Herbie J Pilato’s New TV Show Starts Streaming July 1!

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Herbie J Pilato has always loved television.

While growing up in Rochester, New York in the 1960s, his favorite TV series included Star Trek, Petticoat Junction, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Bewitched, just to name a few. “Those shows inspired me,” he says today. “And they inspired a lot of people. It was a traumatic, yet remarkable time.”

Indeed. The 1960s were littered with war, racial turmoil, political assassinations, all of which somehow coexisted with “flower power,” “free love,” and the sexual revolution.

In the midst of it all was a little boy Herbie J (no period after the “J,” long story) who years later would mature into a writing machine that would chronicle it all, first with a series of heralded TV companion books, articles, and blogs which subsequently bled into his work as a consultant and producer on several classic TV documentaries. In 2010, he then founded the Classic TV Preservation Society, a formal 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the positive social influence of classic television.

And now, after more than five decades of loving, living, and breathing classic TV, Herbie J hosts Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, a new classic TV talk show that Shout Factory TV begins streaming July 1st on Amazon Prime, among other media platforms. Then Again will focus on the shows and stars that impacted and influenced Herbie J in the most uplifting way. “To be inspired by Mayberry, RFD and Wonder Woman as a child,” he says, “…and then be able to share that affection with both the people who were involved with such shows, and with the viewers at home who loved the shows as much as I did, is well…just simply a wonderful thing.”

Then Again is executive-produced by Council Tree Productions, headed by Steven Hillard and Joel Eisenberg (The Chronicles of Ara), who along with producer and wife Lorie Girsh Eisenberg, discovered Herbie J in 2015, when he hosted his Throwback Thursdays live-events at the Barnes & Noble in Burbank. “My wife and I visited Herbie at one of his events and we were immediately sold. ‘Why isn’t anyone honoring classic TV stars like this on a regular basis?’ we asked. The answer turned into our show.”

Herbie J is quick to clarify, “Then Again would never have happened had it not been for Joel and Lorie. They believed in me and my work as much as I did, if not more. When I was doing the live-events in Burbank, I wasn’t thinking of it all becoming a TV show. I was just happy with talking to people like Dawn Wells [Gilligan’s Island] and Lydia Cornell [Too Close For Comfort], and I felt like, ‘Ok, this is a good thing. It doesn’t get much better than this.’”

But it did get better, and was it all because Herbie J pursued his dreams. “I just followed my heart,” he says. “I loved classic TV, and then I wrote about what I loved. As a writer, that’s the ideal scenario. And that it all somehow materialized into hosting my own talk show, which actually has become more than a dream come true, especially because many of the shows that I grew up watching were talk shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, while certainly, too, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson had a great influence on me. The fact that I would eventually work on The Tonight Show as an NBC Page seemed to possibly foreshadow my hosting Then Again.”

“I mean,” he continues, “…who knows how things work out, right? Who really, really knows what the plan is in the big-picture scheme of things? I’ve just always tried to do the best work I can, and bring and share a few smiles along with the way. Right now, I’m just grateful for the amazing opportunity that Shout Factory TV has presented me with. I am nothing less than thrilled, and I want only to do the best job I can.”

Considering the line-up of stars for Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, the pathway for its success is cleared. Future episodes will feature Marion Ross (Happy Days) and Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), for a special tribute to producer/writer/director Garry Marshal, brothers Barry Livingston and Stanley Livingston (My Three Sons), Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, and David Selby (the iconic stars of Dark Shadows), Burt Ward (Batman), Robert Conrad (The Wild Wild West), and Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), the latter of whom Herbie J also interviewed for his new book, Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story (recently published by Jacobs Brown Press).

Either way, we here at TVWriter.com couldn’t be more proud that one of our spawn has spun his own TV show. For us, it doesn’t get much better than that!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Herbie J Pilato has been part of TVWriter™ for 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Mr. Pilato his very self  HERE.

Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process

Time now for a solidly thoughtful and genuinely helpful article about something we all need help with from time to time – how to overcome all the usual articles and not only start writing something you love but keep going all the way to the finish.

Oh, and it’s also solidly and so darn civilly written that alone has made us smile since we first saw it. Our thanks to Betty Flowers, former Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and to Michelle Gordon, who first brought this to our attention.

by Betty S. Flowers

“What’s the hardest part of writing?” I ask on the first day of class.

“Getting started,” someone offers, groaning.

“No, it’s not getting started,” a voice in the back of the room corrects. “It’s keeping on once you do get started. I can always write a sentence or two-but then I get stuck.”

“Why?” I ask.

“I don’t know. I am writing along, and all of a sudden I realize how awful it is, and I tear it up. Then I start over again, and after two sentences, the same thing happens.”

“Let me suggest something which might help,” I say. Turning to the board, I write four words: “madman,” “architect,” “carpenter,” “judge.”

Then I explain:

“What happens when you get stuck is that two competing energies are locked horn to horn, pushing against each other. One is the energy of what I’ll call your ‘madman.’ He is full of ideas, writes crazily and perhaps rather sloppily, gets carried away by enthusiasm or anger, and if really let loose, could turn out ten pages an hour.

“The second is a kind of critical energy-what I’ll call the ‘judge.’ He’s been educated and knows a sentence fragment when he sees one. He peers over your shoulder and says, ‘That’s trash!’ with such authority that the madman loses his crazy confidence and shrivels up. You know the judge is right-after all, he speaks with the voice of your most imperious English teacher. But for all his sharpness of eye, he can’t create anything.

“So you’re stuck. Every time your madman starts to write, your judge pounces on him….

Read it all at ut-ie.com




by TVWriter™ News Service

The Writers Guild of America West’s nominating committees have announced the initial list of candidates for the 2019 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election.

The Officer candidates are as follows: President* – David A. Goodman (inc.); Vice President – Marjorie David (inc.), Carl Gottlieb; Secretary-Treasurer – Michele Mulroney, Evette Vargas.

*The second nominee designated by the nominating committee for the office of President declined the nomination.

There are 17 candidates running for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors as follows: Angelina Burnett (inc.), Alvaro Rodriguez, Rasheed Newson, Liz Alper, Nicole Yorkin (inc.), Luvh Rakhe, (inc.), Meredith Stiehm (inc.), Ashley Edward Miller, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Dante W. Harper, Robb Chavis, Chris Roessner, Zoe Marshall, Craig Mazin, Rob Forman, Mike Mariano, Ayelet Waldman.

*Note: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.

In addition to the candidates selected by the Guild’s nominating committees, eligible members may also be nominated by petition. Members seeking nomination for the office of President, Vice President, or Secretary-Treasurer must obtain 25 member signatures in support of their petitions. Members seeking nomination for the Board of Directors must obtain 15 member signatures in support of their petitions. The deadline for submitting signed petitions to the WGAW is Tuesday, July 23, at 12:00 p.m. (PT). Members may download online nomination petitions by visiting the members-only section of the Guild’s website.

The WGAW will host its annual Candidates Night forum, where Guild members may meet and pose questions to the candidates, on Wednesday, August 28, at WGAW headquarters.

Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate, and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may distribute additional campaign materials at their own expense. The voting period concludes at Monday, September 16, at 12:00 p.m. (PT). Members may vote online or by mail. In accordance with labor law, proxy voting is not permitted.

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #51 – “New Life”

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

Today is the most glorious day of 2006. It’s been raining since about midnight. Rumbling thunder. Gusting winds. Lightning in the distance.

Three consecutive days of deluge have changed everything here on the Mountain. Gwen the Beautiful’s irises are in bloom. So are the dogwoods. Even the grass that burned out in last summer’s drought is starting to return. The very atmosphere seems green.

And the sound! The main house and the Annex both have metal roofs, and I can’t think of a single existing musical group that can match the rhythm I hear and feel as I write.

I can honestly say I feel more alive than I have in many long months. I’m not the only one either. Gwen’s got a spring in her step that’d been missing for awhile. The animals are filled with energy.

And the Annex has started talking.

Yes, I know how strange that sounds. But on a property the original owners fled from because they saw and heard so many ghosts, it would be stranger still if things seemed normal.

The Annex has been empty for a couple of weeks, with Burl Jr., the New Cloud Creek Caretaker, scheduled to move in this weekend. Over that time Gwen’s been outfitting and decorating to make the place perfect for its use as both an art studio and the home of our new hand. So yesterday I walked over there to make sure there were no leaks to spoil things.

Now I’ll flat-out admit I’ve been uncomfortable with this trailer since we first moved it up here. It’s been nothing but an inanimate hunk of metal, blocking my view of the forest. But yesterday, in the cold, pouring rain, the place felt warmer than it ever had before.

Especially when it said, “Good morning.”

I jumped about two feet into the air. “You’re alive?” I said.

“Born last night,” the Annex said. “Daughter of the rain. And Gwen’s love.”

“That’s what it takes?

“I guess. I don’t really know. I’m just a kid.”

As we talked I started to smell something. Freshly made popcorn. I looked around the kitchen. The stove and the oven were clean as a whistle. I sniffed at the windows, the heating duct, even the portable air-conditioner. The popcorn smell wasn’t coming from any of those places.

It was coming from everywhere.

“What’s going on?” I said to the trailer.

“Don’t you like it?” the trailer said. “How’s this?”

The popcorn smell vanished. In its place was the aroma of fresh-baked cherry pie.

“Better?” said the trailer.

“I dunno,” I said.

“I want you to love me,” said the Annex. “I’ll love you back. I promise.

“Is that what this is about? You’re looking for something that’ll make me love you?”

“You and Gwen and everybody!” the Annex said. “People love food, don’t they? I don’t know how I know that, but I do.”

The smell of cherry pie grew stronger. It was like a dozen cherry pies baking together. Way too sweet. Overpowering. I staggered back, fled from the trailer.

As I stood on the deck, gasping for air in the rain, the Annex spoke again. “Too much?” it said.

“Too much,” I agreed. “You’re just a kid. You don’t understand how things can be both better and worse at the same time. But you’ve created one of those things.”

“I’ll keep trying.”

And it has. This morning the cherry pie smell was gone. Replaced by angel food cake with just the slightest strawberry tang.

The truth is that I’d love the Annex even if it didn’t try so hard. In fact, even if it didn’t try at all. Just the way I’d love any newborn.

But I’m not telling that trailer. No sir. Because the plain fact is that if there’s one dessert I go crazy for even more than chocolate fudge brownies it’s strawberry shortcake. And strawberry shortcake is what’s filling the air just inside that door.

I’ve reached a point here in Paradise where I don’t question the Annex’s new life. I am, however, wondering about something else. I don’t know which is more bewildering and wonderful to me. The fact that the scent exists…or the fact that in such a short time this child of the rain and Gwen’s love has found the right one.

Told you it was a glorious day!

WGA-ATA Weekly Report

by Larry Brody

To me, the most interesting development in a week loaded with what I think of as Pseudo (or Non-) Developments is that we now have reached the stage where showbiz news sources are playing the “The writers haven’t won so they must be losing” card.

To put it another way, what I’m seeing is a lot of coverage of imaginary “thoughts behind what isn’t happening” presented as news and, still, a total refusal to accept the simple fact that the Writers Guild of America, as a labor union made up of real live women and men who make their livings writing TV and films, has every right to set up standards of business conduct for companies that want to be the business representatives of its members, and inherent in those standards is a belief that, “If you want to be our agents, you shouldn’t also be making yourselves our employers.”

ITPTTPS – It’s The Packaging That’s the Problem, Stupid.

Hmm, I like that acronym. It looks the way Bloom County’s character Bill the Cat Sounds.

Here’s an interesting overview of what the ruckus is all about:


Here’s how David Goodman, President of WGAW, explained the situation June 19th:


Here’s some of last week’s most interesting “news” coverage of said ruckus and theWGAW point of view. Interesting to me because it is in a great part biased against writers:

Will WGA Election Become Vote Of Confidence In Guild’s Leadership Over Agency Campaign Strategy?

Phyllis Nagy Responds To David Young’s Scribes’ Petition Reply, Suggests Membership Vote On WGA’s Course Of Action – 2nd Update

WGA Rejects ATA’s Latest Offer, Proposes Negotiations With Individual Agencies

WGA Suit Against Big 4 Talent Agencies Gets A New Venue And A New Judge — The Fourth In the “Complex” Case

WGA Suit Against Big 4 Talent Agencies Gets A New Venue And A New Judge — The Fourth In the “Complex” Case

ATA Says WGA “Is Not Interested In Making A Deal” As Standoff Continues

What a world!

In Solidarity,