Where Hollywood Hides

Carrie Fairchild

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned on here before but I stumbled across this podcast series when I was looking for other Hollywood podcasts.

http://wherehollywoodhides.com

The series is made up of interviews and Bob Mc Cullough and his wife Suzanne talking about their careers in Hollywood. There's quite a bit of Falcon Crest content throughout the series including two episodes dedicated specifically to Bob's time on the show as well as individual episodes dedicated to interviews with Susan Sullivan, David Selby and Ana Alicia among others.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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For anyone not that bothered with listening to podcasts, here's a few of the tidbits that I've gleaned from what I've listened to so far. There's the usual stuff re: Jane vs Lana and about Abby Dalton being a pain in the ass, but here's a few that I don't think I've read on here before.

  • Cliff Robertson had to use cue cards in his scenes and was uncomfortable about playing the love interest of Laura Johnson, 34 years his junior.
  • It was Jane Wyman who inadvertently set the ball rolling that led to Bob McCullough's departure from the show's staff. A gay couple had moved from the writing staff of recently cancelled Flamingo Road to FC (they don't specify who?). When it came to going on location, Jane told Bob that she didn't want said couple going to Napa Valley with the rest of the crew. Bob went to his superior who told Bob to lie and tell them they couldn't get accommodation for them rather than tell them that Jane didn't want them around. The couple were understandably pissed about this and went to their superiors and this snowballed into "Bob is a homophobe" and led to him leaving the show.
  • Bob went on to develop Hollywood Wives for Aaron Spelling. They planned on turning it into a weekly series but then all the main players wanted more money than what they'd been paid for the miniseries and the plan was scrapped.
  • Unimpressed with doing something so lowbrow, Anthony Hopkins was drunk for much of the filming of Hollywood Wives. As a result, he had to read his lines from cues that they stuck all over the place, including onto whoever he was acting opposite.
  • Bob also developed Dark Mansions for Aaron Spelling. They originally wanted to cast Loretta Young in the lead role but when they went to her home to meet her, she said she'd do the role once "God was represented properly onscreen" and then made Bob get on the ground for 15 minutes so she could show him how to pray properly. The role was cast with Joan Fontaine as a result, with the official line to the press at the time being "Loretta didn't like the script".
  • Originally, I'd read that Dark Mansions didn't go to series because ABC only wanted one new soap that season and went with The Colbys instead. As it turns out, they had a viewer screening to gauge the response to it and the assembled audience howled with laughter at what was supposed to be a straight drama. This ended up souring Bob's relationship with Spelling as Aaron and Duke Vincent blamed Bob for the failure of the show and froze him out. Bob himself says he thought it was a fine show bar the musical score being a bit OTT. He figures it would have been a success had they just put it on air without the audience testing.
  • When discussing FC producers originally wanting Barbara Stanwyck for the role of Angela, Bob's wife Suzanne mentions being at a party in the 70's where a porno was being played on the TV and Barbara was the main star! Bob himself says he couldn't picture it given how "masculine" he thought Barbara was.
  • Bob had attended Beverly High and during his time at Spelling, had pitched the idea of a show set at the titular school. This would've been before Spelling's relationship with FOX and the birth of "teen TV" so Aaron didn't go with the show. Cut to a few years later and Beverly Hills 90210 was on the air.
 

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So Stanwyck did silent porn. Well, she was a dancer/showgirl, and that's what they often did. Joan Crawford was apparently blackmailed all her life with 1920s stag films she done in her youth; no wonder she was mad all the time.
It was Jane Wyman who inadvertently set the ball rolling that led to Bob McCullough's departure from the show's staff. A gay couple had moved from the writing staff of recently cancelled Flamingo Road to FC (they don't specify who?). When it came to going on location, Jane told Bob that she didn't want said couple going to Napa Valley with the rest of the crew. Bob went to his superior who told Bob to lie and tell them they couldn't get accommodation for them rather than tell them that Jane didn't want them around. The couple were understandably pissed about this and went to their superiors and this snowballed into "Bob is a homophobe" and led to him leaving the show.
So once again Wyman proves she really was Angela Channing.

Interesting version of that. At one point, Bob blamed his firing on Earl Hamner's reluctance to take on the studio politics at Lorimar, and made it sound like one executive was just out to get him for some reasons, a "gay scandal" being used as a public cover story for the firing.

Whatever the details, the show effectively ended when McCullough was shown the door. IMHO.

Why don't these top executives understand that not just anybody can produce a show like this?

When you read these accounts of the behind-the-scenes crap that goes on, it really is amazing that anything ever gets done -- especially anything good -- and no surprise when the project collapses so quickly (even if it technically stays on the air, listless and pointless and waiting for cancellation).
 

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I tend to assume the couple was Stern and Black, as they were gone midway thru Season 3. But they apparently gave a speech at Wyman's posthumous Palm Springs Walk of Fame star inauguration. So who knows?

 
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James from London

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Snarky's Ghost

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Originally, I'd read that Dark Mansions didn't go to series because ABC only wanted one new soap that season and went with The Colbys instead. As it turns out, they had a viewer screening to gauge the response to it and the assembled audience howled with laughter at what was supposed to be a straight drama. This ended up souring Bob's relationship with Spelling as Aaron and Duke Vincent blamed Bob for the failure of the show and froze him out. Bob himself says he thought it was a fine show bar the musical score being a bit OTT. He figures it would have been a success had they just put it on air without the audience testing
And yet they allowed the Pollocks to run DYNASTY for seven years.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I tend to assume the couple was Stern and Black, as they were gone midway thru Season 3. But they apparently gave a speech at Wyman's posthumous Palm Springs Walk of Fame star inauguration. So who knows?

Yeah I thought it might have been them too. I thought maybe their "gay lifestyle" was at odds Jane's deep Catholicism. Didn't she veto Jane Badler's character being a lesbian? But then Jane seemed to be firm friends with Cesar Romero and Rock Hudson over the years, so I wouldn't have pegged her as a homophobe.

As an aside, Bob McCullough's wife Suzanne became good friends with Jane. They bonded as Suzanne would attend Catholic mass with Jane when they were on location. They were close enough for Suzanne to venture a question about Jane being married to Ronald Reagan, over a glass of wine. Jane answered that he was "a great swimmer but could never balance his cheques". And that was all she had to say on the POTUS.
 

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Yeah I thought it might have been them too. I thought maybe their "gay lifestyle" was at odds Jane's deep Catholicism. Didn't she veto Jane Badler's character being a lesbian? But then Jane seemed to be firm friends with Cesar Romero and Rock Hudson over the years, so I wouldn't have pegged her as a homophobe.
Almost everybody was a homophobe. She, like much of Hollywood, was probably "fine" with it as long as it stayed in the closet. Like Hudson and Romero.

Carrie fairchild said:
As an aside, Bob McCullough's wife Suzanne became good friends with Jane. They bonded as Suzanne would attend Catholic mass with Jane when they were on location. They were close enough for Suzanne to venture a question about Jane being married to Ronald Reagan, over a glass of wine. Jane answered that he was "a great swimmer but could never balance his cheques". And that was all she had to say on the POTUS.
So nothing had changed.

 
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