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Show No. 255 with guest James McEachin
Original Airdate: Week of Nov. 12-17, 2014
First hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen say Happy Birthday to Ed Asner, the iconic actor who was born during This Week in TV History. Also in this hour: Phil Gries with Part 4 of our tribute to late night TV talk show pioneer Les Crane, the first man to compete directly against The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on a national level. Plus: Greg Ehrbar on A or B?, the new play by Ken Levine at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, CA. Second hour: Ed welcomes actor, author, screenwriter and U.S. Army veteran James McEachin (Tenafly, The Perry Mason Mysteries, Farewell to the Mockingbirds, Tell Me a Tale). James’ latest project, The Purple Heart, is based on the true story of the discovery of a lost Purple Heart medal that belonged to Lt. Henry Schenk, James’ patrol leader in the Korean War — and the role James played in helping restore that medal to Schenk’s family. To keep track of the latest developments of The Purple Heart, go to ThePurple HeartMovie.us.
Show No. 254 with guests Ken Levine and Bob Leszczak
Original Airdate: Week of Nov. 5-10, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes author and film, TV and music historian Bob Leszczak. Bob’s latest book, The Odd Couple on Stage on Screen, tells you everything you wanted to know about The Odd Couple, from the Broadway play written by Neil Simon, to the classic TV series starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, to the forthcoming CBS revival of The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen say Happy Birthday remember the premiere of Nightline. Second hour: Ed welcomes Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and director Ken Levine (M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, Wings, The Simpsons). Now a successful playwright, Ken’s first play, a romantic comedy called A or B?, is now playing at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, through Sunday, Nov. 16. For tickets and more information, call (818) 955-8101 or go to www.FalconTheatre.com.
Show No. 253 with guests Kathy Garver, Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad
Original Airdate: Week of Oct. 22-27, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes actress, author and voice artist Kathy Garver (Family Affair). Kathy’s new movie, Mom, Murder and Me, is making the film festival circuit after its recent world premiere. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember how television news covered the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck Northern California on October 17, 1989. Topics include the damage done to the Bay Bridge and Cypress Freeway and the postponement of Game 3 of the World Series that year between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. Second hour: Ed welcomes Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, co-authors of Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, a behind-the-scenes look at the first ten years of the groundbreaking NBC late night series that began its 40th season on television this fall. Recently re-released as an eBook, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live was hailed by the Associated Press as “the best book ever written about television.”
Show No. 252 with guests Bill Marx and Herbie J Pilato
Original Airdate: Week of Oct. 15-20, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes Herbie J Pilato, author of Glamour, Gidgets and The Girl Next Door, a new book that celebrates the accomplishments of more than four dozen TV actresses from the Golden Age of Television who shattered expectations, one way or another, while paving the way for successive generations. Herbie will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble at 731 N. San Fernando Blvd. in Burbank, CA on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7pm. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen discuss the careers of Scott Bakula and Marie Osmond, both of whom were born during This Week in TV History. Second hour: Ed welcomes author, musician, arranger and composer Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx and the executive producer of The Marx Brothers TV Collection, a new DVD box set that features some of the earliest appearances of Groucho, Harpo and Chico on television, many of which have not been seen in years.
Show No. 251 with guest Ken Osmond
Original Airdate: Week of Oct. 8-13, 2014
First hour: Phil Gries joins Ed for Part 3 of our tribute to late night TV talk show pioneer Les Crane, including highlights from Crane’s controversial interview with Marguerite Oswald, the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald, that was originally broadcast on August 5, 1964, nine months following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen with a look at the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the television career of Bill Cosby, and the evolution of the Road Runner cartoon series. Second hour: Ed welcomes Ken Osmond, the actor known to three generations of television viewers as Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver. Ken’s new book, Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy, discusses his life and career before, during and after Leave It to Beaver, including his early years as a child actor working with the likes of Jennifer Jones, Ozzie Nelson, and Spencer Tracy; his twenty years with the Los Angeles Police Department; and his return to television on The New Leave It to Beaver. For our listeners in Southern California, Ken Osmond will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Manhattan Beach, CA on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 7pm to 9pm.
Show No. 250 with guests Dawn Wells and Erin Murphy
Original Airdate: Week of Oct. 1-6, 2014
First hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome Erin Murphy, the actress known to many of us as Tabitha Stephens on Bewitched. Among her projects today, Erin is the co-host of the upcoming Web series The Tragical History Tour, plus she is the co-owner of Slim Chillers, a company that sells martini-flavored popsicles with only 100 calories. Also in this hour: An expanded edition of This Week in TV History that includes a look at the 50th anniversary of The Addams Family and The Munsters. Second hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome Dawn Wells, the actress known to three generations of television viewers as Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island. Dawn’s new book, What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life, takes the question “Ginger or Mary Ann” a step further by showing readers how Mary Ann would respond to the various changes in today’s culture that face women of all ages. The book also includes memories of Dawn’s life and career before and after Gilligan’s Island, while also paying tribute to each of her six fellow cast members. Dawn Wells will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Reno, NV on Wednesday, Oct. 8, as well as the Chiller Theater Expo Oct. 24 thru Oct. 26 in Parsippany, NJ, the “Charity Island” event sponsored by Charity Never Fail-eth in Mesa, AZ on Saturday, Nov. 15, and the Santa Monica Public Library in Santa Monica, CA on Saturday, Nov. 22.
Show No. 249 with guest Herbie J Pilato
Original Airdate: Week of Sept. 24-29, 2014
First hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen discuss the legacies of Peyton Place and Bewitched, both of which originally premiered fifty years ago This Week in TV History. Also in this hour: Phil Gries with Part 2 of our tribute to late night TV talk show pioneer Les Crane. Second hour: Ed welcomes author and television historian Herbie J Pilato (Bewitched Forever, Twitch Upon a Star, The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: A Guide to Her Magical Performances, Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door: Television’s Iconic Women of the 50s, 60s and 70s). For our listeners in Southern California, Herbie will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Burbank, CA on Thursday, Oct. 23.
Show No. 248 with guests Dee Wallace and John Fusco
Original Airdate: Week of Sept. 17-22, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes award-winning screenwriter and novelist John Fusco (Young Guns, Thunderheart, Hidalgo, The Forbidden Kingdom, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). John is the creator, writer and executive producer of the forthcoming Netflix original series Marco Polo, which is set to premiere later in 2014. He is also the author of Dog Beach, a fast-paced crime novel set in the world of Hollywood that is equal parts Elmore Leonard, Guy Ritchie and John Woo. John Fusco will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble in South Burlington, VT on Saturday, Sept. 27, beginning at 2pm, and the NYU Bookstore in New York City on Wednesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 6pm. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the premieres of H.R. Pufnstuf, Little House on the Prairie and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Second hour: Ed welcomes actress, author, speaker and radio host Dee Wallace (E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Cujo, The Howling, The Frighteners, Critters). Dee will be appearing in The Whispers, the new ABC-TV series produced by Steven Spielberg that will premiere this fall. She has also released two new books, Wake Up Now! A Book of Universal Truths and Getting Stuff: Everything is Possible. Also in this hour: An excerpt from our 2010 conversation with actor Denny Miller (Wagon Train).
Show No. 247 with guest Connie Stevens
Original Airdate: Week of Sept. 10-15, 2014
First hour: Phil Gries joins Ed for Part 1 of a four-part look at the television career of pioneering late night talk show host Les Crane. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen say Happy Birthday to Bob Newhart as part of This Week in TV History. Second hour: Ed welcomes singer, actress, entrepreneur, and film director Connie Stevens (Hawaiian Eye, Palm Springs Weekend, Grease 2, A Healing, Saving Grace B. Jones). Connie will be appearing at this year’s MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention, Sept. 18-Sept. 20 at the Hunt Valley Wyndham in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Also in this hour: Highlights from Phil Gries’ 1998 interview with NBC-TV announcer Don Pardo, which originally aired as part of our Nov. 13, 2013 program.
Show No. 246 with guests Larry Storch and James Rosin
Original Airdate: Week of Sept. 3-8, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes author and DVD producer James Rosin (Route 66: The Television Series, Peyton Place: The Television Series, Streets of San Francisco: A Quinn Martin TV Series, The Philadelphia Athletics: 1901-1954). Jim will appear at this year’s MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention, Sept. 18-Sept. 20 at the Hunt Valley Wyndham in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Second hour: Ed welcomes Larry Storch, the actor/comedian known to three generations of television viewers as Corporal Agarn on F Troop. Larry will be performing at The World Famous Comedy Store, the very same stage where he made his stand-up comedy debut sixty years ago, on Thursday, Sept. 11 beginning at 7pm. He will also receive a Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame, 140 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California on Tuesday, Sept. 16 beginning at 10am. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember Gracie Allen, the birthday of Lily Tomlin, and the 75th anniversary of the first televised Major League Baseball game.
Show No. 245 with guests David Misch, Paul Green and Mary Ann Anderson
Original Airdate: Week of Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 2014
First hour: TV Confidential remembers the life and legacy of Robin Williams, the Academy Award-winning actor who originally became a star as a result of the ABC television series Mork & Mindy. Guests include television writer/producer David Misch (Police Squad!, Late Night with David Letterman, Duckman, Saturday Night Live, Funny: The Book). David began his career as a story editor on Mork & Mindy. Second hour: Authors Paul Green and Mary Ann Anderson join Ed for a look back at the life and career of Jeffrey Hunter. Paul’s latest book, Jeffrey Hunter: The Film, Television, Radio and Stage Performances, is a comprehensive look at the actor best known for his starring roles as Martin Pawley in The Searchers, Christopher Pike in the original pilot episode of Star Trek, and Jesus Christ in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings. Mary knew Jeffrey Hunter; her mother, actress Emily McLaughlin, married Hunter just three months before he died in May 1969. NOTE: Total running time of this broadcast is two hours, 20 minutes.
Show No. 244 with guests Kevin Sorbo and Douglas Lieblein
Original Airdate: Week of Aug. 13-18, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes four-time Emmy nominated writer/producer Douglas Lieblein (Hannah Montana, Life With Boys, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn). Doug’s first novel, Flight of the Akero: The Book of Milo, is a subversively comic, action-packed, science fiction, fantasy adventure for young adults, and adults who still think of themselves as young adults. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the birth of Alfred Hitchcock and the 40th anniversary of how television covered the resignation of President Nixon. Second hour: Ed welcomes Kevin Sorbo, the actor known around the world as the star of Hercules, the Legendary Journeys. Kevin’s latest film, God’s Not Dead, is an inspirational story that weaves together multiple perspectives on faith, doubt and disbelief before culminating in a call to action. God’s Not Dead is now available on DVD. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar on the recent release of Dark Shadows: The Beginning Collection.
Show No. 243: A Tribute to James Garner
Original Airdate: Week of Aug. 6-11, 2014
A two-hour tribute to Emmy Award-winning actor and entertainment icon James Garner, featuring highlights from some of our conversations with the people who knew and worked with him, including Jon Winokur (co-author of The Garner Files, Jim’s memoirs of his career in film and television), Emmy winners Roy Huggins (creator of Maverick, co-creator of The Rockford Files) and Stephen J. Cannell (co-creator of The Rockford Files), writer/producer Juanita Bartlett (Nichols, The Rockford Files), and a few other surprises. Plus we’ll hear from James Garner himself, in the form of two rarely heard interviews: a 1962 television appearance on Here’s Hollywood, and a 1996 radio appearance on The Ronn Owens Program.
Show No. 242 with guests Shelley Morrison and Walter Dominguez
Original Airdate: Week of July 30-Aug. 4, 2014
First hour: An expanded edition of This Week in TV History that remembers the birth of Carroll O’Connor and the legacy of All in the Family. Second hour: Ed welcomes actress Shelley Morrison (The Flying Nun, Will & Grace) and filmmaker Walter Dominguez. Shelley is the executive producer, and Walter the writer, producer and director, of Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery, a moving story about Walter’s grandfather Emilio Hernandez that discusses not only Mexican-American history, but issues of social justice that are still relevant today. For our listeners in Southern California, Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery will have its world premiere at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 theater complex in Pasadena from Friday, August 15 through Thursday, August 21. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar on the DVD release of Mr. Selfridge.
Show No. 241: Recently Canceled Network Shows, plus a tribute to Elaine Stritch
Original Airdate: Week of July 23-28, 2014
First hour: Tony, Donna and Ed take a look at recently canceled network shows, as well as viewer reaction to the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. Plus: highlights from our March 2014 conversation with author Eddie Shapiro (Nothing Like a Dame) about Broadway legend Elaine Stritch. Second hour: A replay of our January 2014 conversation with television writer/producer Michael Gleason, co-creator and executive producer of Remington Steele. Michael’s first novel, Working Dirty, is a private eye story set in a prison that also has some of the elements that made Remington Steele famous.
Show No. 240 with guests Diane Baker, Paul Robert Coyle and John McElwee
Original Airdate: Week of July 16-21, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes John McElwee, curator of the Greenbriar Picture Shows movie website, and author of Showmen, Sell It Hot! Movies as Merchandise in Golden Era Hollywood, a look at the often innovative marketing campaigns for Stagecoach, King Kong, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Sunset Boulevard, On the Waterfront, Frankenstein, Dracula, A Night at the Opera, Rebel Without a Cause and other classic motion pictures in the era before television. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar on Shout! Factory’s recent DVD release of The Red Skelton Show. Second hour: Ed welcomes actress and producer Diane Baker for Part 2 of our conversation about her career in film and television. Diane discusses how she first made the transition to producing (including her work on the HBO documentary To Climb a Mountain and the Emmy-nominated miniseries A Woman of Substance), as well as her current position as executive director of the Motion Pictures & Television Acting School at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, one of the largest film schools in the country. Television writer Paul Robert Coyle co-hosts.
Show No. 239 with guests Barry Livingston and Dwayne Epstein
Original Airdate: Week of July 9-14, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes Dwayne Epstein, author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank, a comprehensive biography that reveals the sensitive soul that was behind the persona of the Academy Award-winning actor. Second hour: Ed welcomes actor Barry Livingston, Ernie Douglas on My Three Sons and one of the cast members of Jersey Boys, the critically acclaimed biopic directed by Clint Eastwood about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar on Shout! Factory’s recent DVD release of The Bobby Darin Show, and Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen with a look at the legislation that was passed following the 1989 stalking-related murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer.
Show No. 238 with guests Wesley Hyatt and Robert Matzen
Original Airdate: Week of June 25-30, 2014
First hour: Ed pays tribute to Casey Kasem along with Wesley Hyatt, pop culture critic and the author of such books as The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television, Television’s Top 100 and The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits. Second hour: Ed welcomes Robert Matzen, author of Fireball: Carole Lombard and The Mystery of Flight 3, a fresh look at the life of Carole Lombard, the legendary Queen of Screwball Comedies who died tragically in a plane crash near Las Vegas on January 16, 1942. Robert’s book not only explores the life of Lombard, but the lives of the 21 other passengers aboard that light and the lives of those they behind, including Carole Lombard’s husband at the time, film icon Clark Gable. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen with a remembrance of Bob Crane, plus a discussion of the role TMZ played in the news coverage of the death of Michael Jackson.
Show No. 237: Remembering Stanford Whitmore, Jimmy Johnson and Ruby Dee
Original Airdate: Week of June 18-23, 2014
First hour: Greg Ehrbar remembers legendary Disney executive Jimmy Johnson, a man who innovated many changes in merchandising, publishing and direct marketing that helped stabilize the Walt Disney Company during its formative years, while also overseeing the creation of Walt Disney Records. Johnson died in 1975, but his memoirs, Inside the Whimsy Works, were recently published with the help of Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember film critic Roger Ebert, who was born during This Week in TV History. Second hour: Ed remembers novelist and longtime television writer Stanford Whitmore, the unsung hero of The Fugitive. Whitmore fleshed out Roy Huggins’ concept by writing the pilot episode of The Fugitive, “Fear in a Desert City,” developing the character of the One-Armed Man, and writing the episode “The Girl from Little Egypt,” the show that depicted the back story of Dr. Richard Kimble. Also in this hour: Author James Rosin remembers actress Ruby Dee.
Show No. 236 with guests June Lockhart and Bill Daily
Original Airdate: Week of June 11-16, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes June Lockhart (Lassie, Petticoat Junction, Lost in Space), one of television’s most durable actresses, and a recent recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Public Achievement Medal for inspiring the public about space exploration. June will be one of the presenters for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Friday, June 20. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen look back at June 17, 1994, the night of the famous low-speed white Bronco police chase that captivated television audiences, and how TV news coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder case continues to impact us today. Second hour: Ed welcomes actor/comedian Bill Daily (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show). Bill is featured “Group Therapy,” a roundtable discussion also featuring Bob Newhart, Peter Bonerz and Jack Riley that was produced by Shout! Factory as part of The Bob Newhart Show: Complete Series Box Set Edition.
Show No. 235 with guests Theodore Bikel and David Michaels
Original Airdate: Week of June 4-9, 2014
First hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the final episode of Your Show of Shows and the debut episode of Hee Haw, both of which originally aired during This Week in TV History. Also in this hour: Greg Ehrbar discusses Seasons 6 and 7 of AMC’s Mad Men. Second hour: Ed welcomes singer, author, poet, raconteur and film, stage and television actor Theodore Bikel. Theo will be celebrating his 75th anniversary in show business by performing on Monday, June 16 at a concert in his honor at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will be hosted by Ed Asner and will also include performances by Guthrie, Peter Yarrow, Tom Paxton and many other friends and colleagues. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com, plus there will be a VIP reception after the concert where you can meet Theo and his musical guests. For tickets to the VIP reception, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Theodore Bikel also recently updated his acclaimed autobiography, Theo, with a brand new postscript that includes reflections on turning ninety. The book is available through the University of Wisconsin Press. Also in this hour: Ed welcomes David Michaels, senior executive director of the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which will be streamed live on Sunday, June 22 at emmyonline.tv.
Show No. 234 with guests Marion Ross and Peter Key
Original Airdate: Week of May 21-26, 2014
First hour: Part 2 of Greg Ehrbar’s conversation with Peter Key, the son of Ted Key, the writer/cartoonist who created Hazel, developed the characters and format for what eventually became Mr. Peabody and Sherman and wrote three successful comedy movies for Disney: Gus, The Million Dollar Duck and The Cat from Outer Space. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the 10th anniversary of the final episode of Friends and the show’s subsequent impact on network TV comedies. Second hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome actress Marion Ross, “Mrs. C” on Happy Days, a character that TV Guide named one of the Top 10 TV Moms in television history. Marion recently filmed an episode of Hot in Cleveland that will air later this summer on TV Land, while Happy Days returns to Me-TV’s weeknight lineup beginning Monday, May 26.
Show No. 233 with guests Mike Connors, David Breckman and JoAnn Paul
Original Airdate: Week of May 14-19, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes David Breckman, writer, director and co-executive producer of Monk, and JoAnn M. Paul, author of And Now, Back to Mannix, a new book that not only explores the depth of the Mannix character in great detail, but makes the case that Joe Mannix has all the traits of a classic literary hero. Also in this hour: An extended edition of This Week in TV History that includes a remembrance of actress Jackie Lynn Taylor, and a discussion of the first Our Gang comedy to be filmed with sound. Second hour: Ed and David Breckman welcome Mike Connors, the actor known to three generations of television viewers as the star of Mannix. Mike Connors also wrote the foreword to And Now, Back to Mannix.
Show No. 232 with guest A.S. Berman
Original Airdate: Week of May 7-12, 2014
First hour: An encore presentation of our January 2011 conversation with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., the iconic television actor who passed away on Friday, May 2. Second hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome A.S. Berman, author of Soap: The Unauthorized Inside Story of the Sitcom That Broke ALL The Rules, a behind-the-scenes look at the long-running ABC comedy series that was as passionate and controversial as the era in which it was made.
Show No. 231 with guests Michael St. John and Alan Rode
Original Airdate: Week of Apr. 30-May 5, 2014
First hour: Ed welcomes Alan Rode, one of the foremost experts on the subject of film noir, and the author of Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the first NBC television broadcast at the 1939 World’s Fair. Second hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome Michael St. John, actor, author, playwright, onetime San Francisco radio personality and the first African-American man hired as a director for NBC television. Michael’s play, I Feel Sin Comin’ On, which he adapted partly from his memoir, Hollywood Through the Back Door, received critical acclaim when it was performed as a dramatic reading earlier this year in Los Angeles.
Show No. 230 with guests Charlie Barrett and Mark Bennett
Original Airdate: Week of Apr. 23-28, 2014
First hour: Tony, Donna and Ed take a look at what Comedy Central might do next year in light of the recent announcement that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show in 2015. Also in this hour: An encore presentation of a replay of our July 2013 visit with Charlie Barrett. Charlie runs The Barrett Company, one of the top PR and marketing communications firm in the entertainment industry since 1992. Prior to starting his own company, Charlie was charge of media relations for such shows as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Second hour: Ed welcomes Mark Bennett, author of The Big Show, a new novella that is also a memoir of Mark’s years working with legendary producer and director Fred de Cordova. Though set in the world of set business, The Big Show is a story about mentorship that readers will enjoy no matter what their profession.