not built, shot right in front of stage. An amazing production. (I realize in looking these up that Andy Ackerman directed both.)

Andy Rose said...

I understand that directors who worked on videotaped shows in the 70s and 80s tended to be in the control room calling shots, while directors on filmed shows (where there is no control room) worked from the floor. Did sitcom directors tend to specialize in one format or the other? I can't think of any taped sitcoms that James Burrows ever did.

SK said...

Love the podcasts and the blog...especially when the topics are Cheers, MASH, and your baseball broadcasting career. "The Making of CHEERS" podcast had a detail I never considered: there is more time to write (and rewrite) episodes earlier in the season; but episodes written later are sometimes only single drafts. That inspired me to ask ask my first-ever Friday Question (and it's multi-part!): Do those time considerations affect the order that episodes are written? Are episodes written in the planned order of production/broadcast? Or were "important" episodes (like those broadcast during sweeps, or season finales) addressed earlier to provide more time to refine them?

Thanks, Ken!


Andy Rose said...

Shipping an air master and backup copy to the network is quickly becoming a thing of the past. At one cable group I’ve worked with, they now refuse to accept any physical media for their new shows except in the rarest circumstances. All programs must be sent to them as a digital upload. In addition to letting them receive and process the video more quickly, it’s designed to be an anti-piracy feature. The video files are encrypted and digitally watermarked, and no one can view or download them without using a personal login. So if an episode gets leaked to the internet early, they at least have a log they can use to establish the chain of custody.