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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.


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john siuntres said...

Brad, You have to see his oral history interview for American TV academy . It's really great.

prisg said...

I loved his work, some of the greatest TV shows, but I discovered his books quite a while back and just loved them.. and then found out how much I had already loved his other work, just didn't connect his books and TV/Movie work. He will be missed very much.

Puppy Mom said...

Stephen J. Cannell was indeed one of a kind. As soon as he started writing, I started buying. It was also always a pleasure seeing him in cameo roles from time to time, such as "Castle" on TV. Indeed, rest in peace, Mr. Cannell. "You done good."

Zanne B

Pharaba said...

My first "event" when I arrived in Los Angeles was a new thing, a now defunct thing, called the Gait Television Festival. Mr. Cannell was one of the speakers and his words stuck with me from the moment he uttered them. They were all about persistence. About remembering writing is work and if it is the work you want to do, you best sit down and do it everyday. Just a moment in a room full of others but enough to be inspiring.