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Mannix is coming!

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#2001 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 25 2014 - 09:37 PM

The MOD SQUAD producers probably figured that much of the younger demographic that watched their show wouldn't have a clue who MANNIX was or where he lived/worked, so if the Paseo set wasn't in use then it was fair game.

 

In recent days, I've completed two of the last three MANNIX episodes. "Design For Dying" was one I'd started a couple of weeks ago but hadn't gotten around to finishing. That episode intrigued me based on the cast. Barbara Rush was a well-known actress who I got to appreciate through her work as Lt. Gerard's wife "Marie" in the two-part episode of THE FUGITIVE called "Landscapes With Running Figures". And her husband here, Dennis Patrick, had also done a quick role in a FUGITIVE ("Storm Center"), but I was more familiar with him as the roguish "Jason McGuire" from the gothic soap DARK SHADOWS.

 

This episode was also much more like a standard MANNIX episode with its base in L.A., interactions with Peggy, and the twists and turns of the plot. I let the next episode play as I'd gotten comfortable on the couch and it was kind of rainy out yesterday. I saw most of "Search For A Dead Man" but have to confess nodding off in the middle. I'll need to go back and revisit that one some day when I'm looking for a MANNIX fix. Familiar faces here were John Hillerman, Paul Mantee, and Robert Symonds. The lovely Mary Wilcox had done two other turns in MANNIX over the years. Again we got to see Peggy feed Joe a line that helped solve the case.

 

Just one more left - and I'm not all that eager to run it, but I will endeavor to do so sometime in the next week or so.

 

Harry 

Harry,

 

"Design for Dying" is buried deep behind the reason I have done so much writing on this thread. Three years ago, I started to write here because I wanted to see the rest of the series released -- so badly. That was my sole goal -- to help that in any way I could. This thread seemed like the best place to do it.

 

Mannix had this oddity of having more than a full season buried in the vaults, never seen in syndication anywhere in the world. But I was a big Mannix fan as a kid. And, I had seen all of the episodes of Mannix -- except for this one. Because the night it first ran was the night before one of my parents was to have major, life-altering surgery the next day.

 

This was 1975. We don't think in terms of life-altering surgery so much anymore. We think people have surgery, and it works, or not. There is no in-between. We don't think of potentially devastating, mutilating and long-term consequences of side-effects. But the result of this surgery was akin to part of someone's head being blown off by a roadside bomb. So, the surgery dramatically affected the trajectory of my life and the lives of everyone I loved.

 

Because of the tension in the house that night, no one was permitted to turn on the TV. I had seen the "Next on Mannix" previews for the episode, and was already hooked, looking forward to it, as usual. But, another thing about those days was that if you weren't able to sit in front of a TV when the episode first ran, you had to wait to see it in the summer re-runs -- there was no other option. If you missed that opportunity, you had to wait for the hopefully not too seriously mutilated episode to run in syndication.

 

But this episode never ran in the summer reruns that final year. And it never made it to syndication anywhere in the world for the next 35 years. It only ever ran -- ever -- on any U.S. channel of any kind once -- on March 23, 1975. Mannix was canceled after running only two more new episodes after that.

 

So, on a day 36 years after the episode first ran the night I sat in my bedroom contemplating the terror ahead of me and knew a fresh episode of Mannix was running and available to be watched on a TV set that was fully functional but I was not permitted to turn on, I sat down and watched the only episode of Mannix I had never seen before. It was surreal. I knew the broad outlines of the episode. I remembered the pre-views, the teaser scenes, held in my mind all those years. And 36 years later, it delivered!

 

The scenes with Joe and Peggy -- notice them! For years I wondered what might have happened to those two, either in the writer's minds, had the series been renewed, or in my own imagination, given enough hints. After an upturn at the beginning of season 7, their relationship sort of cooled off. So, I was forced to think, for 36 years, that perhaps it was destined to go nowhere. Except, in this episode, we have these two scenes where they are back to being playful and suggestive again -- very suggestive for the norms of that day. Peggy wanted flowers and candy from Joe. Really? Oh, how sweet it was to watch that episode. And oh, how denied I felt that I did not have it in my memory all those years.

 

But, the experience taught me something else. When I was not permitted to watch TV that night, the parent who did that (who recently passed away and whom I deeply loved, beyond words) was wrong. Taking their cue, still only thirteen years old at that time and at the dawn of adolescence, I felt it was time for me to put aside childish things like being a fan of the series, and become an adult.

 

But that was utterly misguided. I needed my connection to my hero, and never more than on that particular night. It took me nearly four decades to learn how important certain kinds of heroes can be to helping us survive so much, and why. Now, the kid who thought it was adult to leave childish heroes behind has finally grown up. Armed with experience, study, reflection and reason, I can say with full confidence that heroes are of immense value, in direct proportion to what we are asked to endure and what challenges we take on in life. 



#2002 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 09 2014 - 07:09 PM

Looks like someone finally wrote a book on Mannix...

 

http://www.amazon.co... back to mannix

 

Currently, Amazon has the description but not the picture, while Barnes and Noble has the picture but not the description!

 

http://www.barnesand...n=9781593935658

 

Then again, the Amazon link only went up yesterday, and the bn.com link only went up earlier today.  

 

Here's hoping the book is a good one, because the series sure deserves it.  


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#2003 of 2219 OFFLINE   FanCollector

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Posted March 09 2014 - 07:17 PM

Judging from the author's identity, I'd say we have good reason to believe that the series is in capable and loving hands.

Congratulations on the publication. I know you have sold quite a few copies right here.

#2004 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 09 2014 - 07:30 PM

Judging from the author's identity, I'd say we have good reason to believe that the series is in capable and loving hands.

Congratulations on the publication. I know you have sold quite a few copies right here.

Lee,

 

Thank you so much!

 

To say that I never thought I would write such a book is an incredible understatement. 

 

If you check the posts on this thread, I always said I would not write one -- then sort of backed off saying that a bit in July of 2012. 

 

I thought that if I didn't write one then the series might never have a book, or if it did ever get one it would be a typical TV log book -- and the series deserves so much better than that. 

 

Believe me, this is not a typical TV log book.   

 

This is not a typical book -- period.  But it is all about the series.  

 

And I have never enjoyed anything I have ever undertaken quite so much as writing this book.   

 

I do hope people enjoy it.  I know it is not for everyone.  But I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. 

 

Also, especially knowing the book was going to be so different, I would not have written it without Mike Connors' approval.   That's how much I respect his series and character.  



#2005 of 2219 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted March 09 2014 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for the post. I will be ordering this book today.
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

#2006 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 10 2014 - 06:44 AM

Thanks for the post. I will be ordering this book today.

David,

 

Thanks so much for the post. 

 

I'm traveling until 3/18 -- just odd timing of things -- and so won't actually see a copy of the printed book myself until then, at the earliest (I've seen the proofs, of course).  

 

I do hope people like it -- and for the same reasons I started to write here in the first place -- so that people come to appreciate the series more.  

 

This thread is mentioned in the book -- no usernames (or real names) because that seemed wrong.  But I did say just how much I started to look forward to posting here.    


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#2007 of 2219 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted March 10 2014 - 10:20 AM

This is surely exciting news and will come as something quite welcome to many of this thread's participants. Congratulations JoAnn, and I hope this becomes an indispensable series companion. As most books on TV series do, it will likely get me to want to watch it all over again.

 

Harry


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#2008 of 2219 OFFLINE   Shatner's Grim Reaper

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Posted March 10 2014 - 01:12 PM

Gotta have this one.....yippee. :-)



#2009 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 10 2014 - 03:02 PM

This is surely exciting news and will come as something quite welcome to many of this thread's participants. Congratulations JoAnn, and I hope this becomes an indispensable series companion. As most books on TV series do, it will likely get me to want to watch it all over again.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Thanks very much for your post -- and for all of your great contributions to this thread.  

 

Fair warning though -- this is not a typical TV companion book.   So I hope people aren't expecting that.

 

But, if it should happen to prompt you or others to want to re-visit the series and discuss it here, that would be just fine with me!



#2010 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 10 2014 - 03:14 PM

Gotta have this one.....yippee. :-)

SGR,

 

I don't recommend this book for you.

 

When material is over people's heads, and they have not achieved a certain level of emotional maturity, they can sometimes act out, doing things like, for example, posting in threads when they are not fans of or know nothing of substance about the topic being discussed.  When people are frustrated they will sometimes do all sorts of things for attention, trying to pull others down to their level.  

 

This book, while hopefully easy and enjoyable to read, has some pretty deep subject matter. 

 

I could make some other recommendations for you, if you would like.   



#2011 of 2219 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted March 21 2014 - 12:00 PM

... this is not a typical TV companion book. 

 

Correct. I received my copy yesterday and can attest to the fact, that after reading one chapter, this is a terrific "Series Companion", not an episodic play-by-play. JoAnn, you've done yourself proud!

 

Harry 


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#2012 of 2219 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted March 21 2014 - 08:02 PM

I received my copy as well, and think it is an excellent read. Nice intro. by the Man himself. Greatjob!
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

#2013 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 22 2014 - 10:41 AM

Correct. I received my copy yesterday and can attest to the fact, that after reading one chapter, this is a terrific "Series Companion", not an episodic play-by-play. JoAnn, you've done yourself proud!

 

Harry 

Harry,

 

Thanks so much for this -- as usual, you are the greatest!   :)

 

Here's hoping the book holds up beyond Chapter 1 -- but I think it actually takes until Chapter 4 for the writing to hit its stride.  Chapters 2 and 3 were written first, and they have a certain thesis quality about them.  (Chapter 1 clearly belongs first!)   Being a hardcore academic, I couldn't seem to sit down to write a book without a thesis.  After I got past that, I started to have fun, and so I think the book gets better as it goes along.  It certainly gets deeper -- pretty philosophical, actually.  BTW, the early chapters also include some material from posts made here before I decided to write the book, so a few things may seem familiar to people who read this thread.   

 

Yesterday evening was the first time I actually saw the book in print.  I only saw the proofs before it went on sale, then I was traveling. Then, a copy arrived from Amazon, mistreated by the mail, as usual.  It's quite a strange feeling, to just walk down to the mailbox and get the mail one day to see it in there, just like countless other Amazon packages.  I can't stand to read it now -- I can't change it anymore!   

 

It's cliche to say that I hope people enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it -- I do hope for that, but that turns out to be a pretty lofty goal.  


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#2014 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 22 2014 - 10:59 AM

I received my copy as well, and think it is an excellent read. Nice intro. by the Man himself. Greatjob!

David,

 

Thank you so very much!  

 

"The Man" is truly a class act.  

 

He is one of the few in Hollywood to have such a reputation -- and he has had it for decades.  In the research I did for the book, I kept finding articles that confirmed as much, going back to when Mannix first aired.  In just the past few years, people have included nice things about him in their autobiographies (for example, Dick Van Dyke, Dianne Keaton, and Tim Conway).

 

The authenticity behind the character of Joe Mannix is a big part of what makes Mannix so very special -- and how unusual is that kind of authenticity in series television?  

 

That, alone, is a big reason Mannix deserved a book -- and a book about character.

 

I only hope I did it the justice it deserves.   

 

And, I cherish that Foreword.  


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#2015 of 2219 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted March 23 2014 - 09:34 AM

I have a question about MANNIX as it ran on ABC late night.

 

Did ABC alter the episodes in any way, like somehow shortening the opening or closing credits? I ask because I know that CBS used to alter the opening of the shows that it re-ran on its LATE MOVIE. For another thread in another forum, I just uploaded the opening and closing of THE AVENGERS as it ran on the CBS LATE MOVIE back in the summer of 1980 from an old VHS recording.

 

 

I have little or no recollection of the MANNIX run on ABC, so have no frame of reference to figure out if they ran it straight as produced, or was it somehow altered?

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#2016 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 23 2014 - 02:18 PM

I have a question about MANNIX as it ran on ABC late night.

 

Did ABC alter the episodes in any way, like somehow shortening the opening or closing credits? I ask because I know that CBS used to alter the opening of the shows that it re-ran on its LATE MOVIE. For another thread in another forum, I just uploaded the opening and closing of THE AVENGERS as it ran on the CBS LATE MOVIE back in the summer of 1980 from an old VHS recording.

 

 

I have little or no recollection of the MANNIX run on ABC, so have no frame of reference to figure out if they ran it straight as produced, or was it somehow altered?

 

Harry

Harry,

 

My recollection of the ABC Late night airings of Mannix is that the opening was completely intact and that the episodes were uncut.  If others have a different memory, please do chime in.  

 

As I recall, they ran off and on from 1975 until 1980 when Nightline (actually, "America Held Hostage" -- about the Iranian Hostage Crisis) took over.  After awhile, they did not run every night of the week (or so I recall).  And I think there might have been a time when they went off completely, and came back before the precursor to Nightline took over.   (Actually, I know they ran as late as 1980 or even 1981 where I lived -- but probably after Nightline.)

 

But, late night network programming was very different in those days.   Local stations would sometimes not run the network airings, preferring to run their own syndicated shows -- for which they could retain more profit from commercials.

 

For example, when the Late Show With David Letterman went on the air on CBS in 1993, ostensibly at 11:35, my local station did not air it until 12:05.  People complained.  The station explained that they had committed to run some syndicated show (some sort of precursor to Extra, as I recall) and had to wait until the contract expired.  So, quite a few ABC stations might have run Mannix differently -- not at all, not each day of the week, or starting later. 

 

But heck, I remember when networks used to sign off for the night, complete with Star Spangled Banner!   Oh, the desolate feeling when the plug was pulled and static came back to a once friendly channel...  As I recall, in our environs this used to happen on NBC right when The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson ended at 1am (yes, it started at 11:30, not 11:35, and ran for 90 minutes).  The Tomorrow Show, with Tom Synder, came on the air only in 1973.    

 

Those Mannix airings also ran for more than an hour, with the extra commercials.  And, they introduced at least one extra commercial break -- conspicuous because it did not have the "Mannix grid" going into and out of that extra break.  But, because the episodes were intact, those reruns did take the sting out, somewhat, from losing the first run of Mannix.

 

Ah, who am I kidding? 

 

 I'm still not over losing the ninth season of Mannix...  



#2017 of 2219 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted March 23 2014 - 04:14 PM

Your book makes me want to watch the whole series over again. Perhaps when the I finish S2 of Harry-O.
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

#2018 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 23 2014 - 06:15 PM

Your book makes me want to watch the whole series over again. Perhaps when the I finish S2 of Harry-O.

David,

 

Thanks so very much!   :)

 

And thanks also for posting here.

 

This is exactly what I was hoping for when I wrote the book -- to motivate more people to want to see the series again, or even for the first time.

 

That was my motivation for writing on this thread, all along -- to help the release of the rest of the series by pointing out how special it was, and is.  But, along the way I found out how and why well constructed heroic myths can help us be better people -- most especially when we are all alone, up against something.  

 

When our heroes become less, we become less.    

 

Put another way, maybe our biggest problem these days, behind everything else, is that our storied heroes are not what they used to be.   And so we are not what we used to be.   


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#2019 of 2219 OFFLINE   davidHartzog

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Posted March 23 2014 - 06:46 PM

True. Frankly, growing up,I viewed Joe Mannix and Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer as role models, and both are still with me today. I reread several Archers every year, and his sense of humanity never pales. They don't make heroes or p.I.s like they used to. Like the doll said, it's a bitter little world.
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

#2020 of 2219 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted March 24 2014 - 05:53 PM

True. Frankly, growing up,I viewed Joe Mannix and Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer as role models, and both are still with me today. I reread several Archers every year, and his sense of humanity never pales. They don't make heroes or p.I.s like they used to. Like the doll said, it's a bitter little world.

David,

 

"Humanity" is an interesting word. It seemed so important to some -- not all, but some -- of the leading characters of series in the Golden Age of Television.

 

Why is it so utterly lacking in story today?   

 

One thing I sometimes think is that current actors, writers and producers are more concerned with impressing their audience than with being there for their audience. 

 

So much of the baby boomer generation thinks of themselves first, and their audience/clientele/product, second.

 

But that's not even a good way to live a truly happy life, let alone a self-fulfilled one!  

 

By contrast, those involved with the Golden Age of Television tended to think more of their audience first. 

 

I read it in the articles I researched for Mannix -- things I started to enjoy finding well before I ever thought I would write a book. And, a few things I found too late to include in the book.

 

For example, Mike Connors used to watch the series with friends who were not associated with the show. He wanted their honest feedback, because he realized he was not going to get it from the directors who were involved with only a few episodes a year and the people who deferred to him on set. He mentioned specific things that were changed about the character of Joe Mannix as a result of these regular viewings. And, notice how Joe Mannix does evolve, virtually every year of the series.

 

He cared about the value the character had to viewers!  

 

When we discuss modern-day TV, to the extent we do that, we are virtually always talking in terms of some kind of "wow" or shock value or how overtly brilliant something or someone is.

 

But guess what -- that sort of stuff does not, as you put it, stay "with" you.

 

Nothing I have watched in the past thirty or more years, however clever and interesting at the time, has stayed with me.

 

It isn't just because I watched those things 'then" when I was more impressionable. Not everything I watched back then stayed with me either -- I wasn't just a sponge. But, some of it had the power to stay with me. And it is because the relationship between those behind the work and the viewer was very different.

 

When I view or read a story, I don't want to be impressed with how clever someone is. I want the cleverness to disappear into the value the story holds for me, over time. For those stories and characters that really matter to me, I don't want to talk about them at water coolers -- their impact on me is more personal, private, and longer-lasting.

 

I want help from story. I want to learn about what is important in life, to be inspired to be better when the time comes for me to be tested, and to have the courage to ask to be tested more.

 

I want the story and character to be so good that they stay with me -- for decades, the way Joe Mannix did.

 

I feel sorry for the current generation laden with the burden of story upon story filled with cleverness -- but no wisdom.

 

That has a lot to do with why I wrote the book. And just like the desire to want to do justice to the series, to my myth of choice that did stay with me and proved himself over a lifetime, I hope I did justice to that theme as well.


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