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Kromm

Barney Miller

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I remember that that episode in Wojo's apartment had been a tryout of the possibility of spinning Wojo off into his own series. The experiment  produced the answer "no."

The Fish-centric episode, though... did lead to a Fish spin-off, as we know. (Albeit with some time delay, I believe.)

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Rinaldo, I think they were hoping to make a combined spin-off with Wojo& his girlfriend and their domestic life rotating with Harris& Dietrich and their 'odd couple' domestic life the other weeks. However; Wojo & his girlfriend didn't even work out in their two-parter episode (and she was never seen or referred to again)- and aside from a few Squad Room cracks between Harris & Dietrich  re their temp arrangement, nothing came of that part of the intended spin-off. Oddly enough, the performer playing  the-edge-of-retirement call-girl Wojo romanced also seemed to have entirely dropped out of known film or television productions after this two-parter.

 

 Yeah, I agree that this particular arc didn't work for Wojo. However; I think they COULD have done an after Barney spin off- perhaps having Wojo help rehabilitate ex-cons.  At least Mr. Gail still seems to be working.

Edited by Blergh · Reason: clarification
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On 6/20/2016 at 6:06 PM, Jordan Baker said:

I loved Wojo, and I did understand why he was thought to be studly back in the '70s. And I was really happy to see MG in the last season of "Mad Men," even though I didn't particularly like the episode in which he appeared. Still, it was great to see him again.

I had the biggest crush on him when I was young. The first thing I remember seeing him in after Barney Miller was the original My Bloody Valentine. He had stopped wearing the rug, and I was surprised by his appearance. It wasn’t just the missing toupee, because he didn't wear it during the first season of the show, but the fact that he had long hair in the back. I also remember reading that he lived in a teepee on his lawn. He was kind of a free spirit, I guess. I am in my 40s now and still kind of have a thing for him. 

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They also shot some episodes in Barney's apartment.  Those were a big departure from most of the episodes that were shot in the detective room at the one two.

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Yes, at the start of the series they thought it was going to be another sitcom more or less equally divided between work and home, but they quickly discovered that the heart of it was in at work, and they stayed there. There were a handful of other locations over the years too -- not many, but a very occasional story took them to a room in a hotel or apartment, as part of a case. I don't think we ever saw another room in the precinct headquarters.

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20 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

...I don't think we ever saw another room in the precinct headquarters.

IIRC, they showed the basement or some such room in the episode in which rats got into the confiscated pot and  stashed it in their nest/lair. 
It's sort of symbolic that we never see the place where Levitt works when he's not upstairs trying to talk Barney into making him a detective.

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On 6/20/2016 at 9:06 PM, Jordan Baker said:

I did understand why he was thought to be studly back in the '70s.

Hell yeah--he was blond, blue eyed, and built! (Think Rob Gronkowski, who is currently considered to be pretty darn studly.) :-) Remember when anyone slapped Wojo on the back or punched his arm, they always pulled back with a slightly surprised look, as if they'd hit a tree or a brick wall, he was so muscle-y! Plus he had that kind of boyish charm that is very attractive. I myself preferred a guy like Dietrich, but I'm weird.

 

On 7/5/2016 at 8:05 AM, Rinaldo said:

a very occasional story took them to a room in a hotel or apartment, as part of a case.

One of the funniest ones was when Harris and Dietrich had to stay in a hotel with a murder witness.

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On 7/8/2016 at 8:03 AM, Pepper Mostly said:

I myself preferred a guy like Dietrich, but I'm weird.

Oh, I do too but I was a weird kid. I didn't get Wojo's appeal when I watched as a kid, but I get it now. I loved Dietrich and Harris and I still love them the best.

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I just saw Walter Olkewicz on BM.  I had ALWAYS (for decades) liked this guy, never knew his name.  Glad I had the chance to make note of it and in this digital age look him up!  

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I've always liked Walter Olkewicz too. I first noticed him as a regular on a good but short-lived 1979 MTM sitcom, The Last Resort. An amusing thing I remember about his career is that after that show and a dozen other film and TV appearances (Barney Miller included), his credit in the 1982 movie Jimmy the Kid read "and introducing Walter Olkewicz," as if he were brand-new. 

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On 3/25/2015 at 3:47 PM, Lola16 said:

An episode circa 1982 when the detectives needed to don plain clothes as it was Sargent exam day.

 

Luger: I'm not the same man I was in 1957.

Barney: Who is, Inspector?

Dietrich: Dick Clark.

That one was "Examination Day," Jan. 14, 1982, and it was one of the funniest ones I've seen. 

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"Go away, Beverly is busy."

"Sorry Mr. Peck, it's Biff."

One of the rare non squad room episodes - had me in stitches.  Between that and Fish pelting the pigeons with day old bread.  Only thing that could have made it better was to have the "real" Bernice.

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The fan favorite episode, "Hash," is airing this evening on over-the-air Antenna TV station at 9:30 CDT. 
It's not really a favorite episode of mine, but I enjoy all the Harris bits.
 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

The fan favorite episode, "Hash," is airing this evening on over-the-air Antenna TV station at 9:30 CDT. 
It's not really a favorite episode of mine, but I enjoy all the Harris bits.
 

That's the Pot Brownie episode isn't it?

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2 hours ago, Kromm said:

That's the Pot Brownie episode isn't it?

Yep!

ETA: Watching it now and just realized that, like "Gloria," in the mid-70s I painted, played the flute, lived diagonally across from the local police station, and had pot growing in my window. (It was before the "War on Drugs.") But I never went out with a cop — prefered long hair & beards in jeans.

I also just realized that stoned and high Wojo aren't very different, so it works that Barney doesn't notice for awhile.

Edited by shapeshifter
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I will say, watching some of the early vs. later episodes, it really bothers me today (vs. back then) that they never explained how they eventually got along with 3 Detectives instead of 6 (or actually it was probably even 7 when they had Linda Lavin's female detective) without any real explanation of why or how that would be the case. Numerically, the eventual trio of Harris, Dietrich and Wojo always seemed to demand they take Levitt along, which I suppose it why they didn't add another permanent new Detective character after Dietrich, but I guess ABC also got cheap with the show as well. 

They were usually the main daytime shift, weren't they?  It was made clear there were other Detectives on that board we never saw who were presumably on the other two shifts (and in fact Det. Wentworth, the female detective, stayed on the board presumably working a different shift). But it certainly was strange that they supposedly eventually worked that shift with 3 people.

Edited by Kromm

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I thought their shifts changed and that Manhattan South sometimes covered for them.  I know they worked until midnight at least 2x.  The reduction in detectives were mentioned as budget cuts.

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39 minutes ago, Lola16 said:

I thought their shifts changed and that Manhattan South sometimes covered for them.  I know they worked until midnight at least 2x.  The reduction in detectives were mentioned as budget cuts.

I guess. The problem with that is Captain Miller. He'd always be on whatever the busiest shift is (I'm just assuming that's daytime, but I suppose it might not be), I'd think, and the Detectives would rotate around.  Logically there'd be a Lt. or Sgt. heading up the other shifts. Then again, they were kind of Sgt. heavy (since Fish, Yemana, Harris and Chano all had that rank). Or rather, Captain Miller would still be in charge of the whole Precinct, even if he wasn't there, but there'd be an underling or two on the other shifts who reported to him, and probably one of the Detectives per shift would be senior to all of the others. 

Not that we're supposed to expect realism (although the show has been lauded for being real in some other ways). 

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In episode "Middle Age," one plot involves a series of thefts of diamonds from Hasidic Jews who work in the diamond district, as represented to the audience in the person of actor Nehemiah Persoff, playing Yacov Berger. 
His comic timing and vocal inflections made me laugh at almost all his punch lines — and I am a "tough crowd" member. 
Of course, humor is subjective. 
Anyone else enjoy this character?

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: typo
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Is that the one where the diamond dealer pretends he is missing a few diamonds? He leaves, then comes back in yelling "April fool! So its November--sue me!"?

My favorite guest is Lt. Scanlon! (George Murdock). I saw him on a ST:TNG episode a couple of weeks ago--he was really a wonderful actor. He did such a great job with Scanlon's seething rage. He mannerisms, the way he bit off his words, the way he held himself, barely able to keep from exploding. His interactions with the guys are so charged, I love that tension. I'm always happy when its a Scanlon episode. So many of the guest stars were wonderful. I also loved the smooth talking photographer who won all the ladies with his charming ways (Phil Leeds). He was on a bunch of times, and with every character he was great.

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On 7/13/2016 at 7:38 AM, Rinaldo said:

I've always liked Walter Olkewicz too. I first noticed him as a regular on a good but short-lived 1979 MTM sitcom, The Last Resort. An amusing thing I remember about his career is that after that show and a dozen other film and TV appearances (Barney Miller included), his credit in the 1982 movie Jimmy the Kid read "and introducing Walter Olkewicz," as if he were brand-new. 

ME TOO!!!   I could never remember his name before the Internet etc. but now I was finally able to see him and look him up.  

Sorry - it's been a while since I posted my other one!  I'm responding to you responding to me.  LOL.

Edited by Granny58

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Very sad to hear of Ron Glass' passing. He was wonderful. My favorite line of his was, to the tough little 13 year old who was flirting with a life of crime
"I have something you'll never have!"

"what?"

"CREDIT. You are no one unless you can sign for something with dignity!"

Rest in peace Ron. You brought joy to many.

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Of the main characters, I think only Barney (Hal Lindin), Liz (Barbara Barrie), Wojo (Max Gail) and Chano (Gregory Sierra) are still with us.

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Hal Linden, on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast.  Recommended listen--very revealing and interesting.

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On 11/30/2016 at 9:33 PM, Lola16 said:

Of the main characters, I think only Barney (Hal Lindin), Liz (Barbara Barrie), Wojo (Max Gail) and Chano (Gregory Sierra) are still with us.

Hal seems to be in pretty good health too. He does theater and music tours constantly. He was recently on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossol Podcast and a good part of the interview was about how busy he still is.

Link to discussion of that podcast, and a link for the podcast itself, below. Relevant to this specific topic (guest stars) he talks about James Gregory (Inspector Luger) a bit, as well as how Steve Landesburg actually started as a guest star playing another role (a con-artist posing as a Priest).  

Edited by Kromm
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Time Magazine, just yesterday, talking about what a shit year 2016 was, mentions Abe.

Quote

Oxford dictionaries chose post-truth as the word of the year. Is that true? Is there even an “Oxford Dictionaries”? Facts like that don’t matter in a year when people cared so little about lying. Mendacity created so little furor that for the first time in 34 years, no one bothered to start a rumor that Abe Vigoda had died, possibly making Abe Vigoda feel so ignored, it caused him to die. 

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11 minutes ago, Kromm said:

how Steve Landesburg actually started as a guest star playing another role (a con-artist posing as a Priest).

I remember that!

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"Group Home" aired on Me TV this evening. It's the one in which Jillian and Victor make a repeat appearance. I looked up Victor on IMDb to see if the young actor was still performing and was sad and startled to read of John Cassisi:

Quote

He is now a construction site manager, is married and has three children. [January 2011]

December 2015: Sentenced to two-to-six years in prison for money laundering and bribery.

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4.5, "Burial," just aired on Antenna TV. 

Harris: I ain't livin' in the Bronx! The zoo is in the Bronx! Animals live in The Bronx!

A small nitpick with the episode: Retired Fish stops by, and when all the detectives are out on business except the captain, Fish offers — then insists, and Barney let's him — that he take a victim's statement. Would that be legal? Fortunately the victim decides not to press charges.

Edited by shapeshifter

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On 12/16/2016 at 10:30 PM, shapeshifter said:

4.5, "Burial," just aired on Antenna TV. 

Harris: I ain't livin' in the Bronx! The zoo is in the Bronx! Animals live in The Bronx!

A small nitpick with the episode: Retired Fish stops by, and when all the detectives are out on business except the captain, Fish offers — then insists, and Barney let's him — that he take a victim's statement. Would that be legal? Fortunately the victim decides not to press charges.

I don't see why it would be illegal. It might not be ADMISSIBLE in court, but that's different from being illegal.

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I am always so disgusted when the episode "Rape" is aired. I can't believe they still show that slop, especially during the holidays. It was on Antenna TV last week. It's enough to ruin the entire show for me. 

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8 hours ago, azshadowwalker said:

I am always so disgusted when the episode "Rape" is aired. I can't believe they still show that slop, especially during the holidays. It was on Antenna TV last week. It's enough to ruin the entire show for me. 

Having been a young woman at the time it was originally aired, I hope that the intent of the script was to point out that 1) laws at the time regarding marital rape were wrong, and 2) that the laws were not likely to change so long as women accepted them. But I agree with you, @azshadowwalker, and the many others, that the episode does not succeed if the intent was to bring attention to outmoded (for want of a better adjective) law. 

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31 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Having been a young woman at the time it was originally aired, I hope that the intent of the script was to point out that 1) laws at the time regarding marital rape were wrong, and 2) that the laws were not likely to change so long as women accepted them. But I agree with you, @azshadowwalker, and the many others, that the episode does not succeed if the intent was to bring attention to outmoded (for want of a better adjective) law. 

That episode to me is where the series shows its age. Other episodes are timeless, some could easily be filmed today (racial, middle east, russia etc). But that one is certainly dated. Unfortunately, we haven't progressed far enough since then.

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Antenna TV is no longer airing 2 episodes every weeknight, but is at least still airing two on Friday nights, an hour earlier (8pm CST).

Anyone else catch it elsewhere? Netflix? Hulu?

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On 12/30/2016 at 1:55 PM, shapeshifter said:

Having been a young woman at the time it was originally aired, I hope that the intent of the script was to point out that 1) laws at the time regarding marital rape were wrong, and 2) that the laws were not likely to change so long as women accepted them. But I agree with you, @azshadowwalker, and the many others, that the episode does not succeed if the intent was to bring attention to outmoded (for want of a better adjective) law. 

I don't think that was the intent at all. The "fix" was to tell the husband to be more "romantic" and send the woman on her way with him. Because it wasn't really rape at all, silly woman. I honestly think the intent was to make it clear that women should be disbelieved. Kind of like MASH making jokes about Houlihan, all the while talking up the Great Liberal Hope of Alda. One reason I can't stand liberal men. At least conservative men don't try to lie about what they are. This episode always sums that up for me. 

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Yikes. Bad Victah.

I was watching a That Girl episode and Don's boss was being played by James Gregory (Inspector Luger). A little younger but exactly the same. One funny thing was his wife's name in the episode was Agnes. Which he pronounced Aganess. Just like he did on Barney Miller when Agnes was the name of a diner waitress he was interested in.  Ag A Ness.

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Tonight "The Harris Incident" aired. The scene in which Wojo confronts Harris made me cry. I'm not sure how much was because of the acting and how much was because of what's been going on in society this past year.

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On 1/13/2017 at 11:44 PM, shapeshifter said:

Tonight "The Harris Incident" aired. The scene in which Wojo confronts Harris made me cry. I'm not sure how much was because of the acting and how much was because of what's been going on in society this past year.

I like when Harris tells Levitt to "cover me" when he leaves for lunch.

And Dietrich "It takes 2 to make a dialogue. And 5 to make popcorn. That's what Barney said."

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2 minutes ago, Lola16 said:

I like when Harris tells Levitt to "cover me" when he leaves for lunch...

I loved that line!

The other night the episode with Wojo and the Indian aired. I like the way they were able to relate to each other inspite of their totally different backgrounds. But this time I noticed that Wojo tells Barney about the Indian dying in the park but we never find out what happened to his body. Maybe they left it open so some viewers could feel free to imagine he left with the wolf spirit?

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So, all the Barney Miller fans without Antenna TV or the DVDs can now watch it again!! Woohoo!

It's gonna be the Tuesday morning marathon block starting on May 2nd. Nice.

Edited by Ryan Chamberlain

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Yep, some more information would be nice, especially since Googling "Barney Miller marathon" just leads to a bunch of dead ends.

 

HOW ABOUT IT, RYAN CHAMBERLAIN???

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