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Old 08-30-2010, 12:50 AM   #1
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Confused Why Couldn't Ken Berry Ever Really Make It As A TV Star???

That is not to say he didn't have success. Most actors would kill to have his resume, but Ken Berry never really hit it BIG! Despite several promising projects, he never really had that true hit series. Thoughts?
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:19 AM   #2
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Default Probably because of an unfortunate happenstance in the business...

...known as "timing". Consider Ken's first series- he was cast as the bellboy of "Bartley House" in the final season of "THE ANN SOTHERN SHOW" (1960-'61); he could have stayed as a supporting player for at least two more seasons, but General Foods [the sponsor] and CBS [the network that carried it] cancelled it in the spring of 1961. Then, he got his "big break" on "F TROOP" in 1965....that could have lasted at least FIVE years! But Warner Bros. pulled the show out from under him after two years, because they decided it was "too expensive" to continue. He got another chance on 'MAYBERRY RFD" the following season...but that ended when CBS weeded out its slate of "rural comedies" in 1971. He starred in a 1972 ABC summer replacement variety series, "THE KEN BERRY 'WOW' SHOW" (from the producers of "THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR")..,but the network decided not to renew it for the coming season. FINALLY, he got a co-starring role in "MAMA'S FAMILY" in the '80s...but instead of being "screwed" by NBC when they cancelled it after a season and a half- lo and behold, it became a first-run syndicated series for several years.....what does it all prove? "Timing is everything".

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:25 AM   #3
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Oh, so THAT'S why "F-TROOP" was cannceled. I've always wondered why. Shame it wasn't renewed; I could see it easily lasting for at least 5 seasons.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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Warner made a HUGE mistake with F Troop. If they had done a couple of additional seasons in color, that show would have had a syndication run similar to Hogan's Heroes or I Dream of Jeannie. They missed out on tens of millions of dollars in pure profit, at least.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:50 PM   #5
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Ken did kind of luck out with F Troop. Tucker and Storch were the show's stars, but Berry was the standout.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:23 PM   #6
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Ken Berry did alright if you think about it. Starring roles on three (reasonably) successful TV series is not a bad record at all.

F Troop really deserved more seasons. It was a funny show and was just fun to watch.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:23 PM   #7
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He has an outrageous record, the shows you mention plus a year on Dr. Kildare and regular status on Carol Burnett put him up around 330 episodes, plus about 100 guest roles in scripted and variety shows.

I guess one question is: what could he have been in that would have been big? I think two big roles he might have been good at are Darrin Stevens and Felix Unger.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:03 PM   #8
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I'd be a bit reluctant to consider Mayberry R.F.D one of Ken's successes given how obvious it was that he was out of his element as Andy's replacement. It's worth nothing that the third season's ratings (The one Andy didn't guest star in) fell like the proverbial elevator with a broken cable.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:54 PM   #9
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I believe it was still #15. Not bad at all.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #10
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He was a good supporting player but wasn't strong enough to be the lead.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayberry'sBadBoy
I'd be a bit reluctant to consider Mayberry R.F.D one of Ken's successes given how obvious it was that he was out of his element as Andy's replacement. It's worth nothing that the third season's ratings (The one Andy didn't guest star in) fell like the proverbial elevator with a broken cable.
I agree, the casting didn't make much sense. But, top billing in a three-season show (MRFD) and a co-starring role in Mama's Family (where I think he really excelled) are nothing to ignore. Most character actors don't achieve that.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:44 PM   #12
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Agreed, and don’t forget the Ken Berry “WOW” Show.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:38 PM   #13
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He had a good career. His variety show was a dud and he did much better guesting on the Burnett show. She was a better lead. Forrest Tucker was really the star of F Troop, not Ken. Mama's Family was the best fit for Ken and he was excellent. It's a funny performance. He was interesting in that he could be natural in one role, do broad comedy in another, and do physical comedy in F Troop. He reminds me of Andy Griffith in doing different types of roles well. But Andy had a stronger presence and could carry a show. Ken couldn't do that as well, but he was well liked and hired for many roles for a long time. It was always good to see him.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fontaine
Ken did kind of luck out with F Troop. Tucker and Storch were the show's stars, but Berry was the standout.

No, Wrangler Jane was the standout.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:26 PM   #15
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There was nothing exciting or interesting about Berry. The only reason the guy worked is that Lucille Ball basically discovered him and Carol Burnett took a liking to him. In Hollywood, it isn't what you know but who you know....
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