"I took part in this business, I was rich with friends in the business, and I would love to be able to be a champion for all those people, no matter the ethnicity, who want to be able to be producers in this business."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, George Sunga talks about his analysis of the '50s live television anthology series Climax! that he compiled as part of his studies at San Diego State College. He describes his extensive on-site observation of the series' production at Television City, and his experiences watching director John Frankenheimer at work. He recalls the start of his own career at CBS, beginning in the mailroom, and his ascension to Production Supervisor. He looks back on some of the '60s era shows and specials he oversaw, including The Judy Garland Show; The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special; and The Ed Sullivan Show. Sunga then talks of his departure from CBS to take the job of Associate Producer of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He offers insights into the controversial nature of the show's content, its guests, and its abrupt cancellation. He chronicles his work as a Producer of several early '70s specials and speaks of joining All in the Family for the second half of the series' fifth season (and his important task of moving the production from CBS Television City to Metromedia Studios). Sunga then recounts his continued work on Norman Lear's shows The Jeffersons and Good Times. He details producing the sitcom Three's Company (and makes mention of its sequels The Ropers and Three's A Crowd). He describes the talents of the cast (saying John Ritter was the heir to Dick Van Dyke) and outlines the many cast changes throughout the series' run. Jeff Abraham conducted the interview on February 1, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.