On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 4 Issue N°11

Date: May 12, 1998
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv04i11.zip

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DATE:  May 12, 1998
ISSUE:  11
Well, just when I start to think things are getting too quiet on the Team front, we end up with a couple weeks like the last few. Brace yourself for a jam-packed issue!

Mr. T in the News
Stephen Cannell in the News
Lending Library Update
New 'Zine: Whatever Gets You Through the Night #2
"A Mama's Boy's Biggest, Baddest, Toughest Battle"
NY Post Article on Mr. T
Stephen Cannell launches an official website

MR. T IN THE NEWS: Mr. T has been the focus of several national news reports lately, revealing that he is still battling cancer, as well as financial difficulties. Entertainment Tonight did a cover story on him last week, and you can visit their website at http://www.etonline.com for photos and more on the story if you missed it.

The following report was issued over Reuters last week as well:

05:29 PM ET 05/05/98
Actor known as Mr. T says he is battling cancer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mr. T, the tough-guy actor with the Mohican haircut who is best known for his role as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series "The A-Team," has cancer and is almost broke, he said in a television interview.

The 45-year-old actor, whose real name is Lawrence Tero, told the syndicated "Entertainment Tonight" show in an interview to be aired later Tuesday that he had a form of lymphoma. He was receiving daily radiation treatments and injections at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"I try to be upbeat. When people watch this (show) I want them to be uplifted," said Tero, adding: "Love, love, love. I can't help but get better. This is what gives me the strength to go to the hospital."

Tero, who also starred as Clubber Lang, Sylvester Stallone's adversary in "Rocky III," in 1982, said the hardest part about having cancer was "telling my mom."

His disclosure came on the same day that singer-songwriter Carly Simon told the New York Daily News she was suffering from breast cancer.
Although he was a household name in the 1980s, his career faded with the end of "The A-Team" in 1987 after four seasons on the air. A syndicated follow-up, "T. and T.," lasted just one season, ending in 1989.

He actor said he was now almost broke, adding, "I've probably got $200 in the bank."

See the Features section of this newsletter for two more recent articles on Mr. T.

Hot off the wire today was the following news report on SJC:

Tuesday May 12 8:42 AM EDT
FEATURE: Cannell returns, plays library card
By Cynthia Littleton

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Two attributes, rarely found in the same person, helped Stephen J. Cannell become one of TV's most successful writer-producers: an ear for dialogue and a head for business.

The prolific creator of "The Rockford Files," "The A-Team" and dozens of other shows ran one of Hollywood's hottest indie production-distribution outfits of the 1980s and early '90s.

Cannell, 57, has kept a low profile in TV in recent years, focusing on a burgeoning career as a novelist since he sold Cannell Entertainment to New World Communications for $30 million in March 1995. But he has stepped out of the shadows this month to reclaim custody of his creative offspring.

Cannell has reacquired the distribution rights to about 1,000 hours of series and TV movies that were transferred to 20th Century Fox TV when News Corp. bought New World in 1996.

"It's a great deal for (Fox) and it's a great deal for me," Cannell says. "It gives me the opportunity to personally sell my library, which I really invested in. I spent some 20-odd years building it up ... and I wanted to be personally involved with the sales. Fox accepted that and saw it as a big plus."

Word of his deal spurred speculation in Hollywood that Cannell was ready to become an active player in the primetime TV business again.
Cannell counters he's not anxious to give up the solitude of writing novels -- or to take on the headaches of an increasingly high-stakes business.

"It was fun," Cannell says of his years as an indie TV mogul. "I'm glad that I took 15 years of my life to run a good-sized company. I was really proud of the fact I was able to do it with no help. I had no partners, no studios underwriting me, no Wall Street cash coming in."

Cannell was savvy enough to see where the TV business was headed in the years before he sold his company.

"About two or three years ago," Cannell told Variety in 1995, "I started to think that the landscape would change so drastically that there would only be seven -- if that many -- huge entertainment companies with their own distribution systems."

And when Cannell decided to join the New World order, he believed he was getting in on the ground floor of such a behemoth.

In the short space of a few years, billionaire financier Ronald Perelman, the former New World chairman, spent hundreds of millions of dollars to cobble together a group of TV stations and production assets.
A friend of Cannell's, the late NBC and Paramount Pictures chief Brandon Tartikoff, had been recruited to run the entertainment division. There was lots of talk from New World brass about building the studio into a major worldwide TV player.

Friends say Cannell felt somewhat duped when Perelman sold out to Rupert Murdoch for $2.5 billion the following year.

"When I took my company over there, I though I was going to be part of New World's executive core," Cannell says.

"Brandon Tartikoff was there and I knew all the guys who were going to be in charge of (TV distribution). It was a nice arrangement for both of us. I would have a lot of say in what happened to my library, what deals we took and what deals we didn't take.

"And then when New World was acquired by Fox, it became another situation entirely where my shows were now part of a much larger library," he says. "Fox has been just super to acknowledge my want to handle this stuff, and they know we're going to work the library really hard."

Cannell maintained a certain leverage with respect to his older series -- ranging from Fox's "21 Jump Street" to CBS' "Wiseguy" to the syndicated actioner "Renegade" -- because he never sold the negatives outright to New World.

At the time, Cannell and Perelman could not come to terms on the value of library, so both agreed to a long-term distribution deal instead.

The complex deal, which Fox inherited, hinged on New World hitting specific gross dollar amounts for each title, rather than a specific time frame. Under the new arrangement, there's no money changing hands yet, but Cannell will pay Fox a royalty on domestic and international sales.

Pat Kenney, who was Cannell Entertainment's distribution president during its heyday, will spearhead the push to boost global distribution of the titles, some of which may be marketed under a "Stephen J. Cannell Presents" banner.

Industry observers say it's hard to project what the Cannell collection is worth in the fast-changing world market. But with new channels popping up every month in Europe, Asia and Latin America, there's clear demand for the kind of Cannell-esque action-adventure fare that travels well.

The new deal with Fox does not cover two of Cannell's biggest TV hits, "The A-Team" and "Hunter," which are controlled by Universal and Columbia, respectively. But efforts to regain distribution control of those and other Cannell-owned series are afoot.

As anxious as he is to tie up the loose end of his old work, Cannell's inspiration these days isn't coming from television. His third novel [ed note: isn't it his fourth? We had The Plan, Final Victim, and King Con already--socks] "Riding the Snake," is due out from Morrow in September. And MGM is developing a feature based on his 1997 thriller, "King Con."

"I really am a pure writer," Cannell says. "I get my biggest charge sitting down and getting a really good day of stuff on paper, and if I'm not getting stuff, it kills me. I'm opening so many doors to my own talent by writing novels. It's new mountain-climbing for me."

Reuters/Variety ^REUTERS@
LENDING LIBRARY UPDATE: Just a quick message to pass along for Barbara Coleman this issue, as I promised to keep everyone updated on the status of the library situation:

"just a quick note... Denise and I are working on the transfer of the library to the new librarian Robin, but it will take some time to complete. Projected date of completion is sometime near the end of June or the beginning of July. However - This is subject to change, so please be patient. Robin will make a list announcement when the library is up and ready for use. Please refrain from bothering Robin or Sockii about it until then. Thanks. :)


Sockii Press is happy to announce the release of our latest title, the second issue of our adult multi-media 'zine, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night". This issue is 133 pages in length, approximately 50% of which is A-Team stories. Other fandoms featured include Star Trek (TNG and VOY), seaQuest, Xena, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Authors include Amanda, Jasmine, TopLegal, sidewinder, Range Ryder, and more.

Cost is $11 plus postage--include $3 for US Priority Mail, $6.50 Airmail to Europe, $8.50 Airmail Asia/Pacific. Payments to: Nicole Pellegrini, 2429 Locust Street #315, Philadelphia PA 19103 in US Funds only.

This is an ADULTS ONLY title, including "slash" fiction, and you must include an age statement when ordering. A complete flyer with story descriptions can be found at


or email [email protected] for an email version of the flyer. This zine will NOT be made available on-line.
Here is some more information on Mr. T, this article from the Los Angeles Times (I don't have an exact date on the article but it is from March of this year...)

"A Mama's Boy's Biggest, Baddest, Toughest Battle"
by Mike Downey

I know a Screen Actors Guild member who won't be at any Oscar party. He still has a Mohawk haircut. He still has a mean glare and a guttural voice. He still has arms like logs and a torso that made him a soldier, a bouncer, a bodyguard, a boxer who beat up Rocky in a Sylvester Stallone movie and the hero of a TV action-adventure series.

He also has something else.

Mr. T has cancer.

The biggest, strongest, roughest, toughest, baddest dude you'd ever want to meet--or not--has been fighting a battle of his own. A lot of people don't know this. Just as a lot of people also don't know that the biggest, strongest, roughest, toughest, baddest dude you'd ever want to meet is actually a big pussycat. He recites Scripture, chapter and verse, visits children's cancer wards for hours without publicity and calls himself "a big, overgrown mama's boy."

Monday night, actors will celebrate their craft, I doubt many Academy members have ever taken Mr. T too seriously. But he is still one of them, and a better actor than most washed-up jocks.

People shouldn't be fooled by a guy who once said of Rocky Balboa before their fight, "I pity the fool." (A line of his own invention, by the way.)

In real life, he has a big heart and a hilarious sense of humor. He only looks like the meanest man in the world.

Tossing drunks out of bars, lifting weights, doing pull-ups with one hand, learning how to kill in the Army, that stuff came easy to Mr. T.
Telling his mother he was sick, now *that* was hard.
* * *
Willa lee Tero's youngest boy, born Lawrence 46 years ago, one of eight brothers and four sisters, felt something funny one day near his ear.

In a delicatessen booth, Mr. T runs his palms from his beard to the back of his bald skull.

"I was using a relaxant in my hair, here on the sides," he says. "I thought it might have been a reaction from that."
An M.D. gave Mr. T a battery of tests. Bone marrow, CAT scan, AIDS test, the works.

Waiting for the results, he nearly died. Not from an illness. He accidentally flipped his Jaguar convertible. Unhurt, T took it as a sign that God had other plans for him.

He phoned the doctor impatiently.

"The nurse said, 'Oh yes. He wants to talk to you, but in person, here in the office.'"

"I said to myself, 'Oh boy.' They don't want to tell me over the phone, because I might commit suicide."

His doctor said, "Well, your bone marrow looks good, CAT scan, good."

T said, "Uh oh, two out of three."

"No," the doctor replied, "AIDS test is fine too."

Relieved, T thought he was home free. Then he found out he had a skin cancer, a T-cell lymphoma.

He told the doctor, "Wow, how unique. Me being T, and havin' T-cell. You know?"

Chemotherapy cost him his famous Mohawk for a while. The strength for which Mr. T was well known--he was then heavy-weight champ Leon Spinks' bodyguard when Stallone first laid eyes on him--waned from the radiation treatment.

But he found a different strength.

"I got on my knees to pray. I said, 'Lord, give me the strength that you gave Abraham, that you gave Joseph, that you gave Moses, that you gave Job. Because how would I know that my God is a healer, if I never got sick?

"My God would be a fair-weather God if he was only with me when I got millions of dollars from doing 'The A-Team' and commercials and whatnot. I don't want no fair-weather God. I want a God who will be with me through *everything*."
* * *
Mr. T's father was a junk man who preached on Sundays. His mother scrubbed floors. In fourth grade, he brought home a drawing of a house he promised to buy his mother someday. She now lives in it, in Lake Forest, Ill.

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he says, "We were poor financially, but we were rich spiritually. Drugs and crime were all over me, under me and around me, but never in me. Why? Because I respected my mother. I'm a big, overgrown mama's boy. That's the problem with society. We don't have enough mama's boys. If we had more mama's boys, there wouldn't be so much disrespect for women."

To which I say, "Telling your mom must not have been easy."
And for the next few minutes in the restaurant, without a word, the biggest, strongest, roughest, toughest, baddest dude you'd ever want to meet is crying his eyes out, while I hold his hand.

You would want to meet him, believe me. I pity the fool who never gets the chance.
And in case you still need more about T, here is another recent article from the New York Post:

LEGENDARY TV tough guy Mr. T is almost flat broke as he bravely battles cancer - but he says that's OK with him.

"I try to be upbeat. When people watch this, I want them to be uplifted," he says in an inspirational interview today on "Entertainment Tonight" (7:30 p.m. on WCBS/Ch.2).

"I'm probably broke - I've probably got $200 in the bank," Mr. T tells "ET" correspondent Jann Carl.

Carl spent the day with the former "A Team" icon on Mr. T's daily visit to the hospital for treatment of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes he's been battling for several years. The star of "Rocky III" says "love" will help him beat cancer.

"Love, love, love - I can't help but get better," he says. "This is what gives me strength to go to the hospital."

The 47-year-old star can't even sell the heaps of his famous gold jewelry - bracelets, necklaces and earrings - in order to make money to help pay for his treatment.

And there's a good reason for that, he says.

"I don't wear the gold," he says. "I gave it to my family for them to sell, make money, whatever they want to do. Material stuff ... you can only take it to the grave, not past the grave."

The selfless star also says the most difficult part of his cancer isn't the effect it's had on him - but rather how it's affected his loved ones.

"The hardest part was telling my mom," he says.

Although he was a huge star in the '80s - and became a pop-culture icon - Mr. T hasn't made many professional appearances since learning of his cancer.

His last network appearance was in a small role on NBC's "Suddenly Susan" in April 1997 in an episode which also featured Donald Trump.

Although he had appeared with Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky III," Mr. T rocketed to instant fame as a star of NBC's "The A Team," in which he co-starred with the late George Peppard as B.A. ("Bad Attitude")Baracus, the ace mechanic of a group of four Vietnam vets doubling as mercenaries.

The show also starred Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz and aired on NBC from 1983 to '87.

Mr. T became an instant '80s-era star with his mohawk haircut which he said he adopted from his African ancestors - his menacing sneer and his catchphrase: "I pity the fool!"

He also sported pounds of flashy gold jewelry and diamonds on his massive, muscular frame.
WEB WATCH: Talk about starting a new website with a bang! Here is the press release regarding Stephen Cannell's just launched web-presence....

Tuesday May 12, 7:01 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Cannell Enterprises
Stephen J. Cannell Establishes Internet Presence

LOS ANGELES, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmy-award winning writer/creator/producer and bestselling author Stephen J. Cannell and Cannell Enterprises announced the launch of their new website located at: http://www.cannell.com. The new interactive website coincides with the release in paperback of Cannell's bestselling novel KING CON (Avon, May 1998), an exciting thriller about a con artist and a beautiful prosecutor who join forces to take down a Mafia kingpin. KING CON is soon to be a major motion picture from MGM with John Travolta slated to star as legendary con man Beano X. Bates.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly says KING CON is, ``Smart, fast, funny and teeming with appealing characters,'' and Library Journal calls KING CON, ``Pure delight,'' praising its, ``Wonderful characters [and] the wry humor [which] will keep readers enthralled.''

The website features an excerpt of the prologue and first chapter from KING CON as well as information about Cannell's other novels, FINAL VICTIM and THE PLAN, a look at television shows and movies produced by Cannell which include over 43 popular shows such as The Rockford Files, The Commish, Wiseguy, The A-Team and Silk Stalkings. The website also features television interviews using video on demand technology utilizing Real Player from Real Networks. Future plans for the site include online chats with Cannell and other celebrities, a TV trivia section and an online community. Cannell.com was designed by technology/design professional Kris Williams whose talents have contributed to such projects as Disney's Daily Blast, Spawn VR game, Xena VR game, and the Lost In Space website.

Cannell stated, ``I'm excited about the launch of the website. I've been an avid user of the Web for some time now, and find the Internet to be a great research tool. The Internet is changing the entertainment world and Cannell Enterprises and I are pleased to launch our Internet presence.''

Cannell will be appearing at the Chicago Book Expo on May 30th, 1998. Additional details about the appearance can be found on the website. A recent interview with Cannell about his writing and KING CON can be found in the May 98 issue of The Internet Writing Journal(TM) available online at: http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/.

SOURCE: Cannell Enterprises
VCR WATCH--all times Eastern Standard.

05/13/98, 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.

05/14/98, 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.

05/15/98, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Skins) - The A-Team plans to stop destructive poachers on a Kenya animal preserve. Guest star: Daphne Maxwell Reid.

05/16/98, 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.

05/17/98, 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.

05/18/98, 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.

05/19/98, 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.

05/20/98, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Bounty) - Romance blossoms between Murdock and a veterinarian after she rescues him from a group of bounty hunters.

05/21/98, 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.

05/22/98, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Trouble Brewing) - Two sisters who own of a soda pop factory are victimized by a competitor.

05/23/98, 17:00 (FX - GEN)
A-Team (Incident at Crystal Lake) - The A-Team takes a vacation after Col. Decker gets too close for comfort.

05/24/98, 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.

Thursday, May 14, 1998 - 12:20 PM - TMC
Monday, May 18, 1998 - 10:10 AM - TMC
MOVIE: Drama (110 Minutes)
(1996) Children find an orphaned polar-bear cub while seeking their father, whose plane crashed in the wilderness. {CC,Stereo}. Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser, Dirk Benedict, Charlton Heston, Gordon Tootoosis. Directed by Fraser C. Heston. Rated "PG". Adult Language, Adult Situations.

05/13/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Long Patrol) - Starbuck is marooned and imprisoned on a mysterious planet where the prisoners serve terms for the crimes of their ancestors.

05/14/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Gun on Ice Planet Zero) - The Galactica faces destruction from a crew of Cylons manning the most powerful weapon in history.

05/18/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Gun on Ice Planet Zero) - The Galactica's crew is joined by a society of clones in an attempt to save the spaceship from destruction by a giant Cylon gun.

05/19/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Magnificent Warriors) - To save the fleet from starvation, Adama finds himself trapped in a compromising courtship with an old flame.

05/20/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Young Lords) - Starbuck crashlands on a planet and is rescued by a band of children who ransom him to the Cylons in exchange for their father.

05/21/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Living Legend) - The hot-blooded commander of the battlestar Pegasus tries to convince Adama to attack the Cylons.

05/26/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (The Living Legend) - Surrounded by Cylons, Adama reluctantly joins forces with the commander of the Pegasus for a surprise attack on their enemies.

05/27/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (Fire in Space) - Commander Adama is critically injured and the Galactica is set on fire by a Cylon kamikaze-like attack.

05/28/98, 16:00 (SCIFI - GEN)
Battlestar Galactica (War of the Gods) - An alien with mysterious powers joins the Galactican fleet and promises the people a successful end to their search for Earth.

Brotherly Love. Monday-Friday 18:30 (DISN - GEN)

Pioneer Woman
Thursday, May 14, 1998 - 4:00 PM - VISN
MOVIE: Western (120 Minutes)
(1973) An 1860s Wyoming homesteader meets challenges with and without her husband. Joanna Pettet, William Shatner, David Janssen, Lance LeGault, Helen Hunt, Russell Baer. Directed by Buzz Kulik.

The Gambler
Sunday, May 17, 1998 - 2:00 PM - WGTW
MOVIE: Western (120 Minutes)
(1980) An Old West poker player acquires a sidekick and sets out to help the son he never knew. Kenny Rogers, Bruce Boxleitner, Christine Belford, Harold Gould, Clu Gulager, Lance LeGault. Directed by Dick Lowry.

Friday, May 22, 1998 - 12:00 PM - TBS
PROGRAM: Drama (60 Minutes)
"P.I.". Ben's friend (George Peppard), a private investigator, and his estranged daughter (Tracy Nelson) try to re-establish their relationship while probing the murder of a director's (Jonathan Banks) mistress. {CC}.

05/19/98, 09:30 & 15:30 (A&E - GEN)
Banacek (No Stone Unturned) - An insurance company hands Banacek an attractive incentive to find a stolen $3 million statue: 10 percent of the statue's value if it is recovered in two days.

05/26/98, 09:30 & 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.

Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story
Sunday, May 17, 1998 - 2:00 PM - LIFE
MOVIE: Docudrama (120 Minutes)
(1993) The TV series ``Unsolved Mysteries'' helps a couple find the son-in-law who killed their daughter. Dwight Schultz, Bonnie Bartlett, Sally Murphy, Andy Romano, Michael O'Neill. Directed by John Cosgrove.

Friday, May 15, 1998 - 6:00 AM - HBO2
MOVIE: Comedy (90 Minutes)
(1993) A mad scientist uses an industrial chemical on two pals and a gal at the theme park Freek Land. {CC,Stereo}. Alex Winter, Megan Ward, Michael Stoyanov, Randy Quaid, Mr. T, Brooke Shields. Directed by Tom Stern. Rated "PG-13". Adult Language, Violence, Adult Situations.
That's all for this month--see you all in June!!

nicole ()
"The main motive for going beyond the rim...there's a
heck of a big Taco Bell out there...." jms
Proud member of the Narn Bat Squad <Whack!> and the C.o.M.

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