Saturday, July 10, 2010

A-Team Leader

Those of you who don't know the name Stephen J. Cannell (shame on you) may nevertheless be familiar with his classic end credit vanity card which featured Cannell himself typing on an old typewriter before pulling the page out and tossing it into the air, where it becomes animated, floating down to form his production company logo.

And certainly you're familiar with the shows that end card was attached to. Cannell's real claim to fame is as a creator, writer, producer of classic, enduring 80s/90s television. "The A-Team," "21 Jump Street," "The Rockford Files," "The Greatest American Hero," "The Commish" and "Wiseguy" among many others.

On his site Cannell gives you insight into how he writes so prolifically in a great, free "online writing seminar":
Part One - The discipline of writing
Part Two - How to choose your story
Part Three - Creating characters
Part Four - The three act structure
Part Five - Other things to think about

Cannell's older works seem to be in vogue at the moment. With the "The A-Team" getting the big screen treatment, NBC recently pursuing a new version of "The Rockford Files" and a "21 Jump Street" movie in the works. What will we see resurrected from Mr. Cannell's oeuvre next? An updated "Greatest American Hero," (this show has evaded my viewing over the years, though I did discover -and love- the theme song long before I knew it was attached to a show) "Renegade" re-imagined?

Buy a laptop already:


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