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Horrible Showbiz Career Decisions (McLean Stevenson Effect)
Self | November 25, 2012 | PJ-Comix

Posted on 11/25/2012 7:06:22 AM PST by PJ-Comix

People in the entertainment business sometimes make horrible career decisions. This is what is known as the "McLean Stevenson Effect." Named after actor McLean Stevenson who played the part of Henry Blake in the hit TV series "M*A*S*H." Stevenson was unhappy with being part of an ensemble so after about 3 seasons left the show to become the lead in the "McLean Stevenson Show" which promptly flopped. His career never recovered.

Another victim of the McLean Stevenson effect was Shelly Long who was in the hit series "Cheers." She left after 5 seasons to become a movie actress but pretty much flopped in that endeavor.

Finally there was Jeff Conaway who starred in my own favorite TV series "Taxi." After 3 seasons he left the show with a one-way ticket to obscurity.

Who else made poor showbiz career decisions to become victims of the "McLean Stevenson Effect."


TOPICS: Humor; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: hollywood; mcleanstevenson
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To: Jonty30
It was a few years back that I saw the reunion interview but, yes, as you say, the final scene was scripted as you say. Someone pointed out that a dropped instrument can be heard during that shooting which I gather would have been a re-take for any other scene.
51 posted on 11/25/2012 7:50:51 AM PST by ConservativeStatement (Smile on Dems: Ignorance is bliss.)
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To: Wiser now
Rob Morrow, who ruined Northern Exposure when he left and then never amounted to a hill of beans.

Seemed to have a prtetty good run in "Numb3rs"

52 posted on 11/25/2012 7:55:40 AM PST by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: Gay State Conservative

I’m sure if the nod was given from the union heads to punish him, the orders were followed.


53 posted on 11/25/2012 7:56:21 AM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: PJ-Comix

Suzanne Sommers leaving Three’s Company and Farrah Fawcett leaving Charlie’s Angels. The shows did fine but the actresses languished.


54 posted on 11/25/2012 7:56:38 AM PST by freedomrings69
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To: PJ-Comix

Suzanne Sommers leaving Three’s Company and Farrah Fawcett leaving Charlie’s Angels. The shows did fine but the actresses languished.


55 posted on 11/25/2012 7:56:47 AM PST by freedomrings69
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To: PJ-Comix

Suzanne Sommers leaving Three’s Company and Farrah Fawcett leaving Charlie’s Angels. The shows did fine but the actresses languished.


56 posted on 11/25/2012 7:56:47 AM PST by freedomrings69
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To: rbg81

“Now Kelsey Grammer—there is a guy who knew how to leverage a supporting role! “

The guy has been gold, even an ex-wife of his has made a career from leveraging a marriage to Grammer.


57 posted on 11/25/2012 7:57:43 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Jonty30

They had to do that scene twice...and everybody had been so caught off guard during the first take that they successfully captured the shock the second time as well.


58 posted on 11/25/2012 7:57:55 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: PJ-Comix

The gist of the story was that Matt was making it with Miss Kitty, The Madam. They never really showed it though, it started as a family show.


59 posted on 11/25/2012 8:02:32 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Las Vegas Ron

I forgot Trappe John, probably because I never watched it much. Surprised anyone did.


60 posted on 11/25/2012 8:03:46 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Everything I’ve ever heard or read suggests that Long’s castmates on Cheers couldn’t stand her (very snotty attitude) and were happy to see her go. (In comparison, they absolutely loved Kirstie Alley.)


61 posted on 11/25/2012 8:05:12 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: PJ-Comix

Mary Wells leaving Motown at the height of her success.


62 posted on 11/25/2012 8:05:20 AM PST by smalltownslick
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To: married21
Also, Don Adams was sort of stuck after Get Smart because he was typecast.

He had a good run as Tennessee Tuxedo, or maybe that was before Get Smart

63 posted on 11/25/2012 8:05:33 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: married21
"typecast"

There's two way of looking at that. He became a huge, wealthy star from "Get Smart." His tv experience previous to "Get Smart" was as a house dick on a quickly canceled sitcom "The Bill Dana Show." Would he rather have labored in obscurity or become one of tv's most famous comedians?

I don't know if Adams bemoaned his fate, but any actor who actually becomes famous through the efforts of just one show should be happy. There's tons more unemployed or underemployed actors. You can make money strumming a guitar on a streetcorner, but nobody wants to hear some actor do scenes from Hamlet while they're walking around the shopping district.

64 posted on 11/25/2012 8:06:22 AM PST by driftless2
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To: PJ-Comix
"Gunsmoke"

As I got older I began to wonder how many bad guys Marshall Dillon and the rest of the tv six-gun heroes dispatched in their years on the tube. Certainly Dillon must lead the pack. The show ran 20 years, and it seemed he sent at least one or more desperadoes to Boot Hill every episode.

65 posted on 11/25/2012 8:10:08 AM PST by driftless2
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To: PJ-Comix

Arnold Schwarznegger. From Terminator to Governor of a terminally ill state


66 posted on 11/25/2012 8:10:57 AM PST by chuckee
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To: PJ-Comix

Burt Reynolds, turning down the Star Wars part of Han Solo offered by George Lucas comes to mind.


67 posted on 11/25/2012 8:13:23 AM PST by TADSLOS (LOSING BIG- The GOP legacy.)
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To: Lx

I spotted Chase as being a gigantic anal orifice after I first saw him on SNL. I was mighty glad when he was replaced by Bill Murray who actually has comedic talent.


68 posted on 11/25/2012 8:13:23 AM PST by driftless2
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To: PJ-Comix

Wasn’t it Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Tool Time that also took bad advice from his agent/handlers and promptly disappeared into obscurity?


69 posted on 11/25/2012 8:13:41 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: Venturer

I believe James Arness got the Gunsmoke job on the recommendation of John Wayne, who turned the job down. Good move for both.


70 posted on 11/25/2012 8:13:54 AM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, Democrats believe every day is April 15th.)
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To: Venturer; PJ-Comix
The gist of the story was that Matt was making it with Miss Kitty, The Madam. They never really showed it though, it started as a family show.

I thought there was a made for TV movie that had him searching for a kidnapped illegitimate daughter. Or am I remembering wrong?

Just checked Wiki: Movie number two, Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (1990), had Learned reprising the role of "Mike Yardner" to divulge that Matt sired her daughter, who is now a young woman named Beth.

71 posted on 11/25/2012 8:15:29 AM PST by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: rbg81
Grammer wasn't the first choice for Frasier. It was John Lithgow but he wasn't available. Also the role of Carla was meant for 60s/70s singer Janis Ian but she wanted to stick with music instead of acting.

http://splitsider.com/2012/03/the-lost-roles-of-cheers/

72 posted on 11/25/2012 8:16:05 AM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: Venturer

Yeah, and that’s why Arness could do whatever he wanted (in terms of acting) after “Gunsmoke” left the air. If you watch the early, 30-minute, black-and-white episodes of Gunsmoke, you’ll note that the last three or four years of shows in that format were produced by the “Arness Production Company.”

To keep their star happy, CBS set him up as the producer, then when the show expanded to a one-hour format, the network bought him out and made him a multi-millionaire in the process. And Gunsmoke ran for another 14 seasons after Arness folded his production company, and he took home a rather healthy paycheck each week.

There is potential gold in being typecast.


73 posted on 11/25/2012 8:16:47 AM PST by ExNewsExSpook
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To: PJ-Comix
Regardless, McLean Stevenson's TV work on MASH is among the best every done, or that ever will be. The world needs more Henry Blakes.
74 posted on 11/25/2012 8:17:29 AM PST by Vision (Obama is king of the "Takers." Don't be a "Taker.")
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To: US Navy Vet

I think that can be true, if you manage your money right.

I remember reading an interview with Flip Wilson, years after his one sucessful show went off the air, decades after, actually.

He stated that he never did have to earn money again, because he hired smart people, listened to them and was very conservative. He said: I never touched one penny of the principal.

But of course most people, in all walks of life and myself included aren’t like that.


75 posted on 11/25/2012 8:18:33 AM PST by jocon307
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
How about Shannen Doherty?

I never watched that show but isn't she now doing commercials for some on-line college? Now scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet.

76 posted on 11/25/2012 8:20:34 AM PST by OldMissileer
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To: verga

Yeah I saw that one, never did figure where the daughter came from.


77 posted on 11/25/2012 8:21:35 AM PST by Venturer
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To: PJ-Comix

One note about the Long Branch: if you watch the early black-and-white episodes, there is no doubt that Miss Kitty’s place is a brothel first, and a watering hole second. In numerous shots, you’ll see cowboys and bar girls go up the stairs, while others are descending the staircase, after a little “paid” entertainment. The producers prided themselves on the realism of Gunsmoke and decided to keep the obvious references to prostitution in the scenes at the Long Branch, certain the network censors would demand their deletion.

The censors never said a word. And this was in an era when “married” couples on TV couldn’t share the same bed.


78 posted on 11/25/2012 8:23:36 AM PST by ExNewsExSpook
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To: verga

“Seemed to have a prtetty good run in “Numb3rs”

Yes, that was a great show, and Freepers should like it. FBI guy Morrow chasing bad guys, with his math genius brother’s help and Judd Hirsch as the dad, plus various supporting actors throughout, what’s not to like.

Folks should look for it in re-runs, it’s an interesting show with good values I would say.


79 posted on 11/25/2012 8:25:28 AM PST by jocon307
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To: OrioleFan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T646gNcRiMs

Here is that introduction/

Arness was in the movie Hondo with Wayne.


80 posted on 11/25/2012 8:25:51 AM PST by Venturer
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To: PJ-Comix

McLean Stevenson was a good next door neighbor though.

I think the two best examples are the old guy from Alf (who shares his trembling voice with Sen Lieberman) and the guy who played Steve on Blues Clues. Both were sick of playing second fiddle to a fake puppet.

At least they made tons of money playing second fiddle to a puppet...


81 posted on 11/25/2012 8:30:01 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: PJ-Comix
Photobucket Made only one James Bond film, but could have continued on but I believe his contract demands were to high.
82 posted on 11/25/2012 8:30:39 AM PST by Ronald_Magnus
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To: Venturer

I never watched it either, I do remember seeing advertisements for it when it was running and never connected Adam Cartwright being Trapper John (he was bald and I didn’t recognize him).

It must have been a half way decent show as it lasted 7 years.


83 posted on 11/25/2012 8:31:34 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: PJ-Comix
Nah, I remember that McLean Stevenson was brilliant in the show "Condo". :)
84 posted on 11/25/2012 8:33:13 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Wiser now

6 seasons of Numbers might say otherwise.


85 posted on 11/25/2012 8:34:09 AM PST by Chipper (You can't kill an Obamazombie by destroying the brain...they didn't have one to begin with.)
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To: T-Bird45

It seems like Alda got more chickified with each season.


86 posted on 11/25/2012 8:34:27 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: T-Bird45

It seems like Alda got more chickified with each season.


87 posted on 11/25/2012 8:34:46 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: Future Snake Eater

It all depends on whether you’re a “profit participant” in the show, which gives you a piece of the syndication revenue. On NCIS, for example, Mark Harmon is clearly in that category, but I’d be surprised if the rest of the cast has a cut of syndication profits. William Peterson of the original CSI left after nine seasons but still got paid as a producer, which gave him a share of the syndication profits as well. He’ll make far more off syndication deals for CSI than he ever earned as an actor (and he pulled down over $500,000 a episode at the end of his run).

I’ve read countless stories about supporting actors getting huge paychecks during the last couple of years of a series. In virtually every case, they’re getting their money up front, and will earn little/nothing from syndication and marketing. That’s one reason that virtually every writer on a TV show is also billed as a producer. It not only bumps up their weekly check, it also gets them into the syndication money.


88 posted on 11/25/2012 8:37:30 AM PST by ExNewsExSpook
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To: rbg81

Now Kelsey Grammer—there is a guy who knew how to leverage a supporting role! I read somewhere his net worth is $80M.


Yes, he as achieved the ultimate! Is there another actor who was a side character on a series, then became a Name Lead in a decade running live sitcom, then was syndicated and on 3 times a day, tried out multiple other lead series, and finally found one with a character so vastly different you can’t believe it’s the same guy??


89 posted on 11/25/2012 8:40:55 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: chuckee

...which he then promptly terminated.


90 posted on 11/25/2012 8:41:45 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Vision

I can vouch that McLean was a very nice guy.


91 posted on 11/25/2012 8:44:18 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: jocon307
FBI guy Morrow chasing bad guys, with his math genius brother’s help and Judd Hirsch as the dad

Hirsch was way too ethnic for my tastes.

Speaking of actors that went nowhere..'Kramer' from Seinfeld, Michael Richards.
and
'George', Jason Alexander.

92 posted on 11/25/2012 8:50:05 AM PST by Vinnie (A)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
How about Shannen Doherty?

She's now reduced to doing commercials for an online college.

93 posted on 11/25/2012 8:54:53 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: PJ-Comix

Gary Burghoff leaving MASH.
William Peterson and Jorja Fox CSI


94 posted on 11/25/2012 8:55:20 AM PST by Chipper (You can't kill an Obamazombie by destroying the brain...they didn't have one to begin with.)
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To: PJ-Comix; All

Following the Rob Morrow theme:

David Krumholtz: Lost his gig as Morrow’s Brainiac brother, Charley and hasn’t done much of note since.

Self Induced exile due to swelled ego:

Sasha Alexander: Thought NCIS was all about her. Left after three seasons. Is just starting to come back as Dr. Maura Isles in TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’.

Genevieve Bujold: Was originally cast as Captain Janeway in ‘Star Trek: Voyager’, but couldn’t handle the twelve to 16 hour shooting days. The role went to Kate Mulgrew.


95 posted on 11/25/2012 8:57:00 AM PST by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Resident FReeper Kitty Poem /Haiku Guy)
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To: PJ-Comix
I always get a kick out of watching Miss Kitty's saloon in "Gunsmoke," filled with "working girls." Straight arrow .....

I would like to see the 'Boot hill' introduction at the beginning of that episode! :)

96 posted on 11/25/2012 8:57:23 AM PST by moose07 (The truth will out, one day.)
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To: Chipper

Never heard of it.


97 posted on 11/25/2012 9:02:50 AM PST by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
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To: PJ-Comix
True, but if you followed the whole Wiseguy fiasco, it was pretty clear that Ken Wahl had serious mental problems and was not entirely in control of his career decisions.
98 posted on 11/25/2012 9:03:10 AM PST by FredZarguna (Nothing against Paki's. Just paraphrasing Biden. Or Hillary. Or Both.)
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To: PJ-Comix; All

Meno to Ken Wahl:

Stunt men are on set for a reason. Use them!

Ken Wahl of ‘Wiseguy’ was injured in an accident on the set that resulted from a stunt gone wrong.

The scene involved Wahl being Tasered and then getting a beat down with an aluminum Fungo bat. Wahl tripped over some out of frame cables and messed up his leg and spine. Then Wahl developed a strong dependence on Vicodin and scotch.


99 posted on 11/25/2012 9:10:45 AM PST by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Resident FReeper Kitty Poem /Haiku Guy)
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To: ExNewsExSpook

Residuals, thanks to a guy named Reagan.


100 posted on 11/25/2012 9:12:23 AM PST by Argus
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