Friday Questions



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  • Friday Questions

    Wrapping up May with Friday Questions. What’s yours?

    Matt gets us started.

    How long do you think the networks will continue to air award shows in their current state? Could you see them moving it to on-line productions or simply slimmed-down, 1 hour quick recaps of all the awards? Or do you think it will always be this big production, regardless of how few people are actually watching?

    The big problem is that the Academies are caught between a rock and a hard place. Networks are paying big bucks for these shows and would like them slimmed down and jazzed up. But the unions, rightfully so, won’t allow clips or participation if their members do not receive their awards and are allowed to speak on the actual ceremony.

    As more people are moving to streaming, I think networks will pay much less for the rights to air these ceremonies, and may not air them over all of their platforms.

    Like everything else, if a show doesn’t bring in a big audience, networks aren’t going to pay big money for it. The NFL delivers. Award shows no longer do.

    From Stan Garelik:

    Thanks to your podcast I have been binging on Wings (so underrated) and loving it. My question is about the addition of Tony Shalhoub. He and his character Antonio gave the show a major shot in the arm How did it come about to add him?

    The producers had seen him as a waiter on an episode of CHEERS where he just killed. What often happens is you’ll bring on a character for an episode or two and it’s clear they really click and offer the series a shot of adrenaline. They then evolve into series regulars.

    Other examples I can think of are Bebe Neuwirth on CHEERS, Jamie Farr on MASH, and Christopher Lloyd on TAXI.

    In the case of Tony Shalhoub, he’s great in everything he’s in no matter what character he plays.

    Another Matt, Matt in Westwood, CA asks:

    I believe you’ve mentioned having attended RHODA on more than one occasion. Can you share some details on that experience as well and perhaps how it compared to attending MARY TYLER MOORE?

    They were both very similar, but with different warm up guys. David Lloyd did the warm-up on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and was very high-energy. Lorenzo Music, who played Carlton the Doorman, did the warm-up on RHODA and had a very gentle style. Both men were extremely funny and quick-witted. Each show also had a band to play during those ten minute stretches where the cast would change wardrobe.

    In both shows, the actors were well rehearsed and there were very few flubs. If the filming began at 7:00, the audience was out before 9:00. They were well-oiled machines.

    The thing I remember the most about RHODA was that Vivian Vance guested in one of the episodes. I was in awe getting to watch Vivian Vance perform. And of course she hit every line right out of the park.

    I only attended one MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW filming. As luck would have it,, it was the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode. So if you can only go to one

    And finally, from James:

    As a showrunner, how did you determine which episodes of your show (say Almost Perfect) would be submitted for Emmy awards in each category? Is there a limit? Did you have to try and include multiple directors' and writers' episodes so that more people got a shot at a nomination and a win?

    I don’t know how many they’re allowed to submit now, but we were allowed to submit one for “best show.” Quite simply, we put up what we thought was our best, funniest show. Writers, directors, and actors choose their own submissions. I believe actors can let the show submit for them, but that’s a bad idea. There have been cases where a show forgot to submit or submitted the wrong episode.

    Now that shows are more serialized I wonder if the submission policy for “best show” has changed. The thing is, it’s one thing to ask a judge to sit through nominated five half hours; it’s another to ask them to sit through fifty half-hours.