Glen Larson ranked with Norman Lear and Aaron Spelling as one of television's most prolific producers. "('The Fall Guy') wasn't an easy show to sell," Glen Larson explained. "We didn't sell this in a conventional way. This is the most unusual pitch that ever took place in television … We took this idea of this song ('The Unknown Stuntman') and instead of going in pitching anything we just went in and sang the song. At the end of the singing of the song, they (the ABC buyers) said, 'Go write the pilot.'" 'The Unknown Stuntman' was written by David Somerville, Gail Jensen and Glen Larson. 

"The pilot was a joy because it just came together," Glen Larson recalled. "We kept evolving even during the pilot, you know, we found some other ideas; what we can do." In all, 112 episodes were produced and originally ran between 1981 and 1986. Described as "a prime-time extension" of the 1978 picture 'Hooper' about Hollywood stuntmen, Glen Larson said of 'The Fall Guy', "I think everything is derivative. It's derivative of life. It's not so much what you're doing as how you do it. You sit behind a desk and you'll be surprised at how alike all the ideas are. The networks knew what they're looking for, and if you sell a show it's because it's something the public wants." 

At the time, stuntmen were said to be in vogue - in the movies and on television. Glen's idea was each episode would feature a few scenes showing "an insider's view of moviemaking with the accompanying stunt work that may or may not have any bearing on that episode's story." Heather Thomas remarked, "I think it's one of the first shows that showed behind the scenes as far as stunts were concerned. They didn't have extras on CD in those days that would show you the making of and they never even thought the public would even be interested in the making of. Something Glen touched on." 

Lee Majors played Colt Seavers, who earned $5,000 a day doing two jobs: as a Hollywood stuntman and in his spare time working for a bail bondswoman as a bounty hunter, tracking criminals who had jumped bail. "I really wanted to do a show about a modern-day bounty hunter because our peculiar bonding system makes them a free agent," Glen Larson continued. 

Originally, 'The Fall Guy' was sold to ABC as a children's program because of the stunts. In its first season, 'The Fall Guy' was shown back-to-back with 'The Greatest American Hero' and provided lead-in for 'Dynasty'. However Glen Larson insisted, "We want to make this a show for adults. I'm convinced we're doing a more sophisticated show than ABC expected." 

At its peak, "The show ('Dynasty') was seen by a hundred million people a week globally," Catherine Oxenberg remembered. Pamela Bellwood added, "It really became known for the kind of superficial excess that the '80s represented." Esther Shapiro concurred, "I like to think of the show, as I've said before, like a glass of champagne between friends and lovers at 10 o'clock (at night). It's just pure enjoyment." 

Bill Conti expressed, "It's a brand new show. The very first thing that was going to be said about it is its little main title. No matter how everyone think you're waiting for the first word while subliminally the music comes on first and no one is talking. That's a heavy message to carry." Lloyd Bochner believed, "This was a kind of fantasy world many people admired. This kind of heightened picture of American riches. And many people strove for that kind of existence. It was pop culture. It had quality. It had class. It had style." 

On 'The Fall Guy', Lee Majors had his own stuntman Mickey Gilbert who doubled for Lee for the more dangerous stunt work. "But I do as much as I can," Lee had said. "I used to do a lot more of my stunts. But I'm 42 (in 1981) and it's about time I slowed down a little bit. That's an age when you’re old enough to know better but young enough to try." 

Glen Larson also pointed out, "The only people who thought the show would be a hit were the few who had seen the pilot before it went on the air. Even if we stopped the show today (in 1982) Lee would come out of it with a turned-around career. There was no audience sitting out there by the dial waiting for Lee Majors and everyone who saw it said, 'I had no idea Lee Majors could do that kind of humor and grace and charm.'… I ran into Lee Majors in an airport and I had worked with Lee on 'The Six Million Dollar Man' - I developed that show. So we stood there, he was going one place and I was going another, and we made the deal in the terminal." 

As co-producer, Lee Majors observed, "It was a benefit for Glen being in the office and for me being on the set. It worked well ... I also made some creative suggestions. For instance the star cameos in every episode were more or less my idea." Heather Thomas was 23 when she played the part of stuntwoman-in-training Jody Banks on 'The Fall Guy'. Heather told 'TV Star' in 1985, "Anyone can make it in Hollywood, if they know the right people. But the trick is to stay there. If a beautiful girl has a boyfriend who knows somebody, then she can get a small part on someone's show. But once you've got the role, the hard part is staying around." 

Growing up in an upper-middle-class, liberal intellectual family in Santa Monica - mother was a social education administrator, father held a PhD in psychology and Dean of Institutional Research for the California State University and sister Carol was a university teacher - Heather Thomas made known, "I felt that if I told them I wanted to become an actress they would look down on my choice so I went to UCLA and took courses in writing, film editing and film documentary." 

A 1980 graduate, Heather Thomas wanted to become a director but a friend working for a talent agency that needed a new blonde encouraged her to pursue acting. She won the part in the sitcom 'Co-ed Fever'. "It was a pathetic show," Heather lamented. "I was only picked for my looks – the blonde California girl. Producers just think blondes should be considered sex objects or victims. I wasn't that good an actress when I started in this business and I admit it, but, from the minute I decided I was going to work professionally, I took (acting) classes. But I do admit it was my looks, not my acting ability, that got me started in the business." 

The role in 'Co-ed Fever' afforded Heather the opportunity to meet with Glen Larson who casted her in an unsuccessful pilot for a spin-off of 'BJ and the Bear' before 'The Fall Guy'. "We were looking for a fresh-looking young lady but one who could also act. Heather had the right combination of looks and talent. She could easily be taken as just fluff – she can play that empty-headed quality so easily – but she's really a very bright lady," Glen Larson told the press. 

Heather said at the time, "Just a few years ago, I was a student at a TV station, hauling cable and running out for tacos. Now, I'm meeting producers, directors and lots of big-name stars." It was reported one of the highest-rated episodes of 'The Fall Guy' was in 1984 when Heather Thomas came through the bat-wing doors wearing the blue bikini. At the time, Heather's posters outsold every other poster on the market. 

Paj Night of the Starmakers Poster Corporation informed, "She was of course well known as a pin-up before she became an actress, Heather and Christie Brinkley are our best-selling poster subjects. In fact, they are the only two really big ones. In this one, she wears a blue bikini, and we are hoping to sell 5 million of them around the world. Her other two (posters) – one a swimsuit and another in a bikini – sold millions." 

Of the 1982 movie, 'Zapped', "I held off from that role for 3 months because I didn't want to do the nudity. It wasn't pornographic, they just wanted me to go topless … Basically I didn't want to be the brunt of a Scott Baio joke. In the nude scene, he was supposed to look at me and my dress pops off. And in another scene, Willie Aames, who plays my boyfriend, holds up a nude picture of me. But I never posed for that shot – they stuck my head onto a nude model's body." 

In 2008, Heather Thomas' first novel, 'Trophies', went on sale. 'Trophies' "lifts the veil on the already well-exposed world of Hollywood trophy wives," 'Publishers Weekly' noted. In October 1984, 'People Weekly' reported Heather Thomas, then 28, decided to enroll in the detox program at St. John’s Hospital, Santa Monica, to beat a cocaine addiction said "dates back to the 6th grade in Santa Monica and persisted through junior and senior high school." 

Heather told 'People', "I was taking acid and making straight A’s. I just thought it was mind expanding." During the years on 'The Fall Guy', 'People' reported, Heather became "a regular user of the diuretic Lasix." Heather elaborated, "At first I was in a honeymoon stage with the drug. I felt that I was getting a lot for my money. It enabled me to stay up all night and then work all the next day." Heather also stressed, "Cocaine is not approved of on sets. It’s not clubby to do it anymore. It is just a private hell." 

'People' continued, "When she passed out in front of Majors last year (1983), Heather says Lee called her manager, who alerted her parents." Heather told 'People', "It was a big relief to me. I'd been on a roller coaster and I wanted to get off. If my family hadn’t intervened, I probably would have gone on my merry way until I lost my job or I died. The doctors said I should have been dead three years ago (in 1982)."

Douglas Barr had thought of becoming a diplomat  He studied political and international affairs at the University of Northern Colorado and World Campus Afloat. However once Doug Barr called "the CIA switchboard in Langley, Virginia to inquire about starting salaries, $13,000 didn’t sound like much to him. He decided to try breaking into films and television. Until he could make a living as an actor, he picked up money modeling in Paris and New York."

On 'The Fall Guy', Douglas Barr played Colt Seaver's Ivy League cousin Howie Munson, a stuntman-in-training. He told 'People', "Basically I'm the leading man type. At least that's how I'm listed in the Players' Guide. To be sent up on a part like this was fairly inconceivable, but they were down to the wire in casting, and when I read with Lee, it just worked." He also stated, "When I took the job initially, I looked at the formula. The show had a story unique enough to be interesting."

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