Maintaining Integrity

Another true TV anecdote…

Bill Rabkin and I were in middle of writing an episode of “Spenser: For Hire,” which was airing at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights. In our episode, Spenser sees a woman jump off the roof of a building, so he begins to investigate why she wanted to commit suicide. He discovers she’s fleeing her brother, with whom she shared an incestous relationship. The network loved the story.

We get a call on a Friday from the network. They had just decided to move “Spenser For Hire” to 8 pm on Sunday, sandwhiched between “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “The Dolly Parton Show.”

Somehow our episode didn’t seem quite right for the Family Hour, unless your idea of family is rather twisted. But the network didn’t think it was quite as big a problem as we did.

“We love everything about the script, so all you need to do is take out the incest,” the network exec said, “but maintain the integrity of the story.”

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