View Single Post
Old 09-02-2019, 11:50 AM   #16
Larry Tate
Senior Member
Larry Tate's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 26, 2001
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,353

If able to work would Dick York have been offered a new contract after Season 5?

This is a difficult question to answer, it really could be taken in either direction with one or the other
being just as likely as the other to be the answer to it.

After Season 3 William Froug the producer that season said that Elizabeth Montgomery wanted Dick York fired
and replaced as Darrin, both William Asher & Harry Ackerman thought he was so good in the role that and the show was
going so well with the present cast wanted to keep the status co.

They managed to talk Liz into letting York keep the part.
The question is that after season 5 if York had not had to quiet due to physical ailments would William Asher & Harry Ackerman
felt as strongly about keeping him or would they have been more willing to go along with Liz's request he be replaced.

They may have been more sympathetic to Liz's view, as well if they felt York's health problems were getting worse they may have felt now was
the time to cut the cord as well as per their concern of the money it was costing Screen Gems and the Asher's as time is money in the Biz and York's inconsistent
availability affected production schedules and crew idling time caused lost income to all that owned the show.

I am sure it occurred to them that he could only go on so long and that if they signed him up for 4 more seasons and he broke down as he indeed did
,then they could find themselves without a Darrin as in deed happened in season 5, so their concern on such a event taking place would have affected their
view on the matter resulting in their switching and going with Liz on this one.

It has been stated as well that ABC wanted York out for quite some time for much the same reason.
However this would have been more to the tune of the instability he caused on their flagship show that so much
of their profit was based on, he in their view was a threat to the show by his absence at times and by their not knowing
on any given week if he was going to be able to make it to work that week.

I assume ABC paid a flat rate to Screen Gems per episode so if York caused any episodes to be more expensive
by his inconsistency in availability, then that would have been on Screen Gems dime not ABC's.

Liz most likely still felt the same way for the same reasons and would have wished him out as Darrin.

It well might be that his still being only in year 3 of 5 of his contract had contributed to his being kept on in 1967, but with his contract having expired after season 5 that the powers that be may well have felt that simply not renewing his contract rather then firing him would give them cover from the press and fans in letting him go after season 5.

Even if he managed to deal with his back problems through the end of season 5, this all could well have resulted in Dick York being fired and not being offered a new contract, unlike all the other cast members who of course were offered new contracts and were resigned.

At the same time it is quite possible that what had irked Liz in 1967 had faded in her mind and that she would be willing to continue to work with Dick York as she had in the two previous seasons after her request that he be replaced, after all she had problems with Dick York for most of the first 5 years of the show re his availability and yet she and Asher were willing to keep him on the show for the good of the show, this view in Liz's mind may have become paramount once again leading to his getting a new contract.

William Asher and Harry Ackerman could well have still felt the same way on the matter as in 1967 and insisted he be resigned for the good of the show.

ABC could well have felt that he had made it through 5 years so there was no reason to think that would not continue and after all it was on Screen Gems dime not theirs.

As a result if he could have held up a few more months Dick York could well have been offered a new contract with no additional creative power or billing but with a good sized raise for his work well done.

As i say it could go either way one as likely as the other, and one can't know what the truth is about what lay before him if he did not have to quit, unless Andy Ackermen or perhaps Richard Michaels come forward to illustrate the truth in this matter we shall be forever wondering as to the answer to this question.

Myself i don't think York coming back or not had any impact on Elizabeth Montgomery's decision on continuing the show or not.

In the end i believe the concern they had about Dick York's future availability and that his back condition might deteriorate would have let Bill Asher & Harry Ackerman to side with Elizabeth Montgomery and with ABC agreeing have Dick York fired and not offered a new contract and have him replaced as Darrin.

An interesting sub plot to this is that near the end of season four Dick York pulled a Larry Hagman style power & $$$$ grab trying to get a lot more of both with a sick out that was disingenuous in nature.

Basically he hurt his back in a fall and when it was ok after 2 weeks he milked it for several more trying to force a new long term contract when he still had a year to go.

This was not well received by Liz and Bill who spoke publicly in an interview on the matter and expressed the view that York was trying to pull a fast one at that time, he even offered to take York to the Hospital to get him looked at by specialists with York declining the offer.

When it looked at that time that he might be replaced with hints from Screen Gems that if the role was too much for him physically then he should just stay home for good he made a swift recovery.

He wanted to report to the set right away but was told by the producers that they were already committed to a Non-Darrin script costing him several thousand $$$ for the episode he missed.

A Majority of Two was the one i am referencing here that he was in effect banned from the set and prevented from doing even when he indicated he could.

Point being that there could well have been some additional resentment on behalf of Liz, Bill & Harry Ackerman towards Dick York as a result of his sickout that would have made them think differently towards his unreliability and from that if they were willing to put up with it and resign him after season five.
Larry Tate is offline   Reply With Quote