Aaron Spelling didn't just contribute to the TV Universe with all of the TV shows he produced, but he also added to the Toobworld census with several characters as he started out in the business as an actor.
"Beverly Hills, 90210"
- You Gotta Have Heart (1995) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Executive in Limo
- Who Killed Julian Buck? (1963) TV Episode .... Harry Penn
- Nailed Down (1957) TV Episode .... Olaf
- The Rarest Stamp (1956) TV Episode .... Docker
- The Joey Diamond Story (1956) TV Episode .... Max
- The Guitar (1956) TV Episode .... Weed Pindle
- The Camp (1956) TV Episode .... Andrew Hock
- The Sharks (1956) TV Episode
"TV Reader's Digest"
- The General's Escape (1956) TV Episode
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
- Breakdown (1955) TV Episode .... Road Worker
- The Big Confession (1955) TV Episode .... Bruce Marcus
- The Big Bindle (1954) TV Episode
- The Big New Year (1954) TV Episode .... Donaldson
- The Big Pug (1954) TV Episode .... Charlie Coleman
- The Big Fire (1953) TV Episode .... Ollie
- The Big Safe (29 January 1953) - Charles Boyd
"Soldiers of Fortune"
- Cut Charlie In (1955) TV Episode
"I Love Lucy"
- Tennessee Bound (1955) TV Episode .... Gas Station Man
"Treasury Men in Action"
- The Case of the Desperate Men (1954) TV Episode
When he appeared on 'Beverly Hills 90210', a show he produced and which starred his daughter Tori, Spelling was simply "Executive In Limo". But nothing about that character forbids us from thinking that he appeared as his own televersion. And that would put Aaron Spelling into Toobworld's League of Themselves, one of the building blocks for this particular concept of the TV Universe.
This could be linked to his daughter's VH1 sitcom 'So NoTORIous', in which Spelling was never seen but only heard over the speaker-phone a la Charlie Townsend of 'Charlie's Angels'. However, the voice of "Aaron Spelling" was provided by Mark Capri.
Every so often, the general board governors for Toobworld holds meetings inside my head to make rulings on certain details about the TV Universe. When it comes to casting and recasting, there are two general rules by which we let some discrepancies slide.
One is age differences. If characters, such as the Cartwrights of 'Bonanza', are shown as much younger in the prequel 'Ponderosa', it's okay to consider them to be the same characters in the same dimension of Toobworld.
The other free pass is given to performances of characters which are vocal only. And "Aaron Spelling" as a voice-over coming from a speaker-phone is acceptable as being the real Aaron Spelling.
However, there are two other portrayals of Aaron Spelling that have to be shipped off to another TV dimension; perhaps even to two different dimensions as two different actors played Spelling in them.
Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, portrayed the man behind the curtain for "Behind The Camera: The Unauthorized Story Of 'Charlie's Angels'" in 2004; while Nicholas Hammond, who played the Spiderman of the main Toobworld back in the 1970s, was seen on TV as the uber-producer in 2005's "Dynasty': The Making Of A Guilty Pleasure".
It's just as well we'd have to move them both to a different TV dimension. Let's face it, they're nothing but big ol' Zonks to the basic foundation of Toobworld.
Roger Catlin of The Hartford Courant had this to say in his blog "TV Eye" (link to the left) yesterday about the portrayals of Aaron Spelling on television:
Aaron Spelling, the prolific television producer who died Friday at 83, lived long enough to see himself as a character in movies.
When TV started to celebrate some of his hit series by starting to produce “making-of” movies of them, from “Three’s Company” to “Charlie’s Angels,” there’d be a character named Aaron Spelling done in a most exaggerated way, with a funny voice and odd scarecrow demeanor. His own daughter Tori cast him as a voice on the telephone – like the Charlie he had concocted for the Angels – for her self-deprecating recent VH1 series, “So NoTORIous.”
But not the voice nor any of the TV movie actors – even the talented Dan Castellaneta, no less than the voice of Homer Simpson – could do justice to just how unique the flesh and blood Spelling actually was.
I'd only point out that Spelling wasn't portrayed in the back-stabbing backstage look at 'Three's Company', but otherwise it's a nice tip o' the hat.
Spelling was only an ancillary character in those productions about 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Dynasty', not the main character. But I'd hate to suggest that a TV movie should be made which focuses solely on his life, although others who have contributed to the TV Universe have been given such treatment who were far less deserving.
The reason I'm reticent about the idea when it comes to Mr. Spelling is that I'm afraid that it would focus more on his relationship to his daughter Tori and her strained relationship with her mother, Candy.
And then there's always that massive mansion in which there was a room just for wrapping gifts.....
But if they ever do decide to pay homage to Aaron Spelling with the TV biopic treatment, then I do have a suggestion for an actor to play the role - at least for the early years in the business.
Just sayin' is all.