Treme and Frank’s Place
From the first words of Kevin Allman’s review of Treme, a connection is made between the HBO series and the show Frank’s Place, another show set in New Orleans that wrapped long ago.
One of David Mills’ last posts on Undercover Black Man is even more direct:
We’re in the midst of filming the second episode of “Treme” written by me. I titled it “Smoke My Peace Pipe.” (The old heads know why.)
Mills goes on to inform us all about Reid’s further connections with one of the greats of American comedy, Richard Pryor. Check it here.
What-all happened with Frank’s Place, and why isn’t it available on DVD for us all to see? The place to go to find out more about that is still The Gambit, notably the November 2008 article entitled “Tim’s Place”, also by Kevin Allman, who really gets around. An excerpt:
In 1987, CBS debuted a situation comedy about a Creole restaurant, set in the Tremé, that remains one of the best portraits of New Orleans ever captured on film. Despite critical acclaim and a slew of trophies, including three Emmys and an NAACP Image Award, it was canceled after 22 episodes.
Then it vanished.
The show was called Frank’s Place, and it hasn’t been rebroadcast in the two decades since, nor has it ever been made available commercially. In a time when nearly all old TV shows are reissued on DVD, it’s never been released in a box set. Several years ago, the master tapes were discovered in a Hollywood trash bin, discarded by the network that owned them, headed for the dump.
The man who produced and starred in the show drove over to pick them up.
That man was actor Tim Reid, who had created the show with friend Hugh Wilson, and the ignominy of finding his masterwork in a Dumpster was, to Reid, the final metaphor for the way the network had treated Frank’s Place.
The rest is here.