Fri, 20 December 2013
Suzanne opens this episode with some brief gushing over
Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s Rush, a film she and Bob
both recommend this year along with Dallas Buyers Club.
After mentioning the ongoing Hollywood-Santa Barbara
connection—with a nod to the Santa Barbara International Film
Festival soon coming to their neighborhood—Bob admits that he
may not have been the “perfect fit” as writer-producer
on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Bob confesses his frustration with the “downward spiral of politics”
among the show’s executives and producers, and reveals
his ironic point of view about writing for one of
television’s cultural holy grails.
With a focus on the show’s characters and storylines,
Bob’s year as a writer-producer was colored by
his irreverent take on all things technical...to the point that
he wrote Samaritan Snare, an episode featuring an alien culture
that was the antithesis of The Star Fleet.
Giving a couple of dialogue quotes from the episode,
Bob points to an old grammar school joke he employed
in the script, and admits to simply “having some fun” among
all the behind-the-scenes drama on the Paramount Studios lot.
Suzanne then points out the remarkable connection between
I Love Lucy and the original Star Trek, following that up with
the announcement of Bob’s recent award from the Writers Guild
for having been named for “outstanding television writing”
on the show...and a moment later teases Bob with “where’s the money?”
Tue, 3 December 2013
Suzanne starts the episode with a “local’s view” of Oprah Winfrey’s recent
“yard sale” at The Santa Barbara Polo Club just down the road from the
podcast recording studio.
After Bob dodges her questions about “what’s happening with your face?”,
he describes returning to the studio where he was once a “gopher”,
as a writer-producer of Paramount Television’s huge syndicated hit
Star Trek: The Next Generation.
With never-before revealed details of his Rolls-Royce ride and
3-martini lunch with Gene Roddenberry, Bob recalls
the rapid turnover of writers, producers, and executives on ST:TNG,
which became a hugely successful syndicated series hit in spite of
the downward spiral of internal staff and studio politics.
Bob pulls no punches in describing his meetings with members
of the show’s cast, to the point where Suzanne says “What a mess!”
Caught in the middle of what he describes as “Shakespearean complexity”
on the show, Bob reveals the secret of surviving on the staff of
any hit television series.
He then describes his process for writing credible
science fiction in pursuit of the Star Trek vision, and provides
the behind-the-scenes motivation for his script
The Icarus Factor...in which he actually tried to kill off
the captain of The Enterprise!
Thu, 15 August 2013
Suzanne begins by creating some mystery and reveals secrets as she talks about her new bathing suit,
today’s generation of pampered Hollywood pets, why The Wizard of Oz’s “Toto” was
envied by the “munchkins”, and then refers to the new book she and Bob
are working on...but won’t reveal the title!
The conversation turns to Bob’s experiences as Supervising Producer on Ohara,
a Warner Bros. TV series that starred Pat Morita of The Karate Kid fame.
Bob reveals the difficulties in writing and producing a cop show for the former “Mr. Miyagi”
with a vague, constantly-changing franchise...a challenge made all the more difficult
by a phalanx of bickering producers, studio chiefs, and network executives
ranging from future Oscar-winner Brian Grazer to a Keith Richards look-and-act-alike.
Even with all the behind-the-scenes drama, Bob remembers the fun of writing
great cop action scripts alongside L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective (and future Assistant L.A. Mayor)
Joe Gunn, while casting future superstars like Brandon Lee, Benicio del Toro,
and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in routine “day player” roles.
Those casting stories lead Bob to recall his friendship with Bruce Lee long before
Enter The Dragon turned him into an international action superstar. Bob even details his
eyewitness account of Bruce Lee’s on-the-set humility and a display physical power
that provides plenty of contrast to his experience on Ohara
It may have been a case of “too many chefs in the kitchen” on Ohara, but
Bob admits that working on the Warner Bros. studio lot—and bumping into people like
Clint Eastwood—made producing the show a true Hollywood Experience.
Sun, 7 July 2013
Suzanne opens discussing Ryan Seacrest’s new reality show “Montecito” and then
analyzes some hits before reviewing “The Seven Worst Reality Shows” to
ever make it on the air...while Bob shares his passion for
vinyl Rock ‘n Roll record albums.
The conversation moves on to how Bob took advantage of his “inside track”
deal with NBC Productions and his relationship with programming exec
Brandon Tartikoff to pitch and sell a pilot for Time Out for Dad, which starred
NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus and Harriet Nelson.
Bob tells what it was like meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus
for the first time, and then how Butkus held his own as a comedic actor
surrounded by first timers on a movie set.
Bob recalls his meeting withHarriet Nelson who appeared
in the show...while Suzanne lets it be known that she’s had a lifelong “thing”
for Harriet’s son, famed rocker Ricky Nelson. We also hear about the
casting process that discovered future TV star Johnny Galecki,
star of the CBS-TV series The Big Bang Theory .
Bob and Suzanne touch upon the fact that Time Out for Dad may
have been ahead of its time, dealing with the challenges faced by a
stay-at-home father married to a wife whose career is on the rise. They
reminisce about working with Scarface star Paul Shenar on the pilot, as well as
with the veteran crew members whom Bob spent time with, pumping them
for their stories of “Old Hollywood”.
Bob admits to being a “born marketer”, describing the story-point prop shoes
that he shamelessly wrote into the show in hopes of breaking into
the world of Nike’s Air Jordans, and then turns to the cruel odds of
the TV pilot process as a project goes through the various phases of
story-pitch-script-shoot...and then the dreaded decision-making that follows.
changes, as Bob gives his own definition of
“failure” in the world of television.
Sun, 5 May 2013
www.WhereHollywoodHides.com, and—while reminding us she’s sooo much
younger than Bob—lays claim to being a lifelong Beatles fan.
For his part, Bob admits that he’s just “a rock-and-roll kind of guy”
and would’ve bet the farm that I Want to Hold Your Hand would never
make the charts. So much for his musical tastes...
The episode moves on to what Bob himself describes as his “greatest
career failure” while under contract to Aaron Spelling Productions writing and
producing Dark Mansions for ABC-TV. It’s a tale of classic Hollywood
casting politics as Bob sets the record straight as to exactly why former
movie queen Loretta Young never got the part in the film that eventually
went to Oscar winner Joan Fontaine.
Bob reveals the nature of production and budgets in Spelling’s 1980s-era
Hollywood, as well as the rationale (follow the money!) for the excessive
proliferation of producer credits seen on Dark Mansions. With a tip of the hat
to the talents of Linda Purl, Michael York, Melissa Sue Anderson,
Nicollette Sheridan, and director Jerry London, Bob’s confidence in the show
never prepared him for the horrible results of an evening of sneak-preview
audience testing. It’s the story of how a “hit movie” with the promise of becoming
a network television series became an instant embarrassment for all...
as well as an immediate career bump for the fool who wrote it (that’d be Bob).
Going from “Golden Boy” to “Bob who?”, and proving the truth of
when you’re hot, your hot, and when you’re not...you’re not,
this episode is a good illustration of the pitfalls to be found on
the Hollywood career path for any writer, actor, producer, or director.
Wed, 3 April 2013
Opening this follow-up to the previous episode with an off-the-wall giggling fit,
Bob and Suzanne quickly recover their “professional bearing” and
Suzanne recalls how she broke into the Screen Actors Guild and entered
the world of studio and network auditions. Listen as Suzanne tells
how the harsh reality of typecasting and constant rejection taught her
just how tough showbiz can be.
From a double-date with Robert DeNiro and "the method" at The Actors Studio,
to a risque bedroom scene with Bill Murray, Suzanne reveals what
"the Hollywood life" was like for a young actress
willing to try anything...once.
From start to finish, there are lessons here for any aspiring actor...
and some bottom line advice for those chasing the dream.
Tue, 26 March 2013
From her first days visiting a boyfriend on the set of The Godfather with Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino, Suzanne moved quickly from one opportunity to the next and found herself front-and-center at Hollywood’s famed Central Casting Agency.
She soon found herself in front of the cameras on shows like Quincy, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Rockford Files, Columbo, Emergency, C.H.I.P.S., and Kojak, to name just a few.
Suzanne also reveals some of the “dark side” of being an attractive female on those sets, as well as her fond memories of working with true professionals like Lee Majors, James Garner and Bill Bixby.
We hear about what was surely her biggest break when Suzanne was working on Fantasy Island as one of several “Lava-Lava Girls”. Suzanne leaves us hanging a bit, promising to tell us next about her always surprising career as an actress…and much more!
Fri, 1 March 2013
Celebrating their milestone 10th episode, Suzanne bathes in the afterglow of
Ben Affleck’s Argo win as Best Motion Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards,
but chastises the show’s producers not having someone on hand to catch
Jennifer Lawrence when she took a tumble on her way to accept her Oscar.
Suzanne mentions the birthday of an iconic I Love Lucy star,
and Bob recalls being on the Paramount Studios lot with Lucy where
Desi Arnaz reinvented the way sitcoms are shot.
We then learn about the gloriously indulged life of a writer-producer working
under contract to Aaron Spelling and Suzanne shares details of Spelling’s
background that eventually led him to become the most powerful TV producer in history.
When Spelling handed Bob Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives to read,
it was the beginning of an incredible year that had him hob-nobbing with
major showbiz icons like Rod Steiger, Candace Bergin, Robert Stack, Suzanne Somers,
Angie Dickenson, Joanna Cassidy, Stephanie Powers, and the man who
would later become “Hannibal Lecter”, Anthony Hopkins.
Suzanne finally gets Bob to admit that he was a bit of an early
sleaze-meister while astutely drawing the parallel between Hollywood Wives
and today’s Kardashians, proving her theory that little has changed when it comes to
attracting an audience because “it’s all entertainment.”
Sun, 10 February 2013
Bob & Suzanne share their history on "Falcon Crest" with
fond memories of location shooting in The Napa Valley.
Suzanne reveals details of her friendship with Jane Wyman while
Bob sings the praises of the show's amazing cast including
Susan Sullivan, Bob Foxworth, David Selby, William R. Moses,
Lorenzo Lamas, and a certain Playmate of the Year.
Working with film legend guest stars always brought
surprises...from huge cue cards to a fear of kissing!
The episode wraps up with Bob describing how his work on the
show came to an unexpected end, making a not-so-casual reference
to the head of the studio as...well...a "prick".
Sat, 2 February 2013
Bob & Suzanne open with the contrast between Barbara Walters'
recent bout with chicken pox and Matt Damon's debut as a standup
comic on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"...which leads to Bob admitting he's too
short for Nicole Kidman while Suzanne slips in yet another fawning comment
about Ben Affleck!
We learn how Bob went from writing "BJ & The Bear" to helping create one of
the most enduring nighttime soaps of all time, "Falcon Crest"...and that
Suzanne just missed becoming a housekeeper having sex with J.R. Ewing
on "Dallas" (with a nod to Governor Schwarzenneger).
And before it's over, Bob's equestrian skills become a source of humor for
his long-legged tall-in-the-saddle co-host.