NBC tribute recalls career and values of Michael Landon


LOS ANGELES -- In editing a two-hour tribute to his father, Michael Landon Jr. discovered no revelations about the kind of life the elder Landon lived.

He heard a few new stories about his father, but mostly what he learned confirmed what he already knew -- Michael Landon cherished family values and possessed a keen sense of humor.

"He loved to laugh, he loved to make other people laugh," said Mr. Landon, who along with his older sister, Leslie, and Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman host NBC's "Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love," at 8 p.m. tonight (Channel 2).

Landon died in July, just months after learning he had inoperable liver and pancreatic cancers. CBS, which turned down the tribute, will telecast, at 9 p.m. Friday, "Us," the last pilot Landon made, which was to have been a weekly series.

Landon's shows -- "Bonanza," "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven" -- were staples on NBC for three decades until Landon left the network because of what his son termed "a financial thing" and moved "Us" over to CBS.

"He felt he didn't get the respect he should have," Mr. Landon said.

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