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Old 02-02-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
Forum Celebrity
Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
Posts: 31,953
Default Happy Days became one of the biggest hits on TV by selling its soul,84232/

Garry Marshall faced a dilemma in the second season of Happy Days. The series, which had initially been an attempt to honestly depict a wistful look back at adolescence (Marshall told the Associated Press in 2004 that it was his “artistic period”), had been a minor Nielsen hit in its first season, but it was sinking like a stone, falling out of the Top 30 and toward certain cancellation. He had one last shot at making the series a success, though it would destroy almost everything he’d set out to create. What he came up with was almost terminally dumb, but it made the show one of the biggest hits in television history, one of the ultimate case stories TV fans can point to when it comes to art versus commerce. Marshall and the show’s other producers took a charming little single-camera comedy about the trials of growing up and made it a loud, kid-friendly, multi-camera comedy more about gimmicks than intelligent storytelling or nuanced characters.

And it worked.
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