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Ann Marcus' The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts (L.A.T.E.R.)


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Did anyone watch creator Ann Marcus' followup to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the late night soap parody from 1980, The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts (L.A.T.E.R.)? Bravo briefly reran it as part of their TV Too Good for TV block in the early 90s (which also, if I recall, is where I first got to see Mary Hartman--they also showed Soap and Twin Peaks and... Cop Rock LOL). I'd love to see full episodes again but can only find this:
 

 

 

Edited by EricMontreal22
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1 hour ago, DRW50 said:

Thanks. I'd never heard of this show. 

(By Bravo I mean the Canadian Bravo which isn't connected to Bravo US).  I remember really liking it--I think at that age anyway it connected to me more than Mary Hartman.  It was outrageous but more grounded in a discernible reality (as I think Ann says in that clip).  I swear I taped some episodes but would have to go through my storage.

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  • EricMontreal22 changed the title to Ann Marcus' The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts (L.A.T.E.R.)
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1 hour ago, EricMontreal22 said:

(By Bravo I mean the Canadian Bravo which isn't connected to Bravo US).  I remember really liking it--I think at that age anyway it connected to me more than Mary Hartman.  It was outrageous but more grounded in a discernible reality (as I think Ann says in that clip).  I swear I taped some episodes but would have to go through my storage.

That explains why I never saw it. Our cable back then was MacLean-Hunter and we didn't get Bravo/Showcase/Etc. until about 1995? I'll keep my eyes peeled if any more content comes out. I feel like Ann Marcus was, beyond her disastrous DAYS run, considered a pretty solid writer.

Edited by beebs
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47 minutes ago, beebs said:

That explains why I never saw it. Our cable back then was MacLean-Hunter and we didn't get Bravo/Showcase/Etc. until about 1995? I'll keep my eyes peeled if any more content comes out. I feel like Ann Marcus was, beyond his disastrous DAYS run, considered a pretty solid writer.

After seeing what Ann did at Knots Landing I’ve always had a lot of respect for her as a writer. She came back during a production shut down when the show was the worst it’s ever been and instantly turned it around! She’d been gone for around 10 years and the show had changed so much but she hit the ground running! She also handled a lack of budget better than most would have. 

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59 minutes ago, beebs said:

That explains why I never saw it. Our cable back then was MacLean-Hunter and we didn't get Bravo/Showcase/Etc. until about 1995? I'll keep my eyes peeled if any more content comes out. I feel like Ann Marcus was, beyond her disastrous DAYS run, considered a pretty solid writer.

Yeah this would probably been just before 1995?  Right when the station premiered.

Oh I have a lot of respect for Marcus (I don't really know about her DAYS except what she says in her interview--I'll investigate

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).  For the msot part she seemed to understand how shows worked, and I think also it's impressive that she could handle "legit" soap as well as parodies like Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (it must have been kinda annoying that Norman Lear always got all the credit for that...)

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1 minute ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Yeah this would probably been just before 1995?  Right when the station premiered.

Oh I have a lot of respect for Marcus (I don't really know about her DAYS except what she says in her interview--I'll investigate

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).  For the msot part she seemed to understand how shows worked, and I think also it's impressive that she could handle "legit" soap as well as parodies like Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (it must have been kinda annoying that Norman Lear always got all the credit for that...)

Yeaaaah, we were discussing her DAYS run in the DAYS behind-the-scenes thread, and reading through the Daytime Serial Newsletter recaps from her run...it was one show she just did NOT get, and, while it may have played better onscreen, she messed up a LOT of what Pat Falken Smith had set up, and her pacing was...too quick. I'll let you judge for yourself, but the general consensus was that she was a bad bad fit.

But yes, everywhere else, particularly in prime time, her work has largely been nothing but praised, and especially her turnaround of KL, so I still have to give her props for that.

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Marcus has a mixed record like most do. She was the final headwriter for "Love is a Many Splendored Thing." Her plans for the show were included in an article afterward that was fairly progressive. I know two of the stories would later be attempted on "Days of our Lives." Marcus was bringing back Mia Elliott who was looking to reunite with her husband and child that had been lost in Vietnam during the war. She planned on using this with Chris Kositchek. She had also planned on a lesbian relationship with Betsy (I believe) and a nurse character. Later, Julie would be the object of affection of Sharon Duvall.

 

I can't remember anything significant from Marcus' 1970s "Search for Tomorrow" run. 

 

Her run on "Love of Life" was decent. There were some misfires, but I like what I've read about it. I wish the show had continued. 

 

Years ago, I found brief episode summaries online for L.A.T.E.R. it really wasn't anything remarkable (the summaries, not the storylines specifically). They were on an old computer. I'm sure if someone looked they wouldn't have much trouble pulling the information from online. 

 

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June 79

Teasers. Advertisements in BROADCASTING and elsewhere say simply: "Buy L.A.T.E.R" -lots of white space and logo of Columbia Pictures Television. Well, Metromedia did, and Columbia has gone ahead with planned 13 -week schedule of new late night strip, Life and Times of Eddie Roberts, created by husband -and -wife team of Ellis and Ann Marcus. (She's late of Norman Lear's organization and stint as co- creator of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and All That Glitters and more recently writing Days of Our Lives for Columbia.)

 

Her association with Hartman was not lost on Columbia or Metromedia. either. Executives of both unabashedly refer to the critical success of Lear's show when discussing what they expect to come of L.A.T.E.R. Metromedia will begin running half -hour shows (11 p.m. NYT) in January on its stations in Los Angeles, Washington, Cincinnati, Minneapolis. Kansas City, Mo., and Houston. That's potential audience of 20% of nation -well on way to 50 % -60 %. Norman Horowitz, president of Columbia Distribution, says company will need to break even on venture. (Actual dollar figures are being held close to vests.) No other stations have signed on as yet, but its understood Columbia will be asking top dollar for show.

 

The pitch. L.A.T.E.R. won't enter production until fall, but pilot has been shot and is being shown selectively. Briefly, show is about Roberts, college professor, with wife who leaves him because of his sexual problems. He has shapely student interested in improving her grades and equally shapely researcher who is after him to serve as guinea pig for new male contraceptive drug.

 

"Metromedia was looking for something to duplicate the success of Mary Hartman, "says Dick Woolen, group's vice president for programing. L.A.T.E.R. has "exactly that same potential" Show is thought to be first major effort to reopen late -night slot first entered by Hartman when it premiered in 1976. Ken Page, Columbia's executive vice president for sales, says he has no particular marketing strategy other than to "tradeoff the success of Mary Hartman. "Unlike that show, however, L.A.T.E.R. will be able to "bypass that stage of proving itself" to stations. Sales talks with other broadcasters were starting last week.

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No worries!

And a follow up from Jan 80

'LATER' than you think. With ratings averages of 3 in Los Angeles and 4 in New York, Columbia Pictures Television's Life and Times of Eddie Roberts, late night comedy strip that premiered on Metromedia TV stations and others Jan. 7, appears destined for graveyard. Dick Woollen, Metromedia's vice president for programing, said that after 13 -week contract expires, group is almost certain to drop show entirely. Metromedia's decision indicates that Columbia will scrap show after completion of original 65 half- hours, said Ken Page, executive vice president for CPT Distribution. "The practical reality;' he said, "is that with Metromedia vacating its position on it, we will probably have to suspend production" Program is carried by 28 stations covering over 45% of national audience. Metromedia's seven-station group accounts for over 40% of LATER 's potential audience. Production costs for initial run totaled in excess of $1.6 million, it's believed, with CPT putting up approximately 70% and Metromedia remainder. According to Page, CPT will still be offering show at next month's National Association of Television Program Executives convention in San Francisco.

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