This next part is set after the scandal. It’s written to read like a television show. A behind the music sort of thing. I added some commercials for the fun of it. If the format is too aggravating then just skip it because most if not all the story plots will be covered later. In fact this tells the story from the view of people who don’t know the real story. I hope you enjoy the quirky offbeat look of this story. The commercials are orange.
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Welcome to this very special addition of Behind the Lens. Tonight, we examine the rise and fall of a wildly popular show called Family Lies. In just two years this lively drama comedy captured the hearts of a country and propelled a young actress from obscurity to stardom. We will examine the roots of how it all went wrong. A cast miscast, delays, a pilot mired in controversy, a tonal change and the scandal that shocked the world and ended the shows run way too early. We will interview cast members and crew. A behind the scenes look at this once cherished program. We will also try and predict what happens next for the cast as changes come in their lives. After the break, we start at the beginning.
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On December 28, 1997 in a small town just outside of Akron, Ohio Frank and Leena Dorsey had a daughter they named Janet Lee Dorsey. Janet was born into a troubled household. Eventually Frank and Leena split up. This would have long tern effects on Janet and her future. Mrs. Grace a neighbor said, “yes her father was loud. He would yell at all hours of the night making such a ruckus.” Another neighbor a woman named Gina Hicks said, “you could tell there was something wrong with the girl. She would go around her yard topless. Just a swimsuit bottom that barely covered the diaper. I mean really, I don’t care if you are just 1-year-old a lady doesn’t do that.” Soon young Janet and her mother moved from Ellet to the village of Hudson Ohio were Janet’s mother had family and a job as a teacher. But this wouldn’t last. Leena’s brother Lee, “Frank was a bleep. He would show up at all hours of the day trying to see the girl. I told him look pay the support then you can see the kid.” Eventually Leena and Janet moved away from Ohio and to a life in Texas. After the break, we will cover the Texas pride and a chance incounter with a photographer that changed Janet’s live forever.
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Their lives in Texas quiet and conventional until Leena met Jon Fargo. A well-known photographer to the stars, Jon Fargo was a model maker. He saw something in young Janet that would later help her become a top tween model. Soon this would bring its own controversy. Jane Finny Fargo was married to Jon for ten years up until his death in 2015 of heart complications, “Jon was a good man with a problem. He like his models. Particularly the young ones.” In 2014 the justice department filed 380 counts of child pornography charges including distributing materials and corruption of a minor. He also faced 60 counts of molestation charges. His death while waiting trial ended the scandal. Before his arrest he helped Janet with her first modeling job and help her find a manager. Sources inside the justice department said there was credible evidence that said Janet was a possible victim of this man. When we come back we will see of Greg Keener came from nowhere to stardom on the stage.
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On April 11, 1995 in the sleepy little town of Pliney in West Virginia, Bethany Allen Keener and Jason Keener couldn’t tell their newly born son would later go in to Broadway fame. Born two months premature it was a wonder he survived at all. Bethany Keener, “the doctors said I couldn’t have kids so we didn’t plan nothing. Then Greg came along and well surprise.” From an early age, he showed a talent for being in the spotlight. His second-grade teacher a Betty Martin, “on that first day he came into the room and kissed the first girl he saw then said he was going to rule the school be noon and well he did.” It was in that class he would meet Jason James the future Tony award winning playwright. Together they wrote their first play. Mrs. Martin, “they put on this show about dinosaurs and chickens it was very interesting.” This would later become the tony award-winning play Evolution and the Bible. A play that combines creationism and evolution with pop music and hip-hop. Jason James, “we wanted a sound as well as a message. Greg could make anything sound plausible.” Mr. James refused to talk about the scandal. When we come back we cover the high school years that made Greg Keener a bankable star.
You loved him on Nightrider. You couldn’t wait for the next episode with him on Baywatch. Now thrill at the electrifying performance of David Hasselhoff as Hamlet. Rolling stone says, “what no, really?” Time magazine said, “no really you can’t be serious?” The Broadway Examiner said, “now we have really seen it all.” The Berlin Post says, “this was a life changing achievement. Hasselhoff deserves all the awards.” Come see Hamlet like you have never seen it before or will again. It will change you forever.
Highschool was a proving ground for Greg. He developed a distinct style and in time found steady work on the stage in local plays all around the area. Soon his weekends became a fulltime job. Bethany Kenner, “well he was just so good that is seemed wrong to deny him this opportunity.” From age 12 Greg and his mother moved to a small 5th floor loft walkup in New York City. By 17 Greg had many productions behind him including Rent and The Book of Mormon. He also had three Tonys including two for the play Evolution and the Bible in writing and acting. Tony award winner Hans Zimmerman, “he was or is like Tom Cruise on speed. Boundless energy and charisma.” Mr. Zimmerman refused to talk about the scandal. With a new manager, a plan was set in place. One that would help make Greg Keener a star. When we return a few thoughts and look at next week’s episode.
Three all-beef patties, four slices of real American cheese, 12 strips of bacon, ham and a beer cheese sauce make the Tri-Four Pig Killer the meal of the month. At Larry’s we don’t worry about anything but making the best burgers, fries, chicken and crepes in any town. Feeling really hungry? We have a half a pound burger, with a half a pound of bacon, a half a pound of cheese sauce on a pretzel bun and a half a pound of fries. The Half Square burger will have you saying Larry’s leaves me feeling happy. That’s Larry’s. Come for the burgers and get the crepes.
Soon this story will bring these two future stars together along with a cast of veteran stage and screen performers for a show what would break boundaries and ends in controversy. In the next episode, we will cover the making of the two pilots as well as thought from the cast. We have exclusive footage from a documentary that was being made before the scandal erupted. We will hear from the two at the center of this story and their thoughts on life on television. Until then, from everyone here at behind the Lens we want to wish you a good night I am your host Harry Knuckle. Good night.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
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