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.