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Author Topic: Bob Stewart....  (Read 6535 times)

Dbacksfan12

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Bob Stewart....
« on: June 27, 2004, 10:04:08 PM »
I have heard varying rumors on how Bob Stewart was as a person; ranging from "nice guy" to a punk.  Does anyone have some "insider information" on this topic; and for those that don't; what are your thoughts on him?

[My impression of him from other sites is that he's a jerk; and a cheap one to boot]
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Jimmy Owen

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2004, 10:13:04 PM »
If you judge people by the company they keep, Bill Cullen, Larry Blyden, Dick Clark and Geoff Edwards are pretty good company.  I have to give him props for starting his own company, he probably could have stayed with Goodson if he weren't as ambitious.
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J.R.

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2004, 10:31:15 PM »
Is it me or was Bob Stewart possessed over shows were you had to construct a sentance one word at a time ? I think it was the basis of at least 5 or 6 shows (Conuting pilots)

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Matt Ottinger

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2004, 10:39:37 PM »
[quote name=\'JRaygor\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 10:31 PM\'] Is it me or was Bob Stewart possessed over shows were you had to construct a sentance one word at a time ? I think it was the basis of at least 5 or 6 shows (Conuting pilots) [/quote]
 Especially if you drag the pilots out, it's easy to see that Bob Stewart as an independent producer kept going back to the same small handful of ideas over and over.  There were some pretty original ideas -- including some wildly creative misfires -- from the late sixties through the mid seventies, but most of his later efforts were rehashes of earlier efforts, and usually poorer variations at that.
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Robert Hutchinson

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2004, 10:54:55 PM »
I don't doubt that his first big success being Password had some effect on his later GS formats, either . . .

As for cheapness, I've heard it said more than once that Stewart kept both eyes and a few cameras peeled watching his shows' budgets, but that's much more likely to be the mark of a smart TV producer than a miser.

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The Ol' Guy

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2004, 12:34:52 AM »
He certainly learned how to recycle ideas from G-T (Password, Snap Judgment, Get The Message, Match Game, Family Feud, Missing Links, etc, etc), but when he recycled his own, they rarely had the class. At least G-T had a way of framing ideas so you didn't feel you were watching a direct rip-off (such as Play Your Hunch being the panel-less To Tell The Truth). Bob wore a good idea into the ground. Pyramid, Eye Guess and Chain Reaction were among his best - Jackpot, Personality, The Face Is Familiar and Shoot For The Stars weren't bad - but brother, you sure got the "I've seen this before" feeling when you watched about anything else. The closest I feel he came to a moderately good spin-off was Pass The Buck, despite its flaws. I often wonder how he got nets to green-light pilots that were so obviously re-heats of past shows? Thank God that Jackpot ripoff with the bar room shuffleboard randomizer wasn't picked up! That might have driven game shows off the nets a decade early.
Grousing aside, I do like the fact he enjoyed word games, especially plays on words. It does show a cleverness and intelligence.

pyrfan

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2004, 02:02:46 AM »
[quote name=\'Dsmith\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 09:04 PM\']I have heard varying rumors on how Bob Stewart was as a person. (stuff snipped) [My impression of him from other sites is that he's a jerk; and a cheap one to boot]
[/quote]
As far as him being cheap...well, I think someone who I know reads these posts might have a story to tell about a funny comment a certain celebrity poet made about Bob's frugality.


Brendan

tvrandywest

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2004, 03:34:45 AM »
[quote name=\'Dsmith\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 06:04 PM\'] I have heard varying rumors on how Bob Stewart was as a person; ranging from "nice guy" to a punk.  Does anyone have some "insider information" on this topic; and for those that don't; what are your thoughts on him? [/quote]
 Bob (and his son Sande) are extremely bright, and can sometimes become frustrated when an employee doesn't "get it". Producing TV is a very stressful, high-stakes business. Have either of the Stewarts ever lost their temper and yelled... hell yes. Almost all producers have/do; some have made it a lifestyle. The only exception from my personal experience is Roger Dobkowitz at "Price". While he suffers his share of frustrations, I've NEVER seen or heard of him losing his temper.

My knowledge of and experiences with the Stewarts is if you make an occasional error, fess-up, apologize and life goes on. Just read the credits through the decades and you'll see the loyalty they have for people who work well with them.

These days, Bob is a sweetheart and a bunch of fun to talk with about the old days. After a New York childhood on the set with his dad overtly encouraging him to learn the business, Sande had high expectations to live up to. He is far more mellow these days than he has ever been. But his wickedly sharp and often biting sense of humor is intact, and I love it! Nobody has the mechanics of hosting down cold like Sande. He kicks ass as a runthrough host, and I've seen him coach hosts with incredible insight into what works when, and why.

As a producer, Sande learned from one of the best, and is one of the very few who can shoot live to tape with virtually no stops. There are fewer producers and directors with each passing day who are capable of that. More and more, the concept of "live TV" continues to become more of a story old-timers tell than a current reality. With Sande and his first mate Bruce Burmester at the helm we've sailed through 5 episodes before lunch! But then, that schedule of 10 a day was their regular routine with Dick Clark on Pyramid. NOBODY can crank like that.

Of course as a family operation, the budget was/is always watched closely - I bet most of us would do the same. I would. I think it's just good business.

Creativity? Bob invented Password and "Price". That would be enough for me! Remember, he was one guy while the Goodson operation was home to many creative folks over the years. Both have liberally recycled ideas, and both have had some real clunkers.

Might others who have worked with these guys have entirely different opinions? Sure. These are just my observations from experience and from hearing stories.


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TimK2003

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2004, 10:37:17 AM »
[quote name=\'The Ol' Guy\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 11:34 PM\'] Bob wore a good idea into the ground. Pyramid, Eye Guess and Chain Reaction were among his best - Jackpot, Personality, The Face Is Familiar and Shoot For The Stars weren't bad - but brother, you sure got the "I've seen this before" feeling when you watched about anything else. The closest I feel he came to a moderately good spin-off was Pass The Buck, despite its flaws.


 [/quote]
 I think one can say that Three On A Match was one of Bob Stewart's best as well.  The game was steered a lot by the decisions of the contestants, it was easy to play (straight TRUE/FALSE questions), and Bill Cullen kept the game upbeat.

Another concept I liked about some Stewart shows (Pass the Buck, Jackpot,...) was that losing contestants could stay on for several games until the end of the week or until someone won the big prize.

isucgv

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2004, 10:50:17 AM »
Another pilot of Bob Stewart's that I thought was really pretty good was Twisters.  An imaginative twist on a fill-in-the-blank concept.  The air-hockey table was a little different in selecting a number, but the show seemed solid and different enough that it didn't seem like "the same thing rehashed."  And Bob Stewart sure knew how to create exciting bonus rounds.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2004, 10:50:28 AM by isucgv »

clemon79

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2004, 11:52:22 AM »
[quote name=\'The Ol' Guy\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 09:34 PM\'] Thank God that Jackpot ripoff with the bar room shuffleboard randomizer wasn't picked up! That might have driven game shows off the nets a decade early.



 [/quote]
Four posts later...

[quote name=\'"isucgv\' date=\' Jun 28 2004, 07:50 AM"\']Another pilot of Bob Stewart's that I thought was really pretty good was Twisters. An imaginative twist on a fill-in-the-blank concept. The air-hockey table was a little different in selecting a number, but the show seemed solid and different enough that it didn't seem like "the same thing rehashed." [/quote]

This, my friends, is the Game Show Forum for ya. How funny. :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2004, 11:52:38 AM by clemon79 »
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chris319

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2004, 11:54:38 AM »
[quote name=\'pyrfan\' date=\'Jun 27 2004, 11:02 PM\']As far as him being cheap...well, I think someone who I know reads these posts might have a story to tell about a funny comment a certain celebrity poet made about Bob's frugality.[/quote]
You remember that???

One day when Chain Reaction was taping, during the lunch break Nipsey Russell came over to the NBC rehearsal hall where we (Password Plus) were having our catered lunch. Of course Nipsey was welcome, but in explaining why he wasn't eating with the Chain Reaction crew he offered, "They couldn't slice the weenie small enough".

We had fish that day and I accused Bobby Sherman of talking out of his bass.

AFAIK Bob Stewart didn't use celebrity coordinators. Instead, Anne Marie Schmidt would place a call to Imie Camelli (they were buddies from their TPIR days back in New York) and pick Imie's brain for celebrities we had used on the air or had auditioned recently. Take a look here http://userdata.acd.net/ottinger/Cullen/shows/chain.html and see how many Password Plus alumni you recognize.

As for his temperament, I got the impression that Stewart pere was charming when a show wasn't going on and a bit of a screamer during showtime. Bill Cullen said he used to sit at his podium and count the number of times he would storm into the studio. I once witnessed him in an NBC control room repeatedly shouting "cuckoo" into a headset. Yes, it was during game play -- he hadn't gone "cuckoo" on us.

You may find it hard to believe but the networks actively sought him out for new shows because they knew he was prolific. So what if it was a rehash of some word-association game which had been done before? Imagine: networks hiring people to seek out ideas for daytime game shows. How quaint.

I always thought Shoot for the Stars and whatever the hell its remake was called, was a good game, but daytime audiences didn't agree with me.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2004, 11:57:42 AM by chris319 »

clemon79

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2004, 12:08:11 PM »
[quote name=\'chris319\' date=\'Jun 28 2004, 08:54 AM\'] I always thought Shoot for the Stars and whatever the hell its remake was called, was a good game, but daytime audiences didn't agree with me. [/quote]
 I dug Shoot For The Stars quite a bit, actually. When they took away the board and the stars and called it Double Talk I didn't like it so much. But the original is something I wouldn't mind seeing again.
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Jimmy Owen

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2004, 12:35:50 PM »
[quote name=\'chris319\' date=\'Jun 28 2004, 10:54 AM\']

One day when Chain Reaction was taping, during the lunch break Nipsey Russell came over to the NBC rehearsal hall where we (Password Plus) were having our catered lunch. Of course Nipsey was welcome, but in explaining why he wasn't eating with the Chain Reaction crew he offered, "They couldn't slice the weenie small enough".





 [/quote]
 There was an article in "Variety" during the first half of 1980 that listed the budgets of all the NBC game shows on the air at that time.  I don't recall the exact numbers, but I do remember reading that "Chain Reaction" had the lowest budget of all the NBC shows.
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SRIV94

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Bob Stewart....
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2004, 12:41:08 PM »
[quote name=\'clemon79\' date=\'Jun 28 2004, 11:08 AM\'] When they took away the board and the stars and called it Double Talk I didn't like it so much. [/quote]
 With all due respect to all two of Henry Polic II's fans, the host wasn't exactly a help either (now watch as I get inundated with tons of support for one of WEBSTER's lesser lights ;-) ).

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