‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Said a Producer Tried to ‘Sabotage’ the Show
Michael Landon, former star of Little House on the Prairie, was not only an actor but also a producer and director. Although the cast and crew reportedly worked well together on Little House, Landon said there was a producer who tried to “sabotage” the show.
Melissa Gilbert says getting a job on Michael Landon’s crew was tough
Gilbert wrote about her experiences on the Little House on the Prairie set in her book My Prairie Cookbook. She says the cast and crew were like a family. According to her, everyone looked up to Landon and wanted to do their best to please him by doing a good job.
If you wanted to get a job on Landon’s crew, it wouldn’t be easy. In her autobiography Prairie Tale, Gilbert said you pretty much had to be related to someone on the crew if you wanted to work for Landon. Most of his crew members had been with him since he starred on Bonanza as Little Joe Cartwright, and he preferred to work with the same people, according to Gilbert.
Michael Landon said a producer tried to ‘sabotage’ ‘Little House on the Prairie’
In the book Conversations with Michael Landon, Landon said a producer tried to “sabotage” Little House on the Prairie. He spoke with author Tom Ito about clashing with co-executive producer Ed Friendly during the first season. According to Ito, Landon and Friendly got into a disagreement over creative control of the show.
Landon said Friendly was angry with him. “I’ve had problems with only a couple of people in my life,” said Landon. “Ed Friendly was one.” Landon told Ito he had problems with these people because “they do not know what they’re doing.”
Friendly decided to leave the show, but his name still appeared in the credits. Ito described Friendly as a “virtual figurehead producer.” Friendly didn’t work on the show, but he reportedly earned millions from Little House on the Prairie. “Ed did his best to sabotage the show, and fortunately he didn’t, because he made about $40 million from it,” said Landon.
Michael Landon said he was happiest when he had control
Although Landon enjoyed his work, there was one thing that made him unhappy. He told the Los Angeles Times he preferred to be in control. If he was unable to manage a situation, this made him unhappy.
“I have a thing about control,” said Landon. “The only times in my life when I was unhappy is when I didn’t have it.” “I like to have it.”
Michael Landon expected excellence
Gilbert says Landon created a fun atmosphere on the set of Little House on the Prairie, but when it was time to work, he expected everyone to get down to business and do their jobs well. In My Prairie Cookbook she describes him as a nurturer, but she also says he was a “perfectionist,” and he wanted his cast and crew to deliver their best.
“He nurtured everyone around him, but if they didn’t deliver or fooled around too much or didn’t know their lines or treated someone on his crew disrespectfully, they were gone,” wrote Gilbert.
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