On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°2

Date: 16th October 1995
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i02.zip

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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication!! *****

Submission address: [email protected]

Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini

Please use the following addresses for subscribe/unsubscribe and back issue requests:
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The A-Team Homepage(s):
DATE: October 16, 1995

Back again and chock full of little tidbits this week!

First off, thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me info about where the A-Team is playing in different states and countries on TV. Soon as I get the chance the info will be organized and put up on the web page.

Also I'm pleased to see the number of people who are interested in coming to the A-Team Philly fest next month - if we get more people we're going to need to find some more space for everyone! If you've RSVP'd with me, expect to receive some e-mail soon with further information and directions. If anyone is coming from the Penn State campus area and has some extra space in their car, I think we have people looking for rides yet.

Quite a few people in the past months have expressed interest in contributing to the next issue of Plans Scams and Vans; however, I haven't actually received any of those contributions yet. I would *like*, if possible to see submissions coming in by around the end of December so I can use the holiday vacation time to begin putting it all together. This is just a reminder, basically; if you definitely think you will have something together and ready to go by then, I'd just like to hear back from you sometime soon so I can plan on seeing it.

As for news on our favorite guys (and gals...)

I've just heard that Dirk Benedict is currently filming a movie for Disney. The only thing I know about the movie is that it also stars Charleton Heston and part of it is being filmed in Alaska. Unfortunately, this filming schedule *may* prevent Dirk from showing up at Con Rad at the end of this month, guess I won't know for sure until I get there. Dwight Schultz is definitely supposed to be there throughout the weekend, and after talking to one of the con organizers it's *possible* I might get a chance to talk with him and do an interview as a representative for On the Jazz/Plans Scams and Vans. Just keep your fingers crossed (and say a little player for me, ok? :-), and if you have any burning questions you'd want me ask for ya, e-mail them my way!


No one volunteered an answer for last issue's question so I guess it was really obscure. Oh well! It was:

>Which A-Team episode featured a then-unknown actress who would
>go on to become one of the main female leads on "Babylon 5"?

The episode was "Trouble Brewing." The actress was Claudia Christian. On TAT she played one of the two sisters who hired to team to help them with the Hi-Brite Soda Company. On B5 she's now Commander Susan Ivanova.

This week's question should be a bit easier:
>Most people remember Jack Ging for playing General Fulbright on
>TAT during the fourth season. But how many times had he appeared
>on the show before then, and in which episodes?

On to the "Strange Things You'll Find on the Internet" section:
I grabed the following Melinda Culea bio off the NBC home-page for "Brotherly Love." It's got some info I never saw before so I figured it might be worthwhile passig it along:


A native of suburban Chicago, Melinda Culea is a versatile television, film and stage performer. Her diverse background also includes directing, filmmaking and architecture.

Culea was first introduced to acting when she landed a role in a local stage production of "Hansel and Gretel." Unfortunately, moments before her big entrance she opted for the security of her mother's arms rather than the action and bright lights on stage. Culea gave acting another shot during the third grade and found the experience considerably more enjoyable.

After graduating high school, she relocated to New York to pursue a modeling career. While on the east coast Culea started working in television commercials, but it wasn't until her modeling agent suggested she enroll in acting classes that she considered pursuing acting as a career.

Culea's first starring television role was on the action adventure television series "The A- Team." She went on to land recurring roles on "St. Elsewhere" and "Family Ties." One year later, Culea took a sabbatical from acting and decided to try her hand at filmmaking and architecture. She completed and sold a documentary film that is still in distribution and designed and built a swimming pool.

Upon returning to acting, Culea landed a series regular role on "Knot's Landing" as well as guest-starring roles in such series as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Civil Wars" and "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Culea starred opposite Richard Lewis in "Wagons East," a comedic western that also featured the late John Candy. Her other film credits include "Manhattan" with Woody Allen and "The Fisher King" with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges.

Culea recently directed a regional stage production of "Come Back, Little Sheba." In her spare time she enjoys gardening and doing pastel oil paintings -- two of her favorite artists are Chagall and Kandinsky.

Born on a May 5, she lives in Los Angeles.

Finally this issue we have the second part of the TV Guide article...

"Kicked Around, 'The A-Team' seeks Nielsen Revenge."

"When we got ready for renewal this year," Cannell said, "Brandon Tarikoff (NBC's programming chief) sat down with us and said, 'Look, you guys, we can just mush this thing into the ground, *or* we can come up with some fresh ideas and see what we can do.' Frank and I were very receptive to that."

Cannell and Lupo also decided to conduct a marketing study to find out what people liked about the show, and what they didn't. A research organization was commissioned to carry out the work, which was done *after* Cannell and Lupo had decided on the new characters and format.

Ten cities across America were polled on important issues - by means of discussion groups carefully monitored by video, telephone surveys and questionaires. People were asked such burning questions as: Would Hannibal do *this*? What would you think if B.A. tried *that*? and other hypothetical inquiries that toyed with the characters and plot structure of the show.

"I just wanted to get some kind of a fix," Cannell explained, "on what was happening with the show via the audience."

The producers found that the changes they had in mind jibed well with audience preferences. Adding Vaughn as Stockwell and Eddie Velez as Frankie "Dishpan" Santana made sense both *before* and *after* the research. So what good was it?

"In my opinion," Cannell continued, "it isn't really anything more than an indicator, a tool, and if you overreact to it, you're bound to make a mistake."

Cannell, this time around, was bound and determined not to make mistakes. One idea that did not make sense for the revised 'A-Team' was a female. "We gave that two shots," said Cannell, referring to actresses Melinda Culea and Marla Heasley - who portrayed A-Teamettes during the show's first two seasons.

"It didn't seem to us that four guys who were Vietnam veterans with combat experience would be dragging a woman reporter around with 'em," Cannell continued. "Neither case was the fault of the actresses. We just weren't able to write the kinds of stories to accomodate a woman very well."

They were able to write stories to accomodate Vaughn, however - who finds himself in a role not unlike Leo G. Carroll's part on the old 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' series. Vaughn was only too happy to join the show, no matter what its future - but for, shall we say, less-than-artistic reasons.

"What makes anything compelling for me," he says flatly, "is how much money they pay me, and how many days per week I work. I live in Connecticut with my family. This was a job that allowed me to spend 80 percent of my time at home and 20 percent in Hollywood on the show. It's quite a pragmatic matter."

Besides, his young son is rather tickled that his old man can boss Mr. T around. But *geez*, General, wasn't there even a trace of artistic reward in this thing?

"Artistic rewards," he said soberly, "come about once a decade for most actors, and I've had one recently. I did a production of 'Inherit the Wind' with E.G. Marshall on stage in New Jersey. I expect to get another one sometime in the next decade."


Mr. T reappeared. A lady, it seemed, had misplaced her ring. T looked menacing. His Mandinka was erect.

"I'm going to search every man, woman, dog and Muppet until we find it!" he announced ever so gently, at about the decibel level of a leaf-blower.

To be continued...
Well that's everything for now. See you after Con Rad!
Quote of the week:
"First, I'd like you to meet the real A-Team. Second,
you see that? That's a cheap cigar!"
                               (Hannibal in "Showdown")

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