On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 4 Issue N°1

Date: October 8, 1997
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv04i01.zip

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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).

*The A-Team Homepage: http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~pellegri/ateam.html
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(Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives)
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DATE:  October 8, 1997
ISSUE:  1
VOLUME: 4

Current newsletter + mailing list subscribership: 191
Current newsletter-only subscribership: 340
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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Dwight in Mandrell Movie
A-Team leaving fX?
FROM THE ARCHIVES - "Vigilante Video" conclusion
WEB WATCH
ALTERNATIVE EPISODE GUIDE ENTRIES
Small But Deadly War
Black Day at Bad Rock
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ON THE JAZZ!
VCR WATCH
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DWIGHT IN MANDRELL MOVIE - Hopefully all the Dwight fans caught "Get to the Heart - The Barbara Mandrell Story" on CBS September 28. Dwight had second billing and was in quite a bit of the film, particularly in the first half, playing Barabara's father, Irby Mandrell.

Also of note for the video completists, Melinda Culea could be seen recently in the 2-part series premiere of C16 on ABC. I missed the first part so I don't know how much she was in it, but she was only in one scene in the second part.
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A-TEAM TO LEAVE fX? - I received the following email from someone claiming to work for the company that distributes The A-Team in syndication:

>Apparently the deal with FX is ending soon. It is likely that another cable
>network will pick it up. I would write, Fax, E-Mail to TNT asking them in
>the kindest way that WE WANT THE A-TEAM ON THEIR NETWORK!! Ted Turner is a
>Hannibal kind of guy anyway. TV Land is interested but I know many fans who
>don't get TV Land. You can also write to convince FX to renew their deal.

A later email stated that the contract with fX runs until September of '98, so don't panic if you haven't taped all the episodes - you've still got time. And if you'd like to see the show get picked up by another network next year, it probably isn't too early to start writing those letters! TNT would be a great choice, IMO - not only is it a station carried by a great number of cable systems - compared to fX or TV Land - but they seem to do a great job supporting and publicizing the shows they carry.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Here is the second (and final) part of the transcript of...

VIGILANTE VIDEO: With mayhem every minute, The A-Team explodes to the top of the ratings, but the fights don't end when the shooting does.

Written by Jeff Jarvis, reported by David Wallace, from People magazine (date unknown).

...Now listen to Mr. T, and you'd think that playing B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus is as nice as playing Captain Kangaroo. He knows he has become a role model to kids. The fact that he brandishes weapons and rarely speaks a complete sentence on the show doesn't bother him. When he sees adoring kids off camera, he tells them, "When I be fightin' or whatever on TV, it all just fun, we don't hurt nobody. But I don't want you to be a fighter. Study to be a scientist, study to be an astronaut. Everyone can't be Mr. T."

Now, finally, listen to Dirk (Face Man Peck) Benedict and you'll hear an actor happy to have a job. "We're all black sheep," he says. "None of us ever fit into Hollywood." Over network objections, Cannell hired him for the Team after his Battlestar Galactica was grounded. (NBC also objected to Peppard, preferring James Coburn as Hannibal.) Benedict insists that he doesn't care about getting his Face on camera at all time. "True actors dream of anonymity," he says, "because a true actor has no personality of his own...The wonderful thing about doing this show is that George and Mr. T soak up all the publicity."

Not quite all. Recently, the show aired its dirty linen following the firing of former model Melinda Culea, 28, the token woman on the Team. She was dumped after she taped the first 10 shows of the Team's second season and was replaced this month by Marla Heasley, 25. "Melinda was very unhappy about the size and importance of her role," says Peppard. "She came on the set frustrated, angry, a terribly discontented woman." He said she wanted more time on camera and wanted to join in the fight scenes with a few karate chops. T says she wanted more money. Culea reportedly made $15,000 per show at first and later about $20,000 (versus T's $40,000 or so - which, though not as much as the veteran Peppard's salary, still adds up to about $1 million a year.)

Peppard denies reports that he and the other stars turned on Culea like a vigilante force. "We just put up with [her discontent] and said nothing," he contends. But when the producers found out about the tension, he says, "they were furious....They felt that she was harassing the team." Nobody harasses the team and gets away with it. After a warning, Cannell fired her.

Mr. T backs up Peppard. "The show was not designed for a lady," he says. "It's a story about Vietnam veterans. She wasn't in Vietnam. I told her to her face: 'You was blessed and didn't realize it. You was a sore winner.' She says that she wanted more work, more time on camera. Can you believe that? How stupid can you get? ...Melinda, she came in griping every day. We don't need that.

Benedict seems more willing than T to admit a woman to the club. "Because we are four guys, we want a girl around," he says. "It's a dream job for an actress - God! All you have to do is show up, smile and look good."

To some, Culea may not have looked good enough. Peppard reportedly believed that the show needed "more of a bimbo." When asked about that now, all he'll say is: "If those were out needs, they were already eminently satisfied."

Culea, who had since made a Fantasy Island, reportedly found out she had been dumped from the Team when she read a script with no lines for her character. Her story is that Peppard disliked her from the start and was cruel to her, telling her she could not act. She told the producers that the part was not worthy of her. "If you can't write the role better," she said, "you don't need me." She also complained that T and Peppard grabbed all the attention, which "left me out in the cold."

Out she went, and in came Marla.

"How do I feel about being a bimbo?" Heasley says with a laugh. "That's not something I'd like to be. What they said is that they want more of a feminine part on the show because she [Culea] was very tomboyish, and they already had four guys and didn't need another. I don't see myself as sexy...I see myself more practical than sexy." The producers say there weren't seeking jiggle or a fighter but simply a woman reporter who could keep track of the team's antics.

So far, the cast appears happy with Heasley, who was selected from hundreds of actresses in an open casting call. Her previous acting credits include a Battlestar Galactica, a TJ Hooker and four spots as a Starsearch "spokesmodel." "The new girl is working out fine," Benedict says. With his usual flare for sounding like a George M. Cohan musical, T says: "Like the show, entitled The A-Team, we are a team. Together we stand, divided we fall. That makes it jell."

After the bad blood and bad publicity of the Culea affair, the Team is now putting on a good show of togetherness. "We like each other, we respect each other," Peppard says. "There is no backstabbing or bitching. You can get that with men of good heart." T tops that: "I have a good relationship with all the guys," he says. "Every morning I say, 'Good morning, brother, I'm proud of you.' I think this set have more God than any set around."

Heasley reports that T is "always teasing and then turning gruff"; he reminds her of her big brother. She says Peppard is "very serious," but also "very nice-Geroge took me aside the first day and said, 'We're all like a family on this set, so we want to make you feel comfortable.' "On that first day, though, Heasley went to lunch with the wardrobe lady, not the stars. They disappear routinely between takes into their private trailers - Peppard to chain-smoke and talk on his cordless phone, Benedict to puff Dunhill cigars and write a macrobiotic diet book. The fourth Team member, Dwight (Howling Mad Murdock) Schultz, just disappears. And Mr. T goes off to pray. When he emerges, he can be heard to shout: "I love America - it's the only place where someone can make so much money playing a fool."

All the blood and guts, bullets, and bombs (and bimbos) may look like giggles. But it's hard work. "It's tough because we have tanks and helicopters and 60 extras and we have fights," Benedict says. "I go into a room and hit this guy and then I throw that guy into a tub. It's fights all day long."

Fights on the set, fights off the set, and fights across America about all the fighting on the show. That's a lot of flak, even for the A-Team.
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WEB WATCH - Time for our regularly scheduled focus on the web. First this week, we
had one web page scribe request mention, so here it goes -

http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/lot/7121 is the home of the Fighting Nighthawk Commandos - and whether you just want to drop in for a visit or join their ranks, you'll be sure to find something of interest. Learn the rules of the Commandos, download the Nighthawk's theme song, and test your trivia knowledge.

Also, I thought I would announce that a new feature is up on my own web site - the archive for Lorraine Beatty's A-Team fan-fiction has been launched! Thanks to our typists, there are currently 4 stories up for downloading, and more to come in the future. The URL is archive.html. These stories have all previously appeared in print, and Lorraine has agreed to make them available on-line now that the zines are out of print.

Got a web site you want featured? Let me know about it!
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ALTERNATIVE EPISODE GUIDE ENTRIES - Thanks to Rachael Walker for continuing with her "in depth" examination of classic A-Team episodes. Here are two more entries for this issue:
*****
A Small and Deadly War

In the heart of Los Angeles something is afoot. Having been flagged down by a cop car an old detective finds out they are not the good men in blue at all, but in fact a deadly SWAT team he is going to finger in the morning for seven murders. Yes, the LAPD has taken to making money on the side by making hits on the local population and Maloney doesn't like it, but when they threaten the life of his wife and daughter he has no option but to call the A-Team.

The team, as you might imagine, is a little hesitant about working for a cop but agree to give it a go 'cause, heck, it sounds intriguing doesn't it? But how are they going to get the four cops to confess to murder one? Hannibal thinks he has a plan.

So, the next morning Face and Amy set off for the police station posing as bug exterminators contracted to deal with an imaginary cockroach infestation. After persuading the desk sergeant that their services are needed by liberally sprinkling a bottle of stunt cockroaches around the locker room they go about planting bugs on the four officers' collars. Electronic bugs that is, not insects, they wouldn't have helped at all.

Well, the bugs are working wonderfully and Hannibal decides they need Murdock's particular brand of lunacy for this one, so Face goes off to break him out. As usual the nurses completely fail to recognize him and are totally taken in by Murdock's sudden attack of Tuberculosis. Where do they hire these people?

Later, with the entire team assembled, Hannibal listens in on the SWAT team's conversation and promptly discovers they intend to hit a local shop keeper. So, it's off to save the day. They arrive at the laundry in the nick of time but when the guy opens his store a shot rings out, the man goes down and the team spring into action. But as luck would have it they capture the bad guys and it turns out the man was in fact Hannibal in a bullet proof vest. Jeez, that was close. So, Hannibal gives the slimeballs a message to take back to their leader, Starks. They are, it would seem, shut down.

Over a nice cup of coffee the cops discuss this latest turn of events. But they are soon disturbed by a phone call from Hannibal who irritates the hell out of Starks by commenting on their conversation. Thinking the coffee shop is bugged the cops leave. But there's no let up for Starks even at his girlfriend's house when Hannibal sends him some flowers and a singing pilot and then calls him to arrange a meeting place. Indian Dunes at 11pm sounds nice.

So, at the appointed time and place two vans come to a halt, head light to head light. Hannibal and Starks get out to have a little chat as BA and Meadows look on. At first Starks seems rather smug, at least until it becomes painfully apparent that his snipers have fallen victim to Face and Murdock and there are now two high-power rifles aimed in his direction. With the tables turned Starks accepts Hannibal's ultimatum and agrees to turn himself in the next day.

But just when things are going so well the bad guys find the bugs on their uniforms and decide that Hannibal's demands don't seem quite so compelling in the light of day. Collins on the other hand is still a little nervous, though not too nervous to pick up Amy who is outside the police station pretending to have problems with her car. Amy obliges the officer by taking him back to her place which also happens to be A-Team HQ. Collins is not surprisingly a little put out when, instead of making whoopee, he is blackmailed into turning states evidence against his erstwhile buddies.

So, the stage is set, Collins is going to meet the team at the Oceanside Amusement Park with the murder weapons, and Maloney is going to get his man. There's just one snag, Starks had the foresight to plant a bug on Collins...

Will the guys get caught in their own trap? Will Amy get her exclusive? Will the stunt man in the white wig get busy?

Very probably...

Useful information from the episode.

1) Nobody likes cockroaches.

2) Never be rude to the guy delivering you flowers, there can be consequences.

3) They do it for the jazz, man, for the jazz.

Highlights:

1) Murdock's vicious attack of TB.

2) Hannibal in his Zorro outfit.

Thought for the day:

Don't trust cops, they are all bad, bad men.

Quote of the week:

Hannibal: It's the same plan we nailed that Cong General with outside of Ky Son.

Face: You mean where I took it in the leg?

Murdock: Where I got shot down?

BA: That was a terrible plan!

Hannibal: Well, now we've got all the kinks worked out of it.
*****
Black Day at Bad Rock

The van speeds down a dirt round into Bad Rock, CA., but for once BA is not at the wheel. In fact, BA is lying in the back, bleeding on the carpet, telling Face he is going to pay. �For what?� we ask nervously.

The van screeches to a halt and BA is bundled out, �Face is gonna pay� has become his mantra, things are looking grim. Inside the house a woman drinks coffee, oblivious of what awaits her. Not for long.

As Dr Sullivan works on BA we discover that Face made a slight error in judgment and BA intends to rearrange his face for it. He is understandably concerned. The uneasy feeling increases when it becomes apparent that BA will need more blood, AB negative blood, and the only person they know with that type is, you�ve guessed it, Murdock.

So, Hannibal calls Amy to break Murdock out as Face frets. Amy�s a tad concerned too when Hannibal refuses to tell her what�s going on, merely repeating his message for his pilot, �Red Ball 1, bag is leaking�.

A short while later Hannibal wants to move BA, the doctor doesn�t want to let him. More than that, the doctor is damned suspicious. Turns out she was a medic in Vietnam and knows she�s not looking at no hunting accident, but before anybody can swap war stories the sheriff she called earlier bursts in and things hit an all time low. Momentarily. Things quickly pick up for Hannibal when the good doctor frisks him and it turns out that she may be regretting turning him in...

So, it�s off to jail. For some reason nobody�s buying their story, they sure don�t look like ballet dancers, so they run their finger prints anyway, and put them in adjoining cells. But at least they have company. A biker from The Barbarians is locked up along side them and is doing his best to irritate them all with tales of what his friends are going to do to everybody when they break him out. Face tries to make friends but I don�t think the �200lb cockroach� comment was the right way to go.

Meanwhile Murdock is making a run for it while Amy drives the getaway car. Murdock is in a rare serious mood, which does nothing to allay Amy�s fears. It also doesn�t help that Murdock is rhyming ever sentence. Amy wonders if she�s going to have to throw him out of the car later when this ceases to be endearing.

Meanwhile, in the hills, the aforementioned Barbarians are cutting the phone lines to town and at the Pentagon, Colonel Lynch is being informed of the A-Teams whereabouts.

But never fear. When the deputy brings Face his lunch it becomes immediately apparent that Hannibal has escaped. The sheriff�s dreams of capturing the A-Team evaporate, and nobody thinks to look behind the bed. So, pretty soon Hannibal and Face are free and the sheriff and deputy are in jail. Now there�s irony. And, while Face tries to reach Murdock on the radio Hannibal winds up the Barbarian, apologizes to the sheriff and heads out to.

And it�s back to the doctor�s house. Dr Sullivan seems torn between surprise, concern and excited anticipation as Hannibal walks in. But Hannibal gets serious when he realizes that BA is still weak and has lost the ability to speak in complete sentences. Despite this BA is quite eloquent when he is told who his donor will be.

Speaking of Murdock, he and Amy finally get into town and the transfusion begins. As Murdock babbles BA is torn between telling him to shut up and telling Face what he is going to do to him. Face beats a hasty retreat. Moments later the team follows him as they attempt to stay one step ahead of Lynch. But first Hannibal has unfinished business with the doctor. At first she seems unimpressed by his macho antics, but as time passed she becomes really quite enthusiastic, until he shoves her into a closet and leaves. Isn�t that just like a man!

Unfortunately, on their way out of town, the boys are seized by a major guilt trip when they see the Barbarians are having a light snack before burning up Bad Rock. Unable to resist, they string their bikes up, taunt them a little and head back to release the sheriff.

After a moments hesitation, the sheriff agrees to let the team help out and promises not hand them over to the authorities. So, Hannibal explains his plan for the abandoned real estate office down the street, and the guys swing into action...

Will the guys be ready in time? Will the Barbarians be impressed with Murdock�s chicken impersonation? Will the guys get out of town before Lynch arrives? Will anybody let the doctor out of the closet? And exactly what will she say to Hannibal next time she sees him?

That all depends...

Useful information from the episode.

1) Never play the shell game with Hannibal.

2) Never play Gin Rummy with Hannibal.

3) Always watch Face, he cheats.

Highlights:

1) The chicken dance.

2) BA almost pummeling the living daylights out of Face.

Thought for the day:

If you�re supposed to be BA�s rear guard, DON�T mess up.
Quote of the week:

Murdock to BA:

You can room with me! The worst thing that can happen is you�ll hear things you can�t see and rhyme your words just like me.
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And finally this week...a very special celebration is underway here!
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As you might have noticed from our new Volume # and the date, today celebrates the third birthday of the On the Jazz newsletter! Did I ever imagine we'd still be going, and this huge, three years ago? Absolutely not! I'm just as - and probably more - amazed than the rest of you by this.

In any event, thanks to everyone who has contributed, supported, become good friends, and made this whole enterprise so successful and fun. Let's hope we have at least another 3 years ahead of us!
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VCR WATCH: All times Eastern Standard unless otherwise indicated.

DIRK BENEDICT:
Friday, October 10, 1997
8PM ENCR FILM: Body Slam. Dirk Benedict, Tanya Roberts, Roddy Piper. The manager of a wrestling tag team takes them on tour with a rock band.

Saturday, October 11, 1997
4:15PM ENCR FILM: Body Slam.
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MELINDA CULEA:
Brotherly Love - weeknights, 18:30 (DISN - GEN)
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GEORGE PEPPARD:
Thursday, October 9, 1997
1AM, 6PM AMC FILM: Bang the Drum Slowly. Paul Newman, George Peppard. A dying baseball player strives to complete the season. This teleplay was made into a film in 1973.
10/14/97, 9:30 (A&E - GEN)
10/14/97, 15:30 (A&E - GEN)
Banacek (If Max Is So Smart, Why Doesn't He Tell Us Where He Is...) - A hypochondriac (Anne Baxter) requests Banacek's help after her $2.5 million computer loaded with medical information disappears.

10/21/97, 9:30 (A&E - GEN)
10/21/97, 15:30 (A&E - GEN)
Banacek (The $3 Million Piracy) - Banacek is faced with a puzzling case after a jewel-encrusted coach weighing 2,000 pounds is taken from a locked steel container.

10/28/97, 9:30 (A&E - GEN)
10/28/97, 15:30 (A&E - GEN)
Banacek (The Vanishing Chalice) - Banacek's latest assignment is to figure out how a rare Greek chalice could be missing from a closely guarded museum in Boston.
----
A-TEAM:

10/9/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (The Big Squeeze) - Hannibal, B.A. and cohorts turn the tables on a ruthless loan shark who has been putting the squeeze on downtown businessmen.

10/10/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Champ!) - B.A. is set up as an unbeatable boxer when the team battles a gangster attempting to gain control of the local fight scene.
10/11/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Skins) - The A-Team plans to stop destructive poachers on a Kenya animal preserve. Guest: Daphne Maxwell Reid.
10/13/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Road Games) - The team pursues gangsters who forced a reformed gambler to sign over the home where he and his daughter care for foster children.

10/14/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Moving Targets) - The A-Team must protect a sheik's daughter, who is about to marry a prince from an opposing country.

10/15/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Knights of the Road) - An ambitious auto mechanic asks for help after a ruthless competitor attempts to ruin his business.

10/16/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Waste 'Em) - The team battles corrupt refuse collectors who are dumping toxic waste into the city's sewer system.

10/17/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Bounty) - Romance blossoms between Murdock and a veterinarian after she rescues him from a group of bounty hunters.
10/18/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Beverly Hills Assault) - A young artist seeks the team's help in searching for the men who brutally assaulted her boyfriend.
10/20/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Trouble Brewing) - Two sisters, owners of a soda pop factory, are victimized by a competitor.

10/21/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Incident at Crystal Lake) - The A-Team takes a vacation after Col. Decker gets too close for comfort.

10/22/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Judgment Day) - The A-Team travels to Europe to rescue a judge's daughter from kidnappers.

10/23/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Judgment Day) - Faceman devises a scheme to capture the kidnappers of a judge's daughter.

10/24/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Lease With an Option to Die) - The A-Team tangles with neighborhood thugs after answering B.A.'s mother's (Della Reese) call for help.

10/27/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (The Road to Hope) - The team tries to expose a millionaire's son who is running an illegal operation out of a Skid Row shelter.
10/28/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (The Heart of Rock and Roll) - The A-Team works to expose a robbery scam being run by a prison warden. Guests: Rick James, Isaac Hayes.

10/29/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Body Slam) - The A-Team contends with mobsters who are trying to close down a youth center.

10/30/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Blood, Sweat and Cheers) - The A-Team helps a race-car driver who is being threatened by a Mafia boss's nephew. Guest star: Stuart Whitman.

10/31/97, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Where Is the Monster When You Need Him?) - On location in Mexico to film a monster movie, the A-Team locks horns with a war criminal.

sockii ()
----
"I fear you not, old woman! Neither you nor your blue hair!"

Never meddle in the affairs of Nighthawks, for we are insane, and can behave madly before our first cup of coffee.

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