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Good Question: How Much Work Goes Into A TV Show?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WCCO) — Jason DeRusha and Good Question had the unique opportunity to look behind the scenes on a Hollywood set. So, what’s their goal? To answer a viewer’s question: How many episodes and how much work goes into putting a TV show on the air?

Their quest led them to Stage 28 of Sony Picture Studios, where crews for Rules of Engagement have been shooting for five seasons. Season 1 was a just half-season with only 7 episodes. Season 5 will have 26.

“We start writing in early June,” said Tom Hertz, the show’s creator and executive producer.

Megyn Price and Patrick Warburton are two of the show’s stars.

So, when do they get their scripts?

“Wednesday, and we do a little read in front of the network execs and the writers,” said Price.

“The actors rehearse it Thursday on the sets with the scripts in their hands,” said Hertz. “We analyze it and talk about what worked, what didn’t, and go back Thursday night and rewrite it.”

On Friday, they rehearse in front of the network, which can make changes if there is any questionable material.

“The network censor will tell us afterwards, ‘OK, a couple of things …’ and I usually know,” Hertz said, laughing.

Then, on Monday, there are the pre-shoots. On Thursday, it’s the real deal and in front of a live audience.

For the actors, it’s three weeks of that and then one week off. The show’s staff works a few more hours polishing the scripts.

Here’s one more tidbit. They can’t show brand names on the show, so they have to block out all the names. Snickers is “nickers” on the set. They don’t want to upset any real advertisers by giving away plugs for free.

Also, starting next week, Rules of Engagement is moving time-slots. They’ll be on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

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