Join Date: Aug 30, 2004
Here are his answers:
The #1 question asked from every AD fan in the universe is:
When will Season 2 be released on DVD?
We hope to release Season 2 on DVD as soon as we get the pickup for next season. (Yet another reason to keep those postcards and emails coming.) Like the Season 1 release, Season 2 will have extended musical performances and lots of bonus content.
Gilah from Highland Park, NJ, asks:
What is your favorite American Dreams episode?
I love the Pilot, because it's our first one. I also very much love the Christmas episode when JJ returns from Viet Nam. Finally, there was something special about the episode when Usher sang as Marvin Gaye and Sam had to endure being the "new kid" at the largely white Catholic school.
Angie from Conroe, TX asks:
Are our "Save the Show" efforts really helping?
More than you can imagine. The network President, Kevin Reilly, is receiving the news of all the postcards, I continue to print out the petition and throw the 20 thousand signatures on his desk, and he has heard about the 4000 emails sent to our address at NBCuni. He's even getting bombarded at his own email address at NBCuni. Yes. Yes. Yes. So don't stop.
Kerry from Cheshire, CT asks:
Why didn't NBC pick a better time-slot, not a time when other top-rated shows were running?
In our first year, we were up against shows on the other network that we handily took care of in the ratings, other than "The Simpsons". In our second year, CBS introduced "Cold Case" which ate into our ratings, but we still were quite happy. It's this third season, in which we went up against the juggernaut of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that we have been so ratings-challenged. What night do you think might be better - Fridays? Saturdays? Or back to Sundays?
Cherie from Kansas City, MO asks:
Why hasn't NBC promoted this show more? I rarely see promos for AD, whereas you see promos for Law and Order and ER every other second.
I don't know. And, yes, I think that's part of our problem. Although NBC has been so supportive of our show in many ways, every producer of every show wants more promos. I know that many of the top executives at NBC love our show and want to find a way to save it. And if we do come back next season, we'll address this issue.
Joyce from Berlin, NJ asks:
Have the sponsors of American Dreams, such as Campbell's, expressed their thoughts on the possibility of the show being canceled?
They are frustrated, as there are so few family shows on the air - and so few opportunities for them to advertise not only in traditional commercials, but also in the body of the show. And believe me, if we come back next season, it'll be thanks to you fans and the advertisers.
Katrina from Boston, MA asks:
I have read and seen your interviews, and I know that you are Jewish. How do you replicate a Catholic family from the 1960's so well? It's as if I am watching my own childhood.
I do a lot of homework. I've read so much about growing up in those families in the 60's. Plus, I have to admit I've always been so intrigued by the Catholic faith, the rituals, and parochial school experiences. And also, although I'm Jewish, I did grow up in a loud, large family in the 60's... Thank you for the compliment.
Helen from Running Springs, CA asks:
Who does the historical research for the show? Do they do research for all the aspects of the show, (i.e. historical events, costuming, set dressing, cultural references, attitudes, military protocol, etc...)?
We have two fulltime writer's assistants who help do the research. Also, all the writers were given an assignment by me at the beginning of each season, to pick an area and create a "reference book" for that subject matter. Finally, we have "experts" who help us with the medical, military, and music areas.
Jamie from New York, NY writes:
It amazes me how seamlessly you integrated the Campbell's Soup storyline into the show, when product placement feels so absolutely forced on other shows. Do you have trouble thinking of plausible ways of incorporating products?
No, not at all. In fact, we may have integrated products that you didn't notice along the way - Kraft Singles, Oreo Cookies, and obviously the Ford Mustang. To integrate "real life products" into our show - which wants to show "real life" - is a home run.
David from Rockaway Park, NY asks:
How much of Meg Pryor is a reflection of what you were like when you were young?
I grew up with four sisters in the 60's and 70's. So Meg is a version of the four of them. As is Patty. The part of me that lives in Meg is the desire I had when I was a teenager for my life to "mean something more..." I remember that feeling - and have always held onto it.
Amanda from Wisconsin asks:
When the show is renewed, will you be developing more storylines for Patty? Will she continue to deal with her agnosticism/atheism?
Yep. Anyone who knows me knows how much I like Patty Pryor. And Sarah Ramos who plays her has got such an interesting way of playing her. I think Patty the Agnostic in East Catholic school was one of our best stories, as well as her continuing desire to excel in school, regardless of the means by which she does so. Finally, seeing Dick Clark and Patty on "Bandstand" as she gave "Satisfaction" a low rating because of its grammar is a highlight for me!
Sara from Alton, IL asks:
What do you think Meg, (or the other characters) would be doing now in 2005?
I'm sure that Meg would be wondering about the war in Iraq, worried for the troops and wanting to bring them home safely. I think she'd be in college, because in 2005 it's far more appropriate for working-class girls to do that. Patty would be Patty. JJ and Beth would be married and in a dual-career household, struggling to find the balance between work and home, between making money and family-time. Will would never have suffered from polio and might be chasing his dream of being an athlete like his brother. Jack would be running a "Crazy Eddie's" type appliance store - maybe in a mall, and Helen would be a working mom - although probably not at a travel agency. Henry Walker's family might have more opportunities - Sam would still be a college scholarship student, although sadly Angela might still be in a public school that is underfunded. Such is the miniscule amount of change in the fortunes of African-American families over the last 40 years.
Jamie from New York, NY asks:
Many of us participated in the email campaign to NBC recently. Do you think that the 'glitch' at NBC was just an excuse?
No. The "Glitch" was real. And we found out that over 4000 emails were received. Which is a gigantic number. Most shows get a few hundred per week at the most. I wonder, Jamie, if we shouldn't do it one more time? Should we pick a day in April, maybe April 22 - EARTH DAY - and do another mass emailing? What do all of you think?
Darcy from Quebec, Canada asks:
If/when the show returns next fall, what new storylines would you like to pursue?
We're going to watch JJ and Beth's marriage - as he chases his dream of putting a man on the moon, and she resents having to put her own dreams on hold. We'll watch as Jack and Helen's relationship comes to a boil when he finds out that she's been helping boys avoid the draft by going to Canada. Henry will get married - and his new wife will bring her son - who is deaf - into the Walker family. Meg will live in Berkeley for a while... but ---- well, don't let me spoil it for you !!