Monday, August 18, 2008


This could well be titled “What I did on my summer vacation,” it could also be an apology for not doing this better or (at the very least) more often. I cannot explain my reticence to create “blog” entries on some kind of a regular basis, but I am resolved to improve. I am also determined to try my hand at some back and forth stuff with readers of this space on at least a bi-monthly basis so do respond and tell your friends about the web site.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank so many of you for your support of my memoir on the series. The book is doing well and this fall the Library at the University of Southern California will allow me to take advantage of that alumni connection by feting me and my book at an on-campus “Friends of the Library” luncheon. I am honored by this and never mind the fact that niece, Bridget Gless (a member of the library board), got the ball rolling on this for her favorite aunt’s husband.

Back to my theme: early in the summer I received a lovely and enthusiastic fan letter from a Ms Cathy Finn in Newfoundland sent via my publisher. She asked some questions that she suggested I might deal with on my blog so here goes:

a) Is there any possibility that we will ever see the complete series released on DVD (she then went on a bit about the “bloody owners of the show,” but then who could blame her)?

Well, yes Cathy, there is the “possibility,” and I promise to get a better, fuller explanation about it all this fall when I am out in California and dealing with the beast. It is hard. We are, for the most part, in the hands of itinerant managers of which the majority have never been in any other aspect of show business, have never participated in a production of any kind, and for the most part have never even seen the contents of any of the thousands of boxes that are in their control. You would be hard pressed to find any of the current “owners” who even now could tell you if it was the blonde or the brunette that played Cagney or Lacey and, as bad as that is, the people at Wal-Mart and at Target and other stores are even younger and even less informed. The youthful “buyer-manager” of video material at these outlets was, only a few weeks ago, in charge of “buying-managing” rakes and lawn mowing equipment. It is the store’s way of educating their middle managers to all aspects of the business, while… just between us… keeping them in one spot not long enough for them to learn how to steal. Add to all of that the fact that DVD packaging and selling of ancient video material is a dying business (and guess who killed it) and “possibility” is just about all there is. I will promise to stay on the case and do what I can with the one or two somewhat caring folk at MGM (owners of the underlying copyright) and who just might be willing to wrest this special show from the hands of the warehouses of Fox who (for the moment) has the license to distribute this stuff no matter how poorly they perform. Meanwhile, before too much longer, the material I do control: the quartet of reunion movies I like to call “The Menopause Years” will soon be out and available for purchase. As we have dates and places we will let you know.

Now, more from Ms Finn: b) Would Sharon and Tyne work together again should the right project present itself?

Absolutely. In fact they were planning to do a play together this winter in London’s famed West End, but Sharon’s lack of availability… due to the happy success of her USA series, “Burn Notice”… has forced that to a back burner. The two women remain great pals and both appreciate the very special history and chemistry that they share.

c) Why do you think the Brits took so to Cagney & Lacey? The show was popular in Canada, too, but the UK audience seems to have a permanent fondness for the pushy Irish-Catholic blonde and her sensible blue-collar partner from Queens. Curious.

Well… to be overly honest… I haven’t a clue. But thank goodness they do. Even today, “Cagney & Lacey” is playing on television in the United Kingdom. It has had more first run exposure on the BBC than any American series in history and when the BBC had its 50th anniversary celebration only two stars were invited from America: Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly. Readers of my book will recall that I was standing backstage at that anniversary event when Paul McCartney asked Sharon for her autograph! We were always a much bigger hit in the UK than in the USA and I really do not know why that was or, for that matter, still is the case.

For more of my summer shenanigans I will ask that you return to this website with some regularity. Carole R. Smith will put a banner or something on the home page to let you know whenever a new one appears and I swear it will happen with a lot more frequency from now on. I will also redouble my efforts to get Ms Daly and Ms Gless to share some of their recent adventures… some HAVE to be printable.

Barney Rosenzweig
Posted 8/19/08


Mimi said...

BARNEY, Sir, oh thee king of the talents, one with the ideas, fearless one to the channel beings, and so on, lol. It's GREAT to "hear" from you! Just out of curiosity, have you ever considered doing any projects here in New England? The foliage here is amazing and I'd love to show you around, lol. Actually, they are filming a movie ("Taking Woodstock") outside my house in a few weeks. But honestly, if you ever think about, please take me up on my offer :). Hope you and Sharon are well and happy. Again, great to hear from you. Be well, take care.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the update Barney, but nothing about Sharon's Emmy nomination??? How creepy was she in "Nip/Tuck"??? Good luck to her and thanks again for the update!!!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the posting, Barney, the resolve to write more blogs, and thanks for the dvd update. That's great news on the 4 movies. By the way, any progress made yet on getting Rosie O'Neill out on dvd?

Please tell Sharon that she can go ahead and write her acceptance speech 'cause it's a definite Emmy win...and tell her that Burn Notice is definitely hot!!!!

Good luck with the beast in California!

laura said...

Hi Barney Thank you for the update:)
I come from the uk and even I cant really tell you why everyone loves C&L over here! for me Sharon and Tyne have always been amazing and even though I was only 12/13yrs I loved the story lines they had and the way they played the characters. It was as if I was there with them every week for every episode.
I even wrote scripts with a friend every few weeks some were good some were bad haha a couple even had bits in them that were actually in the show how spooky was that.
Anyway for now Stay well say hello to Sharon and Tyne for me and hope to see more blog entries soon xx

no1lulufan said...

Hi Barney!

My name is Ashleigh and I live in the UK.
I discovered this show about 7 years ago (Im 18 now)and because one of our digital channels repeat it everyday Im up at 6am EVERY day to watch it. I LOVE it - I wouldnt dream of missing it eventhough Ive seen the run about 3 times!
I visit the site everyday too and love to read the blogs so thanks for updating. I really hope we can (as a group) get the ball rolling for the DVDs to come out!
I love the show for its realistic story lines and its portrayal of strong women. And I just love the ladies (both C&L and Sharon and Tyne!)- Christine is defineately my favourite!
The UK have always had a fascination with all things American (in my opinion) but I also think this show came out at just the right time, when women were becoming more common in the work place etc. It seems that it was working women but also teenage girls (trying to find their identities) that watched the show - thats why I watch it!- and so maybe thats why it was such a hit? Who knows, one thing Im glad of though is that its never gone out of fashion, abit like ABBA really!
Love to Sharon and wishing her lots of luck for the Emmy - we all know its hers!
Keep well, love Ash

Rach said...

Hello Barney –

Thanks for the updates! Good to know the latest on the DVDs (glad to hear there is a possibility of the later seasons/whole series coming to a store near us). Also, very happy to know “The Menopause years” will be coming to DVD. We will buying them. I will be checking on the release date, so thanks for letting us know you’ll update whenever possible…. This is only my second time blogging on this site – I just wanted to say great site to this classic series. My family and I wanted to say congratulations to Ms. Gless on her Emmy nomination. I don’t watch TV much, but my mom saw her on Nip/Tuck and she was um…. scary on it.
Have a great day and I hope that you, Ms. Gless and Ms. Daly are well.

Rachel B

Margie said...

Wahoo! Barney is back! Please know how much we all appreciate hearing from you. (I still need a dictionary close by whenever I read writings by you...and I am a college professor. How embarrassing!)

I look forward to your next post and maybe hearing from Sharon and Tyne as well. Thank you for giving back to your many fans.


Kristy said...

Great to hear from you again, Barney. Of course loved the memoir and am so happy to hear of your accolades. Also, congratulations to Sharon on the "Nip/Tuck" nomination! She was terrific as Colleen - loved seeing her in such a juicy role. Fingers crossed for a win - she definitely deserves it!

I'm in a hurry this AM but will undoubtedly have many questions for you if you have time to answer for us all. Also, wanted to give you a heads up regarding a nice bit on C&L I saw this morning on a blog called "the rap sheet".

Here's the link:

Is the bit true about Sidney Clute? I always thought you'd kept his picture in the opening titles through the run of the series because of the great love and respect you and the cast had for him (we all loved LaGuardia). Is it also true that having the picture there helped his family in a financial way - as the blog states? Good if it did.

Take care and tell Sharon and Tyne we'd love to "hear" from them both. Saw a picture of Sharon, Rosie O. and Kathy Griffin (ADORED her live in "Dallas-adjacent" recently) at dinner in Vegas prior to Cher's concert. What fun! Did Sharon come home with any "PRINTABLE" stories to tell? :)

CD said...

I'm also in the UK, though have taken to setting the recorder to avoid the 6am rises ... I just wish someone could persuade ITV3 to show the movies, cos I've never seen them! (WEll, only the intro one)