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Old 08-24-2020, 03:42 PM   #16
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On Full House alone, Jesse's surname went from Cochran to Katsopolis, they changed mothers/parents, he graduated school with Erika Eleniak and then he's taking night school so he can graduate in later seasons, etc. And to borrow from TV Tropes:
Yes. I'd add that the house, as shown from the outside, has three floors: a garage level, and then the first and second floor. In later seasons, they somehow add an attic above the second floor. How is this possible when we see the exterior shots don't have an attic floor?
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:30 AM   #17
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On what shows did the lead actor or actress also serve as show runner?
Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie comes to mind. He I believe, also served in that capacity on Highway to Heaven.

A more modern example could be Seth MacFarlane with The Orville.

And while Alan Alda may not have officially been the showrunner on MASH, he had a lot to do with its direction.
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:38 PM   #18
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Nickelodeon coincidentally, has had a really bad track record in regards to their creators misbehaving: From John K. (Ren and Stimpy), to Dan Schneider, to Butch Hartman (Fairly Odd Parents/Danny Phantom), and recently Chris Savino (The Loud House).
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:48 PM   #19
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On what shows did the lead actor or actress also serve as show runner?
Jerry Seinfeld in the last two seasons of “Seinfeld” (after Larry David left).

Desi Arnaz in the last season of “I Love Lucy” (after Jess Oppenheimer left).
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:29 AM   #20
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Jerry Seinfeld in the last two seasons of “Seinfeld” (after Larry David left).

Desi Arnaz in the last season of “I Love Lucy” (after Jess Oppenheimer left).
I think the late Larry Hagman might have done that on the last two or three seasons' worth of O-R CBS Dallas.
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:08 PM   #21
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John Wells is generally regarded as a good, solid showrunner; but his work on "The West Wing" was clearly a pale comparison to the work Aaron Sorkin had done on that show. I fear anybody who had the task of replacing Sorkin was going to look like an imposter and wells did as fine a job as he could have.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:30 AM   #22
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I was just reading the oral history about the ill-fated Coming to America sitcom pilot from 1989 and I'm now inclined to add Ken Hecht to the list. Simply put, Hecht reportedly took a rigid, I-know-best approach to comedy. And what may have worked on Webster and Diff'rent Strokes, didn't exactly work anymore by the end of the decade.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:07 AM   #23
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I agree with Sal: Jeff Franklin and Miller-Boyett were horrible. When you look at their shows there's a common thread to most or even all of them: the continuity was terrible, the writing was not always great, and major cast members are written out, never to be seen or heard from again.
Does the mess with Valerie Harper clinch it for you in regards to Miller-Boyett being decidedly horrible showrunners?

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The producers of the new show were Tom Miller and Bob Boyett, which seemed like an odd mix with Valerie Harper and NBC. Nearly all their previous productions had been for ABC, and they specialized in broad, sophomoric shows, whereas NBC was trying to sell itself as the home of more high-class comedy. But Miller-Boyett benefited from the same fortuitous circumstances as Chuck Lorre and a few other comedy producers benefit from today: they were among the only comedy producers available at a time when the demand for comedy unexpectedly shot up. The sitcom was “dead” in the early-to-mid ’80s, and most of the leading sitcom producers had already disbanded or gone into something else. Miller-Boyett, who had left Paramount and signed with Lorimar TV (which was later bought by Warner Brothers and no longer exists), were just about to give up on sitcoms and do hour-long family dramedies when The Cosby Show exploded, and the networks went begging and pleading for new sitcoms. And Miller-Boyett were among the few experienced people who could respond to all that begging and pleading.

So NBC set up a project for Valerie Harper, a product of the high-class MTM school of comedy, and Miller-Boyett, among the founders of the Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley school. To split the difference, the creator and writer of the pilot — the story of a woman with three sons and an airline-pilot husband with terrifying hair — was a guy who wasn’t really from either camp: Charlie Hauck had written for Maude and co-created one of my weekend flops, The Associates. (He later wrote a novel called Artistic Differences about writing a sitcom for a megalomaniacal diva star.) And NBC got their superstar director James Burrows to direct the pilot instead of Miller-Boyett’s usual people (they usually went with Joel Zwick). Harper brought on her husband, Tony Cacciotti, as a producer (in the Lucille Ball/Gary Morton tradition) and got a contract that called for her to have creative input as well as a cut of the profits. So as with many star-vehicle comedies before and after, the setup made it clear that no matter who the nominal producers were, the star was in charge.

Miller and Boyett’s specialty, apart from knowing exactly how to combine broad comedy with sappiness, was their quite phenomenal casting ability. (Bob Boyett is now one of Broadway’s most successful producers, drawing on those same instincts for crowd-pleasing material and casting.) They had never done a star vehicle before, instead preferring to pick actors who had only done guest parts on TV or small parts in movies and making them into leads: among the people Miller and/or Boyett elevated from bit-player to lead were Tom Hanks, Robert Hays, Peter Scolari, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, and Annie Potts. The other thing they were good at is figuring out which young actors could be a hit with their young-skewing audience. In casting Valerie, they realized that Jason Bateman, who had been kicking around shows like Silver Spoons and Little House on the Prairie and had played the lead on the flop It’s Your Move, was at the age where he had potential as a teen heartthrob: a good actor with good comic timing, good-looking enough to be appealing to girls and not so good-looking that boys would hate him. (This is, roughly, the Michael J. Fox template.) Casting soap actors in sitcoms was also a specialty of theirs, as they demonstrated by casting a guy from Days of Our Lives as Valerie’s husband.

The show that emerged was a very uneasy compromise between the type of show Harper expected to do and the type of show that Miller-Boyett preferred. Their specialty was re-tooling shows to fit prevailing trends and to emphasize any characters who caught on with the audience, while relying on a formula that called for very broad jokes and equally broad sentimentality (complete with sappy music). Valerie Harper and NBC were hoping for a family comedy with an edge, like The Cosby Show and Family Ties. So Valerie started out as an NBC-type show, but every week, Miller/Boyett would push it a little closer to their own kind of show, adding Edie McClurg’s “Mrs. Poole” character for wacky comedy value and building more and more stories around Jason Bateman, whom they correctly perceived as their best bet for keeping the show going. There were tabloid rumors at the time that Harper was resentful of Bateman, but Bateman has always denied that. What seems more likely is that she was resentful of the producers for turning her into a supporting player on her own show. (Meredith Baxter on Family Ties felt the same way, but Harper had even more reason to be P.O.’d, because the show was actually named after her and she owned a piece of it, yet it was being slowly taken away from her.) She said she was disappointed that not only she but the other characters were being neglected in favor of endless stories about Bateman’s girl troubles: “I wanted the little boys used more.” She reportedly told one of the producers: “I can’t do this to my career. I can’t stand in the kitchen and give advice to teenage boys.” What was supposed to be her career comeback had turned her, within a year, into just another generic sitcom mom.
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:58 AM   #24
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Does the mess with Valerie Harper clinch it for you in regards to Miller-Boyett being decidedly horrible showrunners?
I think it does indeed-- you can't name a show for the main person on it, and then not let that main person have any say in how it runs (as happened w/Valerie).
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:04 AM   #25
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Does the mess with Valerie Harper clinch it for you in regards to Miller-Boyett being decidedly horrible showrunners?
As bmasters says, the producers dropped the ball with Valerie. Valerie thought the show would revolve around her. The producers, however, were focusing on Jason Bateman.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:49 PM   #26
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As bmasters says, the producers dropped the ball with Valerie. Valerie thought the show would revolve around her. The producers, however, were focusing on Jason Bateman.
Should of have brought the Rhoda character into the 80's as a single working mom. Move the setting to Chicago and had her working in major dept store corporate office environment full of eccentric characters. Nancy Walker and Julie Kavner could of made occasional guest star appearances.

80 's Rhoda's new tagline: New York, you had your chance!

Even though Miller-Boyett could not produce an intelligent show to save their life, they definitely had an eye for up and coming new talent. I guess you can give them that.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:57 PM   #27
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I was just reading the oral history about the ill-fated Coming to America sitcom pilot from 1989 and I'm now inclined to add Ken Hecht to the list. Simply put, Hecht reportedly took a rigid, I-know-best approach to comedy. And what may have worked on Webster and Diff'rent Strokes, didn't exactly work anymore by the end of the decade.
I wonder if the show could of had a better chance of being picked up if Wesley Snipes landed the lead role?
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:19 PM   #28
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Should of have brought the Rhoda character into the 80's as a single working mom. Move the setting to Chicago and had her working in major dept store corporate office environment full of eccentric characters. Nancy Walker and Julie Kavner could of made occasional guest star appearances.

80 's Rhoda's new tagline: New York, you had your chance!
I would have loved to see a Rhoda continuation. There were relatively few reunions in the 1980s... at least, not like today.

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Even though Miller-Boyett could not produce an intelligent show to save their life, they definitely had an eye for up and coming new talent. I guess you can give them that.
I credit their casting directors.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:25 AM   #29
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I wonder if the show could of had a better chance of being picked up if Wesley Snipes landed the lead role?
Well, the oral history noted that Ken Hecht didn't seem to make the best usage of Tommy Davidson's talents. Keep in mind that this was right before he landed In Living Color. So I don't necessarily think that he was the ultimate problem. Hecht like I said, didn't appear to be the right person to showrun a Coming to America sitcom. I suppose that just because he wrote sitcom featuring black characters in major roles like Webster and Diff'rent Strokes that made him qualified. But he also wrote vaguely stereotypical and offensive jokes about Africans eating bugs.

You have to imagine how much things could've turned out had you had something more "authentic" or genuine writing and producing a show concerning African-American culture. Take for instance, Debbie Allen when she took over from Anne Beatts as the main creative force. Because Debbie Allen actually went to a historically black college and thus could draw from her own experiences, that's when A Different World really started to find its voice.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:07 AM   #30
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Well, the oral history noted that Ken Hecht didn't seem to make the best usage of Tommy Davidson's talents. Keep in mind that this was right before he landed In Living Color. So I don't necessarily think that he was the ultimate problem. Hecht like I said, didn't appear to be the right person to showrun a Coming to America sitcom. I suppose that just because he wrote sitcom featuring black characters in major roles like Webster and Diff'rent Strokes that made him qualified. But he also wrote vaguely stereotypical and offensive jokes about Africans eating bugs.

You have to imagine how much things could've turned out had you had something more "authentic" or genuine writing and producing a show concerning African-American culture. Take for instance, Debbie Allen when she took over from Anne Beatts as the main creative force. Because Debbie Allen actually went to a historically black college and thus could draw from her own experiences, that's when A Different World really started to find its voice.
I can see your point.
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