Talking TV on DVD with /Remington Steele'/s Michael Gleason
You did commentary tracks on the first two episodes ["License to Steele" and "Tempered Steele"] along with your co-creator, Robert Butler. That must have been a nice memory jog for you. Yes. The funniest comment came from Bob while we were watching the pilot. He said, "You know, we weren't as bad as we thought we were. This is pretty good." [laughs]
The show hasn't really been in syndication lately, so the DVD is a good way for people to touch base with it again - or attract people who've never even seen it at all. That's true. It went five years - four and a half seasons [1982-87]. It's tough when you mention to somebody a show that occupied your life seven days a week for years, and they look at you blankly.
As far as the format itself goes, how do you feel about getting a TV series onto DVD? Do you enjoy watching shows that way? Yeah. I think it's terrific. Glenn Caron - Glenn Gordon Caron - is a close friend of mine, and he was with us as a chief writer [and supervising producer] for the first half of the first season [12 of 22 episodes]. He just had the first two seasons of his show Moonlighting come out together on DVD, and that's a wonderful set.
Glenn did an interview for the Remington DVD, and he was telling me they had problems clearing the music rights for the Moonlighting DVD. That's because he used a lot of different sources. We, on the other hand, had Henry Mancini. [Mancini wrote the themes for the show and the main characters.]
How was it, working with Mancini? He was terrific. Almost hard to believe we had him.
And how perfect for him to have put a bit of an Irish twist on Remington's character theme. [Pierce Brosnan, who played Steele, is Irish.] Henry was such a wonderful guy. He even came to the first table reading for the show to get a sense for the characters and who was playing them. A lot of composers won't do that. But he was actually there to find out who these people were.
CO-PILOTS In the commentary for "Tempered Steele," you note that it was technically shot as the pilot, but it wasn't aired that way. When we went in and pitched the concept to NBC, they gave us the go-ahead. But they also said that sometimes they greenlight a great pilot but then don't get a great series out of it. So they said, "Give us Episode 6 first so we can see what we have here." And after they picked it up, they said it would be wonderful to then see how Laura and Remington met. So "License to Steele" was the first to air [October 1, 1982], but "Tempered Steele" [October 8, 1982], which was slightly rewritten, was actually our pilot episode.