Biffle and Shooster Meet The Show Runner: Next on TVC

Award-winning television producer Cy Chermak, voice actor Will Ryan and writer, producer and director Michael Schlesinger will join us this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

After beginning his career as a stage actor in New York, where he appeared in two Broadway plays, Cy Chermak moved to Hollywood during the Golden Age of Television, where he not only wrote for such anthology shows as Kraft Theater, Front Row Center, and Suspense, but developed a reputation as one of the best script doctors in the industry. That led to an opportunity to produce The Virginian, the first 90-minute Western on television (which Cy produced for five seasons), as well as many other network series, including such iconic shows as Ironside, CHiPs, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Cy’s new book, The Show Runner: An Insider’s Guide to Successful TV Production, tells you everything you need to know to succeed as a producer in television today, from the importance of a good concept, keeping it believable, and staying on top of the writing, to staying within budget and knowing when to delegate responsibilities while still maintaining control. Cy’s book is also filled with great stories based on real-life experiences (including insight into the likes of James Drury, Doug McClure, David Hartman, Darren McGavin, and David Chase), lessons learned, regrets and many delights. The Show Runner also addresses such topical issues as the #MeToo movement (and, specifically, how to avoid the pitfalls of the casting couch), how to deal with the media, how to protect your stars, and what to do to keep substance abuse out of the production, while also answering such burning questions as Why Are There So Many Producer Credits on TV Shows Today? Cy Chermak will join us in our second hour.

This week’s show will also include Part 2 of our conversation with Will Ryan and Michael Schlesinger. Will is the star, along with Nick Santa Maria, and Michael is the writer, producer and director, of The Misadventures of Biffle and Shooster, a collection of 1930s-style comedies that pay homage to The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and other vintage comedy teams. While Mike, Will and Nick made these films over the last five years, the sets, the camera shots and, above all, the performances of everyone involved are so convincing, they look and sound as if they were unearthed from the same Golden Era of Hollywood to which they pay tribute. We’ll talk about some of the extra features on the Biffle and Shooster DVD, as well as why Biffle and Shooster appeal to audiences of all ages (including young viewers), whether more films are in the works, plus a special surprise guest. Will Ryan and Michael Schlesinger will join us in our first hour.

The Misadventures of Biffle and Shooster is a collection of five comedy shorts (all but one of which was filmed in black and white), including “The Biffle Murder Case,” “Imitation of Wife,” “Schmo Boat,” “Bride of Finklestein,” and “It’s a Frame Up,” while guests stars include H.M. Wynant, Dick Miller, Andrew Parks, Robert Forster and Robert Picardo. The DVD also includes a ton of bonus features, including an additional short (“First Things Last”), more than an hour of bloopers and outtakes, and a 1962-style “reunion” interview that Will and Nick perform in character as Biffle and Shooster. (“The Biffle Murder Case,” “Imitation of Wife,” “Schmo Boat” and “Bride of Finklestein” are also available for viewing on demand on Amazon, Vudu and other streaming platforms, under the umbrella title The Adventures of Biffle and Shooster.)

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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