On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°24

Date: August 26, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i24.zip

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

Reflector submission address: [email protected]

Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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Also use that address if you wish to change your subscription status to receive the newsletters only (or go from newsletter to news + reflector).

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*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
DATE:   August 26, 1996
ISSUE:  24
Howdy everyone,

A busy past few weeks, lots of stuff to mention and recap here. I'd also like to say first that I hope everyone reads through to the end on this one, because I have a few important comments to make after the usual proceedings. Thanx in advance.

Biggest announcement, which some of you have heard by now is that the "fx" cable station is slated to start airing "The A-Team" come this fall starting September 16th. This is great news, I'm sure, for many of the people who have been eager to see the show again. More info on the exact time slot and scheduling when I hear it.
With the coming of fall and the return of many folks to school, I'd like to propose for our Philly-area subscribers the


Come by and watch A-Team and related stuff all day on my brand new (ie, much bigger screen) TV, eat, drink and be merry. While watching episodes from original, unedited NBC broadcasts of the show, we can play the A-Team board game, card game, and even put together a giant Mr. T jigsaw puzzle. It'll be a truly mind-numbing a fun way to waste away an entire day.

The location as before will be Center City Philadelphia. The date will depend on what suggestion you provide - I would like to suggest late September, either a Saturday or Sunday. If you are interested in checking it out, please contact me to RSVP and tell me your preference for a date. Also let me know if you need information on getting here and/or possibly carpooling with someone else.
Finally in the news, some fanzine updates. As mentioned before,the deadline for submissions to "The A-Files" is October 1. Barring unforseen complications with my thesis proposal, the publication date will be in early November. You can reserve a copy now by emailing me.

Also, I am now announcng a deadline for submissions to "Plans Scams and Vans 3" of January 1, 1997. The submission date for Issue #3 may close before then, however, depending on how much material is received - I already have about 50 pages of submissions for it and much more "in the works" or promised to me before then...for more details on either project (A-Files is for A-Team/X-Files fiction and material only, PSV is an all A-Team fiction/info 'zine), contact me via email.

A couple of Dwight Schultz "sightings" to report this issue...first, the current U.S. issue of TV Guide (The Star Trek special issue) has a nice picture and short blurb on Dwight in their "Rogue's Gallery" feature, mentioning his role as Barclay on Star Trek. Dwight was also just in the new "Hart to Hart" TV-movie which aired August 25th on the Family Channel I haven't seen it yet, am waiting for the tape, so I don't know how big of a role he had in it.

Also, one of our subscribers recently saw Dwight at a convention in Europe. Here's her report, posted last week to the mailing list:

From: Sonja Horstmann
To: [email protected]
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 10:47:36 MESZ

Hello everybody!

I visited a Star Trek Con in Hamm / Germany last Sunday and guess who was there? Dwight Schultz. I missed his panel but in the afternoon he was signing things along with Robert O'Reilly. When it was my turn I handed him an old A-Team Poster Magazine which he quite liked (almost everyone else had brought along ST related material for signing) and asked him about the movie. (You would all have condamned me if I didn't, right?) He said "no one has ever been contacted to retake his former role in a new production of the A-Team". I think he said "no one has ever been contacted" at least twice...But he thinks it could be possible that the three survivors would be offered some cameo roles like storkekeepers or thrashmen. I would have asked him if he would take such a role but there were about 200 people waiting behind me so I left after he signed the poster and my "H.M." Baseball Cap. But I took some nice photos and listened to some interesting interpretation he gave along with Robert of some Klingon Opera. Sitting there and singing reminded me much of Murdock - I think Dwight might have the same kind of humor than him :-)

Then there was an AOL conference in the evening where Dwight answered some questions again and one guy asked about the movie, too. But Dwight said nothing new. During the closing ceremony he said that he 'd learned one German sentence during the weekend which was "Haben Sie ein Bier vom Fass" which means "Do you have some beer out of a barrel?".

I really enjoyed the Convention although I'm no ST Fan. It was nice seeing Dwight, he was very friendly and spent hours signing everything people gave him ignoring entirely the coupons the organisers had made. (only one autograph per person, only three autographs in total)

If I hadn't been a fan of Dwight before this weekend would have made me one.

At least we can be sure now that none of the three has been asked to take their original roles in the movie. Dwight added that he didn't want to end up playing Murdock with 60 years. But as he's much younger now - who knows...

Hope this didn't bore you and was of some help to you. If anyone has some questions left, perhaps I forgot something or is interested in photos, mail me. But please notice that I'll spend the whole September in California (any fans out there) and I don't know if I'll make it to uni once again before I'm leaving.

We now have the complete transcript of SJC's recent chat session on AOL. I hope you all enjoy reading it! Thanx to you subscribers who got through with A-Team questions, and thanx to [email protected] for sending me the transcript!

Tuesday, August 6th, 1996

AbcLIVE:Here's a few words about Mr. Cannell
OnlineHost:During Stephen J. Cannell's 30 year career, he has: overcome dyslexia to become one of the most prolific writers in the history of television; created over 40 shows including The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Wiseguy, and ABC-TV's current program, The Commish. Send questions by using the INTERACT button at the top of your screen!

OnlineHost:Stephen J. Cannell has also made a successful transition into the literary world and became a national bestselling author with his debut novel, "The Plan." Now Cannell is following up his initial publishing success with "Final Victim." Send Mr. Cannell your questions by using the Interact button at the top of your screen.

AbcLIVE:We'll begin today with our first question!
Question:What's in the cards for future Wiseguy Movies?
CannellSJ:We did the one movie on ABC - it ran against Seinfeld and didn't do as well as I had hoped. Hopefully, ABC will be interested in making another one.
Question:how do come with so many show ideas?
CannellSJ:People often ask me that question.. and I never can quite answer it. For me, coming up with ideas for stories or concepts for television shows has always been a very easy thing to do. But I have trouble balancing my checkbook. So all things balance out in the end. AbcLIVE:Next question --
Question:What aspect of the business do you enjoy doing the most?
CannellSJ:The thing I most like about television is writing. I started as a writer and try and write 5 hours every day. Most of my success has come out of my typewriter and I really enjoy that part of mine the most. AbcLIVE:Here's another TV question --
Question:Do you have any new shows cominmg out soon?
CannellSJ:I have a new show coming on in first run syndication called "Two". It is about a young man (college professor) whose life is being destroyed by an evil twin he didn't know that he had. They were separated at birth. It stars Michael Easton and I'm very excited about it. It will be coming on in September.
AbcLIVE:We're looking forward to it! Our next question is about your new novel FINAL VICTIM --
Question:What made you decide it was time to write another novel?
CannellSJ:I really enjoyed writing "The Plan." It was a national bestseller in hard cover and paperback. That encouraged me to write "Final Victim" - it deals with a serial killer who is a computer genius. He uses his computer to alter the elements of his crime scene so the police when they investigate and put evidence into their computer, can not match up their crimes. It's about the 3 desparate characters who come together to catch him and involves a battle in cyberspace to do it. It's in hardcover now. I'm also very excited about Chris.
AbcLIVE:Here's just a nice comment for Stephen J. Cannell!
Comment:I've been a fan for many years. Great move bringing Chris Potter to Silk Stalkings! Good luck with the sixth season.
Question:Kudos on getting Chris Potter for Silk Stalkings -- how much of that decision was yours?
CannellSJ:Chris somehow managed to get a copy of my script which was the new pilot for Silk Stalkings. He was in Toronto and he put himself on videotape reading the scenes from the pilot and sent it to me. I knew him from the new Kung Fu and thought he was terrific doing the scenes. We brought him to LA, read him for the network - he was the hands down winner. I love it when the plan comes together. Question:How's the book doing? We'll be seeing you tomorrow at the signing.... You're apparently enjoying writing....? :)
CannellSJ:The book's doing very well. It's selling briskly all across the country. My hope is word of mouth from the people who've read it will drive the sells even higher.
Question:Ken Wahl seems _made_ for Vinnie Terranova! Any word on how his health is doing?
CannellSJ:Ken is trying to get some orthopedic help for his neck. It's giving him a lot of pain. I know he'll get that fixed and be back to work soon. AbcLIVE:Here's another Wiseguy question from AnnieRu --
Question:The Wiseguy character of Roger Lococco was wonderful -- any chance of a spin-off?
CannellSJ:I agree. And at this point, probably not as we've sort of passed that time by, but it was a terrific protrayal by William Russ.
AbcLIVE:Ruoti10 has this to say --
Question:A lot of A-Team fans are upset that the original actors won't star in The A-Team movie. Is that definite? Or do you plan to create totally new characters for the movie? I hope no one replaces the original Team.
CannellSJ:George Peppard has passed away. And pretty generally, the feeling is when you do a big budget feature film based on a television show, you should replace all the leads so that the movie does not feel like a television episode, but I intend to offer parts to the old cast of the show if they are available and if Universal agrees. Stay tuned on that one.
AbcLIVE:Here's a question about an ABC-TV show --
Comment:Are you working on any Commish movies? Will the Commish ever be a sitcom again?
CannellSJ:The Commish wasn't a sitcom - it was an hour drama, but it had a light touch. It could conceivably get ordered again for two hour movies. We'll have to wait and see. Write ABC!
AbcLIVE:Here's one pulled out from the past --
Question:I'm a big fan of "Greatest American Hero". Can you talk a little about that show and will be ever see it in reruns?
CannellSJ:It reruns constantly - right now it's on FX. We only had 56 or so episodes, so it is not a big syndication package, but because of its humor and timelessness, it tends to show up in syndicaton frequently - market to market. You'll have to keep your eye on your TV listings to find it.
AbcLIVE:Aspierce wants to know --
Question:Was your appearance on Magnum PI (AAPI) your first on-screen appearance
CannellSJ:My first appearance was in a movie for Robert Conrad and his company "A Shane Productions" The movie was Charlie Hanna. The I did the Magnum PI Then I appeared in a feature film directed by Melvin Van Peoples and then Mario, his son,
AbcLIVE:that would be Peeples :)
CannellSJ:cast me in "Posse." All of this led to my playing on Renegade. I get a kick out of acting, but I'm glad it's not my only source of income. AbcLIVE:Stephen J. Cannell really is a jack of all trades! Here's a question about "the biz" --
Question:What advice would you have to a writer with a TV show pilot idea?
CannellSJ:My advice to all writers is to start by writing episodes of existing TV shows. Don't start by writing pilots. Pilots are at the top of the tree. Networks want people they have had a relationship with to be creators of their shows. It's not the concept that's important, it's the way you execute the concept. For instance, the concept for the Rockford Files - a private detective who lives at the beach and only handles closed cases. Not much of an idea but because of its execution, it was an Emmy-winning six year hit. Start by writing episodes, selling them, and becoming a familiar commodity at the networks. Then THEY will suggest you write a pilot.
AbcLIVE:Perhaps this question should be asked -- what show are you most proud of --
Question:Which of your shows do you feel is your favorite?
CannellSJ:The Rockford Files stands tall in my memory because before that show went on the air, I was a nobody. (The lowest paid writer at Universal). And after six years, my career was on fire because of Rockford. Plus Jim Garner and all of our cast and everyone behind the scenes - writers, directors, producers were all good friends. So it was a very pleasant, creative, social experience.
AbcLIVE:Here's a wonderful question for Emmy award-winning writer, Stephen J. Cannell --
Question:You've often talked about overcoming your dyslexia. Is this a test today on the keyboard?
CannellSJ:I am not typing these responses. Ha ha ha. If I were, I doubt most of you would be able to read this unless you were great at phonetic spelling. I write at the typewriter, I'm very fast, but I spell everything incorrectly.
CannellSJ:I have 3 secretaries who have been with me for a long time who can read what I've written and who retype it into a computer for me to do pencil edits the next day. This process allowed me to write 10 TV scripts and one 412 page novel last year. People sometimes say a computer would speed me up, but I don't think I want to go any faster. Question:first, I want to say that I love just about all of your shows. Thanks for some great television! I was wondering (as part of the On The Jazz mailing list) what you can tell us about the new "A-Team" movie. As big fans of the "A-Team", my friends and I are very worried that Hollywood will try to ruin it like they have other movies.
CannellSJ:I'm going to be involved in supervising the scripting as well as producing the A-Team movie, so I hope you won't be disappointed.
Question:You have been very successful writing/producing action/adventure series. Have you tried any other formats? ie. Comedy or Soaps?
CannellSJ:I have a daytime drama/soap in development in NBC. It's currently in development.
CannellSJ:I've written 1 half hour pilot and delovoped and shot two or three that were not bought. I feel that my field really is drama. Althouth I'm open to new ideas and experiences, I will probably continue to operate primarily in that venue.
AbcLIVE:Liv4Marit is very passionate about this!!!
Question:PROFIT is one of the best new dramas in the past ten years. The loss of it is staggering. Will the unaired episodes eventually be seen on Fox, cable, or on home video release ---- PLEASE!
*Tohon:17:07 How did you get your "break" with writing for TV?
CannellSJ:I agree that Fox did not give the show a long enough airing for it to find an audience. I can't understand why a show that well reviewed would get pulled after only 4 episodes.
AbcLIVE:Who actually owns those episodes?
CannellSJ:What they intend to do with the remaining episodes is anyone's guess. Fox has a window during they can broadcast the shows. Then they are mine.
Question:Do you think it's easier writing a script or writing a novel?
CannellSJ:Well, both are fun. Scripts are shorter and with a script everything has to come out of the
*Sandybchz:17:11 Stephen, What is your routine in writing...do you set character's mouth - you can't easily access his/her thoughts. With a novel, you have a much longer project You can deal in much greater detail with character and story. That is very exciting for me as a writer. However, I love writing TV too. Both are great storytelling venues.
AbcLIVE:Here's an extension of the question previously answered -- Question:Stephen, What is your routine in writing...do you set aside time each day to go about it in a methodical way, or just go with the "muses" so to speak?
CannellSJ:I write every day from 5 am until 11:30. On Saturday and Sunday, I write as well. If you wait for the muses, you won't get much done. There have been times when I've been writing scripts under tremendous pressure - once my father was in the hospital with lung cancer and I had to get a pilot episode of !0 Speed and Brown Shoe out to ABC on contract. My muses were no where in sight. I was terribly worried about my Dad. He did fine - survived - a year later, I won the Writer's Guild Best Script 1981 for that pilot, but when I was writing it, I was in outer space.
AbcLIVE:Now we're back to a question about Mr. Cannell's new novel -- FINAL VICTIM!
Question:Is Final Victim on Audio? Are you doing it?
CannellSJ:Final Victim is on Dove Audio and I recorded the novel.
Question:Does it ever make sense for an outsider to write a script for an hour long drama and send it "over the transom?" Would anyone read it?
CannellSJ:Scripts over the transom sometimes get read but there is generally a rule amongst all studios that "we will not read unsolicited material" (scripts not submitted by an agent.) The reason for this is that it tends to set the bar a little higher. If you can convince an agent to represent you, that is a sign that you are a professional. And then the agent can convince me to buy the script. Good luck. Everybody, including me, had the same problem. If you persevere, you'll get your opportunities.
Question:Did you have a mentor when you were starting out? Did it help you at all? Plus, who do
Question:you admire in the industry now? Thanks, Melissa & Treena
CannellSJ:My mentor was Roy Huggins. Roy created, produced Maverick, The Fugitive, Run For Your Life, amongst many other TV shows. I was lucky to work for him early in my career. He taught me how to edit film and tell stories in 45 minutes and 53 seconds. He taught me how to develop character, etc. He was a huge influence on my career and I owe him a lot. He came out of retirement in the mid-eighties and at my request, produced Hunter for me for four years. It couldn't have been done any better. I admire many people - the list is long, but here are a few... Steve Bochco, a long time friend and once a co-creator with me. Michael Mann uses style and music better than anybody. Don Belisario plus many others.
AbcLIVE:We're out of time, but I want to thank all of you for sending in great questions!
AbcLIVE:I also need to mention
AbcLIVE:that Stephen Cannell's book FINAL VICTIM is available through the ABC Bookstore you can enter by the "store" icon on ABC Online's front screen. keyword: abc. Many thanks to Stephen J. cannell!
CannellSJ:Thank you all for being with me and thank you for the great questions.
AbcLIVE:Good nite everyone!
CannellSJ:Night all!

copyright 1996 Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

With the recent airing of the "V" miniseries and regular series on the Sci-Fi channel, I thought it was a perfect time to finally write up a review of the fanzine

SURVIVE THE ALLIANCE by Sharon Monroe and J.D. Rich
(Available for $11 US, $13 Canada and Europe, $15 Australia, from Sharon Monroe, 3369 Rolling Hills Drive, Eagan, Minnesota 55121 USA)

This fanzine is predominantly a V/Battlestar Galactica crossover novella, however, it features guest appearances by many characters from 80s action tv shows, including the A-Team. The basic plot revolves around the Galactica reaching Earth, just after the events of the closing of the V weekly series (with Elizabeth leaving for the Visitor's Homeworld with the Leader). The plot cleverly ties together several elements of both series (remember how the Cylons were originally designed by a "reptillian race"? Remember the distress signal Julie sent out in the original V miniseries, hoping for the help of the enemies of the Visitors?) while detailing a new plot involving the last-ditch effort by some of the Visitors to regain control of Earth. That's where the A-Team comes into the story, trying to capture that evilist-of-all-lizards, Diana. Along with the A-Team, there are plots and appearances involving Airwolf and Knight Rider, and even guest appearances by the Misfits of Science and many more.

All in all, this 'zine makes for a really fun and entertaining read, especially if you were a big fan of 80s tv. The writing is crisp and captures well even the more secondary characters. The artwork ranges from adequate to outstanding, and there is a suggestion of a possible sequal to the story, but it hasn't been written to date. But, I suppose we can only hope that it will...

Last issue's question was:
>In "Beast from the Belly of the Boeing," what was the message Murdock
>sent to Hannibal and Face in morse code?

The first exactly correct response was from [email protected], who knew the message was 'GO TO LAVATORY.' And as Irene pondered to me, "Why he didn't just type 'go to john', which would have been a lot faster to spell, I don't know."

This issue's question is:
>In the episode "Skins," what disguise does Hannibal don in the opening scene
>where he is meeting their potential client?
Finally this issue, a few (or rather, more than a few) personal comments I feel the need to toss out. I'd appreciate your reading these remarks as it deals with the newsletter and the mailing list, among other things. Some of you know me better than others, and I believe it's time to say a few things about myself and my feelings regarding this project, hopefully without flaming or causing anyone in particular to take strong offense.

First off, some quick comments on the mailing list. In order to keep the signal-to-noise ratio as low as possible, I'd like everyone to keep these things in mind before posting to the group in the future. These are all items which will be added to the information in the Introductory Message from now on:

-> Try to keep the content of your messages as relevant to the Team, the cast, Cannell, etc as possible. If you wish to respond to someone on a subject that *doesn't* relate directly to any of these things, please take it to private mail unless you really feel the rest of us need to be in on it. If there is something related to 'net security or policy that you feel is important to mention, please direct it to me first so I can decide on it before posting it to the whole group.

-> Quoting a page-long email to add a one or two word response, or just a sentence or two, can annoy people. Take the time to edit your responses for clarity and minimal waste of bandwidth.

-> If your .sig file is consistently longer than the messages you're sending, perhaps it's time to shorten it.

-> Send your messages to the group to the address [email protected], not me.

-> Send your sub/unsub request to me, [email protected], not the group.

-> As always, chain mail and/or junk mail postings are reason enough for me to immediately terminate a subscription. I can decide to terminate a subscrition based on any behavior I find unacceptable or inappropriate.

That's all regarding the list. Now on to general matters...

It's just about two years ago now that I moved to Philly, started grad school, and rediscovered "The A-Team" in syndication, starting my craze over the show all over again. A few of you here since the beginning (Jasper and Valerie, ofr instance) probably even remember my first posting to rec.arts.tv asking to talk to other A-Team fans and to see if anyone would be interested in starting a mailing list about the show. Since then this project has grown far beyond my initial expectations; at last count we had about 70 subscribers to the newsletter only, plus close to 130 people on the full mailing list. I've made some really good friends via the list, some I've never met in person, others I've had the chance to at least talk to or even go to conventions with. I've accumulated more information and material on the Team than I ever would have expected was out there, thanks to all the great contacts I've made. And I'm eternally thankful to the many people who have helped make this plan come together so wonderfully - Robin for setting up the umich mail server and fighting with all the bugs at first, and Jon for taking it over in recent months and doing a great job with it; Jasper and Brandon for maintaining the OTJ archives on their web pages; Laura for help kick-starting "Plans Scams and Vans" and reviving A-Team fanzines; and everyone else that I won't list now but who have really been terrific in everything they've done to help out.

However, being basically one of the most "visible" and "accesible" A-Team fans out there on the net and in the public today, running the newsletter, maintaining the web page, etc, has caused occaisional problems for me which have been escalating in past months. There are a few "myths" I feel the need to dispell now if I'm going to continue with this whole project, myths about who I am and what my motives might be.

Myth #1: I'm making lots of money off of this.

I really only wish this was true! Certainly I make nothing off of doing the newsletter as it's all email-based. For my own legal protection I *can't* make any money off of publishing the fanzines - I'm happy enough if I don't loose too much money putting them together and by some miracle end up braking even. Some people have accused me of being unfair and profiting off of selling merchandise, in particular video tapes. Whatever minimal service charge I add to any video dubbing I do is solely to cover my expensives and wear 'n tear on my equipment & tapes, and the time it takes out of my day to take care of packaging and putting together orders. I'm not even paying myself minimum wage for the amount of time this takes, and believe me I'm happier than anyone else if fx starts carrying the show, and requests for dubs off my collection of episodes dies down. No one's requiring me to do this, just as no one is requiring you to deal with me if you don't like my policies. But there was a time earlier this year when I was so in debt due to fanzine printing costs and numerous trades/orders that I had not received payment on (some of which I'm still waiting for payment on...) that I seriously thought about never getting involved in such work again. I will no longer send out any merchandise before at least receiving a down payment on it because of the problems I was encountering t this time.

Myth #2: I can devote all my time to the A-Team and this list and requests from everyone related to the show.

Truth is, I'm a graduate student, currently getting ready to present my initial thesis defense this fall. What time I can devote to doing the newsletter, taking care of requests for various information and items, etc, is at a premium. So if it sometimes takes me a week, or a few weeks, or even a few months to get to a matter of business related to onthejazz or whatever else, that's the way it has to be and I won't make any apologies for it.

Myth #3: I'm doing this because I'm looking for a date.

If you want to chat to me about something in private related to the show or otherwise, I'm generally more than happy to do so - over email, or, *if agreed upon*, in person or on the phone. My private life is my business, and I don't appreciate uninvited intrusions on it, or mail that I find inappropriately inquisitive or offensive.

That's all I had to say...guess it was quite a lot. Thanks for letting me vent a bit, and again thanks to everyone in general for making this such a cool list.

Until next time!
sockii, aka nicole
Quote of the week:
"That's the hammer of an eight-round, nine millimeter
pistol pointed at your belly, hollowpoint in the chamber.
What's a guy gotta do to get a cup of coffee around here?"

Hannibal in "Mission of Peace"

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