Another big laugh NETWORK got came when the revamped news program had a regular called "Sybil the Soothsayer." She made predictions. Again, that was 1976. In the 1996, I was a regular on Fox 5's GOOD DAY NEW YORK, a local weekday morning news program. Our executive producer booked a number of long live call-in segments with a woman who claimed to be a pet psychic. Yes. An 8-minute live segment with viewers calling in to ask how their dead pets were doing in the afterlife. 8 minutes. I argued with the same producer when I wanted more time to interview actor/writer John Leguizamo. He was coming in live to talk about his upcoming stage show. I was booked to have 90 seconds live in-studio with him. I argued that it was unfair to give a pet psychic 8 minutes but I could only have a minute and a half with a gifted, acclaimed and accomplished Puerto Rican film/stage actor and writer -- in New York City. I got more time to interview John. But not as much as the pet psychic got for her segments.
When I had my first professional fulltime job, it was that Milwaukee FM radio job. It was a rock radio station and I was a news reporter. I was also the only black on-air employee at the whole FM rock music radio station. I watched the Oscars with an on-air co-worker the night the later Peter Finch won the Oscar for Best Actor. He died of a heart attack a couple of months before the Oscars telecast in 1977.
My co-worker's jaw practically dropped down to the carpet when screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky called Peter Finch's widow to the stage. My co-worker sputtered "She's...she's!" He was at a loss for words because....well...see for yourself:
NETWORK. It's still relevant. As I've said before...when Paddy Chayefsky gave us that screenplay, he wasn't just a writer. He was also a prophet.