"I finally got the call,'we're going on the air November 1st' (1948). I said, 'OK, when do we rehearse, when do we get on camera?' He said, 'we'll let you know.' As it turned out, we went on the air November 1st with two shows. We had never been on-camera. We had only entered and looked at the studio once, and we were on television. That could never happen in any day's world but then."
About This Interview
In his five-hour Archive interview, Hal Cooper (1923-2014) talks about breaking into TV at the DuMont network following his service in World War II. He discusses DuMont children's programs Television Baby Sitter and The Magic Cottage, and talks about his work directing 1950's soap operas, including Search for Tomorrow and Portia Faces Life. He details his work as an associate producer/director of Gilligan's Island and his long tenure on I Dream of Jeannie. Cooper also recounts his time directing Gidget, That Girl, Mayberry R.F.D., Death Valley Days, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father. He speaks extensively about the groundbreaking '70s sitcom Maude, on which he served as an executive producer and director. He also talks of directing '70s shows The Brady Bunch, Free Country, and The Odd Couple. Cooper then discusses his later efforts on series Love, Sidney, Gimme a Break, and Dear John. Karen Herman conducted the interview on December 11, 2003 in Beverly Hills, CA.