On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°19

Date: June 16, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i19.zip

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

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Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives*
DATE:   June 16, 1996
ISSUE:  19
Howdy, friends!

Lots of fun stuff this week, so get ready for a nice juicy read...

First, thanks to everyone who sent in their survey responses - the responses will be tallied and presented in the next newsletter (so, if you forgot or haven't gotten around to responding yet, you still have time to get them in - so far we have around 20 replies...)

I've got more than few requests about the A-Team van models, so I'm going to try to order a bunch tomorrow. Everyone who wrote to me about them will then hear back on what the final cost will be.

Someone recently reported to me that Dirk Benedict is going to be appearing at a multi-media convention in England later this year can anyone confirm this information, and provide us with more details here? That would be much appreciated, as we have so many British and European subscribers that might be able to check it out.

In a final news note, there was a thread started this week regarding the idea of putting together an A-Team Nitpicker's Episode Guide, along the lines of the Star Trek Nitpicker's Guide put together by Phil Farrand (sp?) I think this would be alot of fun to do as a fanzine of some kind, if we could get enough people interested in taking assignemtns going over episodes with a fine tooth comb looking for continuity errors, changed premises, plot problems, etc. Interested? Let me know. If enough people are, we can try to get working on this this summer (I only volunteer to act as a coordinator and printer if it does 'come together,' too many other projects are demanding my attention at the moment...!)

Last issue's question was:
>Who was Mike, and why didn't BA want him in his van?

Chris Bender got in first with the correct answer:
>Mike was a skunk, and B.A. didn't want him in his van because, well, MIKE WAS

Congrats Chris, and also to the 2 or 3 other people who responded correctly. That was a tough one!

This week I pose the question:
>What monster was Hannibal playing in the 4th-season episode, "Where
>Is the Monster When You need Him?" And for bonus points, what color did
>his 'agent' Jerry keep insisting the monster suit should have been?

Found something interesting this past week in the America Online archives. I'm sure I'm violating some policy of theirs by copying it here, but what the heck. Nobody here's gonna snitch on me, right?

The following is a transcript of an on-line interview with Stephen Cannell, which took place on January 19 of this past year. Read and enjoy!

OnlineHost : Copyright 1996 Hollywood Online; licensed to: America Online, Inc.

HollywoodU : Welcome, online guests, to Hollywood Online's interview event for January 19, 1996!

HollywoodU : Our guest this evening is writer Stephen J. Cannell, who has been responsible for some of

HollywoodU : the most successful television series!

HollywoodU : He is also a novelist, author of THE PLAN!

HollywoodU : His new book, yet to be released, is titled FINAL VICTIM.
HollywoodU : Stephen J. Cannell - welcome to Hollywood Online and America Online!

SJ Cannell : Thank you! It's good to be here!

OnlineHost : To send your question to the speaker, click on: the Interact icon, then use the Ask a Question: option.

HollywoodU : We have lots of questions already, so we're going to let our audience ask them :-)
HollywoodU : AnnieRu would like to know:

Question : Are there any plans to make a film of The Plan (once the election is over :) )?

SJ Cannell : We're talking to several people about turning "The

SJ Cannell : Plan" into a film, but no deal has yet been completed. However, my second novel, "Final Victim,"

SJ Cannell : which will be out in August, has just been sold to

SJ Cannell : Morgan Creek for a film to be shot early next year.

HollywoodU : Kaji 54124 asks:

Question : How will the new Wiseguy movie deal with the "disappearance" of Vinnie Terranova?

SJ Cannell : When we meet Vinnie, he is working in a menial job

SJ Cannell : at a country club but we find out that the OCB has

SJ Cannell : rested him to cool his cover down and this job is his

SJ Cannell : first re-entry into undercover work. And the story

SJ Cannell : opens quickly from there.

HollywoodU : Here's one we knew someone would ask, from XLSOMQ:

Question : Who came up with the typwriter thing at the end of some of your shows?

SJ Cannell : It was the idea of a publicist I had almost 18 years ago.

SJ Cannell : I had just left Universal to set up my own little studio

SJ Cannell : I was afraid that I would be perceived as an executive and

SJ Cannell : not a writer. It was her idea to use the logo to

SJ Cannell : preserve my identity as a writer. Pretty cool, huh?!

HollywoodU : Very cool...!

HollywoodU : Iko 72 would like to know:

Question : Wiseguy was an incredible show. Is there anything going through your head in a similar

Question : format?

SJ Cannell : Well, I try never to repeat ideas. So I have no show

SJ Cannell : right now that seems to me to be like "Wiseguy."

SJ Cannell : But I have many new projects that I am equally excited about.

HollywoodU : MPwriter asks:

Question : Mr. C! I read you got your start writing for Adam-12. Tell us how you got your big break

Question : and what we can learn from that experience!

SJ Cannell : I had been trying to break in as a writer for almost

SJ Cannell : five years. Nobody would read anything I wrote. No

SJ Cannell : agent would handle me. But I wrote because I love

SJ Cannell : writing. I spent between 4 and 5 hours every day

SJ Cannell : writing my stories. The only person I could get to

SJ Cannell : read them was my wife (captive audience). The

SJ Cannell : advantage was that all of this time spent practicing

SJ Cannell : made me a very sharp competitor when I finally got

SJ Cannell : to swing at a pitch! I was offered the opportunity to write the last

SJ Cannell : "Adam 12" because the network had thrown out the script

SJ Cannell : they had planned to shoot. The producer gave me a shot, but I had to write it

SJ Cannell : over the weekend. Boy, was I ready! I turned it in

SJ Cannell : and two days later, they made me the head writer on the show.

SJ Cannell : I credit the 5 years when nobody read anything but I

SJ Cannell : didn't quit for getting me that job.

HollywoodU : What a great story! Reed and Malloy were my heroes when I was 8.

HollywoodU : ChereChel asks:

Question : I've seen you on "Renegade" a couple of times. Have you ever appeared on any of your

Question : other series?

SJ Cannell : No. What was happening was I was getting acting jobs

SJ Cannell : from friends of mine (mostly actors). They would hire me

SJ Cannell : to be in movies they were doing and I always felt I

SJ Cannell : stunk up the pictures! However, I kept getting hired

SJ Cannell : to do acting (2 or 3 jobs a year) and I felt if I was

SJ Cannell : going to continue accepting these gigs, I had better

SJ Cannell : get a little better at it. Practice makes perfect (or near perfect) they tell me, so I took the

SJ Cannell : job on "Renegade" as Dutch Dixon to perfect my acting talents, which I enjoy.

SJ Cannell : Who knows wehere that will take me? Probably to the

SJ Cannell : Motion Picture Country Hospital!

HollywoodU : Hey! Your daughter is online and says:

Comment : Hi stephen we are proud of you!!! Love your family!

SJ Cannell : Chel, I thought you had a date!

HollywoodU : Uh oh.

HollywoodU : K101S94 (whatta name) asks:

Question : What show have you most enjoyed writig?

SJ Cannell : There are things about all of them that I found challenging or I

SJ Cannell : wouldn't have created them. "Rockford Files" was and

SJ Cannell : is fun because that character was probably the character I would have

SJ Cannell : most wanted to be. "Wiseguy" was fun because he had such a moral

SJ Cannell : dilemma constantly being seduced by the very thing he was

SJ Cannell : attempting to arrest. "A-Team" was fun because the

SJ Cannell : characters were so "out there." "21 Jump Street" because it was

SJ Cannell : young and hip. And so it goes...

SJ Cannell : Some shows that look easy, like "A-team" are actually the hardest to write.

SJ Cannell : And shows that look hard, like "Wiseguy," are easier,

SJ Cannell : in a way, because you're dealing with human emotion and

SJ Cannell : not comedy. Comedy is tough to pull off. And when

SJ Cannell : you fail in a comedy, you fail tragically.

HollywoodU : Bil1amex is curious to know:

Question : Are you working on a new show...and what would it be?

SJ Cannell : Always. And I never talk about them until they are on the air.

SJ Cannell : Because they may never see broadcast.

HollywoodU : For those of you who joined us late, Hollywood Online's guest tonight is top TV writer Stephen

HollywoodU : J. Cannell!

OnlineHost : To send your question to the speaker, click on: the Interact icon, then use the Ask a Question: option.

HollywoodU : MHalfdime has an interesting one:

Question : what's the one current television production you wish you had created?

SJ Cannell : There are so many. I love "NYPD Blue" and most of my pal Steve

SJ Cannell : Bochco's work. In comedies, I like "Cheers" and now "Frasier," although I don't

SJ Cannell : know that I could write them. And many, many more.

SJ Cannell : "Magnum, P.I." was a show I always loved.

Question : What is your newest or current show out there now?

SJ Cannell : "Profit," starring Adrian Pasdar, will be on the Fox

SJ Cannell : Network sometime this spring. A very different, very cool new idea for a show.

HollywoodU : Miami636 says:

Question : I'm a Customs Agent in the DC/Area and love Customs classifieds. Keep up the great work

Question : and I hope it's going to be on for awhile.

SJ Cannell : Me too!

HollywoodU : FZelinger asks:

Question : were you ever suprised by the failure of a script idea that you felt sure of?

SJ Cannell : Constantly. Sometimes the scripts that I love the most are the ones

SJ Cannell : that suffer the worst deaths.

HollywoodU : MiloD1 asks:

Question : You wrote some of the best episodes of The Rockford Files ! Did CBS pick up the option for

Question : more TV movies? and are you going to bring some of your great characters like Gandy Fitch or

Question : Freddie Beamer back ?

SJ Cannell : We are currently waiting to see whether CBS buys more "Rockford"'s. We have aired 3 and 3 have been

SJ Cannell : shot and are yet to be aired. We are going to explore all of the

SJ Cannell : old characters: Gandy, Beamer, Lance White (if we can get Tom Selleck)

SJ Cannell : as well as Richie Brockelman and many others. Write CBS!

SJ Cannell : Tell them you want it!

HollywoodU : RTargos asks:

Question : What role has your learning disability played in your writing and in your life as a whole.

SJ Cannell : It is probably the central element in who I am today. For

SJ Cannell : a variety of reasons. To begin with, I started out believing

SJ Cannell : that I was stupid. I flunked 3 grades before I got out of High School.

SJ Cannell : The good part about all of that is that I have never

SJ Cannell : put upon myself the need to be perfect in my work.

SJ Cannell : Most writers are strangled by the desire to be brilliant. However, I had that

SJ Cannell : beaten out of me by 4th grade! I now don't write to be

SJ Cannell : brilliant, but to please myself. The result of this is I have

SJ Cannell : never gone dry and I am tremendously prolific.

HollywoodU : RIPTHEUMP has a long question which is in two parts (bear with us here)

Question : I've been a PI for 28 years, and have been involved with many nationally publicized cases

Question : and trials, some of which best seller books have been written such as; Echoes in the Darkness

Question : (Wambaugh), and Blind Faith (McInness) ..will continue next msge

Question : PI 28 yrs con't. It is difficult to work a case and be able to write about it

Question : simultaneously. What do you recommend for me to do if I want to write my own book? Russ

Question : Kolins/Philadelphia

SJ Cannell : Russ, you must make your writing a priority in your life to

SJ Cannell : accomplish anything with it. Writing is the easiest thing to put off.

SJ Cannell : If you start by keeping very accurate notes of your cases

SJ Cannell : and then sit down and attempt to write them without putting upon yourself

SJ Cannell : the need to be brilliant, but just tell the story in your own words with dialogue

SJ Cannell : that sounds right to you, you'll be surprised what you'll come up with. I run

SJ Cannell : a major company in two countries. I executive produce, edit film, work with writers, network

SJ Cannell : executives and actors, as well as try and maintain a fulfilling family life

SJ Cannell : and yet, I write for 5 hours every day.

HollywoodU : For those of us who joined us late, Hollywood Online's guest tonight is writer Stephen J. Cannell!

OnlineHost : To send your question to the speaker, click on: the Interact icon, then use the Ask a Question: option.

HollywoodU : Wwhit23 asks:

Question : Mr. Cannell, Do you write all of the shows yourself or do you have a staff that helps?

SJ Cannell : I have a staff that helps or perhaps I should say,

SJ Cannell : I help them! Nobody does this by themselves. Without the

SJ Cannell : people around me -- the other writers and producers -- I would be lost.

HollywoodU : PWeicht27 says:

Question : Just want to say thanks for quality entertainment amongst the garbage. We can always

Question : count on a Cannell production to be topnotch.

SJ Cannell : Thank you.

HollywoodU : Mmart1027 wants to know:

Question : when will ba ba black sheep be available on video or on satellite

SJ Cannell : I made that show while I was at Universal. So though I created it, I don't own it.

SJ Cannell : Universal will have to make those decisions, but I'm always ready to cash a royalty

SJ Cannell : check!

HollywoodU : This one may be hard to answer...at least completely... NYLuckydo asks:

Question : Tell us about the Plan & the fianl victom?

SJ Cannell : Big order! The short answer is "The Plan" is a political thriller about

SJ Cannell : the underworld's attempt to steal the Presidency of the United States through

SJ Cannell : their ownership and control of a major television network using

SJ Cannell : scripted events to control the top spin on the first 30 days

SJ Cannell : of the Primary season. "Final Victim" is about a serial killer who uses a

SJ Cannell : computer to change the elements of his crime scenes and to attack his victims

SJ Cannell : through cyberspace.

HollywoodU : SGT DARE asks:

Question : Mr Cannel, I really enjoy the shows you've written about law enforcement. Have you ever

Question : worked, or had a desire to work, in this field?

SJ Cannell : I never have. However, I used to take ride-alongs three or four times a month

SJ Cannell : with the LAPD when I was doing "Adam 12" in the early 70's.

SJ Cannell : Including getting in a shoot-out in the rampart division in L.A. Hazardous

SJ Cannell : work for a writer! I read extensively in that field; both novelists I

SJ Cannell : admire, like Wambaugh, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Lawrence Saunders, William Conitz (sp),

SJ Cannell : as well as many others.

HollywoodU : MelanieLe asks:

Question : What is the difference between the pleasure of writing for TV and the pleasure of writing

Question : a novel?

SJ Cannell : Novel writing is a more complete adventure for me.

SJ Cannell : Television is faster (more instant gratification). Novel writing is a journey.

HollywoodU : We have time for one more question... and it is from FILM CA:

Question : What avenues do you suggest for a struggling writer? One that has lots of ideas but hits

Question : the wall everytime?

SJ Cannell : You must write at the same time every day to maintain your

SJ Cannell : discipline. The easiest thing to do is not write. If that's not your problem, but your problem is

SJ Cannell : selling, then my advice is to listen to nobody but

SJ Cannell : yourself. Nobody has the answers. Nobody knows what a hit is. you must keep trying. Remember,

SJ Cannell : when Picasso switched from fruit to abstract faces, they wanted to lock him up. Now

SJ Cannell : those paintings are selling for millions of dollars.HollywoodU : Hollywood Online's guest tonight has been top TV writer and novelist Stephen J. Cannell!

HollywoodU : Steve - thanks for visiting with us online!

HollywoodU : Stephen J. Cannell hosts the current show US CUSTOMS CLASSIFIED and his new novel FINAL VICTIM

HollywoodU : is soon to be published! :)

HollywoodU : Visit us at Hollywood Online, keyword: HOLLYWOOD for the latest entertainment news and multimedia!

HollywoodU : bye!

OnlineHost : Copyright 1996 Hollywood Online; licensed to: America Online, Inc.
Hope you all enjoyed that. Now, I also have one more thing to present this week, a pair of:

Last issue I reported the availability of several A-Team fanzine titles from Domino Press in England. I just received my order from them, in just a little over two weeks since my order (pretty impressive for an overseas order :-). See the last issue for ordering details, or email me and I can send them to you again.

So far I've made my way through two of the 'zines, the first being:
SIDEWINDER, by Owen Pentecost, published August 1986. (58 pages)
Price: $8.25 (�5.50 US, Can), �3.75 UK, �4.50(Europe/Surface),

This zine is divided into 4 stories, more like chapters of one long story, starting with Decker and Crane in Vietnam and the truth about what happened in the attack on the hospital Decker was blamed with and that gave him such a cut-throat reputation. We find out how the two military men became close associates, and the encounter in the officer's club between Decker and Hannibal that would spark the rivarly between the two that would come back into play when Decker came in charge of the hunt for the A-Team. This is certainly the most fascinating and unique section of the 'zine's story, presenting a very nice look at Decker and Crane and fleshing them out into characters of much more depth than they ever were on the TV show. After that, the story switches to the modern day, and a plot involving a foreign terrorist group trying to steal a disabled space shuttle (yes, space shuttle), and a series of circumstances that bring the Team and Crane together first to find Decker and then to keep the Shuttle out of the bad guys' hands. It's a fast-moving tale, and the writer seems to have done a fair amount of research into the technical details of the weaponry used and the military, especially impressive as something coming from 'acorss the pond.' :-) While enjoyable, somehow this second half of the story doesn't quite hook the reader as much as the earlier section predominantly on Decker and Crane does. Perhaps because some of the action seems rushed, or fails to create the level of tension I would find more exciting. Nevertheless, overall it's a fairly solid piece of work and interesting as an unusual and very different type of A-Team story. The Team's dialogue is often quite good, especially Murdock and BA's bickering. The 'zine is also well proof-read (always a plus to this reader), although the "word density" per page is a little lower than I usually care for (ie, big margins and empty spaces...could probably trimmed the size down to about 45 pages easily and thereby lowering cover cost. Just a minor nit-pick).
At this point, I'd like to say that most of our male subscribers (and anyone with more prudish tastes as well!) may wish to stop reading, unless they're interested in hearing about the type of stuff lusty female A-Team fans can come up with in more twisted and sick moments...
PRIVATE DEBRIEFING, an 'adult' A-Team 'zine by the TAT Appreciation Society.
Published August 1989, 82 pages. AGE STATEMENT REQUIRED TO ORDER.
Price: $12 (�8 US, Can), �6 UK, �6.50(Europe/Surface), �9(Australia/Japan-Air)

Oh, my...where to start on this one...while not a 'newbie' to some of the more racy fanfiction that's out there, this one still caught me completely off-guard. I have to say this is the most outrageous and hilarious collection of 'adult' fanfiction (A-Team or not) that I've come across to date. Not much in they way of 'boddice-ripping' romances here, or even steamy explicit encounters described (although there are a few). Instead, we get Face and Murdock comparing notes on bikini briefs, and other things... we get Face in a most embarrassing dilemma after over-exerting himself with a group of triplets - it falls off (BA, upon inspection: 'Looks pretty washed out to me, Sucker.') We get 'An Ode to BA's Big Toe' and numerous verses dedicated to a particular part of Murdock's anatomy. The 'zine comes complete with some rather interesting artwork and a free-gift I'm not even going to begin to discuss. Overall, the clear emphasis is on Murdock, Face coming in second and one long (about 20 pages) story on Hannibal. If you're looking for something *very* different and often side-splittingly funny, you really don't want to miss this one. Highly recommended - but proceed with caution!!
Guess that's everything for now, folks. As always I must have forgotten a few things, but hopefully I'll remember next time...

See ya!
Quote of the Week:
"BA, it's not when you *have* a plan, it's *when* you
have a plan!"
                                Hannibal in "The Island"

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