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Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:23 pm
by January
daisy60 wrote:If anyone knows for sure it would be Andy!
and here's his response

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:26 pm
by January
PER ANDY KLYDE

Here are the relevant facts from those long-ago days as I understand them. In the days and weeks following Dan Blocker's tragic and untimely death at age 43 on May 13, 1972, the chief BONANZA decision-makers, executive producer David Dortort, producer Richard Hawkins, story editor/associate producer John Hawkins, and increasingly, actor (and increasingly frequently writer-director) Michael Landon, struggled to figure out how to "carry on without Hoss." (The BONANZA universe was already showing signs of tumult in the spring of 1972 -- Chevrolet had decided to end its decade-long sponsorship, and NBC announced it would air the series on Tuesday nights in the Fall instead of its traditional Sunday night berth.) The group's first decision was an easy one -- extend an invitation to David Canary to return as "Candy." (Since he didn't leave under ideal circumstances, Michael Landon extended an olive branch by asking David personally to return.)


There was discussion of also asking Pernell Roberts back (either permanently, semi- permanently or as a one-time only special guest star) but I'd heard firsthand from some of the decision-makers that that idea was discarded quickly as impractical. The solution they came up with was to create and introduce a new character, "Griff King," to be played by Tim Matheson. (Another important decision made at that initial strategy meeting -- bring back the original Livingston-Evans theme song. Whether it was Lorne Greene's idea or Michael Landon's depends on who you ask. Jay Livingston told me, "Take your pick.")


Michael re-tooled his script "'and Forever" and "Little Joe" took the bride meant for "Hoss." The bride meets her demise in the original version, and her fate is unchanged in the revision. Unfortunately Michael and the others did not have the foresight at the time to realize yet another tragedy would turn off viewers, and so there was no consideration to let the bride live long and prosper. (Ratings plummeted after the 2-hour season premiere on September 12, 1972.) ML explained in interviews at the time that he wanted to present a tragedy in the fictional world of BONANZA that could echo the tragedy the cast and crew were experiencing in real-life, and allow an on-camera expression of their collective grief over the loss of the enormously popular and irreplaceable Dan Blocker.


"TPTP" (an expression I dislike and find about as useful in a narrative as "LOL") . . . if by "the powers that be" you mean NBC programming department heads and other high-ranking network executives, they endorsed the ideas of the BONANZA company and aired their episodes with little or no interference at that point. Since PR was enjoying a busy career free-lancing in an assortment of shows airing on all the networks at the time, including NBC, I cannot imagine a scenario where an NBC executive would object to PR appearing on BONANZA. On the contrary, they'd probably be delirious over the possible ratings bonanza (pun intended) of such an event.


Best BONANZA wishes,
ANDY KLYDE

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:43 pm
by daisy60
Thank you for clarifying this. I will definitely take Andy's word for how it was. Perhaps somebody at that meeting heard Pernell's name mentioned and took it literally.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:04 pm
by Tracy
I figured they wouldn't ask Pernell back simply because it had been several seasons since a third son had even been mentioned. It would have confused the heck out of viewers.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:29 pm
by ellen
January wrote:PER ANDY KLYDE
...
Michael re-tooled his script "'and Forever" and "Little Joe" took the bride meant for "Hoss." The bride meets her demise in the original version, and her fate is unchanged in the revision. Unfortunately Michael and the others did not have the foresight at the time to realize yet another tragedy would turn off viewers, and so there was no consideration to let the bride live long and prosper. (Ratings plummeted after the 2-hour season premiere on September 12, 1972.)
I was not a Bonanza viewer at the time; our house was a "Gunsmoke" house. But everyone knew who the Cartwrights were, the basic story, and that "Hoss" had died. And everyone knew that "Little Joe is finally getting married!"; I specifically remember the promos airing, and the expectation of joy coming to the Cartwrights at last. And I remember afterwards that people were really angry about the death of Alice. I heard people say "I'm never watching it again!"

With the death of Hoss, the show was not going to be the same. I think if the producers had had the time to think about it, they might have realized that they couldn't continue on with "Cartwright wife dies, the show goes on, business as usual." But of course, hindsight is 20/20, and maybe there was nothing anyone could do to make the show continue after the death of Hoss.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 7:01 pm
by Tracy
It always bothered me that Hop Sing is not at Joe's wedding. In fact, he isn't even in this two-part episode. Neither is Roy Coffee. Now, Victor Sen Yung did appear in a season 14 episode, so I know he was still under contract. Ray Teal, I believe, was not in 1973. But I would have thought they could have brought him back to sit in the church scene.

I am also disappointed that the loyal viewers - and there were many then - were cheated out of seeing Joe tell Ben he was going to be a grandfather. Talk about a missed opportunity to grab the Bonanza fans by their heart strings!

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 9:13 pm
by emilysean
I don't remember a lot of specific episodes from when Bonanza first aired but I do remember this episode. Possibly because my own father had almost died from the same thing that killed Dan but I think that it was such a shock that a beloved character was gone that made an impression. I seem to remember we made a point to watch the episode to see how they would handle things. And I remember when Alice died that we made a comment about how the Cartwright women never did fair well. I'm surprised they even went on after Dan's death. Although it would have been nice if they would have tied things up by having Pernell return just in time to see Joe get married and walk off into the sunset. And possibly present Ben with his first grandchild.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 8:51 am
by tym
I was sure at the time, Adam would show up for the wedding.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:28 pm
by PJudith
I didn't see this when it first aired. I only watched a few of the last season episodes. For me, the heart went out of the show when Dan Blocker passed away. And I had heard about the two parter and just had a bad feeling about it. I really did not think they would allow Joe's new bride to remain on the show.

When I saw it many years later I was glad I hadn't seen it when I was younger. It was so utterly devastating. It was the last season. They couldn't change the formula and allow ONE happy Cartwright marriage ? :mad


In the first part I noticed something about the way styles changed from the sixties episodes. Back then actresses appeared in heavy make-up and very elaborate hair-dos that reflected the more made up look of the sixties. That's the 1960's, not the 1860's! Women back then did not wear make-up (except for "fancy ladies"). But the show reflected the trends of the day. Just like in Star Trek, the women crewmmembers of the Enterprise wore mini skirts and sixties hairstyles. When the late films came out, the women wore 1980's hairstyles.

Back to BZ, Alice Harper had a much more natural, softer look and a simple hairstlye. I thought Bonnie Bedelia was a very naturally pretty woman . I think her look was closer to that time period, not the earlier lipstick and eye shadow look!

BTW, Bonnie Bedelia is still looking good for her age! Very attractive woman.

Re: Episode 416 - FOREVER

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:55 am
by lovemychico
Tracy wrote:I am also disappointed that the loyal viewers - and there were many then - were cheated out of seeing Joe tell Ben he was going to be a grandfather. Talk about a missed opportunity to grab the Bonanza fans by their heart strings!
YES, Tracy, I agree. I would have loved to seen Joe tell Ben that he was going to be a Grandpa!!