Woody Fraser is an admitted workaholic.
The creator-executive producer of the Family Channels
HOME & FAMILY, FAMILY CHALLENGE and WILD ANIMAL GAMES - - in addition to two shows on Nickelodeon,
WILD & CRAZY KIDS and WHAT WOULD YOU DO? is now doing what?
"Developing another kid show," he says with a laugh.
"I create and sell live shows," Fraser explains. "Its like
running a small company."
Indeed. After he tapes HOME & FAMILY on the backlot
of Universal Studios in Hollywood, Fraser tapes four shows a day of FAMILY CHALLENGE.
But his big project is HOME & FAMILY, starring
Cristina Ferrare and Chuck Woolery. Taped before a studio audience, the show is beamed to the Midwest and East, then shown
in a taped version later on the West Coast.
"We do one remote a week," Fraser says, "usually from the
movies or TV shows [being shot] on the lot. Ours is a live, two-hour show. When I did GOOD MORNING AMERICA, we had
fifteen minutes of commercials, promos, etcetera."
Last year Fraser promised that a new, livable house would
be built as the setting for the show. Less than two months later the completed home, on 2,600 square feet, opened on the Universal
backlot, complete with garage, patio, and garden. "I went to a bookstore and found various publications on home construction,"
he says. "I put the best features of several plans together. Then I contacted the contractors."
Currently the house is part of the tram tour of Universal.
"But Universal has no percentage or participation," he says. "They just gave us the home."
Since its debut last April, HOME & FAMILY has
evolved into a lighter show, the producer notes. "Were more into entertainment now - - more like MIKE DOUGLAS meets
the HOME SHOW.
"We have lots of laughs and entertainment on our show. People
want to laugh and be informed at the same time. Thats my philosophy. We needed an answer to trash TV. We have fun."
Fraser is no novice to light programming. Between 1966 and
1973 he was responsible for thrity-two half-hours of (weekly) television programming, including THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW,
THE DICK CAVETT SHOW, THE DELLA REESE SHOW, THE BILL RUSSELL SHOW, and KID TALK, all of which aired simultaneously.
During that period, he also created and produced THE VIRGINIA GRAHAM SHOW and THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW.
Between 1988 and 1993, Frasers HOME SHOW on ABC grew from
a half-hour format to a full hour of live broadcasting, receiving fifteen service awards and three Emmy nominations. In all,
his shows have won nine Emmy awards.
Originally from Cincinnati, Fraser graduated from Dartmouth
College with a degree in zoology, but, needing a job, looked to the TV industry. "I was lucky to be in the right place at
the right time," he admits.
Despite his hectic TV schedule, Fraser finds time for his
hobbies, namely his pets and his work as a pen-and-ink artist. "My family is my hobby also," he says, smiling.
And what else does Fraser do in his spare time?
"I lecture in colleges - - on how not