Is this carton of eggs okay?

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  • Is this carton of eggs okay?

    In 2003 or 2004 (the years blend together), David Isaacs and I did a half-hour multi-cam pilot for Fox. One day during rehearsal I got a call from the stage that a network person was snooping around. This seemed odd. The network run-through wasn’t until much later in the day. So I decided to go down to the stage and investigate.

    I arrived and found this mild-mannered young man poking around on the set. I introduced myself and asked what he was doing? He said he was there to “approve” the set. Approve the SET?!

    I wanted to be diplomatic so I nodded and asked him to follow me to the kitchen set. I then opened the refrigerator. I said, sometimes a character may open the refrigerator door and for a split second you might see what’s inside it so you need to approve that too. I was hoping that the absurdity of that would send a message to him, but it didn’t. He actually looked around inside and said it was fine.

    At that point I told him we were not changing anything on the set. They also wanted photos choices of wardrobe and I said that wasn’t happening either. I was the show runner; I approve the set and wardrobe. And the make-up, and stage food, and any props.

    He shuffled off and that was the last I heard of it. Whether it meant I had earned a network demerit of some kind I do not know. Nor care. We had the network run-through later in the day and the network president loved the script. She had no notes on the furniture.

    The point is, the level of interference has just gotten more and more intrusive. And remember, that was 16/17 years ago. From what I understand, it’s only gotten worse. My heart goes out to writer/creators today trying to protect their vision.

    Postscript: Our pilot did not get on the air. The problem: the star, who the network forced us to take. Meanwhile, the refrigerator tested great.



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