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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old April 1 2011, 04:14 PM   #46
Rom's Sehlat
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

So that's a method of production, not due to the actors' memories or unwillingness to learn their lines.
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Old April 2 2011, 10:21 PM   #47
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Just realised who Crusher reminds me of: Gwen DeMarco
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Old April 4 2011, 02:29 AM   #48
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

I suspect the cue card story was started by someone on the show or at the studio in order to deflect criticism for letting the actress go. This is Hollywood where they start ugly rumors about people all the time. They did the same thing with Jennifer Lien, circulating a story about her having a drug problem because they know people would criticize them for trading her in for a Barbie doll. Message boards like this are a great tool for the studio. They can start a rumor and watch as it makes the rounds to the point where enough people believe it.
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Old April 4 2011, 03:45 AM   #49
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Therin, I know you've been saying for awhile that the "standard contract" is five years and that may well be, but what was the story with Patrick Stewart's TNG contract, then?

I've read several interviews and attended a number of conventions over the years where Stewart speaks of it having been a six year contract, most recently in startrek.com's interview in October 2010:

Q: The Next Generation debuted 23 years ago last week. How true is the story that you thought Next Gen would provide you with a few months work and income, and an opportunity to get a nice tan, and that you’d then head back home to England?

Stewart: Well, that is what I was advised when I was offered the role, which was on a Monday, lunchtime, and told that I had until Friday lunchtime to make a decision. I was shocked because I’d never for a moment believed that I would get cast in Star Trek. I’d been called back to Los Angeles three times from the UK for auditions. So I raced around L.A., talking to anybody I knew I had any connection with, who was in the television and film industry, asking their advice. “What should I do?” I was to discover I had to sign a six-year contract. I was very naïve about the conditions attached to series television in the U.S.A. Every single person I spoke to – agents, directors, screenwriters, other actors – said, “Oh, don’t worry about six years. You’ll be lucky to make it through the first year.” Everybody felt it was madness to try to revive an iconic series like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek. So, on the basis of that advice I signed the six-year contract.

Does this mean that Stewart's original contract NOT a standard contract?
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Old April 4 2011, 03:57 AM   #50
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

MikeS wrote: View Post
Iamnotspock wrote: View Post
Does that mean that Elizabeth Denehey was on stand-by to join the regular cast as First Officer Shelby, with Jonathan Frakes promoted to main series lead?
Yes.
I don't think this has ever been confirmed.

My personal supposition is that the rumours about contractual difficulties with Stewart leading to further rumours about him not returning in season 4 etc were not just untrue but were in fact deliberately created by Paramount during the summer hiatus to create viewer interest in BOBW II – which of course, they did.

It's speculation on my part, but there is some support for it:

According to ST: NG Companion, it was only After [BOBW I’s] airing, rumors circulated among fans that Patrick Stewart's contract talks with Paramount had stalled, and that Picard would be killed off, with Riker becoming Captain while Shelby would become his first officer. This culminated in an unprecedented level of interest in the next season opener, with Paramount running ads and radio spots specifically for the episode. [source: memory-alpha BOBWII]
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Old April 4 2011, 02:02 PM   #51
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

ShatnersToupee wrote: View Post
I suspect the cue card story was started by someone on the show or at the studio in order to deflect criticism for letting the actress go.
Good call. Yep, a nasty trick often used in the entertainment biz, and probably every other industry, in these days of full time 'message consultants' and other such garbage.

A comment made by Roddenberry, or someone with a title at a convention in 1989 would have been reported through the fan grapevine of fan magazines and newsletters. Just as effective as the internet in those days.

I even vaguely remember reading a (Roddenberry?) quote along the lines of "Well, it was all deliberately planned, we were going to rest Bev for a year, then bring her back."
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Old April 4 2011, 03:23 PM   #52
Therin of Andor
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

LaBarre wrote: View Post
Therin, I know you've been saying for awhile that the "standard contract" is five years and that may well be, but what was the story with Patrick Stewart's TNG contract, then?
Simple. He was the lead actor. Highly respected. Not used to being tied to a long contract. Yearning to return to stage work. His wife in the UK (at least for part of that time). His agent noticed that actors signing to new shows were already getting more money in their first year than Stewart would be making in his fourth. The third season had rated extremely well: #1 syndicated, first-run, one-hour drama. Stewart's agent would have tried a little leverage for some kind of better deal. When your lead actor is unhappy, you offer him reduced hours, a longer lunch, a better trailer, a private phone, a chance to direct an episode, a bigger cut on merchandise, etc. Crosby had already asked for an early release. They wouldn't have wanted Stewart to contemplate doing so, although Paramount ended up doing very well with the rumours that he was renegotiating.

Botany Bay wrote: View Post
I even vaguely remember reading a (Roddenberry?) quote along the lines of "Well, it was all deliberately planned, we were going to rest Bev for a year, then bring her back."
Well someone said that, but it wasn't how it had panned out. Roddenberry's famous comment to the "Bring Back Bev" Brigade at a big convention was, IIRC, "If I listened to the fans on how to make television, 'Star Trek' would be shit."

LaBarre wrote: View Post
My personal supposition is that the rumours about contractual difficulties with Stewart leading to further rumours about him not returning in season 4 etc were not just untrue but were in fact deliberately created by Paramount...
But look to ENT for the same problem. Even though Scott Bakula had an iron-clad, standard, five-year contract, he complained bitterly (two years running) about the long hours away from his family, and that few other shows were doing 26 episodes per season any more - and the producers bowed to his wishes and reduced the number of episodes in Season Three (by two) and Season Four (by four) partly to appease him.
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Old April 4 2011, 04:37 PM   #53
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

the reason T.V. shows started doing less episodes was because it reduced the workload on the actors and actresses? That's kind of cool if true, I just assumed it was because it saved money.
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Old April 4 2011, 05:31 PM   #54
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

The stuff about 3-year vs 6-year contracts has me confused. Patrick Stewart says he signed a 6-year contract. But weren't the Voyager actors under 3-year contracts? Wasn't that how they were able to say that Jennifer Lien wasn't technically fired? Did the producers or studio change from having 6-year contracts to 3-year ones? Also, I could've sworn I saw an interview with Michael Piller where he talks about writing BOBW and he confirms that Stewart might not be returning for season 4. I just wish I could remember where I saw that interview.
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Old April 4 2011, 10:34 PM   #55
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

sonak wrote: View Post
the reason T.V. shows started doing less episodes was because it reduced the workload on the actors and actresses? That's kind of cool if true, I just assumed it was because it saved money.
One of the reasons. There were several interviews with, and about, Bakula that gave that as a reason. Long seasons can save money in other ways, such as spreading the expense of initial standing sets across more episodes.
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Old April 4 2011, 10:53 PM   #56
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

ShatnersToupee wrote: View Post
The stuff about 3-year vs 6-year contracts has me confused.
The standard industry contract is five years.

What studio would offer less?

Patrick Stewart says he signed a 6-year contract.
Slip of the tongue? When Stewart says "six", he probably means 5 plus an option of 1, or maybe his agent negotiated an extra year at the end of Season Three, to take account of added extras he was negotiating for back then.

But weren't the Voyager actors under 3-year contracts?
Who said? That would be incredibly shortsighted. And with VOY's low ratings, they could never have afforded contract negotiations for everyone after only three years.

Wasn't that how they were able to say that Jennifer Lien wasn't technically fired?
No.

Did the producers or studio change from having 6-year contracts to 3-year ones?
No.

We don't know how they ended up releasing Lien. Contracts work for the studio's protection. They don't want to be lumbered with a character who proves unpopular, or an actor who proves difficult. The actor is signed to the studio for five years, but the contracts give the studios plenty of options. Lien may also have gotten some kind of payout.

Also, I could've sworn I saw an interview with Michael Piller where he talks about writing BOBW and he confirms that Stewart might not be returning for season 4. I just wish I could remember where I saw that interview.
Yes, as discussed higher in the thread. But the debate was that Paramount exaggerated the situation when they realized the buzz it was creating.
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Old April 5 2011, 03:04 PM   #57
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

I'm pretty sure Voyager had its actors on 3-year contracts. Bob Picardo has talked about this. As the end of Season 3 approached, he went to the producers and asked if his character was going to be invited back. As for Jennifer Lien, the "company line" I've heard over and over is that she wasn't fired. Her contract was simply not renewed, which implies that it was a 3-year contract. Also Robert Beltran, who has never been shy when it comes to discussing his views of Voyager, suggested that he was ready to leave after the third season due to poor writing. He only renewed when the producers promised better material for him, which obviously never materialized. I suspect that's why he started complaining. If he had been signed to a 5-year contract, something tells me he would've quit after season 5.
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Old April 8 2011, 10:24 AM   #58
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

^^^
There's a standard contract, but not all contracts are standard, to coin a phrase. Just because the standard series contract is five doesn't mean Paramout didn't have business reasons to go for six.
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Old April 11 2011, 01:24 PM   #59
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

ShatnersToupee wrote: View Post
Her contract was simply not renewed, which implies that it was a 3-year contract.
No, that implies that the contract gave the producers an option to retain (or release) the actor, perhaps at any time decided by the producers.

My understanding (from annual convention visits by then-ST Archivist, Richard Arnold) was that, by the nature of science fiction series' very high SPFX budgets, it was very important to have good control over actors' salaries over as long a time as possible. Unless VOY was only ever planned to run three years as the flagship show of a brand new network (after TNG had had a full seven years in first-run syndication), it would be extremely shortsighted to sign the cast to less than the standard contract.

Also Robert Beltran, who has never been shy when it comes to discussing his views of Voyager, suggested that he was ready to leave after the third season due to poor writing. He only renewed when the producers promised better material for him, which obviously never materialized. I suspect that's why he started complaining. If he had been signed to a 5-year contract, something tells me he would've quit after season 5.
So you reckon he signed for four more years on a handshake promise made to him at the end of Season Three?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
There's a standard contract, but not all contracts are standard, to coin a phrase. Just because the standard series contract is five doesn't mean Paramout didn't have business reasons to go for six.
Sure, but it was five. "Starlog" magazine of the day reported contract renewals for the end of Seasons Six and Seven. Stewart's agent negotiated some kind of contract revision during the hiatus between "The Best of Both Worlds" two-parter, which may have put him on a sixth year before the others.
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