Posts Tagged Rockford Files
The passing of Stephen J. Cannell surprised me, because it seemed like only yesterday that he had a cameo on an episode of ABC’s Castle. Cannell has entertained me for several years, particularly given his role in the 1970s as co-creator of The Rockford Files.
Tributes to him have been heard from a variety of celebrities. But the voice that really caught my attention was in the LA Times comments section, by a former employee of Cannell’s, Sylvia de la Sancha:
“…not only was I proud to be the first editor of the company’s newsletter, the ‘Cannell Channel,’ he came to my defense when the TV writer I was working directly for didn’t like the fact that I wouldn’t hold his hand 24/7 and wanted to let me go. Stephen emphatically told him that the name of the company was ‘Stephen Cannell’ and that Sylvia wasn’t going anywhere. As a single mom in my mid-20s, I will never ever forget that.”
I’ll always appreciate the myriad hours of entertainment that Cannell developed, but to also realize the guy was a fair boss is something I equally appreciate.
OK, so the other day, I said I lost the draft of a post. It appears that I misplaced it. Since this version is a tad more informative and less primal, I present it for you. Sorry for the technical snafu folks.
Something amazes me about NBC’s primetime/late night challenges. The Jay Leno 10 PM experiment did not work and will stop by mid-February 2010 (as confirmed by NBC and detailed in this New York Times article). Now NBC is struggling to quickly fill the slot in the short term, while ordering up multiple new pilots for the long run (including one that I’m very excited to hear about, a reworking of the Rockford Files, produced by House co-creator David Shore and Office star, Steve Carrell).
What amazes me about the short-term struggle is that after a few years of placing some of the Law & Order product on USA Network, why has NBC never considered airing Burn Notice (or any of the USA Network [owned by NBC Universal] original series), in the 10 PM slot? Back in August 2009, as noted in this TV Squad article, Burn Notice’s “August airings are burning down nine million viewers at a pop”. NBC wishes Leno could have pulled numbers on that level at 10 PM consistently.
Novelist Tod Goldberg entered my realm of knowledge through my appreciation for the USA Network show, Burn Notice. In August 2008, Goldberg saw the release of The Fix, his first original Burn Notice novel (one of three that he is contracted to write; Burn Notice: The End Game [his second Burn Notice novel] will be released in May 2009). I was fortunate enough to email interview him about his career to date, including his upcoming second collection of short stories, Other Resort Cities (set for release in October 2009).
Before jumping into the interview, here’s his full bio from his site: “Goldberg is the author of the novels Living Dead Girl (Soho Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat (Pocket Books/MTV), Burn Notice: The Fix (Penguin) and the short story collection Simplify (OV Books), a 2006 finalist for the SCBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Other Voices, Santa Monica Review, The Sun and Las Vegas Noir (Akashic), twice receiving Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. His essays and nonfiction have appeared widely, including in the anthologies When I Was A Loser (Free Press), Don’t You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes (Simon & Schuster), and Off The Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings and Everything In Between (WW Norton). A contributing writer for a number of magazines and newspapers, Tod’s journalism and criticism frequently appears in the Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas CityLife, Palm Springs Life, E! and many other publications, and have earned three Nevada Press Association awards for excellence. Tod Goldberg is currently the Administrative Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside’s Palm Desert Graduate Center and previously taught creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, where he was named the 2005 Outstanding Instructor of the Year. He lives in La Quinta, CA with his wife, the writer Wendy Duren.”
Tim O’Shea: Last August you wrote in the LA Times about why–after writing three novels–you chose to write a Burn Notice novel. What were some of the more unique responses in the literary community (or in other circles you travel) regarding the piece?
Tod Goldberg: It was overwhelmingly positive, really, so that was unique in and of itself. Writing is a profession and sometimes you do different things just to see if you can, if you’re any good at it, if it might be another way of doing your job. In this case, I’d always wanted to do some straight crime writing (versus, say, the terribly depressing criminal behavior I normally catalog in my fiction…) and doing it in a fashion where I was assured an audience seemed to strike people as fairly savvy. Mostly, though, I think they just found it funny. I had a ton of other information from Max Allan Collins that I would have loved to have used about his experience writing tie-ins and such, but his story about writing the novelization of Road to Perdition (which was adapted from his graphic comic…and then which he adapted from the original screenplay) was by far the most horrifying.