"I never plotted anything. I never wrote anything down. It was always in my head. It's the only way to do it. Otherwise, you get nailed to a formula that you think may work. What happens if the actor doesn't like it? I used to let the actors run the first reading on its feet. I'd say, 'you guys do it. Let me see it.' And they would do some things that would be good; but, they'd fall apart and say 'help'. I would step in and say, 'save this, save that. The impulse to go there is correct, but don't do this....'"
About This Interview
In his seven-hour Archive interview, John Rich (1925-2012) talks about getting his start in television - as a stage manager for NBC's The Colgate Comedy Hour - and describes his big break into directing on The Ezio Pinza Sho w. He discusses numerous shows he directed throughout his career, including I Married Joan, The Ray Bolger Sho w, Our Miss Brooks, Gunsmoke, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, and All In the Family, on which he also served as producer. Rich shares his experiences directing the pilot episodes of Maude, The Jeffersons, Barney Miller, and Newhart and speaks of his role as executive producer of Benson and MacGyver. To conclude, Rich details his thoughts on the state of television directing in the 1990s and offers advice to aspiring directors. Henry Colman conducted the interview on August 3, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA.