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Trivia / Wings

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For the TV series:

  • Adored by the Network: In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was good reason that the USA Network was nicknamed "The Wings Network", and ReelzChannel took the same title with their airings of the series in 2012.
  • Billing Displacement: Tony Shalhoub is featured prominently on the box art of all Wings DVD releases, including the Season One and Two set, which featured him in only one episode (he made a single guest appearance in the second season before officially joining the cast in Season Three).
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Tony Shalhoub, Lebanese by birth, played Italian cab driver Antonio Scarpacci.
    • Antonio's cousin Dominic was played by the not even remotely Italian Maurice Godin.
    • And the woman they fought over was played by Argentine model Fabiana Udenio.
  • He Also Did
    • Peter Bonerz directed 11 episodes. Bonerz is best known for playing Dr. Jerry Robinson on The Bob Newhart Show.
    • James Burrows directed the show's pilot episode. Burrows is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of Cheers.
  • Missing Episode:
    • "There's Always Room for Cello", in which Roy's son comes out of the closet, was the third episode produced but was not broadcast until halfway through the second season. Homosexuality was still something of a taboo topic for a sitcom in 1990, and NBC had reservations about such a relatively new show tackling the issue.
    • When the show was made available for streaming on Netflix (and later Hulu), 22 episodes were missing. Most notably "Twisted Sister", the episode that introduces Casey.
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  • The Other Darrin: In flashbacks, the Hackett parents were played by different actors than the ones who played them in the series proper.
  • Real-Life Relative: Tim Daly's sister Tyne Daly appeared in an episode, as did the spouses of Daly, Tony Shalhoub, and Amy Yasbeck.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original pilot script was rejected by NBC president Brandon Tartikoff. Although he liked the show's concept, Tartikoff felt the initial script was merely a series of individual scenes introducing each character; it lacked a developing storyline. Co-Creator David Lee later admitted this was a rookie mistake.
    • The show was initially planned to debut in the fall of 1989, but casting proved so difficult that became impractical. After the cast was finally assembled, Crystal Bernard had other commitments which delayed shooting the pilot for yet another three months. The series ultimately didn't begin airing until April, 1990, and only seven episodes were shot for its first season (one of which was held back for season 2).
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    • Helen Chappel was originally conceived to be of Greek descent and the producers had Peri Gilpin (best known for playing Roz Doyle on Frasier) in mind for the part. NBC president Brandon Tartikoff felt Gilpin lacked experience in leading roles and suggested Crystal Bernard instead. Since Bernard had a Southern accent, Helen was rewritten as a transplanted Texan, and Gilpin instead appeared in the third season episode "Four Dates That Will Live In Infamy". Also, Joe and Helen were initially envisioned as an already-divorced couple, but NBC nixed this idea.
    • Kevin Conroy, Bryan Cranston and Daniel Stern auditioned for Joe Montgomery Hackett.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Wings Wiki.

For the band:

  • Banned in China: Some Wings songs were blocked from airing on BBC radio; the reasons were either drug references or political references. Some of those songs hit the top of the British charts anyway.
  • Edited for Syndication: "With a Little Luck" everywhere because of time and synths. Despite this, all compilations aside from Wingspan and the US edition of All the Best use the full version.
  • Executive Meddling: The first British edition of Band on the Run didn't include "Helen Wheels." That idea came from a Capitol Records exec. Adding the song didn't hurt the album any.

For the movie:

  • Backed by the Pentagon: One of the earlier examples; the Air Corps supplied both planes and pilots for the film. The rest of the Army, meanwhile, coughed up $16 million (a huge amount at the time) to help with budget problems, and supplied soldiers and tanks for the battlefield scenes.
  • Billing Displacement: Even though Clara Bow has top billing, her character, Mary, only appears sporadically. She didn't even exist in the original draft, and was added mainly because Sex Sells.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Due to the poor conditions of the surviving elements, this movie took longer than every Best Picture Oscar winner from Sunrise to The King's Speech to come to DVD.


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