Tag Archives: Cagney and Lacey

I’m on the verge of a major writing idea :-)

Greetings, readers. I have enjoyed the series reboots of Fuller House and One Day at a Time on Netflix very much. That gave me an idea. Why not think of a series from the 1970s or 80s and write a pilot script for it? Hey, don’t laugh. I know lots of TV shows.

At first I didn’t like the idea of reboots, but they seem to be the in-thing in television entertainment. Let’s see what’s already been done: The Love Boat – disastrous!, Charlie’s Angels – even worse!!, The Bionic Woman… lol. My point is, I know reboots have a tendency not to work rather than to succeed. But I am encouraged to give it a go because of the overwhelming success of these recent Netflix original series’. I feel confident that I can find an old show and bring it back to life.

The key is to add enough new elements to the mix so as to make it my own idea. For instance, The new One Day at a Time‘s family is Cuban, where the original show’s was not. They live in Los Angeles, not Indianapolis, etc. If I can find the right series, with the perfect new angle, watch out! I will once again be in writer’s heaven.

Some of my favorite series’ that I have enjoyed are Cagney & Lacey, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, and Starsky and Hutch. My first idea this morning, I must confess, was a female version of The Rockford Files. Luckily, the original Rockford Files is on Netflix right now, so I can study the series in-depth. Then before I write my pilot script, I can peak and tweak, create my own new characters, and begin the first draft.

Whichever series I choose, it’s going to be fun. I feel like I am ever so close to finally getting into that writing groove that for so long I have been searching. I even found on Spotify music a movie soundtrack that I used to play over and over again while writing 15 years ago. I can’t tell you how many pages I cranked out to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back record one side two. 🙂

For those of you who were expecting the new top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes, that is still in the works and will be put up next week. I’m taking a personal day tomorrow but I will post a new entry a little bit later than usual in the day with Rebecca’s help in editing.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good Wednesday afternoon, take care, and happy reading.

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Top ten list of my favorite TV shows

Greetings, readers. Over my lifetime I have enjoyed many television programs from the 1970s right through the 90s. Though I have watched a few episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike and Molly, I just don’t get into network programing nearly as much as I used to. I have much more to do, and outlets such as Netflix streaming and YouTube give me all the entertainment I need. TV shows, movies, and even concerts are there on offer. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite TV shows. I’ll try to put them in order.

#10. Family Matters. [A very nice family show with the geeky boy next door whose wonderful catch phrase was, “Did I do that?” You got to love Steve Urkel.]

#9. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. [I’ve been a big fan of Will Smith, mostly from his movies, but this show was exceptional. The young boy from Philly who got sent to Bel Air to live with the rich aunt and uncle. Wouldn’t that be nice. As a side note, this is also one of my girlfriend’s favorites.]

#8. Maude. [This was Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan’s first TV venture together. I laughed with them in Maude, as well as in their later series The Golden Girls with Betty White and Estelle Getty.]

#7. The Love Boat. [All aboard on Captain Stubing’s love boat. I watched it each and every week for years. The first few seasons were from the port of L.A. down to Mexico and back. A whole cruise shown in an hour. In later seasons, guest stars got to fall in love while traveling to exotic and rare destinations.]

#6. Full House. Fuller House. [Now we are starting to get to my really favorite shows. I watched every episode of Full House and taped them all when they were on reruns. Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey helped guide the three girls through topics such as sharing a room, their first loves, and in a very poignant episode, where was their daddy during the San Francisco earthquake. It’s spin-off, Fuller House, which premiered last year on Netflix, picks up with D.J. Fuller widowed with three boys. The whole cast, except the Olsen twins, took part. As far as I know, there will be a second season. I can’t wait.]

#5. Charlie’s Angels. [When this show aired in 1976, I was 11 going on 12. Young, beautiful women in skimpy outfits or bikinis. Yes, I’m going to like it, shoot me. For any real Charlie’s Angels fan, I’m sure you’ll agree that most of their stories were good ones and well written. And let’s not forget David Doyle as Bosley and John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie. Two excellent actors.]

#4. Star Trek. ST: The Next Generation. ST: Deep Space Nine. ST: Voyager. ST: Enterprise. [Well, the secret is out; I am a Trekkie. I love the whole idea of the almost perfect future universe. I adore holodeck episodes; the idea that you can walk into a room and it becomes anything you wish fascinates me to no end. To be honest, I did not watch every episode of Enterprise, but most Trek fans did like it.]

#3. Cagney and Lacey. [A wonderful police drama in the 1980s about two women police detectives dealing with not only their jobs but their home lives. Mary Beth’s husband Harvey was a wonderful character and magnificently played by John Karlen. On a down note, midway through the series, Christine Cagney got a love interest, but for some unknown reason the writers made him an almost exact duplicate of Harvey. This did not go down well with me. This series dealt not only with police issues, but with Christine’s loss of her father and her own alcoholism, as well as the brilliantly written two-part episode dealing with Mary Beth’s breast cancer. If there was a down side to this series, it was the lackluster series finale. Apparently CBS didn’t know if it was being renewed or not, so the women were instructed by LT. Samuels to paint the ladies’ room. If they didn’t get promoted to the major cases squad, they would have a, “freshly painted bathroom to come back to.”]

#2. Reba. [This is a series I watched with my girlfriend Traci in reruns. I had heard about it but never watched it when it had its first run. The show deals with a divorced woman devotedly religious, played by Reba McEntire, as she struggles to make ends meet, fights with her ex-husband and his new wife, and loves and cares for her kids. The show is set in Houston, Texas, and in the early years, son-in-law Van plays high school and then college football. For a brief period, he turns pro, but an injury ends his career. That allows Reba and Van to partner up in a real-estate venture. Actress Scarlett Pomers dealt with an eating disorder fairly late in the series and missed a season. She triumphantly returned in the final season.]

#1. M.A.S.H. [The is quite possibly my favorite show of all time. I watched it religiously in prime time and in reruns as a teenager. For a half hour each night, I would picture myself there in Korea with all my friends; Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and all the rest. My favorite episode, which according to Loretta Swit changed the series, was called Comrades in Arms. Hawkeye and Margaret were sent to another M.A.S.H. unit, their jeep breaks down and they have to hide. When shelling of the hut they are hiding in starts near the end of part one, they embrace and seem to fall in love, though that is a misunderstanding. At the end of part two, they are not a couple, but the dynamics of the characters changed for the rest of the series.]

Well, there is my list. As usual, please chime in with your top ten list in the comments if you wish. Have a great Friday and weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Time for the new fall season on network television

Every fall the big networks start a new season for their programs, with new projects they bought from pilot episodes in the spring, and with the next season of shows renewed from last season. A new line-up, new schedule, and new stories. I get so excited. I get the TV Guide magazine, and for the last few years in September, they have covered the new shows in one issue and covered the returning shows in the next. I read these issues with marker in hand, seeing which shows I’m interested in and which I’m not, noting the day of the week they will be on and when they start. This year was no different, and I have enjoyed the shows that have premiered so far. More premiers to come in the weeks ahead.

The new fall season is a tradition I have followed since I was a child and teenager. TV was a lot different back then, with only three major networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC plus PBS. Not every household got every channel though, because of using an antenna that might not receive them all. If you watched TV, you watched shows from their line-ups, and chances were high that your neighbors and co-workers watched the same thing the night before. No VCRs or other recording devices, so we watched shows as they aired or we missed them. Well, until re-runs in the summer, when networks would often repeat the just-finished season of a show to fill the slow summer schedule.

We would often watch one channel the whole evening, like CBS’s Monday night line-up, or NBC’s Thursday block of shows. Some of the shows I watched back then were Cagney & Lacey, All in the Family, M.A.S.H., Wonder Woman, Hill Street Blues, and Masterpiece Mystery.

In the 80s and 90s, other channels launched, some successful and some not. UPN, Fox, WB, CNN, HBO. Now we have hundreds of channels to choose from, depending on our cable package, and more shows than we can keep up with. We also have new shows all year round, not just in the fall, from this array of cable networks. This influenced the major networks to also run new shows in the spring and the summer. Shows I watch now, from my choices of network and cable channels, are The Good Wife, Modern Family, Mom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Doctor Who, Face Off, Downton Abbey, and Major Crimes.

In last few years, the field of choices has grown again, as the internet sprouted sites for web-shows with original content that did not start on television or a television network. Hulu, Netflix, and other sites have followed with original content of their own that can be streamed and watched on whatever electrical device we have. This can be exciting, but also overwhelming, and no one can watch everything that is available.

So I am glad that the major networks, now CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, with PBS and CW, still have the fall season, with new shows and new seasons for the returning programs. Though they space out the premiers a lot more than they did, and some shows don’t premier until January, it is still a fresh start and a definite new slate. One of my favorite traditions.

Top ten list of my favorite television show finales

Greetings, readers. The other day I began to think of all the TV shows I have watched and loved over the years. When I was younger, I was really into television. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite show finales. Please chime in with yours via comment if you would like to.

#10. Little House on the Prairie [It was wonderful that the population of Walnut Grove stood up for what they believed in and did not let someone else take over their town.]

#9. Futurama [I always knew that Leela and Fry would fall in love. I just wish they would have fallen in love earlier. It was a heart warming ending to the series.]

#8. Everybody Loves Raymond [Sweet ending, and to me it proves that even a family who fights a lot knows that they really do love one another.]

#7. M*A*S*H final movie [Even though everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the final scene where everyone was saying their good-byes made that film one of the best that I’ve seen in a long time. We must remember that a forest fire in California is what caused the re-write to explain the compound being destroyed.]

#6. Full House [Excellent series. I watched every episode. Michelle getting amnesia after falling off the horse was an eerie but likable twist to the series ending.]

#5. Cagney and Lacey [To me this show was left open as Lieutenant Samuels told Cagney and Lacey to go paint the ladies’ room. If the show came back for another season, they would have a freshly painted washroom. The series did not come back, so we were left knowing that the two characters went to the major cases squad.]

#4. Star Trek: The Next Generation [Probably one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen. The jumping through time wasn’t difficult to follow at all and I enjoyed the scene where Picard was shuttled to the Enterprise for the first time. Denise Crosby came back to play Lieutenant Yar, and Marina Sirtis was back in her original uniform and hair style. OMG.]

#3. Cheers [An definite closing scene, wonderfully done by Ted Danson. As he walked around the bar for a final time, and after getting a knock on the door, he simply said, “Sorry, we’re closed,” and waved. The scene was simple yet powerful.]

#2. Star Trek: Voyager [I always hoped that at the end of the series Voyager would get home. When Voyager shot through the vortex and Earth was in front of them, I must admit I had to hold back tears. Very well done and emotional scene. The acting was excellent. A great ender.]

#1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show [Not only were these characters saying good-bye to one another in the news room at WJM, but these actors and actresses were saying good-bye at the same time. To me, that is what makes that scene the best closer of any series I’ve ever watched. Bravo, and five stars.]

Honorable Mention:

The third season finale: The M*A*S*H episode where Henry Blake died. [Although this is not a series finale episode, it was for poor Henry. The character thought he was going home, but of course war is hell and not everybody gets to go home. I still remember watching this episode first run and cried at the end. I was around the age of ten. Sad, but extremely well done.]

Well, there you have it. Again, as mentioned at the top, chime in with comments or a list. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs

Greetings, readers. Here is a top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs. I am such a TV fan that I couldn’t just stop at ten; I have included two honorable mentions. Ready, set, go.

#10. Batman. [From the 1966 TV series. One word was never so catchy.]

#9. Barnaby Jones. [Buddy Ebsen went from being a Beverly Hillbilly to being a private detective.]

#8. The original Star Trek series.

#7. Murder, She Wrote. [Angela Lansbury was a class act in every episode.]

#6. Futurama. [Bouncy and so catchy.]

#5. Little House on the Prairie. [One of my personal favorites.]

#4. Cagney & Lacey. [Also bouncy and catchy, which was a little unusual for a TV detective series.]

#3. Hawaii Five-O. [Circa 1968-1980]

#2. M*A*S*H* [The song,” Suicide is Painless” fits so appropriately.]

#1. Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Taken from the original motion picture score in 1979.]

Honorable Mentions:

#2. Gilligan’s Island. [Seasons 2 and 3.]

#1. The Twilight Zone. [From the 1960s.]

Well, there you go. As always, people are encouraged to leave a comment. Have a great weekend and happy reading.