Roslyn's TV exposure comes to an end

Yakima Herald-Republic - 5/25/95

by Wes Nelson

On an airline flight Wednesday, Barry Corbin turned away from his newspaper to a man who tapped him on one shoulder. "He said, 'I just love your show,'' said Corbin, who plays Maurice, a retired astronaut in the CBS show "Northern Exposure."

Make that played a retired astronaut.

"I stopped him and said, 'Here, read this,' " Corbin said Wednesday from Southern California. Corbin himself had just read a story predicting CBS would announce Wednesday it had canceled the show, some of which is filmed in downtown Roslyn and the surrounding area. The show was a surprise hit when it first aired in December 1990.

The news was hardly a surprise to cast members such as Corbin or to the production crew, Pipeline Productions in Redmond. Phone calls from reporters were received with a certain expectation. "Oh, the bad news?" said a production company employee who identified herself as Sara.

"It wasn't a big surprise," she said. "It's the nature of the business. The main feeling is that we know one way or another." Melissa Harold, a publicist in Los Angeles, said the network offered Pipeline little information. "It didn't fit in with their new fall schedule," I she said.

Corbin said many on the show have "mixed emotions" and felt "burned by the network" this past spring when the show often was pre-empted in the spring. The show's considerable cross-section of fans have syndication to get them through the transition, but Corbin said he had hoped the show would go on.

Steve Moore, a Roslyn resident, didn't share that sentiment. "I'm just kind of glad to get rid of those guys," he said Wednesday. "Good riddance." Moore said production crews, particularly early on, often were arrogant and disrespectful.

"When they first came here they were really obnoxious," he said. "It was kind of like they just owned the place." Moore who lives off Pennsylvania Avenue in the downtown area, said he spent considerable time chasing bodies off his property, protecting his apple trees and getting cars removed from his driveway.

"After five years of that crap, my God," he said with a bitter tone. Letters to the production company and city officials largely were ignored, he said.

Roger Beardsley, whose wife Lea, led a petition drive in 1991 demanding - that crewmembers behave themselves, said matters improved when Pipeline Productions took over for CineNevada, the show's first production company. Spared of disruptions from fillming, many residents are certain to be happy over the show's cancellation, Beardsley said.

Others, however, feel a loss. "That's a bunch of jobs down the drain for several people," he said.

Mayor Jack Denning said Roslyn will survive, just as it did when the iast coal mines closed in 1963 and when logging waned in the early 1990s. "We didn't rely on Northern Exposure to feed a town of 1,000," he said. "The community's been here 108 years. It's not going to die on the vine."

Tourism undoubtedly will remain strong, Denning said. The show put Roslyn "on the map, nationally and internationally." Film and television production companies remain interested, he said. Warner Brothers, which visited Roslyn last year, "promised me they will be back," Denning said.

Moore said he doesn't mind the presence of television or film crews - just arrogant ones. "If the attitude of the people was friendly ... one could enjoy something like that," he said. "It would depend on whether they didn't run their generator until 3 in the morning when people have to get up at 6 to go to work."

Denning said many of the town's businesses, such as the Roslyn Cafe and Brick Tavern, are sure to miss the show. "All of them have reaped benefits," he said.

Corbin said he'll take a bundle of good memories with him - and then some. He'll miss his character, Maurice, but "I'll take a lot of him with me," Corbin said with a certain glee in his Texan accent. "When I left the set - I probably shouldn't admit this but ... I brought his jacket with me," Corbin said. "I'm wearing his boots right now."


Created 2/21/02
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