Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Comedy, Drama, Intrigue, Mayhem . . . It's Reunion Time!

Who doesn't yearn for comedy, drama, intrigue, and yes, even mayhem - all united within a riveting novel or Oscar-worthy feature?  Such entertainment is fine and dandy when viewed from outside of the pages or movie screen, but when we find ourselves living the misadventure at our own class reunion, we have to wonder if we've time-traveled back to the mischief-filled days of high school.

A Time Leap Back to Seventeen

When organizing or attending a reunion, it's not uncommon to make an unanticipated blast to the past.  Deep in our hearts, we sense the tingling itch of acne, the dull ache of braces, and the shyness that once left us speechless.  Fortunately, our rational adult minds will eventually reinstate themselves after old emotions come out to play.

Not all of us listen to the grown-up voice inside that urges us (much like our parents did) to behave.  The bullies still bully, and the flirts still flirt.  But the timid ones have at last found their voices and come out swinging.

Three Acts:  Setup, Conflict and Resolution 

In this Joan B. Average cinematic world of unlimited possibilities, school reunions stay true to the elements of a page-turner script.  Last year's reunion and its planning process resonated with these three emotionally-charged acts of screenwriting: setup, conflict, and resolution.

But first, let's start with the premise and theme.

Sandra Bullock's Prom 1982

 The Premise

It's a simple one.  Sell tickets to pay for the event, set the stage for the best reunion ever, and hope to stay friends with everyone afterward.

The Theme

We designated ourselves the Class of Big Hair and Lots of Makeup.  Our official Facebook page made a splash comparable to Best Buy customers at a Black Friday door-buster sale.  It really is true that anything in cyberspace grabs attention!

Setting the Scene 

Epics are often set in motion by tragedies, and our reunion was no exception.  Sadly, our sole coordinator died suddenly five months before the reunion.  A frantic search for volunteers on Facebook, quickly led to my initiation as one of seven organizers.  A solid team of hard-working committee members established, our dramatic production was destined for rave reviews.

Appointed the committee's marketing/media go-to, I found that an all-inclusive approach to reunion planning was essential.  This experience became my own version of legendary screenwriter William Goldman's book, Adventures in the Screen Trade.

Creating a Reunion Website Fast

I designed and published our website using Wix just hours before leaving for a three-week vacation.  Aside from a cell phone, no technology would be accompanying me on this electronics-free respite.  

But tickets had to be sold fast to cover the mounting expenses, and for that purpose, a website was key.  So, just twenty  minutes before departing for the airport, I added the final touches, and our ticket-selling tool was up and running. 

How Not to Schedule

Our first blunder was scheduling the reunion for Black Friday.  Prices for airline tickets always soar when Thanksgiving weekend - and the ensuing holiday frenzy - hits.  Gas prices often escalate, and trains and buses are packed to capacity.  Understandably, family time is of supreme importance during this time of year.

This combination of factors created a tremendous challenge for selling reunion tickets.   We faced the challenge with a little creativity and stuck with the date.

George Clooney's Prom 1979

The Conflict 

Things turned sour when a fellow committee member - still the sneering bully we all remembered from our school days - dropped out midstream and tried to use the slow ticket sales to sabotage the reunion.  His plan of attack: antagonizing us online.  This created a big problem.

You see, before he cast himself as our drama king, he acquired some wonderful door prizes donated by prominent companies and local celebrities.  Of course, we desperately needed those door prizes.  So we shoved our indignation into the pockets of our skinny jeans and squeezed into our ill-fitting kid gloves.  It was time to smack some adult sense into him.

But then, something delightful and unexpected happened.  Our old schoolmate's bullying produced the opposite effect.  It actually increased sales.  That's right!  We sold 150 tickets, well over the required minimum of 120.  His intended scheme had backfired!

Reunion night still found us on high alert in case our friend decided to bust in and cause a problem.  There were several police officer alumni in attendance, so we joked about approaching them if he showed up and refused to pay - something he hinted at repeatedly.  

Thankfully, we ended up having too much fun to keep worrying about it.  Our only cause for concern came in the form of a spy he dispatched to snoop around during the planning phase.

Matthew McConaughey's Prom
The Resolution  

But guess what?  Our gala was, without a doubt, the best reunion the Class of Big Hair and Lots of Makeup ever attended.   No one wanted to leave.

So, what became of our bully?  Was he booted to the curb after attempting to crash the reunion?

Only in our fantasies.

He stayed away that evening, but arranged a post-event party for the following night.  None of the attendees from the official reunion showed up.   Hopefully that's a lesson learned!


Five Tips for Planning a Class Reunion

1.  Select the right date and time for the event.  Take elements such as holidays and travel prices into consideration.

2.  Plan an informal gathering to be held at a local restaurant or alumnus's home, and invite reunion guests and their family members.  In warm weather, an outdoor picnic may be an attractive option.

3.  Avoid appointing one person as the sole organizer.  Instead, distribute the planning duties across the committee table.  If a task is big or challenging, assign two people to handle it.

4.  When online bullying rears its ugly head, don't engage.

5.  Always have a viable Plan B, just in case! 

Happy Reunion Planning!

How was your high school/college reunion?  Was it a thumbs up or thumbs down?  Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter wants to know.  Share your reunion experiences with us.  Tune in next time! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

To Niche or Not to Niche...

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(All Modern)

To Niche or Not to Niche...

That is the freelance writer's "big question," especially if he or she's still nursing on writing formula.  

Confident niche writers say specializing gives you an edge above generalists.  A big edge... you're viewed as an expert.  You hit the marketing jackpot when clients seek you out because you're the creative genius in your niche.  

What about Mr. Generalist?  Well, he may have long nights of researching and researching some more, if it's an area where he's lacking hands-on knowledge.  

The Pro Resume Writer ProgramMicrosoft Surface Tablet

Ms. Niche stands out because she's offering something unique that'll make the customer stand out from the competition.  She draws on her niche experience to find that marketing gem.


Our Lady Niche laughs in learning curve's face and flies past Mr. Generalist--Googling until he's cross-eyed -- and she completes the coveted project ahead of schedule.  


Ms. Niche even found a way to increase the client's profit margin. She taps into a new venue that sends the client's business down the green brick road to a new profitable destination -- the world of You Tube.

Take it from Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter... online marketing videos capture a growing audience who hadn't thought of your client's business until they watched a company video on You Tube. 

Marketing Gem Sparkles into Sales

But wait it gets better.  Ms. Niche's client happens to be a B2B. B2B marketing is not a hard sale.  Our B2B provides a service the customer needs, but the question is...will the prospect -- a company with a stagnate website and Facebook page -- get the job? 

Or will the contract go to the company with an active online video marketing campaign, several thousand Twitter followers and Facebooks "likes" in the six digits?

It's not brain surgery.  

We live in a microwave society.  Customers need to be snatched where they spend the most time.  And these days... the Web commands their attention -- with a growing number of businesses surfing You Tube company videos.

You can add online video scriptwriting to your freelance writing copywriting or advertising business like I did a year ago as creative director for a mid-size advertising agency.  

Last January, we launched Perfect Little Black Dress Ink, a niche marketing divison for Nuss Associates, Inc., offering web copywriting and online video scriptwriting for B2Bs and B2Cs.

Online Video Script with Benefits

Why should you care?  It doesn't matter if you're a generalist or a niche specialist.  Adding online video scriptwriting to your services, you can get paid $100-$500 per page of copy you write.

Rebecca Matter, VP Marketing Director of Artists & Writers, Inc. - AWAI... explains why companies will pay so much for your online video script. 

Why You Can Get Paid $100-$500 
Per Page of Copy You Write!

Because online video works like gangbusters!   

One study published in the online journal -- Marketing Experiments -- found that video marketing increases click-through rates by 750% over traditional banner ads.
That means online video is more than seven times more effective at getting your online prospect to take action.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Online Publishers Association did a study to find out how good online video is at converting to sales. They followed 1,241 Internet users.
The result?                                               
40% clicked a link or visited a website mentioned in the video ad. And 8% of the 1,241 web surfers made a purchase.
That translates into an 8% response rate! And as you probably already know, that’s phenomenal in an industry where 1%-2% is considered a “home run.”
Without question, the marketing potential of video is HUGE.

How to Profit and Have Fun Writing for the
Online Video Marketing Niche

A successful video marketing campaign isn’t much different from a traditional direct-response marketing campaign …
... Its purpose is to get the viewer to take a specific action.
That’s why the video script is so important. It’s the lynchpin that determines whether or not the video will convert viewers to sales.
As the person paid to write these short scripts -- you become vital to the success of any online video marketing campaign.

Companies know the value a good script writer brings to the table. Starting pay for most video scripts starts at $100 per minute of video and can go as high as $500 per minute.

Since every minute of video translates into one type-written page (with lots of white space), that means you could easily knock out a 5-minute script in just a few hours.

Write three “quickie” 5-minute scripts a week at $100 per minute and you could be raking in $1,500 per week. That translates to $6,000 per month … $72,000 a year … just by adding short, fun-to-write video scripts to the services you offer.

And that’s on the low end of the pay scale!

Your income only builds once you’ve gained experience and can command $500 per page.  The amount of success you can create for yourself as a copywriter in this niche is practically limitless

With the help of an Emmy-Winning CNN Filmmaker, this fully interactive program --  Marketing with Video Online for Profit - Online Video Marketing -- gives you what you need to tap into this lucrative market in a short amount of time.    

AWAI is my go-to writing resource for most aspects of my business writing... and it can be yours too.  Just click the link for more info. and you'll be on your way too. Marketing with Video Online for Profit - Online Video Marketing

Oops, I know what you're thinking?  So that's where Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter was during the past year?  

Yes, but I was still having many adventures into the creative world of possibilities.  Now I'm back with a plethora of stories and wisdom gems to share.   And online video scriptwriting comes with just the right marketing sparkle.

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Are you intrigued by animation and game writing?  Got Toon-Game Scribe? is a new blog profiling today's animation writers, producers, story-editors, directors and video game story writers and designers.

Check out Got Toon-Game Scribe? debut post aka text-webisode.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Soap Fans' Online Hope, Gone for Good?

Rumors say, by 2020... daytime soaps as we know them will seize to exist.  I say, hog wash!  Okay, nobody says hog wash anymore... uh-oh.  Will the babies born in 2012 know what a soap opera is when they turn 18?  Or will it turn into hog wash too.  Maybe... and maybe not.  

Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter will go on record and say that soaps will exist, but in a different form.  One that'll adapt better to our microwave lifestyles.


Have you watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey... lately?  It doesn't get any more soap opera than that.  They just don't run in the daytime.  You can't tell me they aren't scripted.  True, human nature can easily script itself... it doesn't need a head writer or breakdown writer.  Cause and effect always run its course whenever you put strong-willed, ego-centered individuals in the same room.  Add a cocktail in their hot little hands and you're going to see drama, up-close and personal.  (Whether you like it or not.)

Check out the reality shows' credits, you'll see a staff writer or two listed.  Are they writing an outline like this?   Nina brings up  Mary's past affair with Laura's ex-husband, Joe, in front of Laura and Mary. Laura picks a fight with Chelsea because she wore the same dress at last night's gallery opening, and accuses her of doing this to get back at her for stealing a VIP client.  Betsy tells Laura, she heard rumors about the shady financial dealings of Chelsea's husband.  

Doesn't this remind you of Young & the Restless, All My Children and One life to Live?  I'm just saying.

I see daytime drama returning online as two fifteen-minute shows reminiscent of the 8-12 minute cartoon shows currently being produced on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.  This way,  people can tune into a 15 minute show on a smart phone or iPad in a cab on their way to a meeting.  

Critics say, most people aren't home during the day, that's why  soaps have dropped in viewership.  Really?  What country do they live in?  There are more people working from home managing their own businesses and telecommuting than ever before.  Here's a more accurate explanation.  They either work in offices without access to a television during lunch, or  they're self-employed and don't give themselves a full lunch hour.  Wouldn't shorter soap segments make since?   They could tune in with their iPhones and Androids.

Even a popular credit card company figured this out with a recent 60 second story on how a couple, using their credit card's special features, designed their toddlers' bedroom to transition them from cribs to big boy beds on a tight budget, after a family health scare.  They wanted a room where they could read, act out stories for their boys and have quality family time. 

The first segment shows the planning stages.  You wonder, will they pull this off with a short time-frame and budget?  We forget this is a commercial, and return after another commercial to find out how this couple found their happy ending.  

The point is, we want to see the next segment.  So we hold off raiding the fridge.  We want to see how the project brought the family together, the final reveal and more importantly how the twins handled the transition--all in 60-90 seconds.  That's drama.  

So, if card companies and big box home improvement stores can do this in the length of a commercial, why can't soap operas with 14 more minutes to spare?  

I don't think this genre will join yesterday's radio serials in the land of extinction.  Most likely, soaps will morph into a different form that'll work better for our techno-obsessed lives.  

Believe me, if people have time to play numerous online games, they'll have time to watch a fifteen-minute soap with intrigue and suspense causing them to wonder: what will happen next?  The drama will heighten even more in short spurts.  

Remember when you dated at seventeen and you had only a few minutes to get that first kiss on the front stoop before your Dad embarrassed you, and stuck his head out the window telling you to come in and double-lock the door now!  You had five minutes from the time you pulled up in front of the door to get that smoldering kiss and see if a second date was in the cards.  You've got your tension, passion, fear, suspense... that my friend is drama in five minutes.

So soap fans... don't cry a river because  Prospect Park decided not to produce All My Children and One Life to Live via the internet.  It's a numbers game and too many factors just didn't line up for now.  By mid-2012,  things could change, and Prospect Park or another production company could make fast-food soap drama a reality.  

My advice to soap fans, watch your favorite existing soaps like never before.  This could extend their network shelf life.  Higher ratings will make a stronger case for bringing back soaps in shorter formats in the place where most of us come out and play... the world wide web.

A Soap Fan's Dream Ended... For Now - From Wikipedia
On July 7, 2011, Prospect Park--the producers of USA's Royal Pains--announced the licensing of ABC's two canceled soaps: All My Children and One Life to Live and its plan to continue production of the shows on a new paid  online TV and interactive media network

On September 27, 2011, Prospect Park announced that it would produce new episodes of AMC and OLTL on the new internet channel starting January 2012.  On November 23, 2011, Prospect Park cancelled its plans to launch an online channel with AMC and OLTL.

That's what Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter says... what do you say?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wipe Your Tears! Pine Valley and Llanview Will Live on the Web!

Yes, Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter took a brief station break... but she's back with a suitcase full of new adventures to explore.  Speaking of suitcase,  it was a sad, sad day for soap opera fans when we learned our favorite shows and stars had to pack their network Prada bags and head for the unemployment line with the other half of America. It doesn't get anymore reality television than that.

Believe me, I went through a fair amount of Kleenex when I found out my old friends, All My Children and One Life to Live were given the "It's Not You... It's Me..." speech after ending a 40+ year relationship.  Actually, it was the reverse.  I guess you can't fault ABC if the ratings don't justify the expenses. 

Susan Lucci, our feisty veteran of 40+ years, made Erica a phenomenon for generations to love and hate, depending on the storyline.  Thank goodness she had a thing or two to say about the show's demise, and packed a nice punch in her heartfelt memoir, All My Life, published earlier this year.

Can you blame her?  She spent a good chunk of her life on the show.  It probably stopped being a job after the first season when Erica had the hots for Phillip and schemed to get sweet Tara out the picture.  

Many of us grew up watching this serial bride from the playpen to the water cooler, and had no problem knocking down co-workers at lunch just to snag that last seat in the employee lounge to satisfy our soap fix.   There was a time before VCRs and On Demand, when college students avoided scheduling classes between one and two o'clock, so they wouldn't miss a minute of Erica's shenanigans.

In her memoir, Lucci blames Brian Frons, President of Daytime Disney-ABC Group, for the show's demise.  According to Lucci, Frons said it would be 40 percent cheaper to replace the costly network soaps with informational cooking and weight loss shows.  I'm sure it also would've been cheaper two decades ago.

I say, if we want to watch these food/lifestyle and weight loss shows, can't we simply turn on the Food Network Channel, Cooking Chanel or Fit TV?  

There's enough yada yada on during the day.  Unless somebody's changing DNA testing or slapping a cheating husband... (I'm talking storyline--not real life.) then I'm not interested.  Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic.  I would be interested in good information, but I just proved my point.  I NEED FICTIONAL DRAMA. 

I can find real-life drama in my own life.  Let me escape to a world where my problems don't exist, where I have the solution to any character's woe in a hour with station breaks.  Where else would you give birth to a baby and three years later that same baby graduated from college, landed a job and has an apartment, bigger than your house.  Only in daytime television, I tell you. 

The soaps are like an old friend you saw everyday in school.  You may no longer speak to her on a daily basis, but it's good to know she's there when you phone her, and in seconds you become that silly teenager who bit her nails to the quick.

But in all fairness, it's probably viewers like me who watched the soaps mostly on Soap Net.  So I'll own my part in the dropped ratings. 

Lucci wrote:  "If Brian Frons could show his bosses that he could save the network 40 percent in production costs, he could keep his job even if the rest of us lost ours."  She added that several employees on All My Children either lost their jobs or lost money when the show moved from New York to California to save money.  "I wonder, did Brian Frons take a pay cut too?"  Lucci wrote.

Seems like some of Erica's spice rubbed off on Lucci.  I'm just glad she's expressing her views, because she has a right to be angry.  She also mentioned in her book about the decline in the quality of writing.  She said that when she turned on the show one day, she thought she clicked on the wrong station.  Erica didn't recognize Pine Valley?  That's like ketchup not recognizing french fries. 

Okay, you know where Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter is going with this.  Now it's my time for me to be feisty... move over Ms. Lucci.  I think they needed to bring on a few new writers, perhaps outside the daytime world, who grew up watching All My Children, and knew the stories inside out that could bring a fresh perspective without changing the premise of the show.  Not just hire writers who hopscotched from soap-to-soap and once hired, researched long stories and scripts in order to learn the show's tone and backstory.  

I think All My Children's premise faded away when no one was paying attention, just like General Hospital's.  

Come on, I'm sure when the husband & wife writing team and GH creators, Frank and Doris Hursley, penned the GH bible... they didn't plan on mob wars taking over the nursing floor drama.  No Ma'am... No Sir.  Even mob wars haven't been in the news lately.  So why are we watching them in daytime drama?  What happened to "Love in the Afternoon?"  It's now chatting and chewing in the afternoon with tips on where to find the best coupons.

Oops... my foot just plunged into the soap box I'm standing on.  They don't make them like they used too.   I guess I need to lay off the Starbucks Frappuccinos.

It's ironic that the digital generation is probably responsible for our beloved daytime soaps' demise, when it's the digital generation that will keep the Pine Valley and Llanview residents scheming on the Web for years to come.

That's right, I'm not making up stories in school.  You know I love creating storylines, but this is the real deal.  I'm sure you heard my shrieks of ecstasy where you live.  

Yes, All My Children and One Life to Live will live to see another drama-filled day digitally on the Web.  Production Company Prospect Park signed a multi-year, multi-platform deal that will deliver the soaps to fans via online episodes through emerging platforms and internet-enabled television sets.

Can I get a yaaay!  But that still doesn't mean I'm going to stop my personal boycott of the ABC talk show, The Chew.  I even turn the station when the The Chew's commercials come on.  Oh don't cry them a spaghetti  sauce river, I still watch those folks on the Food and Style Networks.  I have to admit, I'm happy they gave two newbies a shot at reality television fame.

But in all fairness, I'm not mad at ABC.  I'm loving their prime-time shows, especially Dana Delaney's Body of Proof.  (I wonder if she started on the soaps?  Most Hollywood stars did.) However, I'm not loving Dancing with the Stars, this season. 

But hey, these are different times.  Average Joans, Joes and college students no longer run to their dorm rooms and company lounges to get their soap fix.  There are so many other electronic distractions knocking them out of the running.  I'm just thrilled AMC and OLTL have landed somewhere I can visit. 

But I have a feeling, soaps will gain popularity again in the future.  Life goes full circle and so does television.  Must I remind you that some of us are watching Hawaii Five-O again, this time on Monday nights and it's pretty darn good.


Debuting last year, Hawaii Five-O's characters, McGarrett and Dan-O hadn't hit the streets of Wakkiki since the early seventies.  And let's not forget about our Charlie's Angels, with their sleek guns tucked away in their garter straps--are back for a second curtain call thanks to Executive Producer, Drew Barrymore, our ET angel... all grown up.  Of course, we'll never forget our original angels:   Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.  We'll always remember Farah Fawcett's beautiful smile and her long feathered hair many tried to copy.

Time will tell if daytime soaps will survive to see our toddlers hit the university halls.  Stay tuned.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

TV Shows That Made the Food and Drink

Can't you picture analytical Frazier and fastidious Niles still meeting for their morning non-fat cappuccino with light foam and espresso at CafĂ© Nervosa?  I still have visions of Niles meticulously wiping his seat down with a hankie before sitting his persnickety fanny down.  I'm sure Starbucks coffee sales climbed when that popular series hit the air waves.   

Cafe' Nervosa: The Connoisseur's Cookbook 

 Kick Your Career into High Gear... With Grant Writing Success!

And of course our infamous Friends at Central Perk loved their cappuccinos and Lattes too... and scoffing down Chinese food while spinning funny stories about the Ugly Naked guy across the way.


So many memorable food moments made us laugh our heads off... from Jerry Seinfeld's cornucopia of cereal boxes and Kramer's frequent shopping visits to Jerry's kitchen with his "what's yours is mine" attitude... to Jerry mugging an old lady of the last marble rye from Schnitzer's bakery.  

The snatched marble rye is one of my favorite episodes.

The Marble Rye - January 1996
(Part A - Rye Episode)
(Part B - Rye Episode

It goes like this.  George takes his parents over to Susan’s parents' house for an anniversary dinner. On the way, Frank Constanza insists on picking up a Marble Rye from Schnitzer’s Bakery to bring to dinner.  After dinner, Frank realizes that Susan’s parents never brought out the rye and steals it back. But Susan’s "eagle- eye" parents notice the missing rye. 
George gets Kramer to distract them with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park for their anniversary, so he can sneak another rye back into their home. George recruits Jerry to purchase another rye from Schnitzer's, but they sell the last one to an old lady who refuses Jerry's $50 offer.   He snatches the rye from her and takes off.

Earlier that day, Kramer fed the horses cans of Beef-A-Reeno because he had an excess after shopping at a wholesale food store. During the carriage ride, the horses release horrible gas. Susan’s parents end the carriage ride too soon and foils George's plan.  

Those memorable food moments usually started or ended with a wacky Kramer.  Fans enjoyed the famous mango discovery that supposedly gave them a shot of the Love Jones -- and cracked up over Mr. Lippman's Muffin Top business with its own shot of lunacy.  

The Muffin Tops - May 8, 1997
(Episode - Part A)
(Episode - Part B)

Elaine inspires her former boss, Mr. Lippman, to open up a muffin top business called "Top of the Muffin to You!" when he notices Elaine only eating the top of a muffin at a party.   He seeks Elaine's advice when it doesn't go as planned.  Big mistake.  She tells him that he's doing it wrong by just baking the tops.  He has to bake the entire muffin and pop off the tops.  Only problem... he's stuck with a pile of stumps.

Elaine and Mr. Lippman try giving them to the homeless, but even they don't want them.  They end up with bags of stumps, until Norman, "the human garbage disposal," comes to the rescue with four bottles of milk.  

Remember when Kramer invested in a popular non-fat yogurt shop Jerry, George and Elaine frequented until Kramer noticed that Elaine and Jerry were gaining weight?  Jerry and Elaine secretly had the yogurt tested at a lab and found out it was not low fat and was indeed packing on the pounds.  Yeah, like they were so portly.

And then there's my other favorite... the "big salad" debacle.  My husband still teases me when I order a large salad.  "Oh, you want a big salad, Elaine?"

Our television shows' preoccupation with food had been going on for decades.  Fans of the Golden Girls probably gained a few pounds watching their golden escapades around the kitchen table.  They often ended their Saturday night dating disappointments commiserating over a cheese cake and chocolate syrup with three forks.   I'm craving a slice just thinking about it.

But it doesn't stop with the sitcoms.  Oh no, Nanette... I still crave coffee and a 7-Eleven Big Gulp when I tune into NCIS on Tuesday nights.  At any given moment, Gibbs and Abbs are slurping down their favorite beverage fix during the prime-time hour.

And you can't tune into Burn Notice without seeing Michael and Fiona scooping vanilla yogurt into their mouths at least once.  On Law & Order, you'll see plenty of chop sticks at the end of a long crime-solving day.  

Cheers gave the bar happy hour business a boost in the eighties.

 Popye had his spinach and Lucy Ricardo's hilarious episode on the chocolate factory assembly line still lure you to the nearest box of confectioners.

Yes, food always added the right spice to a television show's palate.