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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

RIP Stephen J. Cannell

Yes, Stephen Cannell was responsible for my childhood. But he was also one of the nicest guys around. So nice, in fact, that when we wanted to use the Greatest American Hero theme on the soundtrack for The Book of Lies, I called him to ask who owned the rights.

Sony told me Warner Brothers owned them.

"Warners doesn't own them," Stephen told me in his beautifully insistent and wise-by-time tone.

"Then who does?" I asked.

"I do," he replied.

"Uh," I stuttered. "Can we have them?"

And that's all it took. He gave them to us -- free -- just one novelist helping another. (And yes, for those who didn't know, Stephen spent the rest of his career as a novelist -- a dyslexic one -- struggling to put the words down, but never letting it stop him. Go buy his books). I loved him for that persistence. And for teaching me about ownership. And for giving me the A-Team, the Greatest American Hero, and those end credits with him pulling the paper from the typewriter. As I said, my childhood.

Rest well, Mr. H.