Some people might speculate that A Dinner Party with a grouping of nice tables and table cloths is simply that; a dinner party. I would beg to differ. A Dinner Party changes with the people invited. I mean imagine having a group of actors over and there is some fine music, a well appointed and served meal and some good old fashioned and casual exchange of stories laced with love humility and gratitude. Imagine the calm patience in the room of each actor sharing his or her story to the crowd and it is uninhibited and full of a rich, wonderful exchange. Now, take that same dinner party and invite some new comers and some teenagers and change the music and location, the gestures, the density of people and for some….the PARTY is ON or in some cases…the CIRCUS is ON! Continue Reading
Well, you spend your younger life studying to be an actor and you accept roles in various TV series and TV commercials to work yourself up the ladder. You negotiate for better credits so one day it will say “Starring Larry Wilcox” but when you work with Charlton Heston or James Coburn or Lee Marvin, they usually get better billing of course because they have a bigger brand. First billing means your name is shown first and means you have earned some branding in the business and companies have probably spent millions of dollars branding your personal name. I have learned to accept such billing and continued to work on my brand.
When Rick Rosner asked me to star in CHIPS and find a co-star with him I was excited about the fact that I would receive first billing branding and finally have another star credit. In later years, the legal arguments were to bump my name off the first position but that did not happen. Here we are 40 years later and ME TV says starring Erik Estrada and the “blonde guy”. As my wife watched an episode with me on TV and saw the “blonde guy” reference she sat amazed that Me TV would be so rude, so ruthless, to do what the National Enquirer would do. She exclaimed, “Wow, not only did they do something that is immoral, there is a contract obligation to using your name face and likeness.” The world is full of an amazing amount of respect and courtesy these days as a TV Network chooses to run the good old “classics” while exhibiting the crass morality and sensitivity of 2015. Legal and morality are often stepping stones in the world of entertainment. Onward……with more shallow chameleons in the business world, one realizes that handshakes and integrity are not part of today’s etiquette in a world of wordsmiths and phony contract obligations. By the way, my wife also said, “Blondes have more fun.” Gotta love her.
CHiPs – 40 years later and re-runs:
The Hollywood Reporter just announced that the “CHiPs” movie is back on track and production is to begin early next year.. The news has been met with some excitement by CHiPs fans (the show’s following is still quite strong) but much trepidation. Many fans are worried about how their favorite show will be treated and whether breathing new life into an old classic is really a good idea. I think it can be, if care is taken to preserve and celebrate what made the original so special. Warner Brothers and Mr. Shepard, if you don’t mind, let me offer some advice. I think I’m qualified-I’ve been a fan since the beginning and run a community of CHiPs and Larry Wilcox fans that numbers well over 23,000 and counting!
I was just 7 years old when “CHiPs” premiered in 1977. The first season was on after my bedtime, but my mother watched every week so I listened to each episode from my bed and visualized them in my head. From the second season on I was in front of the TV every Saturday (and then Sunday) night. I had the dolls, the trading cards, and some of the other toys. Like many children of my generation, I spent many a summer’s day playing “CHiPs” with my friends. Our bikes became CHP motorcycles and our quiet New England street became a bustling California freeway. When the show went into syndication we did our homework with Jon and Ponch, and along the way we grew up with them. We turned in every week to watch, laugh, learn, and escape for awhile into a world where the good guys always won and friendships lasted forever.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the CHiPs movie is back in production with a new cast. Dax Shepard will write the script, direct and play Jon Baker, and Michael Pena will play Frank Poncherello. More info here:
Yes, that’s right long suffering CHiPs fans! After a 15 year absence, CHiPs is returning to TV thanks to MeTV. MeTV is a national networkdevoted to bringing the best in classic TV to millions of happy viewers across the United States. Check your cable or satellite listings to find out where you can watch MeTV if you aren’t already a loyal viewer. MeTV is also available over the air, all you need is an indoor antenna, which can be found online and at big box stores like Radio Shack, Best Buy and Walmart. Still need help finding MeTV? Click here and plug in your zip code to find the channel numbers for MeTV in your state!
Jon and Ponch will return to their beats on September 1st at 6pm Eastern/5pm Central, and all 6 seasons will be shown. Enjoy!!