Episode 117: "Cagney & Lacey & Barney Rosenzweig, Part 1"

Buckle up, kids - We’re kicking off our series on Cagney & Lacey!‍ Sharon & Susan begin their look back at the classic 80’s TV series Cagney & Lacey with a conversation with the show’s creator and executive producer, Barney Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig’s career spans five decades and hundreds of hours of television including Charlie’s Angels, Daniel Boone, Christie, Twice in a Lifetime, and The Trials of Rosie O’Neill.
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The Conversation

  • Three Cagneys, Two “pilots”… and One Lacey! - How Tyne Daly’s Mary Beth Lacey went through three Christine Cagneys: Loretta Switt, Meg Foster -- and finally Sharon Gless.
  • But what’s a Showrunner? - Barney explains his role in collaborating with writers, directors, actors and artists to bring a singular vision to life.
  • A Life-Changing Epiphany – How a night at the movies with future wife Barbara Avedon showed a “50’s guy” what sexism really is.
  • How Cagney & Lacey were almost played by… Anne Bancroft & Raquel Welch??
  • Working publicity for MGM's Howard Strickling and directors Martin Ritt and Tony Richardson - which one was "the worst experience of my life"?
  • How to shoot Toronto for New York – there is a trick…
  • How a chance meeting with Suzanne Levine got Cagney & Lacey on the cover of Ms. Magazine – and a 48 share!

So join us as we talk about the University of Southern California yell-leaders, 1965 MGM-epic Ben Hur, car bombs – and throwing up over “director’s cuts”!

Our Audio-ography

Visit the Official Cagney & Lacey website.

- Read Barney Rosenzweig’s Blog!

- Get Barney’s book: “Cagney & Lacey… and me”

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80s TV Ladies™ Episode 117 – “Cagney & Lacey & Barney Rosenzweig” Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem. Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson. Guests: Barney Rosenzweig. Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey. Producer: Melissa Roth. Associate Producer: Sergio Perez. Music by Amy Engelhardt. Copyright 2023 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.


80s TV Ladies Theme Song      

80s TV Ladies, So sexy and so pretty.  80s TV Ladies, Steppin’ out into the city. 80s TV Ladies, often treated kind of sh#*ty. Working hard for the money in a man’s world. 80s TV Ladies!

Sharon Johnson  00:17

Hello, and welcome to 80s TV Ladies. I'm Sharon Johnson.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:21

And I'm Susan Lambert Hatem here at 80s TV Ladies, we talk about female driven television shows from yes, you guessed it, the 1980s.

Sharon Johnson  00:30

We are starting our dive into a new Series looking at a groundbreaking 80s show for both women and television. Cagney & Lacey starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, and broke ground for women, seatbelts, and pop culture.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:44

This detective drama ran from 1982 to 1988 on CBS and examines both the cases and the personal lives of two female police officers in New York City, who are partners and work friends. Cagney &, Lacey ran for 125 Episodes and five Television Movies. It was nominated for 36 Emmys, and won 14. Sharon Gless was nominated for 6 and won 2. Tyne Daly nominated for 6 and won 4.

Sharon Johnson  01:18

In addition to being about two working policewomen, it was a show with episodes that dealt very thoughtfully with issues like cancer, racism, immigration, rape, alcoholism, and abortion.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:33

I'm calling this Episode, Two Pilots, Three Cagneys. Well, okay. It was really not two Pilots. It was a TV Movie and then a TV Pilot. But there were indeed three Cagneys. Yes, three actresses played Cagney over the course of these two Pilots and several Seasons. The first Television Movie was Loretta Swit from M*A*S*H who played Cagney. And then for Season One, it was Meg Foster. And then they basically were gonna cancel the show, and so they came back in Season Two with a new Cagney and it was Sharon Gless, who stayed on for the rest of the Season. The Lacey was always played by indeed Tyne Daly. Ever impressive, steady as rock.

Sharon Johnson  02:18

Our guest today is Barney Rosenzweig. He is an Emmy Award winning television producer and philanthropist. He is the Creator and Producer of Cagney & Lacey, as well as The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, also starring Sharon Gless.

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:35

In addition, Rosenzweig produced hundreds of hours of primetime television, including a dozen episodes of the premiere Season of Charlie's Angels, the Daniel Boone series for NBC and the critically acclaimed and award winning our family dramas Christie for CBS and twice in a lifetime for the Pax network. He is also the author of the book, Cagney, & Lacey and Me.

Sharon Johnson  03:00

Barney Rosenzweig went to powerhouse writers Barbara Avedon and Barbara Courday, his wife, to get them to write a female buddy action movie. And he's going to tell us about the incredible journey of making Cagney & Lacey into an award-winning groundbreaking series.

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:17

Welcome to the show. Barney, thank you so much for joining us here at ATS TV ladies.

Barney Rosenzweig  03:23

Well, thank you for inviting me. I'm excited to be here.

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:26

How are ya?

Barney Rosenzweig  03:27


Susan Lambert Hatem  03:27

We are excited to talk about Cagney & Lacey and the other shows that you worked on. We were talking before we started recording about a little bit of your background and you grew up in Southern California. Can you talk about sort of yourself where you grew up, and how you kind of decided you wanted to get into TV and Movies?

Barney Rosenzweig  03:45

Ah, well, I was second generation, Angelino. My dad was a schoolteacher. I was interested in performing. I was an actor in school. I was the M.C. of all the shows that we put on. I was the head cheerleader in high school. And for that matter at the University of Southern California. I think by, I remember my my mother filling out a form for me. I was like eight years old with the YMCA, I was gonna go away to camp, and they asked what my chosen profession might be. I put up stand up comedian. Now why the YMCA wanted to know what an eight year old wanted to do with the rest of his life, I have no idea. But that but that, so it goes back a long way. I wanted to be a stand up comic I wanted to be a performer. And ultimately, I wanted to be an actor. And my drama teacher in high school... kind of a mediocre public high school. And he was a big fan of mine. And he got me a scholarship, at the Art Institute of Chicago and I wanted to go. And my mom, biggest blow was she thought, didn't think I was good looking enough to be an actor. So my mother, you know. (Chuckles) But in fairness to her, Tyrone Power was an actor, you know. Errol Flynn was an actor. But I was, this was before Dustin Hoffman or Jack Nicholson, or any of the guys who look more like normal people. So anyway, she didn't think I could do it. She said, Well, she wanted to be a school teacher like my dad. And if I wanted to do acting as a side-line, get the degree, have a job, and then you could try it. So, my mother was powerful, and I was intimidated enough to agree. I didn't rebel. And I did (garbled) along the way. I, my dad was a school, as I said, a public-school teacher. My mom was almost a recluse. And I guess what would today be called, kind of a serious psychological disorder, that she was, never went out of the house. She'd never got a professional beauty treatment or haircut. She never owned a store-bought dress. My mother made, cut her own hair. And I, to punish them for not letting me go to

Chicago, take advantage of this opportunity. I picked the most expensive University I could find in California, which was the University of Southern California. Which meant that my mother had to go get a job. So, I didn't throw myself out into the world, instead I threw my mother at it. And my mother got a job at human resource. My mother picks her up a dress, she washed her face, put on lipstick for the first time that I could remember. And went out and got a job. So for her to do that, for that depressant personality, and actually then put me through college and my brothers in college. So she was a, kind of an impressive dame in her own way. And I'm very grateful. So I went off to USC, and at USC I confronted for the first time of my life, fairly organized antisemitism. SC was a bastion of conservatism, white Anglo Saxon backgrounds. President of the, the erstwhile President, now Chancellor of the University was a eugenicist and a Nazi sympathizer... Part of the Nazi movement, German-Blood movement in California.

Barney Rosenzweig  07:04

Rufus B. von KleinSmid, and a lot of the guys who he hired, were of similar disposition. And the Fraternity system was not very welcoming. And I was gonna, I'm just making the best of it. I dated a girl, had a date with a young lady. Robert Young's daughter. Took her out. And we have a good time. But she never went out with me again. And I found out later on, it's because her sorority fined her $25.

Sharon Johnson  07:04


Barney Rosenzweig  07:31

For going out with a Jewish kid.

Susan Lambert Hatem  07:31

Oh, my God.

Sharon Johnson  07:33


Barney Rosenzweig  07:34

I have no idea what they charged for Hispanics or Black kids.

Sharon Johnson  07:36


Barney Rosenzweig  07:36

But it was 25 bucks for a Jew. So that was kind of the environment.

Sharon Johnson  07:41

In light of all of that, did it surprise you then that you were admitted to USC? Or...

Barney Rosenzweig  07:46

Oh, no, no, no, no. There was a, there was a quota system. They had a certain amount of Jews. You know, I would never have been able to get in today. Not because of that reason, but because I wasn't academically strong enough. Now, it's a very fine University. Then it was, I was ah, it wasn't, it wasn't up to the level, even close to the level that... My mother begged me to go to UCLA, drop out of USC. Go to UCLA, we'll buy you a Corvette, she said. Which was not an un-substantial bribe in the 1950s. So I was um I, but it wasn't (garbled) I said mom, I said, I'm gonna stay there. And someday I'm gonna own that. F-ing school. And I pretty much did.

Sharon Johnson  07:49

Mmm, Okay.

Susan Lambert Hatem  07:52

I was gonna say. You were, you were on the Board of Chancellors? Or something?

Barney Rosenzweig  08:25


Susan Lambert Hatem  08:25


Barney Rosenzweig  08:27

I was also on the Board of the Library. But I was, I was selected as alumni of the years. My mother was in the audience, seeing that, that moment. That was a biggie.

Susan Lambert Hatem  08:43

That's a good moment.

Barney Rosenzweig  08:44

And I became, I ran for election as, for Yell King, which at USC was the biggest job that I could get. You were Mr. USC. You were the personification of the USC undergraduate. All, girls sent you their panties in the mail. Uh uh, I traveled with the football team. It was great. And there had never been a non-Fraternity man elected. Never had been a Jew elected. So I got elected. I was the first Jew and non-Fraternity member. And I was, if I may say so, a Smash! I am for oh, I guess for 30 years, pretty much 30 years in a row, I was the guy they invited to this, to the Bay Area game, whether it was Stanford or Cal, to come to Union Square, and to lead everybody in the SoCal spell-out.

Sharon Johnson  08:44


Susan Lambert Hatem  08:59


Barney Rosenzweig  09:00

And it's generally conceded I was the best, so. I don't, I don't, I'm not talking outta school there. Anyway, I did a great job. I was excited. And I got a lot of job offers, uh from insurance companies and companies in Los Angeles, where salesmanship or, your persona was important in terms of who you knew, and who you didn't know. I didn't want to do that. What I wanted to do, I thought was, I was interested in public relations. By the way, for anybody who didn't go to law school, everybody who didn't go to law school, in my group, wanted to be a PR. And, that's just what you wanted to do. You wanted to make $15,000 a year, have a little house in the valley with a picket fence. And we all had it. If you get married early, that's what you did in the 50s, it was the only way to go to bed with a girl is, you had to get married. I mean, it was a, it was a different Era.

Sharon Johnson  10:26


Barney Rosenzweig  10:26

Major corporations of America would come to the University campus, and they would interview 5 to 10 people, the top kids. I was always one of those kids. So not because of my grades, but because of my persona and what I had done and what I had accomplished. Who I was on the campus. And I nailed those interviews. And the job I thought I wanted was with, uh Procter & Gamble. The only drawback was you had to be in Cincinnati. That's where Procter and Gamble was, and it was a choice job. I thought I nailed the interview, didn't get the job. I found out you can't be a member of the PR Fraternity in Cincinnati, Ohio, if you can't belong to the country club. Which Jews could not do then. And the same was true in San Francisco with Bethlehem Steel Corporation. And my grandfather-in-law... I had just gotten married in my senior year in college... Very successful banker, had no problem with a Jewish grandson-in-Law, but could not have a Jew work in the bank. That was out of the question. (garbled). So I began to see this, it's a real disadvantage to be Jewish. And I said, what can I do? Where it's not a disadvantage. And of course, show business came immediately to mind. But how to get started. And in the middle of that, I got a call from a pal of mine. They're looking for a PR guy at MGM Studios. I hope you don't mind; I gave them your name. And I interviewed with them. I said, look, I'll be honest with you. I'm interested in learning about Show Business. I'm interested in getting into the gates. And they said, Well look, we're looking for a PR person. You know? We appreciate your honesty, but that's not what we're looking for. I said, Well, thank you very much. Then they said look, all right, tell you what. You look like a, like a, like a nice young fella. Your know? Uh, got a nice tie. Your fingernails are clean. We'll give you, if you want it, you can have a job in the mail room. So, I took it. And I started in the mailroom at MGM. And we are in the throes that summer of preparing for a premiere, or movie on which the whole future of the Studio is based. The most expensive movie ever made in the history of MGM, the most at stake at a time when the studio was very vulnerable. This was the year of the Last Picture Show. People were running away from show business, not running to it. I was exercising, what I came to understand, was the Philosophy of Contrary Opinion. When everybody zigs, I zag. And I've done that by now my whole career. That became a model for my life. And one day, (everybody told us you are going) to boss's office, Howard Strickling. If you read anything about Hollywood, there are several people that were always mentioned. Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, Samuel Goldwyn, and Howard Strickling. His best friend was Clark Gable. His second-best friend was Spencer Tracy. He was a good-looking guy. Terrific guy, and an interesting guy. And he had a terrible, awful, debilitating. stutter. Could not complete a sentence in under a minute and a half. I mean it was really bad. I'll jump ahead for a moment. Years later, I went to his retirement celebration. And he had been retired for a year. It was an annual thing. And he got up to speak to us, and he had no stutter.

Sharon Johnson  13:44


Barney Rosenzweig  13:45

It was gone. Outside of the pressure of that job, the stutter went away.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:49


Barney Rosenzweig  13:50

So anyway, we're all in his office. I'm 21 years old. I'm pressed against the back wall, everybody else there you know,  I'm the, I'm the mailroom kid. And there's a big complaint about the fact that this opening night in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, California, the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd.... Opening tonight was big charity, and the charity was not doing its job. They weren't getting us any press at all. Who was the Charity? The Medical School of the University of Southern California. I raised my hand. Excuse me, I said, I'm very familiar with everybody at USC. I think I could be helpful. The movie was Ben Hur. And I staged Chariot Races at the Coliseum at a football game halftime. USC (garbled) stunts did Ben Hur (car?) stunts. Tommy Trojan who came riding on his horse, wore a costume from the movie. That's where it, that's where that comes from.... That event. And I became a big smash overnight. But then what happened in that same timeframe was a rare thing. The actors went out strike. That rarest of all strikes, and they went out and they were serious! And they went out for sometime. And it shut the studio down. Shut it down. And everybody in my department was let go, except  Howard Strickling, and three other people. And I ran the mail room and was the cheapest guy there. I could stay if I continued to do my job in the mail room, continued to work out Ben Hur, and then would show up on Saturdays with the group salespeople and give talks as if I were actually the filmmaker. And I would give these lectures about how the movie was made and all this kind of stuff. And I, because I was the world's foremost authority on Ben Hur, and uh, outside of William Wyler, and Charleton Heston I guess. And if I do that job, do my regular job, and then do this, what they call the planting job. Because I was being trained to be a planter. A Planter, is a Press Agent, who plants stories with a journalist. Now in those days, there are five newspapers in Los Angeles. And Louella Parsons (is the) top columnist. Hedda Hopper is a top columnist. Jimmy Starr, Harrison Carroll, Sheilah Graham... These are all the people, I mean, Sheilah Graham was, you know,  F Scott Fitzgerald's mistress! These were people they make movies about! And each of them had their own Planter at MGM. They were in competition with each other. And the Planters therefore, were in competition with each other. We were competing to get the best story for our Plantee. Well, if there's only one me, person now... me. I am now planting every one of them.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:53


Barney Rosenzweig  14:02

I take Hedda Hopper to dinner at Chasons on Wednesday nights. I take Harrison Carroll to wherever he want to go. Racetrack. I take uh, Phyllis _______ of the the LA Times to uh, the Duck Press in downtown Los Angeles. I don't think it's there anymore. It's a very famous restaurant. So I'm gaining weight like crazy, because I...

Susan-Sharon  16:40


Barney Rosenzweig  16:40

... with all this wining and dining. And I did this, we had a picture called Light in the Piazza come out. George Hamilton. Yvette Mimieux, who just passed away. And um, Rossano Brazzi. Um, Olivia de Havilland. I had to send it over to Louella Parsons home to screen. La Rue, catered an Italian meal at her house. And I had three musicians standing outside her living room, playing the theme from the movie. You think we got a good review?

Sharon Johnson  17:08


Barney Rosenzweig  17:10

You bet your as# we did. So that's kind of what I was doing. I was a real hustler. And ...

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:15

A real showman!

Barney Rosenzweig  17:16

... within months of being there as a mailroom. I was a Senior Publicist, making I think, $250 a week. I went from 40 or 50 dollars a week to 250, in months. I was making more money and my father! My father was a school teacher. He wasn't, he was making a little over half that. So um, that's sort of my show business, how I got started in show business.

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:38

That is a great, that is incredible! (Laughs) You were 21. You're 22.

Barney Rosenzweig  17:43

21 years old.

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:44

21 years old.

Sharon Johnson  17:45


Barney Rosenzweig  17:46

I turned 22 in December of that year. I mean, I started in June. Ben Hur was ope, opened in the Fall, during Football Season. I later discovered that I hated the anonymity of being a Press Agent. So I thought I gotta get out of here. So I went into my boss, who was very jealous of me, and his Staff. Protected us. He loved us. And we were his people. And he would do anything to keep us there. He hated private Publicists. He hated (garbled). Meanwhile a new Picture is coming on the Lot. Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Edward G. Robinson. William Shatner when nobody knew who William Shatner was, in a movie called, The Outrage, directed by Marty Ritt, who did HUD, which was then arguably the best received Hollywood movie in years. And I thought, I want that picture. It had a lot of pedigree, a lot of things to write about, a lot of things to tell stories about. I could do this job in my sleep! I'm gonna listen (to see) if he goes in for a meeting. Well, Martin Ritt and Paul Newman have private Publicits. (garbled) account. They want them to have an office on the Lot so that they can have their Publicist. And then, we don't need one of your Publicists. And they're beating the crap outta Howard. And Howard is fighting back, stuttering through all of it. And he's fighting back as best he can. He's a powerful guy, even with the stutter. Maybe because of the stutter. This was the opposite of uh, Bob Evans, giving his speil, who talked so fast, you didn't even understand what he was talking about.

Sharon Johnson  19:16


Barney Rosenzweig  19:16

And Howard came back, kind of a whipped dog. And that's when I walked into, to Howard's office and said, I want to do this Picture. He says, sit here. Don't, don't leave. Went back down into Martin Ritt's office. Now tell you what, I'm going to give you my best man, best man of the department, the guy who did Ben Hur, the guy who did Lolita, the guy who did this that. I'm going to take him out of my department, he's going to be held exclusively yours. And if you're not happy in 60 days, then we'll bring in Rog _______. So Matin Ritt says okay. So I went down to visit Marty Ritt at his home to talk to him. And while I'm waiting for him to come downstairs to see me I'm looking at his coffee table. And there's a (garbled)... magazine, Films and Filming. And there's (garbled) magazines that he reads. So, I don't say anything. I meet Marty. We talk, get to like each other a little bit. And a couple of weeks later, he's on the cover of Films and Filming. And he calls me up and says, did you see this thing? I said, Yeah I saw it. I went on location with Marty. And I was invited everywhere. Every night I had dinner with Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Martin Ritt. What's the name of our cinematographer? A great Chinese cinematographer whose name just went out of my head. Terrific guy.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:30

Jimmy Wong?

Melissa Roth  20:31

Jimmy Wong Howe...

Barney Rosenzweig  20:32

Jimmy Wong Howe.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:32


Barney Rosenzweig  20:33

Thank you, whoever helped me with that one.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:35

That was Melissa.

Barney Rosenzweig  20:36

Okay, thank you, Melissa!

Melissa Roth  20:37

You're welcome.

Barney Rosenzweig  20:38

And we had dinner together every night of the week. I am in my glor, I am having the best time of my life. Which is not so bad. No one treats me badly. No one looks down on me. I'm not anonymous at all. I am, you know, Martin Ritt calls me kid. And we're having a great time. I take him to USC. I started up a series of programs at USC. As a professor at USC, part-time, Arthur Knight, who was a critic from The Saturday Review. And he was ah, now a part time professor of cinema at USC.  I got Arthur Knight to invite, I had Martin Ritt come down to speak to the kids to show them Mar, how Marty Ritt ran his first movie that he ever made. And talked about it afterwards. And I get little glimmers of little quotes that I can use to plant (garbled), or whatever. So it gets into The Trades. Marty's happy. His ego was being stroked by all these kids. And Arthur Knight thinks I'm a genius. So I've got, now got a conduit. I could bring in anybody I wanted. I'm doing a great job. And Marty says to me, Kid! What is your problem? I'm trying to get (Rogers & Cowen) to hire you. And you keep turning him down. They have now offered you twice what you're making an MGM. And you've turned them down. Why? What? What are you trying to do? I said Marty, I don't want to work for Rogers & Cowen. I wanna work for you! What do you mean, you want to work for me? I said, I will work for you for what MGM is paying. You don't have to pay me full price. That's less money than you're paying Rogers & Cowen. So you'll save money on it. Let me be your Associate (Producer). Teach me how to make a movie. So Marty had me in to every editing session. I'm sitting there hours a day in the editing rooms, learning how to do it. Now I haven't got the job yet, but it's all gona to happen because his next move is The Spy Who Came in From the Cold with Richard Burton. Paramount's gonna make the picture. And I'm set to be his Associate Producer. Everyone's is okay with it. And one day we're having lunch together, I tell Howard of course, Howard Strickling. And he is liv id. Livid! Howard, (thems) the breaks. You know? This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I got to take it. Other producers would caution me  against it, said I'm making a terrible mistake. But I wanted to do it. Having lunch now in the executive section of the... dinning room with Marty Ritt, my new boss to be, and Howard comes over and he says, Hey! You took my best guy! Marty says, Too bad Sully. You know, he's making fun of him. He's giving him the rib. Yeh, it's too bad though about your movie. Marty says, What do you mean about my movie? Well he says, Barney's the only one who knows anything about it. He wouldn't let anybody else in on it. He handled everything. Since now you're taking him to Paramount, I guess your picture's just going to escape. Marty turned ashen, and Howard walked away. And I just saw great poker hand been played, by a real expert.

Sharon Johnson  21:16


Barney Rosenzweig  21:29

(Laughing) And I have no counter (plan). Mary says, Kid. You got to be careful here. You gotta stay here with this one, work it out later. I knew it was over. I knew it was over. What got worse was, the movie came out and was a disaster. Disaster! Terrible, critical failure. Nobody went to the box office. I mean probably the only movie that Paul Newman never earned a dime on. Marty Ritt called me. He sounded like he was in the,  on the ledge of the Plaza Hotel on about the 11th (floor) like he was ready to drop down to the street. He said, Kid. He says my power position at Paramount is dramatically reduced. I can't get you the job as Associate Producer. But I can get you the job as a Press Agent on the movie. I didn't want to be a Press Agent. I had a very terrible, the opposite experience following Marty with the Director by the name of Tony Richardson, who won the Academy Award for Tom Jones. He was there to do Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One. He gave Howard Strickling the same trouble that Barney did. Now, I became known as the guy who did the troubled movies.

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:38

That's a tough place to be.

Sharon Johnson  24:39


Barney Rosenzweig  24:39

We're gonna just start all the big productions and I got all the big producers, and I got all the (Bleeped). That's the way they said it, in ah, in in my (defense).

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:49

You could sweet talk 'em.

Sharon Johnson  24:49


Barney Rosenzweig  24:50

Yeah, but I was, I was game for it. You know? There I was, working with John _______. Tony Richardson. Terry Southern, great novelist at the time. Big hero of mine. And my next picture was gona be The Cincinnati Kid with Steve McQueen and Paddy Chayefsky and Marty Ransohoff.  So I've got it lined up. The experience with Tony Richardson was so terrible. It was so demeaning. It was so incredibly (rough), for years, I walked around with a piece of paper in my back pocket. It was my speech that I was going to use when I won an Academy Award, which was to thank Tony Richardson.  Because had he not been such a miserable son of a bi@#h, I'd still be a Publicist.

Sharon Johnson  25:31


Barney Rosenzweig  25:31

And that was (garbled), that was nice. The miracle is I decided not to give it when I did win my first Emmy.

Susan Lambert Hatem  25:37

I was gonna say you had an opportunity...

Sharon Johnson  25:38


Barney Rosenzweig  25:38

... I finally just got past it. I did cost the guy jobs though. Eh when he...a couple of times he wanted to work on projects of mine, and I would say to my agent, Are you kidding me? The man was dispicable. No redeeming moral value. Awful. Awful. I say that about very fe`w people. So I was really done now. I was, I could not be a Publicist. So that's, at that time, that's when the outrage failed. _________ came to me and said I gotta movie called Dr. Zhivago. She's gonna start up, six months or eight months, whatever it was. You want it, you could be the Unit, Publicist on it. Dr. Zhivago is being shot in the cold, in the snow, as you may remember. So I go into my wife and say, Look. Where do you want to live? You want to live in Paris? Do you want to live in London? Do you want to live in Rome? Where do you want to go? Pack up the kids. We're going. She didn't want to do it. But she was a stand up Dame. You know? She would have gone where, wherever I wanted. But, I thought this is it. This is what I'll do. It's gonna be my career. And I got a phone call from my father-in-law. He says I got some issues. He says, I've got a new television series. I got two movies. I got this. I'm overwhelmed. I need help. I want you to come here and be my Associate Producer. And I want somebody in the family. He says I don't want, I don't trust somebody else. Now, I don't know to this day, whether my wife went to her father, stepfather and said, Daddy, I don't want to go to London or Paris. Or, or wherever. And I don't want to take the kids there. I don't want to... and by the way. It would have been a tough job for her. Imagine. Yeah, I was gonna have a job. I had a driver to take me around everywhere. She was gonna have to figure out how to run a house in a foreign language and get the kids in school. I don't blame her. Now she says, or has told me, that she never did that. But I'm no so sure. She (garbled) is pretty, pretty impressive. So anyway, I got the job. And I went over there. And it turns out it’s one of the best experiences. Arvid, who’s not the most articulate guy, is a great natural teacher. And I was let in everywhere. And he was a much better film editor than Marty Ritt. And I really learned my craft. I could tell you, there was a guy named Joel Silver, there’s a guy, a gal by the name of. Um, I don't remember her name now. I’m not even gonna try to remember. She was the Head of the Department of Editing, at Fox, 20th Century Fox. She used to say that Darryl Zanuck was the best film editor she ever saw. That’s the Head of Editing.  The second best was Aaron Rosenberg. Now I can tell you this.  I’m better than Aaron. I learned how to do it better than Aaron. And Darryl Zanuck and Aaron are both dead. That makes me the best.

Sharon Johnson  25:38


Barney Rosenzweig  25:38

And I still believe that to be true. And that was my specialty being, as a Producer. I began to learn how to tell a story.

Sharon Johnson  25:51

What do you think it was about Producing as opposed to being in PR that was of more interest to you? That...

Barney Rosenzweig  28:33

Well, first of all, well it's several things. In my day at the studio at MGM Studios, the Directors were transients. Writers had these little cubbyhole offices, patches on their sleeve, the patches on the elbows, Producers, had all the great offices. They were the guys I saved seats for, at the premieres. They were the guys who I payed real attention to. I wanted to be one of them. And they really were the storytellers. The definition of a Producer in those days, is the same definition, by the way, it is today for television. And in those days of Movies. Producer is the storyteller. He decides what story to tell to an audience. He then goes about putting together the elements to make that possible. The right writer for adapted material. He may write it himself, the right Director, to direct the Picture. He might direct it himself. But the first guy on the job, the storyteller, the inventor, is the Producer. And the last guy on the job. The guy after the Director has gone off to another movie, after the writer is writing something else. The Producer's still there, promoting his movie going out and hustling, getting people to watch that Picture. I remember being a Publicist once, going into a meeting with the Producer. This Producer, whose name is not important to your audience, they wouldn't know who he was. He was a big Producer in his day, and made a picture, and we were meeting with him, myself and and a senior Publicist. I was still a kid. And he says, Well, good luck on this one. I haven't a clue, to tell you how to sell this. And as we walked out, my friend turned to me and said, Why did he make it then? He was right. I got it! Right away. You have to know who you're making the movie for. You gotta know who your audience is. You have to have a reason for making that Movie. Otherwise, do you know why you're making it? Because it's a book that somebody else handed you? And said, you know? No, you are the storyteller. You know who your audience is, you know who you have to talk about it. So I learned that I was, I learned that Alfred Hitchcock could direct a musical. Anytime he wanted to. He's a big hotshot Director. Everybody wanted a movie with Alfred Hitchcock. If he said, I want to do a Musical, they'd let him do it. But Alfred Hitchcock, the Producer, wouldn't let him. Because Alfred Hitchcock, the Producer, knew that every, in the Musical, every time the Leading Lady opened her mouth to sing, people would expect to, expect her to scream.

Sharon Johnson  29:09


Barney Rosenzweig  29:18

Well does, he was the producer, I can't name a Director of Walt Disney Movies off hand. But everybody knows a Disney Movie when they see it. It used to be that way with Pandro Berman. It used to be that way with Arthur Freed. It used to be that way with Joe Pasternak. These guys all had a signature. They all had a certain kind of movie they made. And that's what I wanted to do. And that's by the way, what it was in Television. They don't call it that. They call it in Television, they call it the Showrunner. The guy who runs the show.

Barney Rosenzweig  31:10

The proliferation of credits is so out there. Everybody's called a Producer now. You know? You eh, there are 20 Producer credits on (a show). It's embarrasing! I fought for years against the proliferation of credits, a loosing battle. And ultimately they came up with another name for it, which is never on the screen. But everybody in the Industry knows who it is. The Showrunner. I was the Showrunner. I'm the guy who said Christine Cagney wouldn't say that. I'm the guy who aproved every final edit, who aproved every music cue, approved every actor, every costume, everything. And I, I delegated some stuff, but it was my show.

Sharon Johnson  31:10


Susan Lambert Hatem  31:42

The Television Producer was kind of the owner of the show.

Barney Rosenzweig  31:47

That's right.

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:47

And that made a very, very different...

Barney Rosenzweig  31:49

Oh  huge...

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:50

... Producer, like a different different way of how Television got made.

Barney Rosenzweig  31:54


Susan Lambert Hatem  31:54

Can you talk to that a little bit? Because you you kind of produced across into kind of the new worlds of, of the Writer-Producer, basically.

Barney Rosenzweig  32:04

When I began in Television, I'm working for Aaron Rosenberg, as you may remember from my earlier (story). And the Television Series Aaron had, was a Series called Daniel Boone with Fess Parker.

Susan Lambert Hatem  32:14

I remember it, I watched it.

Barney Rosenzweig  32:16

There you go. And he said, you take the job. He says you're ready. You're it. I'll pay you $1,000 a week. I'd just quit a job for $35,000, now I'm gonna get paid $50,000. So I said, Well, I should look, I said we'll talk about it when you get back. So I read a couple of scripts. They were just horrific. And I went home to my wife who was all excited about my having this job. And  I remember, she was in the john, and I went in and I threw the script at her feet. And I said, You read this. If you still want me to do it when you've finished, I said, I'll do it. She came out and to her credit, she said, This stuff's awful. You don't have to do it. I understand why you wouldn't want it. So, I kept thinking about it. And you know? I could fix this. I could do this better. It's gonna be a learning experience. And I'm gonna get paid for it! So yeah, I think (about it). So, Aaron Rosenberg returns. And I said I was debating whether or not to wear a coonskin cap when you walked in the room. He didn't get the joke. I said, I'm telling you, I'll take the job. First, it wasn't his job to offer. Aaron Rosenberg owned 20% of the show. Fess Parker owned 30% of the show. And I got a phone call from Aaron. The decision is going to be Fess Parker's. He's on his way down to see you. It's you or two other guys. Good luck! Totally unprepared for this meeting. I'm about as unprepared as you can get. ... I did boning up on the Series for my own purposes, thinking I had the job. Fess walks into my office and we have a nice conversation. He wants to know if I'm my own man. And I talked to him about that. And I talked to him about what I think is wrong with the show. How he's a great star. He's not being served well by the material, and what I see it, what I see it's future being, what I think could be done with it. And thanks me and he leaves. I got two other guys to see, (garbled) two other guys. That night about seven o'clock, the phone rings. ____________ says, Hello Boss? And I had the job.

Susan Lambert Hatem  34:19


Barney Rosenzweig  34:21

Now, I want to tell you one more Daniel Boone story because I think it's, is it tells a lot about producing and what it's all about. Now I'm preparing scripts. I'm learning on the job. I'm learning for instance the picture, good bad or indifferent, has to be 46 minutes long. And I've got a lot of people working for me, or spies, as Fess (garbled). An Associate Producer and the Head of the Story Department. Both are hired by Fess' agents, and they were Fess'. And I know they're telling him whatever they're observing. Jim Aubrey who was the head of CBS, had come out in TV Guide that week or the week before, that CBS won six of seven nights on Television. Only night they didn't win was Thursday night on NBC. That was Daniel Boone at seven o'clock, leading in to Perry Mason , leading in to The Dean Martin Show, and we were golden. In those days, we watched Television the way America, the way God meant us to.

Sharon Johnson  35:14


Barney Rosenzweig  35:16

No remote control. Three channels, three Networks, that was it! No Fox. No uh, Netflix. No, no Amazon, no cable. Nothing. Three Networks and a couple of local stations.

Sharon Johnson  35:30

One Episode a week!

Barney Rosenzweig  35:32

One Episode a week. And it was yeah, no streaming. And you didn't have a remote control, so you didn't get out of your chair to change the channel. So what you tended to do was, you tended, they found out, when you watched the show at seven o'clock at night, you just kept it there. And you did, just one show led into another. That was the version of streaming in the old days.

Susan Lambert Hatem  35:50


Barney Rosenzweig  35:51

So Jim Aubrey said, This situation's no longer tolerable for us. CBS is going to win Thursday nights. It's going to be called Double Feature Night at CBS. And Cimarron Strip with Stu Whitman, who was a B-Movie star, they were doing Television. Cimarron Strip was going to be the most expensive show ever made for Network Television. Paul King was set to say yes... If the bill paid, he liked it ... to run that show. Not to run it from the Network perspective. The Network Exec... So he's having lunch with Fess Parker, and he tells Fess, Be ready to pack your lunch. This is over.

Susan Lambert Hatem  36:24

They're coming for ya.

Barney Rosenzweig  36:25

They're coming for ya. And this show was fabulous. Fabulous! I'd  never seen anything like it. Fess Parker goes into a deep depression. And Cliff Bole comes and tells us. So the pipeline's gona work both ways. That's good news. So I call Paul King. I say Paul, you depressed the hell out of my, my Star. What's going on? You're killin' him. I told him about Cimarron Strip. I told him that it's it's the best thing that's ever happened. I told him, we got a $350,000 per Episode budget. I had $150,000 to make my show. I said, Wow! That's a lot of money. I said, Who are you hiring for Directors? They're all Directors I can hire. Who are you hiring for writers? I knew writers were available to meet my price. Who are your guest stars? They were all actors from the Screen Actors Guild. All people I could hire. I thanked him and (garbled). Where's all the money go? And then it dawned on me. Stunts and horse falls. All the money's moving (sound drops out).

Susan Lambert Hatem  37:19

Going into stunts.

Barney Rosenzweig  37:21

They knew when you should zag, and everybody else would zag. I called the writer's room, and I said we're gona (introverse) this show. I can't compete with Cimmaron Strip. We're gona do shows of character. We're gona do Moby Dick, only as a (garbled) instead of a whale. An individual comes to town, like The Rainmaker, how he produced in shorthand now. Influences everybody's lives. These scripts began to get, because they were about something, pretty darn good. I call Joel Oliansky, who was the best writer I'd ever met in Hollywood. He won an Oscar. I call him and go, Joel. I hear you want to Direct. He says, Absolutely. I said, How bad? What do you mean, how bad? I said, how bad do you want to Direct? He said, I want to Direct very badly. I said write me three Daniel Boones, and you can Direct. Well, I got three of the best Daniel Boone scripts you ever heard of in your life. And go ahead and went out with these few scripts. I'm suddenly getting good actors. Many an Oscar winning actors are now coming, because parts are good. And incidentally, because they're small, the pictures are cheaper. We're not, not only going over budget, making shows below the budget. Fes Parker's best friend on the show, is Ted White, the stuntman. Ted White made $250 a week, plus stunts. On an average week he would make eleven hundred, twelve hundred dollars. So many stunts, a lot of fights. In this show, Daniel Boone maybe socks somebody once, when he really get out of sorts. He hits one guy. Maybe.

Susan Lambert Hatem  38:45

Yeah, Daniel Boone was like MacGyver. He solved problems.

Barney Rosenzweig  38:49

Ted White's now making $250 a week, and he is not happy. And he goes to Fess's producer guy...  he says the next thing you know. he's gona have Daniel Boone going around on a horse and cape. So Fess Parker doesn't come to me. Fess Parker goes to Aaron Rosenberg. Aaron said, What the hell are you doing? And I told him my philosophy of contrary opinion. I told him about Cimarron Strip and that I was doing the opposite. He looked at me like how much of a nutcase!  His eyes went to heavenward. And he said, The show's gonna get canceled anyway. Cimarron Strips gonna take everything.  He says, might as well drown with your own flag flying, and he walked out of my office for the rest of the season. I'm making the show. Now, it's summertime. We don't go on the air until late September. I'm in a vacuum, and everybody on the show knows that we're gona be destroyed. That I don't know what I'm doing. And that Cimarron Strip is the hit of a lifetime. I am exhausted. I go to my doctor. He says I'm putting you in the hospital.

Susan Lambert Hatem  39:45

You're like 28!

Barney Rosenzweig  39:48

I'm working 18-19 hours a day, seven days a week. Sleeping in my office. No one, I have no allies. I'm alone. Crew won't talk to me. I say shoot me up Doc. He gives me multiple vitamin D shots every other day. Literally when I go home at night, I open the hood of my car to make sure a bomb isn't (there). That's how, how... this is a union crew in the days when the unions were tough. I am literally checking my car for bombs. People are being killed in Hollywood for less. So that's the pressure I was under. September comes. Cimarron Strip will premiere a week before Daniel Boone. I sit in my office, which was a very grand office.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:21

You got your big office!

Sharon Johnson  40:22


Barney Rosenzweig  40:22

(Garbled) to size, I had my own, I had my, my office. Very nice office. And I turn on the show. There it is. Great blast of music, fabulous music. And red letters, "Cimarron Strip!" All done in this, kind of looks like ah, like fencing material. Classic Western stuff. And there's the scene, the open country. There is Stu Whitman scratching his beard like this. And then they cut to, 40 Dots. Forty Dots! On television in 1968. On a 19 inch television screen, 20 horses and 20 riders looked like 40 Dots. I know... And there's Stu Whitman, scratching his beard. And I know that next week, I got Fess Parker and the kid who plays his son, doing the Boy Scout Manual, in the woods. In the wilderness. Father-Son stuff is glorious. And I am smiling. And I walk out of my office and the Art Director, Production Manager, Ted Shields. What do you think boss? I said gentleman, we are a very large hit. Following week the Ratings come out. We are number nine in the country and Cimarron Strip is canceled the following (day).

Sharon Johnson  41:33


Susan Lambert Hatem  41:33

I was gonna say, I've never heard of Cimarron, but I sure have heard of Daniel Boone!

Barney Rosenzweig  41:39

Fess Parker, Fess Parker came in to see me. (Garbles) He says Boss, I will never doubt you again. And I said, Does that mean I can fire some of the people around here? He says, You can do whatever you want to. You're the boss. And I walked outta the office, and I fired two guys down the hall.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:54

The ones you thought, put a bomb in your car! (Guffaw)

Barney Rosenzweig  41:57

The spies.

Sharon Johnson  41:58


Barney Rosenzweig  41:59

Now, I have failed in my life. So far, so good. I bet...

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:03

To tell you, I think you like being in it!  In the, there's no way out of this situation, and then look! Oops, I won.

Barney Rosenzweig  42:10

Well, I like to win. I like to win.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:13

Alright, we're gonna have take a break. So, we can drink some water. And we're gonna come back and and, we gotta get to Cagney & Lacey. (Guffaw) But I, this has been amazing! Because...

Sharon Johnson  42:25


Susan Lambert Hatem  42:25

... we're like a, I went to USC, so I totally get everything you're talking about. And then again, Sharon and I are both like, movie buffs. So this has been pretty amazing. So let's take a break. And then we're gonna come back and we'll see everybody back here or we'll hear everybody back here in a minute.

Sharon Johnson  42:41

Sounds good.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:46

All right, welcome back!

Barney Rosenzweig  42:47


Sharon Johnson  42:47

There you go.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:48

So we gotta talk about Cagney & Lacey

Barney Rosenzweig  42:50

The writing team were never (garbled). Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday. Barbara Avedon's a well-seasoned, old pro, political activist. She's the one who wrote, War is not healthy for Children and other living things. It was a famous piece of the time. It was everywhere. Barbara wrote that. And she wrote many, many comedies. And she went into business with this young girl in her early 20, middle 20s. Barbara Corday, who was a former press agent from New York, come out here to be a writer. And they met through political activism. And uh,  I hired them to write their first drama. And uh, one day I get a phone call saying, I don't know what the protocol is, I'd like to have you over for dinner, if you'd like to have dinner with me.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:37

And this is Barbara Corday.

Barney Rosenzweig  43:38

Barbara Corday. And I said, Look you protocol's fine. I said, but I said, You're a working woman. I'm a working guy. Why don't we go out to dinner? From that moment on, Barbara knew she found  the right man for her. So um, we did, we went out to dinner. And our second date, was a movie. We went to see Scent of a Woman. Not the one with Al Pacino. The one with Vittorio Gassman, a black and white Italian movie, (garbled) with post World War Two, and a comedy of the sexes. The audience was having a good time. And I was laughing. So I noticed out of the corner of my eye, sort of like a glare. And I looked over and Barbara was white knuckling the chair she was sitting in. And I leaned over and I said, Are you all right? She said, This may be the ugliest, most sexist film, I have ever seen. You wanna leave? She says no. She says watch! Later, we'll talk. Now sexist was not a term, I was, I'm a 50s male. 50s heterosexual male. I don't know an awful lot about terms like that. And I was kind of baffled by it, but I sat there and (garbled), the biggest miracle of my life happened about that. It was an epiphany! And the women weren't women. There were a Hassidic Jews in my mind's eye. And what I was watching, became the most antisemitic piece of propaganda, I had ever seen. And I understood. That was the epiphany. That moment. I got it. I understood what was being taught. And my life changed from that moment on. It got me thinking about it. Looking for it. So that's a sad story. Barbara used to say, Barney's not a feminist. But he gets it. And I got it!

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:29

I liked the other line that you mentioned in your book, which is her paraphrasing actress, Lee Grant. I've been married to chauvinist and married to a feminist...

Barney Rosenzweig  45:38

... Neither one took out the garbage. She also came up with the most important line, in terms of what Cagney &  Lacey was about out. She said, it’s a show about two women who happen to be cops. Not two cops who happen to be women. And that was the essential (garbled). That's what we were doing.

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:56

And so let me ask you this, because we've talked about this about all our shows, and I'm just going to jump up front. Usually we wait till later, but did you set out to make a feminist show?

Barney Rosenzweig  46:05

Oh, did I set out to make a feminist show? I set out, no. No. I set out to make a Paul Newman - Robert Redford, buddy movie. Barbara got me to read a lot of books. One of the books was, Molly Haskell's, From Reverence to Rape: (a history) The Treatment of Women in the Movies. It's a fabulous book. I recommend it to anybody who hasn't read it. And even if you have read it, then you should read it again. I believe it was in that book, where I got that, never in the history of movies and television, has there been a buddy movie for women. There's never been a Paul Newman - Robert Redford (sound drop). And I thought, why not make one? So I wanted to make a movie, not a television show. And I wanted, it was a comedy. It was a light, it was like, you know? And I went to (garbled) my friend. And he said, Can they be cops? I said sure. Why not? So, Barbara Avedon said, You want to do it in New York because it was funnier than California. I said why is that? She says, Words with a K are funnier. That's why it was in New York.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:06

Alright, so how does the buddy comedy cop movie become TV movie starring Loretta Swit and Tyne Daly?

Barney Rosenzweig  47:15

All right, well, we couldn't sell it. The only person who liked (it was) Sherry Lansing. Sherry Lansing got it. She went to her boss, her then boss, who was Danny Melnick, and she kept bugging him about it. He kept throwing her out of (the office). She kept saying, you got to see this (garbled). And finally, he said, Alright, just to placate you, I'll give you a million. Make this movie for a million and a half dollars, with Raquel Welch and, Ann-Margret, and you got a deal. Well, first of all, you couldn't buy those two women, in those days, for a million and a half dollars. If you could, I wouldn't make it. And it was silly. Now, in fairness, (garbled) knew something. Because Raquel Welch went on to become a pretty good actress, and Ann-Margret, got her chops in Carnal Knowledge, and other movies. At that time, they had done none of that. So it was feminist in that sense, (garbled) a breakthrough for women. But it wasn't (garbled) very obvious. In those days, in that show, in that movie, there was only a male (garbled) everything about being a cop was male oriented. And the men didn't like em'. The men gave them all the (garbled) jobs. Well, in that sense, it was feminist. So I knew that, we were doing that. Barbara said the movie's gonna pass you by. You got to sell this. So I went to every television (network), and I tried to sell it as a comedy-drama. Failed. And I went to try to sell it as a drama-comedy, to dif, to a different group of people. Failed. I then went to CBS, the last place because I had the least connections. And Peter Frankovich, son of the famous (M.J.) Frankovisch, called me up and said, Buddy! This is a television show. You got a series here. You should take it to our Series people. Peter, I'm gona level with. I've done that. They've turned me down. This is damage control.  You’re my last hope. I'm not gona turn you down. I like it. Let's make it. I take Barbara Corday with me to CBS. We pitch a new plot. And he buys it. He ultimately... and we made the movie, some call it a pilot, in Toronto. And it was big hit.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:27

Loretta Swit. Tyne Daly. And again, I'm very excited, you shot it in Toronto... And I found that out from reading your book, because it really does look like you shot it in New York. And I know you did a couple of days in New York?

Barney Rosenzweig  49:38

Yeh, two or three days. I learned from Vic Rosenbloom who was an executive at Filmways, who had learned from Joe Sargent, who's a very fine (sound drops), how to make a movie look like you've shot it somewhere else. And the way you do that is, all your important location stuff in the first four or five (sound drops). If you have anything left over you could maybe pepper the (sound drops) once or twice later. But if you establish. You win 'em over, you got em'.  You convince them, they're in New York at the beginning, and then they're in New York from then on. A building is a building.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:08

I actually really love that opening to the movie because it does feel very New York in the 70s or 80s. For the audience that hasn't seen it yet, Lacy picks up Cagney from her one-night stand. And then they're driving to work, and they see somebody basically running out of a building that is clearly stolen something, clearly a thief. And so they, they pull over and they go to chase him and he runs in, dashes into a building when some somebody is walking out of their apartment. And then they have to buzz to get into the building. So, they're trying to buzz somebody to let them into the building. And meanwhile, another person basically steals Lacey's car... The police officer's car, while they're trying to get into the building to chase the other thief. It was, it was just like a lot of layers upon layers. And it was really quite lovely. And you're like, Oh, I totally buy this as New York City. And I, there's just so much character in that first opening.

Barney Rosenzweig  50:58

Well, that opening was written by the two women.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:59

So you make this TV movie, and it airs. And what happens next?

Barney Rosenzweig  51:05

Well, couple things before it airs, you should know about. We were in New York to shoot two or three days. We were so convincing, and did it so well with people, friends of mine, called me when the show was on the air months later, and said, How come you were in New York for a shoot and you didn't call me?! (sound drops) you know, for 48 hours. But I need to call one person. I call my friend Michael Fuchs who was the head of HBO. We used to play tennis together, and I say, Hey Michael.  I say I'm in town for a day. Wanna I have dinner? Ah, he says, I got a, I'm double dating. He says, (sound drops) busy night.  But hey, why don't you come along? So I did. I had nothing else. He's sitting there talking to the husband of the, one of the women, about some movie the guy's making, based on a play, for HBO. And I'm sitting between the two women. One, turns out, is a New Yorker who is moving to Los Angeles. And who is a great friend, business friend of Harvey Shepherd, the head of CBS. She finds out that I don't know Harvey Shepherd. She says, I'll introduce you when you're in Los Angeles. The woman on my left, she's (garbled) Editor in Chief of Ms. Magazine. Be still my heart.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:14

This is 1980? 1981?

Barney Rosenzweig  52:16

Yeah. What is your doing in New York? She says to me. I laugh, so I tell her what I'm doing in New York. She says I'm interested in that. Alright? And we wind up on the cover of Ms Magazine. The show that asks the question, Can women be buddies under pressure? And a little piece with Gloria Steinem says, if you like this show, write to CBS. This is important stuff. We get to LA and I am now (sound drops). They should know that making movies is a long and painful (process). You start off with a pure idea. I have this beautiful idea, a buddy movie for women. And I got two women who know their stuff, clearly. You then begin a whole series of compromises with electrical current, mechanical equipment, the crew, the director, the writer. With God... will the sun a, shine? Or will it rain? And each of these things require a (garbled). Now the fewer compromises you make, the better your movie is. You're gonna make compromises. And the first reaction you have, on seeing your movie assembled together to the Director's cut, is to think if you can get to the bathroom in time to vomit, or even vomit right there. You set out to raise a child to become a Harvard Medical School graduate and you wind up with a 14-year-old dropout who does drugs. The trick is, in movie making, the trick is to remember, throwing up, you do remember, it's still your child. And you find a way to fall in love with it all over. Barbara Avedon, she is in dismay. In tears!

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:01

This is a Director's Cut screening?

Barney Rosenzweig  54:02

Director's cut screening. I thank the Director, and thanks for your work. And to the (sound drops). The reason Barbara Avedon was in tears, was not because somebody missed a joke. Or because the production didn't look, didn't look like we spent much money on it. (Sound drops) scene. Or this casting that didn't work. That was all too rational. She was in tears because the very thing she said we all set out to do, he had sabotaged. Cagney was strident and unlikable. We told everybody if you're going to love these two. Women can do this just like men can do. And we had just proven the opposite. All the men who said women can't be buddies. They're going to (sound drop). You  can't make this kind of movie. And what the flaw was, I regret to say, was a woman who worked very hard for us, Loretta Swit. Loretta Swit became a television star as the foil on M*A*S*H*. She was the one nobody liked. She was the one that guys made fun of... Tortured. And we loved it as an audience. That's what she was good at. Now she might been able to be directed outta that. She was a star. And our Director (muffled) he just let her be a, Loretta And Loretta was playing Hot Lips in a Cagney uniform. So, I said to the Editor, I want you to play the entire movie on Loretta's back, over a shoulder where the master angle will show as little of her as you (can). We'll come back to that later, right now, that's your assignment. Take 10 days to do that. So the whole movie was re-cut for that, and then I refined. And that was, (garbled) sees the movie. Avedon sees it. Barbara Avedon says, comes over, gives me a hug and says, You are a genius. I cannot believe it. And (garbled) Rosenbloom says it's phenomenal. I've never seen an advanced screening like this in my life. They loved the movie. And it's not what, I don't want to be embarrassed. Barney, it is good. I say, I'd like to rent a room. at 20th Century Fox. We'll have our family and friends come. So that's what we did. Loretta came with her agent, (garbled), and family and friends. Full House, two hundred people. They laughed in all the right places. They cheer in all the right places. And I thought, this is interesting. You can say the music cue doesn't work. You can say the photography isn't A-Plus. You can say a couple of the actors aren't all that. You shouldn't say that the directing isn't a little flat here. But you can't say it isn't... Nobody said I don't believe two women. And I thought that's great. That's what I've been (garbled).

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:13

Because that's what they were saying to you when you were trying to sell it. That two women can't do this.

Barney Rosenzweig  56:58

That's right. And Gloria asked the question, Can women be buddies under pressure? Can they do it? And they could! That's what the movie proved. And that's when I fell in love (sound drop) Everyone had the same reaction. Women in the audience... Cheering. And I said, We are on to something. The movie goes on the air. Oh, then they come to me, Press Agents of Filmways. And they start talking about all the things we're gonna do. Already shoot... (sound drops). Fellas, it's one campaign. One thing. Get this, MS Magazine, when it hits the shelves, get 500 copies of these magazines, and send that to every Editor in the country. They said, Barney Ms Magazine doesn't sell that many issues. It's not gonna be (that) big a deal. Let me tell you something, it's an opinion making publication. The New York Times will pay attention, as Gloria Steinem says. Washington Post will pay attention because Ms Magazine says to watch this. And that's what we did. And we had a 48 Share. 48% of the people in America watching television. That's a hit of monumental...

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:14

And by the way, Loretta Swit was fantastic in it. So, whatever you did for her, she comes across great!

Barney Rosenzweig  58:21

Good. I'm assuming I don't see them yet.

Sharon Johnson  58:23

And I have to admit I was a little skeptical of her before I saw it and she was great. She was fantastic.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:28

It does not feel like Hot Lips.

Sharon Johnson  58:30


Susan Lambert Hatem  58:31

It really does feel like a different character.

Barney Rosenzweig  58:34

We cut those things out.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:37

It works.

Barney Rosenzweig  58:37

Loretta liked the movie. Loretta, but she said to me, You know, there aren't very many close-ups of me. I said Loretta, I said, you're in every scene. I said, You know can't let it... it's like a variety show. You can't, you gotta hear the host. You can't let the audience get tired of you. She doesn't talk to me today. I don't know if it's because I wrote that story. Or whether because she really feels, I should have waited for her to play Cagney. You know? And I, and I would have been waiting two years. (garbled) don't wait.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:01


Barney Rosenzweig  59:01

The Network wasn't gonna wait.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:02

Alright, so it comes out, it's a huge, huge hit. Then what happens?... We're gonna have to make this a Two Parter. Okay, we're going to have to end Part One of our interview here. But our listeners will be tuning in next Episode for Part Two. The rest of our interview with Barney Rosenzweig, talking about Cagney & Lacey.

Sharon Johnson  59:25

We hope you'll come back and listen to Part Two. It's going to be just as fascinating as Part One.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:31

Our audio-ography for today includes two websites. The Cagney & Lacey official website is at CagneyandLacey.com. And then Barney Rosenzweig's site is at http://barney-cagneyandlacey.blogspot.com

Sharon Johnson  59:46

Find out more about us on the website, 80sTVLadies.com.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:50

Help support our show at patreon.com/80sTVLadies. Thank you so much for supporting this show. We cannot do it without you. Be sure to tune in to Part Two of our interview with Barney Rosenzweig, the creator of Cagney & Lacey. We look forward to listening to our next Episode with you.

Sharon Johnson  1:00:09

We hope 80s TV Ladies brings you joy and laughter and lots of fabulous new and old shows to watch. All of which will lead us forward toward being amazing Ladies of the 21st century.

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