Basically... I asked from the begining of his
involvement to the end of his involvement.
Oh, okay.. that explains the Sam Cain/Kid scene by the fire..
Then we went to Northern
California to shoot the pilot, it's not where the
series was done..
it did look very different.
tryin' to think of the name of the
town...it's up in the old silver and gold mining
area... (he ponders the question for about a minute) You know, for a
few years there, I couldn't get it out of my
head...Columbia and Sonora CA, that's it...that's
where the pilot was
We had what we thought were a couple of
bad breaks with the weather, which actually turned out to be quite
effective...it gave us some rain clouds.
We thought the guy who played Scar Face, the bad guys, we had real good
casting luck, David Marshall, a Chicago Stage Actor.. had a real good
The pilot was a very successful shoot. Robert Lieberman was the
director, and has moved back and forth between Television and Feature
Films.. a very *stylish* director, slow, because
he's a perfectionist, methodical with amazing
success.. almost every pilot he'd directed was
picked up for a series... so
he brought us that bit of luck.
Another terrific behind the scenes person was ... we were looking for a
great cinematographer, directory of photography, and we knew we wanted
different look, more feature film like, if that's
such a thing.. and we cast
about for a bunch of people, met with people.. saw some demo reels...
hired a guy named John Toll, who had really not done a lot of
if any.. but a lot of really terrific commercials. Slow, methodical, a
artist. After that, he went on to become so major, I believe
won two academy awards, one for Braveheart and for a Spielberg... just
his name in a internet search.. and you'll see.
I did... and he's been the Director of
Photography for some amazing films.. like Legends of the Fall, Captain
Corelli's Mandolin, The Thin Red Line, Almost Famous... wow!
else we brought in, who we'd worked with on
other pilots, our composer, John Debney.
if you look up his credits you'll see he's a major feature film
Princess Diaries, Liar,Liar, Spy Kids (my son is in heaven)...
We worked with a lot of people who went on to bigger and better
things.. I'm happy to say... if nothing else, we had good taste in
assembling the crew.
So we made the pilot and MGM had a handful of pilots that year, and ABC
had a *lot* of pilots that year... and ours.. I don't want to say it
trouble free, but it skated through fairly smoothly... a minimum of
I remember the very first day... you know we had to send the film back
forth in California. ABC would look at the first day reels of film, the
*dailies*, and that night, *I'll never forget it* we were in the
production office, waiting
for the phone call from ABC, cause this is now their first look at what
filming and generally you have to be prepared to take pages of notes,
they tell you what you're doing wrong, .. so the phone call begins and
all sitting around, and the guy from ABC in gets on the phone, 'You're
We said, 'Yeah.'
'We want you to keep doing what you're doing.' And that was the end of
the conversation. So we hung up and celebrated, we were very pleased.
And MGM, our studio, had pilots that were having much bigger problems
than ours. So, we were doin' good and were kind of left alone.
Once the film was shot and edited, put together the pilot. Now ABC is
sitting there with a couple of dozen pilots, and ready to put together
their fall lineup.
Clearly, we were the only western, and although westerns were not that
popular.. they're still not, they make their scheduling decisions in
April or May and announce their fall schedule at a very big bash in New
You kind of sit on pins and needles, waiting for that answer. It's as
big a moment in our professional lives as there had been. Mike lived in
Los Angeles and I lived in New York.. and we got the news in New York.
Mike first said he was not going to come to New York... he said, 'I
don't wanna jinx it. If it'll be good news.. it'll be good news.' And
then at the last moment, he couldn't resist. So I guess the day before
the announcement he said, 'I'm flying in. I'm coming in this
I said 'OK. Pick you up at the airport, take you
into the city, bring you to the hotel.'
My wife and I drove out to the airport and picked him up... and on the
way to the hotel, from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan, the car phone
rings and the
car phone was the announcement from the studio that ABC was ordering
It was, so we got to his hotel room and ordered a
LOT of champagne. Stephen Baldwin was the only one in New York at the
we called him... said we were goin' out to dinner, meet us. He came
his, now his wife, don't know if she was his girlfriend at the time,
celebrated the announcement. Here we were, with no major stars, a
just on the merits of the show, ABC saw what they liked.
Then the trouble begins-
This caused me no small amount of alarm and worry...
Well now.. you have to make a series!
Phew! I thought he was goin' to say something went wrong
Now, MGM doesn't have four or five shows to worry
about, just yours.. and ABC doesn't have 30 pilots, they have just the
of shows they are goin' to put on the air. So now everyone starts to
lavish attention on you... in fact I think that's where the Marshal
came in... and Dogman went out. We actually had to go shoot scenes with
the Marshal. Cast the Marshal and shoot scenes that didn't exist and
cut out the others and edit the film. Still it was good news!
It went for three seasons, there were time period changes... and it
sort of held it's own regardless where they put it, even opposite of
shows like Cheers. Mike and I were less involved in the second and
third seasons... we
moved on to other projects and MGM brought in some others.. Ed stayed
and if you watch the credits.. you'll always see the Ogiens Kane logo
the end of the show.. you will not always see .. Michael Ogiens, Josh
as the executive producers. You'll see Jonas McCord, and ... I forget
else that came in... but if you see us as the executive producers,
know it's a first season episode.
Still, you'll always see the Ogiens/Kane tag... the apple and orange at
the end of the show. So we had much, much less to do with it, although
continued to watch it, of course, be a supporter and a fan.
We wanted to look somewhat authentic, ..it's still bothering me that I
can't remember the name of the city.
Anyway, one of the unsung heroes on the show was the man who was
credited as the wrangler, responsible for all the animals. Richard
Lundin, Richard and his family were in that business, they provided
animals from many different shows and we felt that.. and I didn't go to
cowboy camp...I didn't want to see that much of horses. Mike and I had
an agreement that if the show got picked up, I would actually have to
ride a horse... and I did. There's a picture
of me sitting in a New York Mets Baseball cap and sneakers, riding a
like an idiot... anyway I fulfilled my part of the bargain.
So we said, you gotta take these kids and turn
them into... making them look somewhat authentic... and considering...
On resumes they put down skills,... no actor's gonna say no if it means
role. Like Ty, for instance. He had us convinced that he grew up on a
ranch. Ranch? Later we found out that it was a Christmas Tree Ranch!
So, the actor's that didn't know how to ride had to learn... Especially
on a western show...
Some of them could and some of them couldn't.
Some of the ones that could didn't look like cowboys. Not only did they
get better.. but they would ride when they didn't have to. It was just
a couple of days, but they came out of it, better than they went in...
and like I say if you look at the last scene of the opening credits,
where they are sort of riding in a row, there's a lot of bouncing
around... which real riders wouldn't do.
That was part of the training process and now when you look at these
junkets for films.. like Blackhawk Down, all the actors talk about
sent to *bootcamp* to become soldiers... that process is not that
uncommon. We tried to make them all comfortable with the horses and
comfortable with the guns, ...
When it came time to do the series, Northern California was not a
practical location. We had a big weather problem... and after looking
in some parts of California, Utah, New Mexico, ...we wound up with
Tucson. It really turned out to be ideal, to shoot this on a back lot
of a studio... like Old Tucson, which is a little *as you know* movie
town, it's very very limiting, but by
going about thirty miles east, there's a place called Mescal. There was
western town that had been built for movies. They had used this
many many years for classic western films. The good news is.. it was
confined like a back lot or Old Tucson, you could point a camera in
almost any direction and not see cars, telephone poles and all that
stuff. It's rather
isolated and that was real important. That became Sweetwater.
We took what was there and augmented.. and
built...added new stuff. Sometimes we changed the look of a backstreet
to stand in for other
towns when they had to be somewhere else. We got a lot of use out of
and then our location scout, Bruce Margolis, found a lot of tremendous
locations. Mountains, streams, and all the other stuff we had to do.
So that became homebase for the series, a couple of the guys fell in
love with it. Stephen moved there, Josh moved there...not just when
they were shooting,
but the *moved* there. They really loved it. So, Tucson and Mescal...
right the pilot did look very different
It went from lush and green to cacti and tumbleweeds.
One of the ways we covered that, not.. covered
it.. I mean the lighting and everything looks different. I mean, the
town in the pilot where the KID signs up for the Pony Express is not
Sweetwater, in other words.. we didn't have to duplicate the original
town someplace. Was simply where he signed up. The 'training ranch'
where they meet Teaspoon, that was a bit more of a problem, because
simply.. that was goin' to be *homebase*.
And I don't think when we got to Arizona that we duplicated it .. or
I mentioned just little anecdotes.. along the way... the last scene of
the pilot, Teaspoon's sitting with the guys and takes a big bite of
this onion. AH.. and that's the last line...or close to it, 'that's a
good onion.' We offered him an apple, you know a peeled apple that
would look like an onion.. you know, no one should have to do that. You
know, for professional reasons and because he sort of became a rock.. a
seasoned, terrific, award nominated stage actor with great film credits
and a couple of young kids, and I think he felt to a certain degree
like a role model. But, for whatever reason he said, 'No, no.. give me
the real thing.'
So, my job as executive producer, that I took on myself.. I think I
told you, I was ready with the tictacs.. and as soon as the scene was
over I was there to help him be livable. There were more scenes to be
(I was tryin' to compose myself)
But that was Anthony.
Way behind the scenes thing.. and this is not very important. Ty Miller
and I are not the same size. I'm a little bit bigger than he is. When
came time for his final audition,.. not the one where we put him on
in costume... the final network audition... he came in with these ....
jeans. I don't know if he thought it was the style.. but we decided it
not a great look. I was packing up, 'cause I had just come in... or was
due to fly back to New York, so I had my suitcase in the office with
Pulled out a pair of my jeans... and Ty Miller auditioned and got the
wearing my oversized jeans. He belted them up and put something over to
reveal the belting. Maybe that was good luck...
Wearing the producer's jeans.. that works.
Maybe it should become a tradition...we should do
that for all of our pilots.
So.. among the people I remember seeing..
| Yes? :)
I know that Lara Flynn Boyle read for Lou. '
You know who Christine Elise is?
She *definitely* read for Lou.
Yvonne had all of the elements,
ABC liked her a lot, they had found her in Chicago and put her under
some network 'holding' deal. They knew they wanted to find a project
for her. So that, helped a lot. Stephen came to us through New York.
Gregg and Travis where.. I think more traditional.
You know an actor named Dermot Mulroney?
He read.. I don't remember what.. I think I told
you the other day.. the Hickok's and the Cody's were sometimes
interchangeable. Someone would come in and read for one...and read for
So definitely Brad Pitt, definitely Dermot Mulroney.
There was another actor that
came close to Hickok.. he did the TV Show *Route 66* ...
(after thinking about it .. Josh went to the internet to look up the
Many Many Thanks to Josh Kane for his time and
generosity with the information locked away in his brain... It was real
honor to talk with him and hear his enthusiasm for the show even after
all these years.
Note: The pictures from the Pilot and the two pictures of Josh Kane
were lent to us by the Man himself! Thanks Josh... they are just
Thanks to WendyW for helping scan in the photos from Josh. I was in
Tucson at the time with no 'puter during my move back to Hawaii... so