NS: How did you and Richard Dean Anderson get involved with Legend?
MG: The Legend two hour pilot script written by Mike Piller and Bill Dial was given to Rick and I to read. It was a great fun read. And the Ernest Pratt/Legend character was a great quirky reluctant hero character for Rick to really have fun with.
NS: What was your favorite memories from working on the show?
MG: Every day was filled with great times and memories. Legend was the most fun set to be on and the most fun series to produce on every level and in every department.
The Saloon scenes were hilarious.
NS: In the third episode, RDA is hanging upside down by a rope for a good five minutes. I was curious if you remember anything about that -- I would think that must have been physically tough on him.
MG: I don't remember that scene but I'm sure it was a relief for Rick's back. He prefers to be upside down.
NS: I heard that Jarrad Paul is your godson.
MG: Yes, Jarrad is my godson. His mother Janet is my cousin through marriage. Janet's cousin Carol was married to my cousin Michael Oritt. Steve Oritt is their son and a close friend of Jarrad's. One big happy family. Jarrad is doing great stuff. He created Grinder and is Exec Producing the series with another friend Andy Mogel.
NS: I like his character in Legend.
MG: Jarrad really did a great job with his character Skeeter. Brought him off the page big time onto the screen. All those quirky mannerisms were Jarrad's gifts to Skeeter. He had a great chemistry with Rick. They played off each other nicely.
NS: What was John de Lancie like to work with?
MG: John was a gigantic pain in the ass!! Just kidding. John is the best!! One of the smartest actors I've worked with in my career. Very intelligent and knows how to make stage direction work and fix dialogue for his role as Bartok, which was another very unique character based on Tesla.
NS: I think he does a great job as Bartok.
MG: Yes, we always cast John as much as possible. He was in MacGyver and Stargate SG-1, and he did play God (Q) for Mike Piller on Star Trek.
NS: Why was the show cancelled so soon, and how disappointed were you with that decision?
MG: Cancelling Legend was the dumbest decision in television history! We got caught in a regime change after the first year of the new network UPN. Legend was the great irony in Rick's and my career. It had the greatest franchise and characters and could've easily gone eight to ten seasons like MacGyver and Stargate. We didn't fall off the milk truck on Legend, we reinvented the milk truck. The ratings were there and the critical acclaim. The cancellation sucked big time! It's a shame our fans didn't get 150-200 episodes to enjoy.
NS: What are your thoughts on the proposed new MacGyver tv pilot and movie? I just read today that they have started casting and may even start filming in March.
MG: I'm not involved. Good luck to THEM. They will need it because they will find out that it is rocket science.
NS: And has anyone from the new MacGyver production called you to pick your brain on the show's history, and would you be open to working on it in some capacity?
So big thanks to Mike for sharing his insights. At some point very soon I'm going to do a post with my thoughts on the new proposed MacGyver tv show and movie, but for now I'll just say that I would find it concerning if the show's powers-that-be haven't at least placed a call to Mike Greenburg and Steve Downing to learn all they can about the history of the original series.