Glen A. Larson

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, writer/producer Glen A. Larson (1937-2014) talks about his early years as member of the popular musical act The Four Preps. He discusses being an NBC page and recalls his transition to television writing and production. He speaks of becoming a story editor and producer on It Takes a Thief, writing for McCloud and creating Alias Smith and Jones and The Six Million Dollar Man. Larson also talks of creating B.J. and the Bear, Lobo, Battlestar Galactica, Quincy, M.E., Magnum P.I. and Knight Rider. He comments on the importance of theme songs, and recalls his work on Manimal and Trauma Center. Lee Goldberg conducted the interview in Woodland Hills, CA on February 5, 2009.

"I'm proudest of the fact that I fell in step with an audience taste-level that I knew how to judge and deliver for consistently. It  wasn't a one-shot, it wasn't a lucky this or a that. It's a consistent body of work that has some symmetry to it in terms of why it worked and how it worked."

Highlights
Glen A. Larson on creating the word "frack" for Battlestar Galactica
01:37
Glen A. Larson on casting William Daniels as "Kitt" on Knight Rider
01:34
Glen A. Larson on producing Manimal
02:03
Glen A. Larson on the importance of television theme songs
03:14
Glen A. Larson on utilizing "predicament humor" in his writing
01:55
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his love for early radio; on being an NBC page; on his early music career
On his early writing career; on becoming story editor and producer on It Takes a Thief
On becoming a writer on the TV show McCloud; on creating Alias Smith and Jones

Chapter 2

On creating Alias Smith and Jones; on creating and subsequently leaving The Six Million Dollar Man; on writing theme songs
On "fixing" television shows; on writing and creating Switch
On creating Quincy, M.E. and getting fired from the show; on becoming a force in the television industry
On creating B.J. and the Bear; on creating the hour-long comedyLobo

Chapter 3

On the genesis, creation and production of Battlestar Galactica
On the language, culture and universe of Battlestar Galactica; on casting Battlestar Galactica
On the writing process for Battlestar Galactica; on the cancellation of Battlestar Galactica; on the SyFy Channel remake of the show
On the longevity of the premise of Battlestar Galactica; on creating and casting Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; on surviving in the television industry

Chapter 4

On creating and developing Magnum, P.I.
On creating Knight Rider and his limited role in the day to day production of the show
On the importance of television theme songs
On the remake and the legacy of Knight Rider; on the unsold pilot Nightside and the failed series Fitz and Bones; on leaving Universal for Fox
On the genesis of and casting The Fall Guy; on producing Manimal; on producing the short-lived series Cover Up, Trauma Center, Half Nelson, and The Highway Man

Chapter 5

On the television series P.S.I. Luv U, One West Waikiki and Night Man; on working with television executives
On his then-current projects; on his achievements and regrets; on advice to aspiring writers and the future of television
Shows

Alias Smith and Jones

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Glen A. Larson on creating Alias Smith and Jones
04:09
Glen A. Larson on creating Alias Smith and Jones
04:14

BJ and the Bear

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Glen A. Larson on creating B.J. and the Bear
05:34

Battlestar Galactica (1978-80)

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Glen A. Larson on the genesis of Battlestar Galactica 
07:35
Glen A. Larson on the budget constraints of Battlestar Galactica 
01:10
Glen A. Larson on selling Battlestar Galactica  to the network
03:56
Glen A. Larson on how he came up the the name Battlestar Galactica
01:12
Glen A. Larson on creating the universe of Battlestar Galactica
04:52
Glen A. Larson on casting Battlestar Galactica
03:59
Glen A. Larson on the look of the Galactica on Battlestar Galactica
01:13
Glen A. Larson on writing the theme song for Battlestar Galactica
00:53
Glen A. Larson on the writing process for Battlestar Galactica
02:15
Glen A. Larson on the reasons for the cancellation of Battlestar Galactica
02:38
Glen A. Larson on his opinion of the SyFy Channel's remake of Battlestar Galactica
04:31

Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)

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Glen A. Larson on his opinion of the SyFy Channel's remake of Battlestar Galactica
04:31

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

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Glen A. Larson on the genesis of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
01:59
Glen A. Larson on casting Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
02:45

Fall Guy, The

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Glen A. Larson on the genesis of The Fall Guy
01:47
Glen A. Larson on casting The Fall Guy
04:02
Glen A. Larson on stunts for The Fall Guy
00:07

It Takes a Thief

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Glen A. Larson on how he came to be story editor on It Takes a Thief
03:39
Glen A. Larson on his duties as story editor on It Takes a Thief
01:44
Glen A. Larson on how he became a producer of It Takes a Thief  
02:05
Glen A. Larson on writing for It Takes a Thief
03:40

Knight Rider

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Glen A. Larson on creating the pilot for Knight Rider
04:35
Glen A. Larson on casting William Daniels as "Kitt" on Knight Rider
01:34
Glen A. Larson on his day to day role in the production of Knight Rider
01:44
Glen A. Larson on creating "Kitt" the car on Knight Rider
02:22
Glen A. Larson on casting Knight Rider
02:33
Glen A. Larson on composing the theme to Knight Rider
02:03
Glen A. Larson on NBC's remake of Knight Rider
00:25

Magnum, P. I.

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Glen A. Larson on creating Magnum, P.I.
08:56

McCloud

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Glen A. Larson on writing for McCloud
07:57
Glen A. Larson on Dennis Weaver as "Sam McCloud" on McCloud
01:49

Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, The

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Glen A. Larson on creating the hour-long comedy The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
02:38

Quincy, M.E.

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Glen A. Larson on creating Quincy, M.E.
04:58
Glen A. Larson on conflicts with Jack Klugman on Quincy, M.E.
02:15
Glen A. Larson on the influence of Quincy, M.E.
02:02

Six Million Dollar Man, The

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Glen A. Larson on writing the first two 90 minute episodes of The  Six Million Dollar Man
07:03
Glen A. Larson on the pilot Cyborg which became The Six Million Dollar Man
02:51
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Glen A. Larson on creating "Kitt" the car on Knight Rider
02:22

Pop Culture

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Glen A. Larson on the theme songs to BJ and the Bear  and Battlestar Galactica
02:07
Glen A. Larson on the theme song for Battlestar Galactica
00:53
Glen A. Larson on creating "Kitt" the car on Knight Rider
02:22
Glen A. Larson on composing the theme to Knight Rider
02:03
Glen A. Larson on composing the theme song to The Fall Guy
00:50

TV Theme Songs

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Glen A. Larson on the theme songs to BJ and the Bear  and Battlestar Galactica
02:07
Glen A. Larson on the theme song for Battlestar Galactica
00:53
Glen A. Larson on composing the theme to Knight Rider
02:03
Glen A. Larson on composing the theme song to The Fall Guy
00:50
Professions

Producers

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Glen A. Larson on how he became a producer of It Takes a Thief
02:05
Glen A. Larson on his philosophy of survival in the television industry
06:05
Glen A. Larson on what he expects from television executives as a producer
03:20

Show Creators

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Glen A. Larson on the writing process for Battlestar Galactica
02:15

Writers

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Glen A. Larson on utilizing "predicament humor" in his writing
01:55
Glen A. Larson on his learning process at Universal Television
03:51
Glen A. Larson on mentoring other writers
01:36
Glen A. Larson on the writing process for Battlestar Galactica
02:15
Glen A. Larson on advice to aspiring writers
01:32
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Glen A. Larson on creating the pilot for Knight Rider
04:35
Glen A. Larson on the genesis and casting of The Fall Guy
05:39

Comedy Series

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Glen A. Larson on creating B.J. and the Bear
05:34
Glen A. Larson on creating Lobo
02:38

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Glen A. Larson on writing for McCloud
07:37
Glen A. Larson on creating Magnum, P.I.
08:56

Drama Series

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Glen A. Larson on writing for It Takes a Thief
03:29
Glen A. Larson on writing the first two 90 minute episodes of The  Six Million Dollar Man
07:03
Glen A. Larson on creating Quincy, M.E.
05:08

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Glen A. Larson on the genesis of Battlestar Galactica 
07:35
Glen A. Larson on creating the universe of Battlestar Galactica
04:52
Glen A. Larson on the genesis of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
07:35
Glen A. Larson on casting Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
02:45
People

Dick Clark

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Glen A. Larson on trading practical jokes with Dick Clark
01:09

William Conrad

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Glen A. Larson on using William Conrad for voice over on several of his projects
01:13

Lorne Greene

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Glen A. Larson on Lorne Greene as "Commander Adama" on  Battlestar Galactica
01:37

Don Johnson

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Glen A. Larson on why Don Johnson didn't get cast in Battlestar Galactica
00:59

Jack Klugman

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Glen A. Larson on conflicts with Jack Klugman on Quincy, M.E.
02:15

Fred Silverman

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Glen A. Larson on working with CBS executive Fred Silverman
03:23

Dennis Weaver

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Glen A. Larson on Dennis Weaver as "Sam McCloud" on McCloud
01:49

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