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Old 10-04-2020, 01:43 AM   #46
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Regarding Ryan Murphy, somebody elsewhere online said that his problem is that once he finds actors that he likes, he starts off each new season or project where he tries to build it around characters that he's created for those actors. And while the characters that he creates for those actors are actually interesting, instead of letting the plot and characters develop together, he has to construct a season arc for those characters to fit into.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:54 AM   #47
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I've never believed that Joss Whedon was a bad showrunner, even though he made some missteps.

Marti Noxon never should have been tapped to be an executive producer on BtVS; she only ever wrote a couple of good episodes, and didn't seem to have the ability to provide much continuity between episodes, leading to an uneven feeling to Season 6.
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Old 10-11-2020, 04:08 AM   #48
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I a long time ago, wrote about Stu Kreisman and Chris Cluess, who were the executive producers of Night Court during its final two seasons. I'm not going to do a lengthy rehash, so I just leave the link here.

To briefly summarize, the argument that I've been told was that Kreisman and Cluess wanted to take Night Court back to being like the more Barney Miller-esque episodes that had good balance between laugh-out-loud wit and real interplay amongst genuinely human characters. But Kresiman and Cluess unlike Reinhold Weege, didn't have the skill to pull that off. For example, somebody on the old Jump the Shark site said that all of the scenes played like long drawn-out setups for stupid one-liners. What they ended up with was a crash and burn hybrid mess that no longer knew what it was.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:37 AM   #50
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How JACK WEBB (from Dragnet) RUINED the popular series 77 SUNSET STRIP after he took over production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6VU6zdQsq4

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A look into the popular TV series 77 SUNSET STRIP! How it came about & what led to it's downfall!
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Old 11-03-2020, 04:09 AM   #51
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I LOVE SLiders but I HATE what David Peckinah did with the series. He was someone who simply didn't care about the show he was running. And it showed.
Another sci-fi show that that can be discussed is Andromeda after the executive producer and writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe was fired following its second season. A lot of people like to pin the blame on Kevin Sorbo for the supposed decline in quality of the show, but it isn't like he didn't have any "help". Basically, Wolfe wanted a more serialized show that focused on the entire crew of Andromeda. Sorbo and the suits however wanted a more action oriented show focused almost entirely on Sorbo's character.

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Old 12-22-2020, 02:36 AM   #52
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Would you consider Aaron Spelling to be a bad showrunner, at least by the time we got to Beverly Hills, 90210?
  • Every pitch by the writers to Aaron Spelling had to start off with what Donna would be doing in the episode, even if she only had a few scenes.
  • Jamie Walters' abusive boyfriend character was supposed to stick around and be rehabilitated. But Aaron Spelling had him canned because fans thought Donna looked dumb for staying with him. Jamie Walters still got paid a million dollars even though he wasn't on the show anymore.
  • Aaron Spelling was always bad with casting minorities. That's how Mark Damon Espinoza was cast as Andrea's husband Jesse even though he wasn't very attractive. And the D'Shawn Hardell character was written out because Aaron Spelling didn't like that the writers were trying to put him with Donna.
  • Jennie Garth hated Dalton James who played her boyfriend Mark in season 7, so Aaron Spelling told producers the guy was an anti-Semite and had to be fired. There was no evidence that was true, but the actor had been signed for a whole year and half the season had to be rewritten as a result.
  • Aaron Spelling never wanted any of his showrunners to have success without him. After they left his shows, Spelling made sure that Fox never hired them again.

From what I've gathered, Aaron Spelling never believed that ambitious writing was good for ratings. And he may have been right to a certain degree. His success proved him right. But his approach rarely helped a show long term. His shows got a lot of initial buzz. But when the novelty factor wore off, it became way too obvious that most of his shows (Charlie's Angels for instance) lacked substance.
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Old 12-22-2020, 04:56 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by TMC View Post
Would you consider Aaron Spelling to be a bad showrunner, at least by the time we got to Beverly Hills, 90210?
  • Every pitch by the writers to Aaron Spelling had to start off with what Donna would be doing in the episode, even if she only had a few scenes.
  • Jamie Walters' abusive boyfriend character was supposed to stick around and be rehabilitated. But Aaron Spelling had him canned because fans thought Donna looked dumb for staying with him. Jamie Walters still got paid a million dollars even though he wasn't on the show anymore.
  • Aaron Spelling was always bad with casting minorities. That's how Mark Damon Espinoza was cast as Andrea's husband Jesse even though he wasn't very attractive. And the D'Shawn Hardell character was written out because Aaron Spelling didn't like that the writers were trying to put him with Donna.
  • Jennie Garth hated Dalton James who played her boyfriend Mark in season 7, so Aaron Spelling told producers the guy was an anti-Semite and had to be fired. There was no evidence that was true, but the actor had been signed for a whole year and half the season had to be rewritten as a result.
  • Aaron Spelling never wanted any of his showrunners to have success without him. After they left his shows, Spelling made sure that Fox never hired them again.

From what I've gathered, Aaron Spelling never believed that ambitious writing was good for ratings. And he may have been right to a certain degree. His success proved him right. But his approach rarely helped a show long term. His shows got a lot of initial buzz. But when the novelty factor wore off, it became way too obvious that most of his shows (Charlie's Angels for instance) lacked substance.

Aaron Spelling was one of the worst showrunners in history. His early shows weren't too bad: ("Charlie's Angels", "Fantasy Island", "The Love Boat") . The later ones ("Beverly Hills 90210" especially) are horrible!
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Old 12-22-2020, 05:14 PM   #54
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Aaron Spelling was good on 7th Heaven. His absence was felt in season 11 after his death, that final season was a lot worse.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:59 PM   #55
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Aaron Spelling was good on 7th Heaven. His absence was felt in season 11 after his death, that final season was a lot worse.
How much creative influence or control did Aaron Spelling actually have on 7th Heaven? I always thought and assumed that Brenda Hampton did most of the heavy lifting. And the final season was already problematic because they were working with a lesser budget and the show was renewed by The CW (in its first year of operation) at virtually the last minute.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:32 PM   #56
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How much creative influence or control did Aaron Spelling actually have on 7th Heaven? I always thought and assumed that Brenda Hampton did most of the heavy lifting.
Aaron Spelling was credited as an executive producer all of the 10 seasons he was alive right at the end of every episode, along with E. Duke Vincent.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:23 AM   #57
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Is there any other soap opera showrunner who has gotten so much heat for all of the wrong reasons than Jill Farren Phelps? The running joke it seems for her is that she always leaves shows in worse shape than when she arrives.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:54 PM   #58
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Phelps also had a knack for firing either a popular actress over 40, or a red-headed actress over 40, case in point (below)...
- Ellen Parker (GL) - won an Emmy after getting killed off
- Robin Strasser (OLTL) - came back when Valentini (or Tomlin?) became Showrunner
- Don't know Actress's name, but played Frankie (AW) - led to AW's quick demise
- Genie Francis (GH) - which led to the Sonny & Jason bromance that is still the forefront of GH today, even with Francis back
- Michelle Stafford (Y&R) - she ironically snuck over to GH for a few years, before returning to Y&R
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:17 AM   #59
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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?
Tommy Davidson wrote in his book that Ken Hecht came from the golden age of comedy, where he knew about the setup, joke, joke, and another joke but didn't have a feel for Eddie Murphy's style of comedy nor a feel for Black pride. Hecht was someone who could right for children like Diff'rent Strokes and Webster but didn't know how to right for a comedian like Tommy Davidson, who could deliver.

And going back to the Black pride issue, Davidson may have been on to something. The '90s was really when "Urban Contemporary" entertainment became hot. You had, The Arsenio Hall Show, In Living Color (for which Tommy Davidson soon became a cast member of), A Different World (once Debbie Allen took over in Season 2), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, and Living Single. In essence, Ken Hecht was totally out of touch and off-point regards where television starring African-Americans was going towards the end of the '80s.
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Old 01-02-2021, 03:34 AM   #60
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That was so common on Miller-Boyett sitcoms that I'm surprised there weren't more lawsuits. Valerie's successful suit is the one that springs to mind, but I know Cindy Williams had one, as well, at one time.



Laverne without Shirley was pointless and dumb.



You've named some of the patron saints of Chuck Cunningham syndrome, although Penny and Ivy from Step By Step rarely get mentioned in these lists. As everyone must know by now, I'm not a huge fan of dumping characters Miller-Boyett style, because it almost always created continuity problems and made the show feel weird and eerie when no-one mentioned the elephant in the room: the lack of one of the family members. The Hogan Family is one of the few Miller-Boyett sitcoms to even mention the 'chucked' character post-chucking.
I read a discussion elsewhere that ask whether or not the type of sitcoms that Miller-Boyett produced for TGIF (i.e. Family Matters, Full House, Step by Step, Perfect Strangers) could work today when compared to the early '90s. Miller-Boyett had a very specific formula for their shows. They usually had themes of themes of abstinence, marriage, saying no to drugs, etc. Basically, instead of taking on a decidedly head-on approach to social issues (like say Dinosaurs), Miller-Boyett usually handled such issues in ham-fisted ways.

In regards to their breakout characters (such as Urkel on Family Matters, Cody on Step by Step, or Michelle on Full House), they'll of course start off as minor characters before eventually become the dominating, driving force and you could say, catchphrase machines. Each character becomes almost a cartoon in how far their catchphrases defined them.
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