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March 19, 1993 - Image 86

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-03-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

WITHOUT YOU
WE'RE
HELPLESS.

MICHAEL ELKIN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

Give to the United Way
Torch Drive. For all the
good you can do.

for Southeastern Michigan

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'al

t's not hard to see why
viewers get a kick out of
"Coach," a TV series
coming off a championship
season. ;
' The ABC-TV show sports a
\terrific cast and concept and
was one of the network's key
players last year, finishing
as high as second in the
Nielsen ratings.
But then those associated
with ''Coach" know a
winner When they see one.
The popular series, starr-
ing Craig T. Nelson as a col-
lege football - coach thrown
for a loss when having to
deal with life ,beyond the
goalposts, is a coming-of-age
comedy, br'inging
chauvinistic Coach ; Hayden
Fox into the 20th century.
It's a long haul.
Mit then half the fun is in
watching him trip along the
way.
"Hayden is getting mar-.
ried this year. It's not going
to be easy for him," kibitzes
Judd Pillot, co- executive
producer of "Coach."
There was a time when
Coach Fox was married only
to his job, but then he met,
fell in love with and courted
broadcaster Christine Arm-
strong
strong (Shelley Fabares).
After a testy and chaotic
courtship, will the coach
fumble the ball walking
_ down the aisle?
He may be a klutz when it
comes to tact, but Fox is not
about to chicken out, says
Mr. Pillot. •
Indeed, the appeal of the
character is in his strength
and conviction —even if he's
headed south when everyone
else is running north.
"Coach is a winner," says
Mr. Pillot. "Hayden is like a
lot of men involved in rela-
tionships with 'women —
even evolved men — who
think they're doing the right
thing and then something
goes wrong."
Certainly, Judd Pillot,
born and raised in North
Jersey, considers himself a
good sport, but he sometimes
wonders if the rules change
in the middle of the game.
"I grew up in a liberal
Jewish household with three
sisters," he says of his early
sensitivity training, "and I

I

United Way

1

The Producer Of 'Coach'
Knows A Real Winner

ERPLIOJEEEENIMERIIII

Michael Elkin is the
entertainment editor of the
Jewish Exponent in
Philadelphia.

Judd Pillot and Shelly Fabares on the set of 'Coach'.

have an evolved wife. But
He got his wish in
there are times when I find
Hollywood, where his credits
myself scratching my head."
include "Family Ties" and
If he is occasionally con-
"Anything But Love." It was
fused, over the battle bet-
love of TV that helped land
ween the sexes, Mr. Pillot
Pillot in the position he is in
certainty came armed to
today.
triumph in Hollywood,
"As a kid, I used to pretend
where he now lives with his
I was sick so I could stay
wife and two youngsters.
home from school and watch
The 34-year-old Boston
`Crusader Rabbit,' " he
University grad met
recalls. "I loved 'Leave It to
creative partner John
Beaver' — I mean, they were
Peaslee at Newsweek
my brothers."
Broadcasting in New York
Years later, when Tony
in 1979; the two moved out
Dow, who played the Beav's
to Hollywood six years ago.
older brother in the late '50s
They are celebrating their
TV phenomenon, signed on
bar mitzvah year together as
to direct some "Coach"
a team with two Emmy
episodes,. it was like a family
Award nominations earned
reunion.
by actors Nelson and co-star
"I went up to him and yell-
Jerry Van Dyke, as well as a
ed, 'Oh, my brother!' "
commitment from ABC for
recalls Mr. Pillot.
them to create another
Judd Pilot embraced those
series for the 1993-94 sea-
early TV- hits, especially the
son.
_ warm family humor of "The
In the meantime, the two
Dick Van Dyke Show." "I
are committed to helping
wanted to live with them,"
"Coach" bowl over the com-
he says of Rob and Laura. .
petition.
But Mr. Pillot had his own
"I like a guy who's struggl-
family
in Haworth, N.J. "I
ing. There's comedy in
came from a very expressive
struggle," says Judd Pillot of
household," he says of
the series football hero who
mother Alma, who wrote
is no match for the
many shows for her
enlightened heroine as he
Hadassah group, and dad
attempts to come out of the
Leo, a, press agent/public
Dark Ages.
rela- tions executive for film
Mr. Pillot was never in the
studios.
dark when it- came to what
The applause he receives
he wanted to do. "I always
these days is for the good
wanted to be a writer," he
says.
clean fun of "Coach." ❑

.

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