Wiseguy - the "Lynchboro arc"

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Wiseguy - the "Lynchboro arc"

Postby TheArm » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:01 pm

Question for you guys about a bit of very old business. On cable the other day, I noticed that they were airing the first episode of the Wiseguy "Lynchboro" arc from early 1990, which I'd always heard about but had never seen. Upon watching, I was pretty struck by how eerily prescient it is; it's set in a misty Pacific Northwestern logging town literally called "Lynchboro," which includes a diner, a roadhouse, a "Welcome to Lynchboro" sign, focuses a lot on the sheriff's station and the local deputies (one of whom cries a lot!), and even features a townsperson who is, I kid you not, a one-armed man. And the town, of course, is revealed to be full of various corruption, scandals, and even heated teen melodrama involving the local high schoolers. What confuses me is that it plays like a pretty straightforward, derivative TP homage, yet I noticed that it *pre-dated* TP by a few months. I also noticed, interestingly, that Robert Engels was one of the writers on the show at this time. I just don't get how this story arc came about; was it Engels? Did he come back from TP to Wiseguy and ostensibly rip off the other show he was writing for at the same time? How could they have predicted all of these things, or is it really all just a weird Lynchian coincidence?
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Wiseguy - the "Lynchboro arc"

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:24 am

I assume Steve Cannell or some other mucky-mucky on Wiseguy saw the TP Pilot when it was screened at the DGA. I think most of the “borrowed” elements come from the pilot, not necessarily from the rest of S1. That screening made waves in the industry about the way TP might change the face of television, and Wiseguy no doubt thought it would be trendy by paying tribute before there was even a bandwagon to jump on. I would guess that when the “Lynchboro” parody/tribute was conceived they expected TP would debut in the fall, and unwittingly jumped the gun when ABC delayed its episode order.

The progression of Bob Engels’s career at that time is interesting. He knew Mark from school in Minnesota, and Mark gave him first industry job on TP...but Engels then almost instantly got hired on Wiseguy before TP had even aired! His only three credited episodes as a writer on Wiseguy all occur during the seven-episode Lynchboro arc, meaning he wrote nearly half of that arc. (Also note that the one-armed man’s last name is Rogosheske, the surname of Engels’s wife, who played Trudy on TP, seemingly confirming that he had a heavy hand in that portion of the show.) There must be a story behind how this completely unproven writer got hired on a very desirable gig, seemingly to pay tribute to a show that no one had seen. Weird stuff.
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Re: Wiseguy - the "Lynchboro arc"

Postby Jerry Horne » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:49 am

I'm sure they wrote about this in an early issue of Wrapped In Plastic.

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