return to RKO to tell me I was wanted.
When I refused to make I Married a Communist,48 he didn't fire me.
Mitchum told me that a guy out of the DA's office had told him in a
drunken moment that my office, my house, my car, my everything
had been bugged to the teeth, and that Howard Hughes had learned
about it, and had called his executiveproducer, Sid Rogell, and said
he wanted all the bugs and harassment taken off Nick Ray: " I don't
want that boy hurt." And he asked nothing in return.
And that was the end of the story of I Married a Communist.
were considerably older. Some of
the writers, however, who began their careers working for Tandem or
MTM and went on to become successful writer-producers in the igSos
belonged to the "sixties generation." Gary David Goldberg, for example,
172 Notes to Pages 59-62
now the executiveproducer of Ubu Productions, was a 1965 Brandeis
University dropout who worked on the first Bob Newhart Show and on
Lou Grant before making the highly successful Family Ties.
8. Larry Gelbart, producer of M*A*S*H, blamed the shoddiness of
much television entertainment on the "hand
, perhaps inspired by the confidence that
other members of RKO’s leadership team seemed to have in his abilities,
Koerner showed no signs of despondency. He continued to work resolutely
on the films that would comprise the initial portion of the new season’s
1. “Showmanship in Place of Genius”
The Rathvon-Koerner Regime (1942–1945)
2 / Showmanship in Place of Genius
releases. They would be his first pictures as RKO executiveproducer, and he
was determined to turn out successful product.
During the months of financial decline that led to Schaefer’s resignation
shepherded Vladimir Horowitz’s return
to the stage, and for the next decade he was manager to the great pianist. In
1982, back in New York, Gelb went to work for Ronald Wilford, chairman
and CEO of Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI). As he remem-
bered it, Wilford gave him “an offi ce and a salary, and said, ‘You decide what
to do and create your own job.’ And out of that, CAMI Video was born”
(Times, Nov. 6, 2004). Between 1988 and 1992, while at CAMI, Gelb was
executiveproducer of the Met’s media department with responsibility for
“Th e Metropolitan Opera
, History on Film/Film on
History (Harlow, UK: Pearson, 2006); Lynn Spigel, “From the Dark Ages to the
Golden Age: Women’s Memories and Tele vi sion Reruns,” Screen 36, no.1 (Spring
1995): 16– 33.
10. “ ‘Pi lot’ Commentary with ExecutiveProducer Dick Clark and Creator
and ExecutiveProducer Jonathan Prince,” in American Dreams, dir. Jonathan
Prince (Universal Studios, 2004) (DVD, 7 discs), disc 1.
11. Quoted in Mark O’Donnell et. al., Hairspray: The Roots (New York:
Faber and Faber, 2003), 92.
12. Caryn James, “For Fall, TV Looks Back, and Back,” New York Times
Daniel Frisch (production manager, head of a production-service firm, Prague/Los Angeles), Thomas
Hammel (producer, executiveproducer, Los Angeles); Michael Hausman (executiveproducer, first
assistant director, New York); Tom Karnowski (production manager, producer, Los Angeles), Aleš
Komárek (production manager, a head of a production-service firm, Prague); Tomáš Krejčí (head of a
production-service firm, Prague/Los Angeles); Cathy Meils (former Variety correspondent in Prague);
David Minkowski (production manager, head of a production-service firm, Prague
men and women.
Although Yang acknowledges that the series’ premise was formulated to
attract coproduction partners in the PRC, another rationale for this cross-
cultural drama grew out of his calculation of TTV’s problems in the Taiwan
market. At the time, he recalls, “our ratings were low, even for a terrestrial,
and it had been two years since TTV had the number-one prime-time
drama. First Lady was only my second series [as executiveproducer], but I
was convinced that the reason we were failing was that too many people in
the business still see Taiwan from a
, hip, satirical, ensemble sketch comedy show? At the same
time Tartikoª was trying to get Dick Ebersol, now executiveproducer of Midnight
Special, to return to Saturday Night Live to save the series. Meanwhile, John Candy
and Joe Flaherty of SCTV had each contacted NBC to ask if the network would
be interested in the show. In the end, if all parties didn’t get quite what they wanted,
they all got what they needed: Midnight Special was canceled, allowing Ebersol to
take over Saturday Night Live and making room for SCTV, expanded to ninety min-
utes and retitled SCTV
Angels and Demons (Ron Howard). Co-script.
Television includes Hack (creator and executiveproducer of the 2002
series); Suspense (director and executiveproducer of 2003 telefilm).
DAVID KOEPP 89
1 Bottle is storytelling slang for a story confined in terms of time or space, as in “a ship
in a bottle.”
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