This is the twentieth in a series of examinations of legends about television and the people involved in TV and whether they are true or false.
Click here to view an archive of the previous TV urban legends.
TV LEGEND: Dan Haggerty lost his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame because of a well-publicized drug bust.
Dan Haggerty is best known for his work on the 1974 film, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, where Haggerty played a man wrongly accused of murder who flees to the wilderness and becomes a sort of “mountain man.”
The series launched a popular TV series of the same name and Haggerty became a popular television star.
However, Haggerty had some rough patches in his life off of the screen.
In 1984, he was convicted of possession of cocaine in a highly-publicized drug bust.
When that news is combined with the fact that Dan Haggerty is the only celebrity (to date, at least) who has had their star removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it naturally has led to people telling some variation of “Dan Haggerty got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame removed because of a drug bust.”
That’s not true, and mostly because the whole “he had his star removed” story is, in its own way, not true either.
You see, Dan Haggerty only received a star in the first place because someone misspelled the name of the ACTUAL recipient, old-time film and TV star Don Haggerty.
So does a typo really mean that Dan Haggerty “had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but it was removed”?
That seems to be stretching it a bit, doesn’t it?
In any event, since he never really HAD a star to begin with, it could not have been taken away because of his drug bust.
But just in case anyone thinks there were any sort of hard feelings, Haggerty DID ultimately receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well.
TV LEGEND: X-Files and Picket Fences almost had a crossover episode until the network squashed it at the last minute.
In 1994, X-Files and Picket Fences decided to have a crossover episode.
Picket Fences was a critically acclaimed drama on CBS at 10:00 pm on Friday nights, which was created by David E. Kelley.
The show was set in a quirky town in Wisconsin.
Well, the X-Files (created by Chris Carter), which aired at 9pm on Friday nights on FOX, was about a pair of FBI agents who investigate the paranormal, and since they are often traveling to random parts of the country, it made sense for Agents Mulder and Scully to head to Wisconsin.
So the two TV series, who both shared a production company (20th Century Fox Television), decided to have a crossover.
At 9pm, Mulder and Scully would come to a small town in Wisconsin investigating some paranormal stuff involving cows, and at 10pm, the story would continue across the dial on Picket Fences, where I believe Agent Mulder would make an appearance in the town (I can’t say for sure because of what happened before the episode was actually made) of Rome, Wisconsin, which is where Picket Fences was set.
However, before the episodes were ready to go, CBS found out and they were displeased. Their basic reaction was, “We’re having enough problems on Friday night, ratings-wise, and now you want to promote another network? No way!”
So they canceled the whole thing, so Chris Carter wiped his episode clean of any references to Rome or any of the characters from Picket Fences.
Instead, we just got a normal episode of the X-Files (still set in Wisconsin in the town of Delta Glen), although one that Mulder/Scully “shippers” liked because of a cute scene where Mulder wipes some barbecue sauce off of Scully’s lips after they eat ribs.
CBS even had the Picket Fences episode, “Away in a Manger,” written by David E. Kelley, pushed BACK a week, just to make sure there were no connection between the two episodes.
Amusingly enough, though, Kelley snuck a few references in, mentioning the FBI agents investigating in Delta Glen, for instance.
So I still say it sort of counts as a crossover!
Still, boo on CBS for spoiling what would have been a fun crossover between two fine programs!
TV LEGEND: Tom Selleck could have filmed Raiders of the Lost Ark AND done Magnum P.I.
It’s well known that Tom Selleck was forced to pass up the film Raiders of the Lost Ark…
where he had won the role of Indiana Jones (here’s Selleck as Indy)…
because CBS had an option for Selleck to do a new television series called Magnum P.I.
(Boy, CBS is not coming off too well this installment, are they?)
The really big problem for Selleck was how the timing worked out – CBS, naturally, would have had no problem having Selleck star in the picture under normal circumstances. Who wouldn’t want the star of their upcoming series to be the lead in a major motion picture? It’s great publicity.
The problem was that Magnum P.I. was developed for a specific purpose – to make use of the sets and production equipment left in Hawaii from the filming of the long-running series Hawaii 5-0.
Therefore, since that series was still filming until the beginning of 1980, CBS could not film Magnum P.I. any earlier than early 1980, which directly conflicted with the March 1980 filming schedule for Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Thus, CBS told Selleck he could not do the film.
That’s fairly well known, but what’s a bit less well known is that, as it turned out, there was a television writer’s strike in the Spring of 1980 that halted production of Magnum P.I. long enough that production was delayed for a few months, giving Selleck plenty of time to do Raiders of the Lost Ark…if it hadn’t already been given to another actor.
As a cute gag, in one of the very last episodes of Magnum P.I. ever made, Selleck was finally given the chance to play Indiana Jones, with “The Legend of the Lost Art.”
I’m sure it was a great comfort to Selleck.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org