Archive for the ‘"Wiseguy"’ Category

Show Creator Stephen J. Cannell has died— Archive interview Online

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Stephen J. Cannell spanned many decades as a writer-producer, where he helmed such series as The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, and The Commish.  He won the Emmy Award in 1978 for The Rockford Files (Outstanding Drama Series).

Interview description:

Stephen J. Cannell was interviewed for three-and-a-half hours in Pasadena, CA.  Cannell talked about the challenges of battling dyslexia and using his innate storytelling ability to break into the television business.  He described his work with Jack Webb on the series Adam-12 for which he served as head writer/ story editor.  He discussed his continued work in series television as a creator/ producer, on such series as Toma, Baretta, Baa-Baa Blacksheep, and one of the biggest hits of the 1970s, The Rockford Files.  For Rockford, he talked about creating the series, selling it to the network, and working with series star James Garner.  He spoke in great detail about his hit series of the 1980s and 90s, which included The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, and The Commish.  Throughout the interview, Cannell spoke about his approach to storytelling and characterization as well as the processes involved in producing a series for television.  The interview was conducted by Stephen J. Abramson on June 23, 2004.

Stephen J. Cannell on “Wiseguy”

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Wiseguy: The Collector’s Edition gets released on DVD tomorrow. Although short-lived (it ran from 1987-90), Wiseguy garnered Emmy nominations for Best Drama series and acting nominations for star Ken Wahl and supporting player Jonathan Banks; Wahl was awarded the Golden Globe. Harry and Wally’s Favorite TV Shows (by Harry Castleman & Walter J. Podrazik), said of the then-contemporary series: “When producer Stephen J. Cannell gets it right, he somehow manages to combine action, adventure, drama, character, whimsy, and poignancy into a form that a mass audience can relate to and critics can applaud….Ken Wahl may have the looks of a pretty-boy hunk, but he adds some spice to the beef in his portrayal of Vinnie…. The writing is top-notch and the acting (especially by the guests) is far above average.” Variety said of the series premiere: “Ken Wahl comes smashing through…. production moves like an express train [in] what’s essentially as actioner but has all indications that, despite the plethora of violence, there are human beings with feelings at work there.”

Creator Stephen J. Cannell talks about Wiseguy in his Archive of American Television interview, discussing where the seed of the series’ idea came from and his fidelity to the series’ story arcs concept.

Stephen J. Cannell Television Series Book Released or "If you have a problem – If no one else can help… maybe you can hire Stephen J. Cannell"

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

From McFarland, a new book chronicling Stephen J. Cannell’s productions is being released today, written by Jon Abbott (author of a 2006 book on Irwin Allen’s productions). Stephen Cannell was responsible for many television hits strating in the 1970s, and won the Emmy Award for The Rockford Files. Cannell was interviewed by the Archive on June 23, 2004.

Here is a link to Cannell’s nine-part Archive interview.

Interview description:

Cannell talked about the challenges of battling dyslexia and using his innate storytelling ability to break into the television business. He described his work with Jack Webb on the series Adam-12 for which he served as head writer/ story editor. He discussed his continued work in series television as a creator/ producer, on such series as Toma. Baretta, Baa-Baa Blacksheep, and one of the biggest hits of the 1970s, The Rockford Files. For Rockford, he talked about creating the series, selling it to the network, and working with series star James Garner. He spoke in great detail about his hit series of the 1980s and 90s, which included The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, and The Commish. Throughout the interview, Cannell spoke about his approach to storytelling and characterization as well as the processes involved in producing a series for television.