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Your host: Billy Ingram

FACING THE MUSIC
In the ongoing uproar over The Fugitive Season 2 music substitutions (see below) CBS / Paramount issued a statement saying, basically, that in order not to disappoint fans and delay the release of Season 2 the studio decided to replace all the music beds rather than try to figure out what was cleared for use and what wasn't.

I'm not the only one who finds that explanation lacking Bob Huggins writes: "I can sorta accept the statement, but when they indicate that season 2 had a larger number of music cues than season 1, I’m just not buying that. The music cues for the first three seasons are of the series aren’t dramatically different, though a number of different composers are credited (see here for more information – scroll down). Season 4 is where the greatest changes were made. But still, at the end of the day, wasn’t this just music that was bought and paid for from the composers and placed in a music library for use as the studio deemed appropriate? I can understand the replacement of pop tunes and the like, but this replacement of background music is just completely baffling to me, and the press release really does not really clarify the issue in a satisfying manner."

Reading the outraged comments over at Amazon, CBS Paramount may want to reassess what the definition of a 'disappointed fan' is. If this controversy stops another studio from doing this type of butchery it may be worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 11:56am
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WHEN HEARING "THE F.B.I. IS COMING" AND IT'S NOT BAD NEWS
Both Bob Huggins and Greg Laughlin wrote to inform my ignorant ass that The F.B.I. is controlled by Warner Bros., which doesn't bode well for a DVD release. Bob writes: "The rights to the show are controlled by Warner Brothers which, unfortunately, has not released much in the way of pre-1970 television shows on DVD. Given that CBS Paramount is now starting to delve into the Quinn Martin produced shows, there’s always the possibility that we might eventually see some sort of official release from Warner. One of Martin’s other major productions was “Twelve O’clock High;” rights to that series are controlled by Fox. I have created a list of Quinn Martin produced television shows available on DVD over at Amazon. These are all releases from CBS Paramount."

I've been getting a lot of requests for 12 O'Clock High - are you listening Fox?!?

Monday, June 16, 2008 - 9:06am
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DRIVE IN, DRIVE ME CRAZY
Sal Gomez of So Cal Drive Ins writes: "You can get a full night of Marvel Mania at our local SoCal drive-in theaters. All this week they can catch both The Hulk and Iron Man in one theater as a double feature for one low price. Come on, what better reason to pack up the family and friends and head on out to the drive-in."

Tell me that's not going to be a good time! Boy, am I jealous!

I won't have the opportunity to blog for the next few days because I'm doing the craziest thing. Tomorrow we'll rehearse for the first time, then Tuesday we'll shoot, a 120 page script! It's a great script, one of the best I've read but that's absolutely nuts. The idea is to run through it with scripts in hand in order to get some idea of how the screen adaptation of this acclaimed theatrical production will work.

The script has been compared to David Mamet so here's that famous scene from Glengarry Glen Ross that everyone remembers after they see it. I remember when we were working on the movie poster for Glengarry Glen Ross, I (correctly) predicted the movie would bomb no matter how good it was because no one is going to embarrass themselves by turning to a date and asking, "You want to go see Glengarry Glen Ross?" Same when we were working on Shawshank Redemption which also tanked but shouldn't have.

On a lighter note, here's one of my favorite classic TV characters, Frank Fontaine as Crazy Guggenheim from the early-1960s Jackie Gleason American Scene Magazine.

Betcha can't watch just one...

Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 9:00am
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RIPOFFS
Leon Auerbach writes: "Do you have any information as to if the series The FBI will ever be released on DVD? I ordered it from a website that was selling the complete series but of course never got it. Luckily I disputed the charge. How could they sell a series that was never released on DVD anyway?? Please advise."

Unfortunately you got caught in that scam – many people DID get the DVDs ordered from that Canadian company (they go by the name DVD Avenue and other aliases) and discovered they were episodes taped off the air. Canadian authorities supposedly put that company out of business but they still advertise on the web and are accepting orders they have no intention of filling. No word on The FBI yet but Quinn Martin shows have been coming fast and furious lately.

Speaking of Quinn Martin shows, Greg Laughlin adds about The Fugitive season 2 controversy: "Hello, Billy. Once again, the integrity of a TV series is being compromised as studios find any way possible to cut costs with releases from their TV libraries. For CBS/Paramount to re-score these episodes, there had to be a rights issue that would have added a substantial expense to this release. As I've told you in previous messages, it's no wonder people look for bootleg copies of classic shows in order to see them in their original form. Keep up the good work."

My question still remains - how much more could it have cost to do it right?!? With the uproar surrounding this release perhaps it will make studios reluctant to mutilate classic TV series in the future. Yeah, right...

Saturday, June 14, 2008 - 7:00am
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TV MOMS
Jim Longworth recently hosted a gathering of TV's most beloved moms at the Museum of Television in Los Angeles and you can read all about it here. You may be surprised at some of the things he learned, like the ladies were typically paid less than the TV dads were - just because they were women!

Friday, June 13, 2008 - 8:11am
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WTF?!?
Bob Huggins writes with this disturbing news: "Don’t know if you’ve been following this or not, but save the opening and closing theme music, all of the background music for season 2, volume 1 of “The Fugitive” has been replaced with newly composed music. I believe this represents a first for a TV-on-DVD release. Obviously, there have been numerous replacements, edits, etc. for popular music which has appeared on DVD releases for television shows, but this is the first that I’ve heard where an entire back score has been replaced. Since the release of the DVD set on Tuesday, the customer reviews at Amazon have been almost all one star reviews as a result of this alteration to the show. Hopefully, there’ll be some word in the near future from CBS Paramount as to why this was necessary."

You can read more about the controversy here.

This is so wrong on so many levels. How could it possibly be more cost effective to use music they already own, music written for the show, that to drop in new music beds? I totally want nothing to do with this release and I loved Season 1 and was looking forward to this DVD set.

Just what percentage of sales for a 45 year old TV program on DVD will come from people who watched the show years ago and want to see the episodes as originally broadcast? 90%, maybe?

Friday, June 13, 2008 - 6:53am
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TV FORMULAS
Rachel Newstead writes about an earlier Blog post: "I found your post on TV cliches highly interesting, especially considering I once belonged to an e-mail discussion list (affiliated with the "Jump The Shark" website) that discussed that very thing--and brought up many of the ones you did.

"There was one you missed, however--the flashback's even more evil twin, the Dream Sequence. By the second and last season of Gilligan's Island, the show was full of them, since the writers by then were running out of other stories to tell.

"Another would be the Celebrity Guest Star Playing Himself/Herself--someone more likely to show up the further out in the middle of nowhere the show's characters were located. (Some celebrity or other was always walking into Mel's Diner on "Alice," and "The Simpsons" could practically have its own section).

"Incidentally, you got the title of one show wrong: the show was called "The Ugliest Girl In Town," not "The World." (Although the way Peter Kastner looked in drag, he could have qualified for the latter title easily.) I found it strange because it you had it right on the page devoted to the show.

"You were right about Steve Urkel--though Jaleel White played Steve and Steve's cousin Myrtle, not his sister."

Clearly I need to bone up on my Family Matters trivia! I really wish that Super Secret TV Formulas had lasted longer than 6 episodes because the show was very popular, although it was running at the same time as I Love The 70s and everyone would say they saw me on that show. Apparently licensing the clips was too expensive.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 7:03am
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TV NEWS
This is great news (sorta) - the FX drama The Shield will return for a final season on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Former Brady Bunch kid Maureen McCormick is coming to CMT for a non-scripted 'reality' show - Maureen opens a Bed & Breakfast in Tennessee with the help of Carnie Wilson and the infamous crackhead Bobby Brown. Huh?!?

CBS' one time airing of a repeat of The Bill Engvall Show score solid ratings, up 11% from previous timeslot holder The Big Bang Theory.

Chef Gordon RamsayThe Top 4 contestants on Hell's Kitchen had this to say about the most beneficial advice they have received from Chef Ramsay up to this point:

Corey Earling – “…to be humble in life and in the kitchen. Being overly confident takes away all the energy and creativity you need to get the job done.” Earling is a private chef from Brooklyn, NY.

Jen Gavin – “...that simplicity is the key. I’m super-creative, and I sometimes try to put too much on a plate. Chef Ramsay taught me to keep it clean and simple.” Gavin is a line cook from Chicago, IL.

Christina Machamer – "This whole experience taught me what I was made out of and taught me what standards mean in relation to food. I have not found that level anywhere else..." Machamer just graduated from culinary school and is from St. Louis, MO.

Louis Petrozza – “…to evolve my entire style of cooking. Bigger is not always better. It’s about concentrating on smaller-portioned, stand-alone items with great flavor combinations.” Petrozza is a catering director from Charlotte, NC.

Meanwhile, I'm hooked on the British version of Kitchen Nightmares.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 7:58am
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WHAT I THOUGHT OF WHEN I SAW THIS PICTURE
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 9:38am
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