September 11, 2012 06:14 AM by Gina Hall
His reality show was canceled, but Tony kept teaching. Tony Danza, the star of the short-lived A&E reality series “Teach,” decided to continue teaching even though it wasn’t going to earn him fans or Twitter followers. Say what?! A noble reality show star? What did Tony have to say about the experience?
“At first, the idea repelled me. I’m no fan of reality TV in general, and the idea of a reality series about teaching immediately put me off,” Tony Danza, author of a new book about his teaching experience on the reality TV show, “Teach.”
“Now just about every TV actor has had a show canceled — it’s a basic occupational hazard,” Tony writes in I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had. “But this time, for me, was different. After the show ended, my wife and I separated … Plus, I could smell 60.”
“I wanted to teach instead of acting, not in combination with showbiz. Besides, this would involve actual students and their actual education,” Tony goes on. “As far as TV producers are concerned, the sizzle of drama is always paramount, and that goes double, or maybe triple, for reality TV producers. A classroom reality show was bound to compromise the students at best, or at worst exploit them. Either way, I wanted nothing to do with it.”
“Even if it received great ratings,” Tony said he told his friend, “If the students didn’t get the quality of teaching they needed and deserved, then I’d consider the whole exercise a failure.”
The failure turned out to be the ratings of “Teach.” And a future in TV for Tony.
Plan B: Tony said that a documentary made by Teach for America, the organization that trains college graduates to teach in rural and urban public schools, inspired him to keep on teaching.
Well, until a reality show about a male housekeeper/former TV star comes around.