Aaron Spelling: A Prime-Time Life

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The world of Aaron Spelling is one we all know from hours spent in front of the TV screen. Dynasty, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, The Mod Squad, Hart to Hart - these shows claimed huge audiences and define him as one of the most successful showmen of all time. Never told before, Aaron Spelling is the story of his life from the Prime-Time King himself - personal, revealing, filled with confidential facts on such Hollywood greats as Michelle Pfeiffer, Heather Locklear, Farrah ...
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Overview

The world of Aaron Spelling is one we all know from hours spent in front of the TV screen. Dynasty, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, The Mod Squad, Hart to Hart - these shows claimed huge audiences and define him as one of the most successful showmen of all time. Never told before, Aaron Spelling is the story of his life from the Prime-Time King himself - personal, revealing, filled with confidential facts on such Hollywood greats as Michelle Pfeiffer, Heather Locklear, Farrah Fawcett, Joan Collins, and Ricardo Montalban. Now for the first time, Spelling opens the door to his backstage world with his candid observations about Hollywood and the TV business, along with the inspiring rags-to-riches story of a poor Jew from Texas who overcame insurmountable odds to become the most successful TV producer ever.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For a man who's tapped into the world's TV-viewing habits like no one else, mega-producer Spelling comes across as a surprisingly ordinary fellow in his autobiography. He makes producing "a smash hit a decade"The Mod Squad, Dynasty and Melrose Place among themlook like happy and very lucrative accidents. The son of poor Eastern European Jews who settled in Dallas, Spelling grew up spinning yarns to fight redneck taunts, honing story skills that eventually led him through the early days of TV production and, in time, to realize his own Fantasy Island (another Spelling production) lifestyle. He portrays himself here with down-home graciousnesseven if he jokes that he can't find his bedroom in his palatial mansion. He respectfully spares us the TV-star gossip and gives close friends and family members, like his loving wife, Candy, paragraphs for their own celebrity roast anecdotes. Such passages come off as padding, however, as do the lengthy excerpts from produced scripts Spelling wrote early in his career. If Spelling's writing works on the tube, it doesn't fly on the printed page. This tame memoir offers little in the way of character shading or social insight. The author answers critics who called Charlie's Angels "jiggle" with: "Haven't reporters ever been to the beach before?" Spelling has enjoyed a prime-time life, but his memoir is anything but. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Spelling, who has produced more TV hits than anyone in the business-from the classic The Love Boat to today's Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place-recalls his 35 "prime-time" years.
Ilene Cooper
The name Aaron Spelling has become synonymous with cotton-candy TV, but Aaron is here to tell you that "Charlie's Angels" and "Beverly Hills 90210" are not the sum of his parts. This life story by justification is occasionally convincing, but it's usually just a hoot. A poor Jewish boy growing up in Texas, Spelling was regularly beaten up until he had a nervous breakdown at age nine. That gave him the opportunity to read, which he says led directly to a career in television. Poor childhood out of the way, Spelling takes a stab at explaining just how rich he is today. Not one to exaggerate, he notes that his house, said to be the largest in Los Angeles County, doesn't have an ice rink as reported. It does boast 12 bedrooms, 2 wrapping rooms (his wife "loves to give presents" ), and a bowling alley. Remarkably, Spelling emerges amid all the excess as a likable guy who is genuinely thrilled at his success. Like his oeuvre, Spelling's autobiography says a lot about fantasy and reality in contemporary America.
Kirkus Reviews
From The Mod Squad to Dynasty to Melrose Place, the world's most prolific producer tells his story, anecdote by anecdote by anecdote.

If you sat down right now to watch every hour of the TV shows and movies that Aaron Spelling has produced, it would be a full 125 days later before you were finished. This is assuming, of course, that the human mind could safely survive such an extended dose of Spelling's wares: the endless parade of beautiful vixens and roguish millionaires, hipster PIs and ripe teenyboppers, pervasive pap and ubiquitous fluff. To his credit, Spelling is a modest man. He makes few grand claims for his oeuvre beyond that of entertainment (with an occasional gesture toward social consciousness). As you might expect from his shows, his own story goes from rags to riches. Fleeing pogroms, his parents ended up in Dallas, where the young Spelling struggled with anti-Semitic bullying and the shame of poverty. Books and movies were his only friends, and like many poor Jews of his generation, he believed that the entertainment industry offered a front-row ticket to success. Acting led to directing, which led to writing, then finally to producing. It was here that Spelling found his forte as he, along with various partners, produced an almost uninterrupted string of long-running hits. (It doesn't take a Freudian to realize that pervasive themes of many of these shows—wish-fulfillment, escapism, social acceptance—have strong autobiographical connections.) While Spelling (with USA Today TV reporter Graham) tells a lot of great showbiz stories, he dishes little dirt. In fact, he has almost nothing unkind to say about anyone. Problem actors, double-dealing executives, obstreperous writers—all are treated with a rare tact and courtliness. Perhaps, sometimes, nice guys don't finish last.

Professionally done, with many enjoyable moments, but not quite an Emmy-winning performance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787110796
  • Publisher: NewStar Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.03 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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