I'm an Irish-American, and I grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood.
I try to watch only real things, which basically amounts to C-Span for me. I like real people in real situations. I learn from that.
I live out in the desert, in farm country. I'm around a lot of farmers, guys with packing houses, that sort of thing. Half the time, these guys are in their pajamas or in their slippers. It's their place.
I don't play polo anymore because I am too old. But we still have a half a dozen horses - a couple of young horses we are teaching how to play polo and older horses that are real trustworthy when you get them up in the mountains.
Joey, my older brother, had his own TV show in the '50s, along with Cathy Callahan.
If you watch Cheers, in 12 years they didn't age a day.
It worked well because Don Murray didn't want to be on Knots anymore.
The West Wing seems to be feeding the myth about how presidential politics are.
Ultimately the Emmys are a popularity contest.
When you go to a movie, it's about what's not being said. I tried to bring that to Greg Sumner. It was always about what's not being said.
I would fix other people's lines if they asked me on occasion. The hard part of writing is the architecture of it, getting the story and structuring it. Not the tweaking of lines.
I'm trying to find a character that's my age and I can sustain week after week. I'd like to do a series.
What I would have liked to do on that show was play a secretary of state who has huge personal business interests throughout the world. That, to me, seems to be more in synch with reality.
There's a certain possessiveness of writers sometimes.
And I have to credit David Jacobs with the opportunities he gave me. He was totally into sharing the creation of characters. David put together a show that told the story of people over many years' time and that was greatly enjoyable. Though nowadays that is frowned upon.
Networks don't want a show with a continuing story. There's no backend potential.
Even though shows like NYPD Blue are soaps in my opinion, but they're individualized to an extent that you can still follow what's going on if you miss a week.
A show like Knots or any other show that can be called a soap opera does terribly in syndication because if you're a viewer and you miss a week you don't know what's going on.
Writers are not always right however, but then again, I've been on shows where the actors have complete control and change everything and it's terrible.
Clint Eastwood is aging beautifully. But someone like Burt Reynolds and others are practically destroying their faces in the amount of work they have.
The business is built on slowing or even stopping the aging process.
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