The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas on June 20, 1976 · 52
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The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas · 52

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Odessa, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 20, 1976
Page:
52
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J 4D THE ODESSA AMERICAN Sunday. June ?Q, 1Q7S ra EDITOR'S NOTE The fall TV season will Include one Western series, on NBC. If it does well in the ratings, the Western might make a comeback on all three networks. By LEE MARGULIES Associated Press Writer , LOS ANGELES (AP) - This was supposed to be a story bout the return of the Western to television. The three commercial networks developed nine Old West pilots as potential series for next fall. With their mind-numbing infatuation with police shows finally on the ebb, it seemed certain they'd opt for at least one Western each as a needed change of pace. But the comeback turns out to have fallen far short of what could be considered trend-setting. Only one Western made TF(Dm the fall lineup "The Quest" on NBC. That, of course, is one more Western series than was carried this past season, but it hardly compares to a year such as 1959. when there were 32 horse operas on television. So the question becomes: Does television have a peculiar aversion to the genre? Westerns are certainly enjoying a resurgence in feature films. "There's nothing taboo about it, but you go at any given moment with what you think your best show is," says Michael Eisner, head of prime time production at ABC-TV. "At the time we made up our schedule (for the fall) we chose to continue in the contemporary urban arena as opposed to the period Western." Programmers at NBC and CBS say they also go with their mm If lea fad Sea Vh most promising pilots. But there is more to it than that. What lulled the television Western was demographics. There were too many series and the plots became too familiar just as with today's cop shows. But the biggest problem for the profit-oriented networks was that the cowboys were discovered to be lacking in appeal to the right audience, the 18-to49-year old city-dwellers who are the primary target of most TV advertisers. Why this was so is open to speculation. One theory advanced by Larry White, former NBC programming chief and now head of TV production at Columbia Studios, is that the traditional Western fulfilled certain fantasies for people who grew up in the '20s, '30s and '40s independence, rugg- Asner Riding Crest Of 'Mary Tyler Show LOS ANGELES (API - Fifteen years ago, Edward Asner landed in Hollywood and the unemployment compensation line. Today he is one of the town's most recognized faces. Not bad for an actor who by his own admission is fat, balding and middle-aged. He is riding the crest of six solid years of "The Mary Tyler Show," which might have typecast him forever as the gruff but gold-hearted boss. Except that this season he also appeared as the embittered father of the Jordash boys in "Rich Man, Poor Man" and won new respect - and an Emmy for his rounded talent. "I said it all in my acceptance speech," Asner reflects. "The fact that I succeeded reminded people of what an actor is supposed to be. I was glad to be the bearer of that telegram." He succeeded in a role that might easily have become the cliche of the brutal father. "People asked why I would play such a mean son of a ," the actor said. "They weren't looking beneath the vi-ciousnes and cruelty to see the man as he really was. "Axel was not exactly an ail-American sweetheart. But when you considered the indignities that life had inflicted on him, you saw that he was bigger than a lot of the petty persons who surrounded him. He might have been a different person if he hadn't been forced to eat rats in Hamburg, if he hadn't committed two murders to survive, if he hadn't married a frigid wife." And so, with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" facing its seventh and apparently last season, Ed Asner is much in demand for a variety of roles. Yet he may be facing more years as Lou Grant, the hard-headed newsman. The people at MTM Enterprise are dreaming up a new series to star Asner after Mary, Ted, Lou, Murray, et al, put their last newscast on the Twin Cities channel and vanish into reruns. The series is being planned by James Brooks and Allan Burns, who have guided "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from the beginning. "We're having talks this week," said Asner. "Right now they're shooting for an hour show. The idea is to do a good dramatic show with comedy asserting itself wherever it can be used. "It's possible that we'll con- Survey Shows Many Never ReportThefts SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (AP) More than half the shoplifters caught in the act are never turned over to authorities in San Antonio because the people who witness the theft don't report It. That's the major finding of 150 sociology students from the University of Texas-San Antonio who conducted a shoplifting survey with cooperation from store managers and police. The survey also revealed Younger people are less inclined to report a shoplifting, she guessed, because they are more likely to question whether it really is a crime. "I think one of the big reasons that people in general are not reporting is that they don't really think it's a crime to shoplift. Part of the reaction is that we think no one is being hurt," Dr. Carey said. More than 54 per cent of the shoppers failed to report a theft they witnessed, even tinue with the same character. The strength of Lou Grant and the possibilities of journalism make a good combination to start with. It may be that Lou will return to his first love, newspapers." There's little doubt that Ed Asner can carry a show on his two strong shoulders, but he has misgivings on two scores. One is changing from a live audience show to one played before camera and crew only. "I'm worried about saying goodby to the live audience; the immediate response is such a reward for an actor in a three-camera show." His second concern is personal: "I've seen what happens to stars of hour shows; they're not 'fun people.' Being a family man (wife Nancy, twins Matthew and Liza, 12; daughter Kate, 10), I'm concerned about the commitment of time." Is there a chance of a reprieve for the finale to "Mary Ty ler Moore Show"? "No," Asner said flatly. "There are many reasons for the end. Some of the reasons are economic (the series has already been sold to syndication). There are also emotional and artistic reasons for Mary, who wants to shake up the sands of the hour glass and take a year off. "I see no signs of letting up. Our sixth year was the best we'e had. All of us were saying, 'It isn't supposed to be like this.' I expect the seventh season to be just as good as long as we put out of our minds that 'this is goodby.' "I'll tell you one thing: when it's all over, I promise not to cry. ed determination, romance, the pioneer spirit. But the form, at least in its traditional, usually simplistic depiction of good guys versus bad guys, isn't meaningful in that way to younger people. "Audience appetites are more sophisticated," White says. "They want a closer approach to reality whatever the form." Says ABC's Eisner: "It's a different country today than it was 25 years ago, and television in a way reflects the -attitudes of the country. People have moved out of rural America and into the big metropolises. They've replaced their shotgun with a Saturday Night Special, I guess." Thus the overload of police and private detective dramas. To make the Western competitive in such a market, the networks and a variety of independent producers are trying to modernize the venerable form and broaden its appeal. The key to this transformation, realism. "The idea," says NBC programming executive John J. McMahon, "is to make them realistic in terms of today's television audience, today's values the kinds of story material that a 1970s audience is interested in." With "The Quest," he says, "We are going to do stories that have a contemporary ring to them even though they are set in a period 100 years ago." Larry White who will oversee production of "The Quest'' at Columbia, says the studio is concentrating on making the series a more accurate representation of the way the Old West really was, not the way it has been fantasized for so many years. There will be, he states, an emphasis on mature themes, character development and honest drama. This approach certainly was evident in the two-hour TV movie that served as the pilot for "The Quest," which tells the tale of two young brothers one educated in the city, the other raised by Indians who are combing the West in search of their sister. The barroom girls, bearing little relation to the proper Miss Kitty of "Gunsmoke," were scantily dressed and openly solicited the bar's cow-poke patrons. The streets of Cheyenne were not only muddy but also filled with cattle being driven into town. The Indians were depicted as basically good; the U.S. cavalry was shown unfavorably. And the former gunslinger-turned-cattle rustler who befriended the two young men turned out to wear an iron vest for protection. But a sheriff's posse finally caught up with him and he was hanged without trial. White said weeks of research went into the production of that film and each weekly episode will be approached similarly. ABC is flirting with Westerns to a lesser extent. One of its pilots, "The Machans," starring James Arness and Eva Marie Saint, will be turned into a three-part, six-hour mini-series next season, and another, "The Young Pioneers," will be further developed into a second TV movie with a Christmas theme. Michael Eisner says there is a good chance one of tbem will wind up on the air as a regular weekly series. Much of the genre's immediate future on the tube will hinge on how "The Quest" fares for NBC., CBS executive William Self recalls the time many years ago when he was at Twentieth Century Fox and the production people noticed there were no police shows in the networks' lineups. That was the birth of "Felony" and a slew of other sleuths. "I think the same thing will happen again with the Western," Self says. "The first time someone does one well. I think you'll see a lot more of them. We're all going to watch what two powerhouse represen-happens to "The Quest"' tatives of TV's most popular The new show's drawing program forms - comedy "All power will certainly be put to in the Family" on CBS and cop the test. It is scheduled against show "Baretta" on ABC ROSEMARY HAS MOVED! Manicurist ft Sculptured Nails EXPERTLY DONE HAIR FANTASTIC 337-5505 CASA DE MEXICO Strictly Wholesale OPEN TO THE PUBLIC & DEALERS WELCOME Large shipments of Pottery, Wrought Iron ft Ceramics arriving weekly. We now carry cactus pots mmikl Macrame Ropes from $4 to $10 rstti n Nhf) 3608 N. Dixie 366-9170 FAT ERNIES -PRESENTS- MOST EXCITING LAS VEGAS SHOW GROUP THE OAKRIDGE BOYS SAT. NITE. JUNE 26th FILM RATING GUIDE I For Parents and Their Children jSTI OIWRAl AUOItNCtS I H mm no R' 1 HflTJMCTID I MOOM UMOf I1 17 UMITTID U , . - . ,ft 1 J - I TODAY AT 2:00 I TONIGHT From trw etewous ( f Alfred Hitchcock. jri diabo"ca"y y f motion picture. There's no body CJ ,n the famiy P'ot J KAREN BLACK BRUCE DERN BARBAKA HARMS KAREN BLACK BRUCE DERN BARBARA HARRIS WILLIAM DEVANE .iin williams- ernest lehman .-.--TO WINUM) PMTERN VON CANNING !w ALFRED HfTQCOCX-i mw itnii m ii v J NOW OPEN CAPRI CLUB I4MANDIEWI HWY SERVINO Y0UI FAVORITE MIXED DRINKS 0PEN4PM.-tlM.M0N.- CLOSED MONDAY Women are more likely to when questioned later by one of report shoplifters than men the student clerks, the survey and older shoppers are showed, morslikely to report offenders Dr. Carey noted that honest than younger and middle-aged shoppers pay the cost for shop-shoppers, lifting through higher prices in College-aged shoplifters the stores, are more likely to be reported She said she doesn't believe than juveniles or adults. the attitude by people toward Sloppily-dressed shoplifting would carry over to shoplifters are more likely to other, more violent crimes, be reported than those in "I don't think the same peo-conservative dress. pie would stand by an assault Shoplifting is more likely or a robbery and not report it," to be reported in a small store she said. than in a larger, more impersonal store. More men shoplifters are reported than women and more whites are reported than blacks or Mexican-Americans. Dr. Sandra Harley Carey, assistant professor of sociology at UTSA, directed the study in which students staged shoplifting incidents witnessed by almost 500 San Antonio residents. The students also posed as clerks to see if shoppers would report the thefts to them. Dr. Carey said in a interview that the student "shoplifters" often had to go to extrems, stealing an item several times, before a shopper would notice the act. Occasionally, she said, a shopper would simply turn away "not wanting to see anything" . Women are more inclined to report the crime, Dr. Carey be lieves, because traditionally, they are the keeper of the roles. We expect this of worn- CO- ll 1 Special Of The Month FROM OUR CARRY-OUT COUNTER Pound Sliced Bar-B-Q Beef with Sauce 1 Pint Beans & 1 Pint Coleslaw All FOR ONLY $ 1.98 NOW APPEARING AT THE FLAMINGO LOUNGE 2113 Kermit Hwy. "OAK" TUES THRU SUN. MIXED DRINKS- Dallas City Workers Spread Out DALLAS (AP) - A survey of home addresses listed by Dallas city employes shows' that several live as far away as Oklahoma and Austin. Asst. City Manager Jim Favour, who is handling the survey, said "It is not unreasonable to have employes who drive for four hours to get to work. Hie only criteria is that they be at work on time." One city firemen reportedly serves as a law enforcement off ical in the Palo Pinto County community of Grayford, and commutes the 80 or so miles to his Dallas job in his private airplane. Favor said the survey was launched as part of an investigation into the feasibility of a residency requirement for city workers. 51 i SSSIMP11 CHURCH ' " 1 1 1 inc FWithour SUNDAY DINNER SPECIAL Grilled PORK CHOPS With Our Green Salad, Whipped Potatoes Vegetable, Hot Bread. Butter CHILD'S PLATE $1.50 SERVED FROM 11 im to 3 pm Refulu Sua Hours 11:08 in to 10 M FAMOUS STEAK-MEXICAN FOOD PRIME RIB-SEA FOOD 2 5 BB21O1864B0 ft 2425 EAST 11th STREET ODESSA. TEXAS Just oH Grondvtew Ph. 337-5331 ijlaiMJi!tCjWiL.V 4PEN:1SPH-Ma-jM1 ADULTS 175 CHILD SO STARTS WOO ANDREWS NWY SCREEN 11 UtVBM mcer EARUf GUMMA .TV" 3TW s$s .r n " PETER SELLERS G0LDIEHAWN SCREEN I? iirrn i Ut THE TRADITION OF SHANE AND HIGH NOON NEW WESTERN CLASSIC IS SOHNI GENE HACKMANIAMtl COSURN OOUfl PICTURES pwsmo ' BITE THE BULLET 21 PANAVIS(ON AP-87VISTA F1USJ I Charles Branson imiciToimt! J OPMJ:l5$TA8Trnr ITS I7J ADULT PH. CHILD 131-7471 ThCATRC SOUTH CMNE HWY. RATED (R) What they do to her in j Jackson County Jc3 is a crime! 71 IT JACKSftN COUMY.1AIL iTtttRuyotf kmriar! YYETTE WQJX TOMMY LEE JONES ROBERT CARRADWE -NANCY NOBLE " "'JHa 'LEB STEWMT A NEW WORLD PICTURE PRODUCTION SERVICES BY TBC PRODUCTIONS ! METROCOLOfi ptrwrog -"'VJaVWINB- STUART WHITMAN J SOTHERN What the song didn't tell you the movie will. NcUOvcf! 1:303:30 5:30 7:30 9:30 Ck OdeTo NOW SHOWING! cill theatre lor showtime CAAN, CAINE, GOULD & KEATON in a comedic extravagance quite insane CHlp'WNJER;:

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