Glenn Gordon Caron

Producer / Show Creator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over three-hour Archive interview, Glenn Gordon Caron talks about his first jobs, including his work at an ad agency where he learned how to write on a deadline. He speaks of writing his first teleplay, for Taxi, and recalls a number of the series for which he served as story editor in the early 1980s, including Remington Steele. He describes the creation of his own production company, Picturemaker Productions, and the exclusive deal he had with ABC. He lists the pilots that he wrote and produced under the company's banner, and outlines his signature show, Moonlighting. He talks about casting Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis, and enlisting Robert Butler as director. Caron discusses the music, the overlapping dialogue sequences, and the notorious production difficulties on the show. He describes several of Moonlighting's most creative and noteworthy episodes, such as "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (a black-and-white episode that featured an introduction by Orson Welles), "Atomic Shakespeare" (a retelling of "The Taming of the Shrew"), and "The Straight Poop" (a behind-the-scenes mockumentary of the show with interviewer Rona Barrett). Caron then briefly chronicles his work in feature films and on the short-lived series Now and Again and the unaired series Fling. Lastly, he discusses the production of the series Medium, the show's basis on a real-life medium, the casting, the importance of creating a realistic home life for the lead characters, and the season two episode that was broadcast in 3D. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on September 19, 2007 on the set of the show Medium in Manhattan Beach, CA.

"I think writing for television, film, particularly dialogue, is a music and you either hear it or you don't. I came to realize very quickly that I do hear it, and I got very comfortable with that."

Highlights
Glenn Gordon Caron on how he cast Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
07:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on Orson Welles introducing the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
03:00
Glenn Gordon Caron on working with director Robert Butler on Hill Street Blues and what he learned from him
00:48
Glenn Gordon Caron on creating Now And Again and the unaired series Fling
05:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on advice to aspiring writers
00:22
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on TV shows and movies that he watched as a child
On attending SUNY Geneseo; on getting a job in advertising; on wanting to be a filmmaker and starting to write screenplays; on getting his big break at NBC
On enjoying the pilot of Taxi and wanting to write for the show

Chapter 2

On studying with Del Close at Second City; on moving to California to write for Taxi
On turning down the offer to write for Hill Street Blues; on writing for and producing the TV version of Breaking Away; on having a rapport with Pierce Brosnan and writing for Remington Steele
On forming his own company, Picturemaker Productions; on creating three pilots: Concrete Beat, Long Time Gone, and Moonlighting
On casting Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis on Moonlighting

Chapter 3

On casting Bruce Willis on Moonlighting, contd.; on coming up with the premise for the show and filming the pilot episode
On criticisms of the show; on Moonlighting's 16 Emmy nominations and 0 wins
On problems with the censors on the show; on the music of Moonlighting; on casting Bruce Willis and Allyce Beasley

Chapter 4

On recurring gags, the fast dialogue, and the musical nature of Moonlighting; on the writers' room and production problems on the show
On meeting Rona Barrett and asking her to appear on Moonlighting (as a way to get an episode when there were production problems with the show)
On casting the supporting characters on Moonlighting; on the decision to have the main characters consummate their relationship; on incorporating Cybill Shepherd's pregnancy into the show

Chapter 5

On how Moonlighting reflected its era; on memorable episodes of the show
On leaving day-to-day operations of Moonlighting and his involvement with the show after that; on the legacy of Moonlighting
On his feature film work; on creating the unsuccessful series Fling; on the creation of Medium

Chapter 6

On casting Medium; on the character upon whom Medium is based serving as a consultant on the show
On the dream sequences and style choices on Medium; on the structure of the show and a typical work week
On the 3D episode of Medium; on the plight of being created by the parent company of one network and airing on another network; on Patricia Arquette changing her hairstyle on Medium
On using his middle name for credits; on working with Katharine Hepburn

Chapter 7

On not wanting Bruce Willis to do "Die Hard"; on his style and his proudest achievements; on rewriting scripts and his writing process
On career regrets, advice to aspiring writers, and how television has changed since he started in the business; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on the 16 Emmy nominations Moonlighting received, a record at the time; on his reaction to not winning any Emmys
03:28
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette winning an Emmy for Medium
01:42

Hill Street Blues

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Steven Bochco wanting him to write for Hill Street Blues
00:17
Glenn Gordon Caron on working with director Robert Butler on Hill Street Blues and what he learned from him
00:48

Medium

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Glenn Gordon Caron on the backstory of creating Medium
04:20
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Patricia Arquette on Medium
03:48
Glenn Gordon Caron on the dynamic between the main characters on Medium
00:51
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Jake Weber, Maria Lark, and Sofia Vassilieva on Medium
03:28
Glenn Gordon Caron on the children also having supernatural skills on Medium
01:20
Glenn Gordon Caron on the character upon whom Medium is based serving as a consultant on the show
00:38
Glenn Gordon Caron on the dream sequences and style choices on Medium
02:47
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Miguel Sandoval on Medium
00:24
Glenn Gordon Caron on the main titles and music on Medium
01:56
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette winning an Emmy for Medium
01:42
Glenn Gordon Caron on violence and blood on Medium
02:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on moving from the four to five act structure on Medium
00:56
Glenn Gordon Caron on a typical work week on Medium
02:56
Glenn Gordon Caron on the 3D episode of Medium (which was also the first HD broadcast)
02:14
Glenn Gordon Caron on favorite episodes of Medium
00:14
Glenn Gordon Caron on "Detective Lee Scanlon" on Medium
00:41
Glenn Gordon Caron on plugging "Memoirs Of A Geisha" on Medium (and the plight of being created by the parent company of one network and airing on another network)
01:49
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette changing her hairstyle on Medium
00:45

Moonlighting

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Glenn Gordon Caron on ABC giving him the basic premise for Moonlighting and giving it his take on the private detective genre
09:21
Glenn Gordon Caron on wanting Cybill Shepherd for the lead for Moonlighting
00:49
Glenn Gordon Caron on how he cast Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
07:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on how the inspiration for Moonlighting came from "The Taming of the Shrew"; on copying the classic three-act structure and feeling the "ache" of the show
03:15
Glenn Gordon Caron on filming the pilot episode of Moonlighting with Cybill Sheperd and Bruce Willis; on making a comedic detective show
03:58
Glenn Gordon Caron on the criticism of Moonlighting being too fast; on realizing the show was a hit when it was on the cover of MAD magazine
03:13
Glenn Gordon Caron on the 16 Emmy nominations Moonlighting received, a record at the time; on his reaction to not winning any Emmys; on filming the show late to get around the censors
03:28
Glenn Gordon Caron on tricks he used on Moonlighting to try and get around the censors; you can't say "frig" on television
02:55
Glenn Gordon Caron on how Al Jarreau came to write the Moonlighting theme song
01:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on Alf Clausen doing the music for Moonlighting
01:06
Glenn Gordon Caron on the importance of music on Moonlighting; on using pop music on the show
01:01
Glenn Gordon Caron on the lack of experience Bruce Willis had when he was cast for Moonlighting ; describing him as a Lee Marvin -type
02:51
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Allyce Beasley as "Agnes DiPesto" on Moonlighting
00:33
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Bruce Willis on Moonlighting, contd.
03:02
Glenn Gordon Caron on his learning process on Moonlighting
02:46
Glenn Gordon Caron on slamming doors, the fast dialogue, and the musical nature of Moonlighting
04:41
Glenn Gordon Caron on shooting in cars on Moonlighting
00:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on breaking the fourth wall on Moonlighting
02:06
Glenn Gordon Caron on the running gag of the Anselmo case, the writers, and the "Tommy Shakespeare" episode on Moonlighting
00:52
Glenn Gordon Caron on the writers' room and editing and directing on Moonlighting
01:25
Glenn Gordon Caron on production problems and his egomaniacal behavior on Moonlighting
03:26
Glenn Gordon Caron on production problems with Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting
08:38
Glenn Gordon Caron on meeting Rona Barrett and asking her to appear on Moonlighting (as a way to get an episode when there were production problems with the show)
04:31
Glenn Gordon Caron on similarities between him and "David Addison" on Moonlighting
00:51
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Curtis Armstrong on Moonlighting
01:09
Glenn Gordon Caron on supporting characters played by Allyce Beasley and Curtis Armstrong on Moonlighting
01:16
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Charles Rocket on Moonlighting
00:50
Glenn Gordon Caron on the decision to have the main characters consummate their relationship on Moonlighting
01:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on incorporating Cybill Shepherd's pregnancy into the storyline on Moonlighting
02:06
Glenn Gordon Caron on the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
04:36
Glenn Gordon Caron on how Moonlighting reflected its era; on how it portrayed relationships between men and women
01:33
Glenn Gordon Caron on Stanley Donen directing an episode of Moonlighting
02:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on the classic Moonlighting episode "Atomic Shakespeare"
00:55
Glenn Gordon Caron on the ending of the classic Moonlighting episode "Twas The Episode Before Christmas"
00:51
Glenn Gordon Caron on the classic Moonlighting episode "It's A Wonderful Job"
01:25
Glenn Gordon Caron on leaving day-to-day operations of Moonlighting and his involvement with the show after that
01:50
Glenn Gordon Caron on the legacy of Moonlighting
01:54

Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"

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Glenn Gordon Caron on the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
04:36

Remington Steele

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Glenn Gordon Caron on how he came to work on Remington Steele as a writer
01:26
Glenn Gordon Caron on writing for Remington Steele
02:38

Taxi

View Show Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on enjoying the pilot of Taxi and wanting to write for the show
00:43
Glenn Gordon Caron on moving to California to write for Taxi and not understanding how a writers' room worked
02:13
Glenn Gordon Caron on James L. Brooks and how he rewrote people on his shows, including Taxi
01:51
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on advice to aspiring writers
00:22

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on tricks he used on Moonlighting to try to get around the censors; on how you can't say "frig" on television
03:02

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on the 16 Emmy nominations Moonlighting received, a record at the time; on his reaction to not winning any Emmys
03:28
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette winning an Emmy for Medium
01:42

First Big Break

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on getting his big break at NBC - the unaired pilot The God Squad
06:14

Media Consolidation

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on plugging "Memoirs Of A Geisha" on Medium (and the plight of being created by the parent company of one network and airing on another network)
01:49

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on Orson Welles introducing the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
03:00

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on getting his big break at NBC - the unaired pilot The God Squad
06:14

Pop Culture

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on how Al Jarreau came to write the Moonlighting theme song
01:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on Orson Welles introducing the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
03:00
Glenn Gordon Caron on the main titles and music on Medium
01:56

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on how Al Jarreau came to write the Moonlighting theme song
01:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on the main titles and music on Medium
01:56

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on the 3D episode of Medium (which was also the first HD broadcast)
02:14

Television Industry

View Topic
Glenn Gordon Caron on tricks he used on Moonlighting to try to get around the censors; on how you can't say "frig" on television
03:02
Glenn Gordon Caron on plugging "Memoirs Of A Geisha" on Medium (and the plight of being created by the parent company of one network and airing on another network)
01:49
Glenn Gordon Caron on advice to aspiring writers
00:22
Glenn Gordon Caron on how television has changed since he started in the business
02:03
Professions

Writers

View Profession
Glenn Gordon Caron on how he writes scripts
03:38
Glenn Gordon Caron on advice to aspiring writers
00:22
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Glenn Gordon Caronon creating Moonlighting and casting the leads
09:21
Glenn Gordon Caron on the premise, pilot, and music of Moonlighting
28:32
Glenn Gordon Caron on recurring gags, the writers' room and production problems on Moonlighting
29:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on memorable episodes of Moonlighting, leaving day-to-day operations, and the legacy of Moonlighting
15:13

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Glenn Gordon Caronon creating Moonlighting and casting the leads
09:21
Glenn Gordon Caron on the premise, pilot, and music of Moonlighting
28:32
Glenn Gordon Caron on recurring gags, the writers' room and production problems on Moonlighting
29:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on memorable episodes of Moonlighting, leaving day-to-day operations, and the legacy of Moonlighting
15:13

Drama Series

View Genre
Glenn Gordon Caronon creating Moonlighting and casting the leads
09:21
Glenn Gordon Caron on the premise, pilot, and music of Moonlighting
28:32
Glenn Gordon Caron on recurring gags, the writers' room and production problems on Moonlighting
29:40
Glenn Gordon Caron on memorable episodes of Moonlighting, leaving day-to-day operations, and the legacy of Moonlighting
15:13
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Medium; on style choices on the show and a typical work week
27:08

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Medium; on style choices on the show and a typical work week
27:08
People

Jennifer Aniston

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Glenn Gordon Caron on working with Jennifer Aniston on "Picture Perfect"
00:59

Alan Arkin

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Alan Arkin seeing some talent in one of his scripts
00:24

Curtis Armstrong

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Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Curtis Armstrong on Moonlighting
02:25

Patricia Arquette

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on wanting Patricia Arquette for the lead of Medium
00:14
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Patricia Arquette on Medium
03:48
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette winning an Emmy for Medium
01:42
Glenn Gordon Caron on Patricia Arquette changing her hairstyle on Medium
00:45

Rona Barrett

View Interview Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on meeting Rona Barrett and asking her to appear on Moonlighting (as a way to get an episode when there were production problems with the show)
04:31

Allyce Beasley

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Allyce Beasley as "Agnes DiPesto" on Moonlighting
00:33
Glenn Gordon Caron on supporting characters played by Allyce Beasley and Curtis Armstrong on Moonlighting
01:16

Steven Bochco

View Interview Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on turning down the offer to write for Hill Street Blues
00:59
Glenn Gordon Caron on Steven Bochco wanting him to write for Hill Street Blues
00:17

James L. Brooks

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Glenn Gordon Caron on James L. Brooks and how he rewrote people on his shows, including Taxi
01:51

Pierce Brosnan

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Glenn Gordon Caron on having a rapport with Pierce Brosnan and writing for Remington Steele
01:47

James Burrows

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Glenn Gordon Caron on learning from James Burrows
00:13

Robert Butler

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Glenn Gordon Caron on working with director Robert Butler on Hill Street Blues and the impact that show had on him
01:10
Glenn Gordon Caron on how he came to work on Remington Steele as a writer - he wanted to work with director Bob Butler
01:26
Glenn Gordon Caron on Robert Butler directing the pilot of Moonlighting
00:32
Glenn Gordon Caron on the criticism of Moonlighting being too fast
00:34

Glen Charles

View Interview Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on moving to California to write for Taxi and not understanding how a writers' room worked
02:13

Les Charles

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Glenn Gordon Caron on moving to California to write for Taxi and not understanding how a writers' room worked
02:13

Alf Clausen

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Alf Clausen doing the music for Moonlighting
01:06

Jay Daniel

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Moonlighting producer Jay Daniel 
00:35

Dennis Dugan

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Glenn Gordon Caron on bringing Dennis Dugan on as "Maddie Hayes'" husband on Moonlighting
01:09

Dick Ebersol

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Warren Littlefield liking his scripts and meeting with NBC executives
03:52

Steve Gordon

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Glenn Gordon Caron on meeting Steve Gordon and writing for Good Time Harry
01:25

Kelsey Grammer

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Glenn Gordon Caron on the backstory of creating Medium
04:20
Glenn Gordon Caron on Kelsey Grammer's input as a producer on Medium
00:39

Katharine Hepburn

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Glenn Gordon Caron on working with Katharine Hepburn 
01:51

Al Jarreau

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Glenn Gordon Caron on how Al Jarreau came to write the Moonlighting theme song
01:05

Michael Keaton

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Glenn Gordon Caron on working with Michael Keaton on "Clean and Sober"
00:52

Michael Kozoll

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Glenn Gordon Caron on turning down the offer to write for Hill Street Blues
00:59

Barry Levinson

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Glenn Gordon Caron on his style
01:36

Warren Littlefield

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Warren Littlefield liking his scripts and meeting with NBC executives
06:14

Madonna

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Glenn Gordon Caron on developing "Evita" with Madonna
00:59

Leslie Moonves

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Glenn Gordon Caron on Les Moonves asking him to return to television and the creation of Now And Again
03:41

Charles Rocket

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Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Charles Rocket on Moonlighting
00:50

Cybill Shepherd

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on wanting Cybill Shepherd for the lead for Moonlighting
01:24
Glenn Gordon Caron on Cybill Shepherd not being sure about Bruce Willis as her co-star on Moonlighting
02:43
Glenn Gordon Caron on filming the pilot episode of Moonlighting with Cybill Sheperd and Bruce Willis; on making a comedic detective show
04:00
Glenn Gordon Caron on production problems with Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting
05:59
Glenn Gordon Caron on production problems and tabloids about Cybill Shepherd throwing a chair at him on Moonlighting
02:39
Glenn Gordon Caron on leaving day-to-day operations of Moonlighting and his involvement with the show after that
00:38

Brandon Tartikoff

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on Warren Littlefield liking his scripts and meeting with NBC executives
03:52

Orson Welles

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on Orson Welles introducing the classic Moonlighting episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
03:00

Bruce Willis

View Person Page
Glenn Gordon Caron on the difficult process of casting Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
07:05
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Bruce Willis on Moonlighting, contd.
03:02
Glenn Gordon Caron on filming the pilot episode and the first four episodes of Moonlighting with Cybill Sheperd and Bruce Willis
04:00
Glenn Gordon Caron on the lack of experience Bruce Willis had when he was cast for Moonlighting
02:51
Glenn Gordon Caron on casting Curtis Armstrong on Moonlighting
00:26
Glenn Gordon Caron on not wanting Bruce Willis to do "Die Hard"
02:43

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