I don’t intend to watch all 456 episodes (and one TV movie) but I have started from the beginning with Law & Order (Netflix streaming). The pilot, “Everybody’s Favorite Bagman,” was filmed more than 23 years ago. The series premiered on September 13, 1990.
I’ve seen many of these before, mostly in syndication 10-12 years ago, so the plots are familiar. Even so, and given that they are 21+ years old, they hold up pretty well. It’s an enjoyable 45 minutes of not quite mindless diversion.
It was interesting to read that Dick Wolf first developed the show for Fox and the pilot for CBS, but the series was on NBC. Considering the money the franchise has made for NBC, one wonders about the executives who made the wrong decision at the other two networks.
Jerry Orbach was considered for the role of the senior detective but in the first season George Dzundza got the part. After Dzundza quit, Orbach was passed over a second time for Paul Sorvino. The third time was the charm — Orbach played Lennie Briscoe for 12 seasons beginning in the third.
Cynthia Nixon, William H. Macy, Philip Bosco and Al Freeman Jr. were people I recognized among the cast in the first eight episodes.
What’s the Second Screen? It’s the laptop, iPad or other device 85-million Americans use WHILE watching TV. At the Online News Association conference this morning there was a presentation on How ESPN and The New York Times Build A Second Screen For Readers. I didn’t bother with the details, but I thought the concept was one we’d all see much more about.
A very interesting looks at HBO: How it revolutionized television.
If I could have cable or satellite and have only HBO and ESPN and absolutely no other channels, that would be perfect.
A smart, critical review of Whitney by Mary Elizabeth Williams.
“For the World Series, how about letting the great Vin Scully have one last hurrah? We won’t have many more chances to hear this national treasure. Oh, and let him work alone. It’s the best Tim McCarver will ever sound.
“And while we’re on the subject of the upcoming baseball playoffs – there’s something wrong when Dick Stockton is working for two networks and Jon Miller is not even working for one.”
By Ken Levine
Google Loves Lucy
Click the channel change knob (wow, how long since we’ve had those?) for various clips.
Ken Levine answers some questions. An excerpt:
Your final writing credit for MASH was “Goodbye Radar”, apparently written as the 7th season finale but held back (at the network’s request) till the 8th season. Did Gary Burghoff or anyone have special requests for the episode in terms of storyline or particular scenes? And by the time the episode was produced you and David were no longer the head writers, did the new regime tinker with your script at all? Any other tidbits?
No one had any special requests, but David and I were very adamant that we didn’t want a sappy ending. That’s why we constructed the final sequence so that all of the final goodbyes were during triage and the farewells had to be quick and on the run.
I’m a big fan of “little touches”. Hawkeye discovering Radar’s teddy bear on his bed says more about how Radar matured from the MASH experience than any speech could have ever done, no matter how eloquently it was written.
. . .
Yes, a great moment in TV history. Thanks for writing that, Ken and David.
Ken Levine can’t spell Jeopardy, but he can write an amusing review of “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show.”
JEAPARDY contestants have college degrees; one 101 WAYS contestant has a big tattoo on his arm of Lady Gaga, another wants to use the prize money to build a waterfall for his iguana, and a third plans to use her winnings to buy a backstage pass to a Justin Bieber concert. Shooting these nitwits out of cannons isn’t cruel. It’s what they deserve.
Read more on the dumbest game show… yet.
A graphic view of TV shows Democrats and Republicans prefer — and voters and non-voters prefer.
Why Do Liberals Love Wife-Swapping? – The Atlantic