News from the Archive

Remembering Rose Marie

January 2nd, 2018
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We’re sad to learn that Rose Marie passed away on Thursday, December 28 at the age of 94. She began her career as a child star known as “Baby Rose Marie,” appearing on radio and in movies. As an adult, she began working in television, appearing on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theatre and The Colgate Comedy Hour, and as a regular on My Sister Eileen. She is perhaps best remembered for her role as “Sally Rogers” on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but she was also a frequent panelist on The Hollywood Squares, a regular on The Doris Day Show, and she continued make appearances on television throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Below are some excerpts from her 1999 interview:

On being a child star:

On being cast on The Dick Van Dyke Show:

On her philosophy of comedy:

Watch Rose Marie’s full interview and read her obituary in The New York Times.

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Remembering Dick Enberg

December 22nd, 2017
Dick Enberg

We’re sad to learn that sports broadcaster Dick Enberg has passed away at the age of 82. He began his career in radio before moving on to sports announcing for KTLA in Los Angeles. He went on to become the announcer for UCLA’s football team, where he developed a fierce following with his catchphrase, “Oh my.” He also was a host of game shows, worked at NBC Sports and CBS, and called a variety of sports, including NCAA basketball, the Super Bowl, several Olympic games, the San Diego Padres, and Wimbledon. 

Below are some selections from his 2011 interview:

On his “oh my” catchphrase:

“It's a Midwestern expression.  And my mother used it constantly. It's an acclamation. People say, ‘Did you hear about…? Oh my, is that right?’ Or, ‘Oh my! That happened, too?’… I didn’t use it at Central Michigan when I was calling the games there. But I went to Indiana, when I won the audition I’m saying, you’re doing Big Ten games now. I mean, you’ve got to have a catch phrase. You’ve got to have that punctuation mark. And all the good ones were taken.  You know, all the religiously related, the ‘Holy Toledos’ and the ‘Holy cows’ and Red Barber’s ‘Oh, Doctor.’  Mel Allen, ‘How about that?’  Well, what am I going to use? And I thought about, well, how about ‘Oh my?’ And so the first couple of Indiana football games that I did, I threw in a couple of ‘Oh mys’ on either a surprising play or a touchdown play and I was in the graduate dormitory and all of the sudden guys were saying, ‘Hey, Enberg, go “Oh my!”’ And I thought, okay, that’s it. And it's been since 1957, a very good friend.”

On advice to aspiring sportscasters:

“I tell young people who want to be a sportscaster to take every class they can on writing. To learn how to think like a writer. Because every broadcast is a piece of theater you know, football is a four act play and you set the scene in the first act and you develop the characters in the play and then the plot unfolds and you see how the characters fit within the drama of that plot. And when the murder is finally solved in the fourth quarter, the decision is made then, you’re able to tie in all the elements that led into this, that interested you in this theater or this book to begin with and pull it together and tie up the knot so that it’s a complete performance and I’ve often felt that we have been guilty of neglecting the first part of that book or that play. That we need to take more time to set up the scene and set up the players before we’re right into the heavy statistical or strategical analysis.”

On how he would like to be remembered:

“That I was the fan in the stands with you. That I sat next to you and we’re a couple of pals just going over the hitters and talking about the game and that you feel comfortable that I never interfered. I would like to hope that people feel that I didn’t interfere with the game. That the game dictated what I had to say and it was much more important than any presence that I had in that telecast.”

Watch Dick Enberg’s full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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Television's Holiday Specials

November 28th, 2017

Just in time for the holiday season, we have once again partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to create the exhibit Television's Holiday Specials. Check it out below!

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Remembering Della Reese

November 20th, 2017
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We’re sad to learn that performer Della Reese has passed away at the age of 86. Reese began her career at 13, touring with gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. She went on to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show 17 times, as well as on The Merv Griffin Show and The Mike Douglas Show. She also had her own talk/variety series, The Della Reese Show, and appeared on sitcoms including Chico and the Man and Welcome Back, Kotter. In later years, she was perhaps best known for her starring role on Touched by an Angel.

Below are some selections from her 2008 interview:

On singing with Mahalia Jackson at age 13:

On The Della Reese Show:

On audience reaction to Touched by an Angel:

Watch Della Reese's full interview and read her obituary in The New York Times.

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Television Studies 101 With Dr. Horace Newcomb

November 17th, 2017
Horace Newcomb

One of the first things you notice when you crack open Horace Newcomb’s TV: The Most Popular Art is that it’s delightfully readable, which isn’t something one can say about a lot of academic writing. I first read the book as a doctoral student, never imagining that I would one day have the privilege of talking television for three-plus hours with the man who helped establish and legitimize the field of television studies in the United States.

Dr. Horace Newcomb was raised in Mississippi, with television providing a window to the larger world around him – through television news he saw the events of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement, and through The Defenders he saw social justice played out in black and white. He studied English at Mississippi College, and earned both his Masters in General Humanities and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. He soon began to feel the pull of writing about television, questioning “how television tells stories and what those stories are about.” He started with an examination of soap operas with his essay, “Reflections on the Structure of Soap Opera,” and in 1974 published TV: The Most Popular Art, a genre study of the different formulas commonly seen on television – one of the first works of its kind in the United States. Thanks in no small part to this groundbreaking book, analyzing television from the humanities perspective, rather than the social science view, would become an accepted and even applauded academic discipline.

Horace followed up his first book by editing an anthology of scholarly essays about television, Television: The Critical View. It became THE reader in early television studies courses.

After 23 years of teaching at the University of Texas, Austin, where he helped build the Radio-Television-Film department, Horace took on a new venture, as chair of the prestigious Peabody Awards.

In addition, he served as a television critic for the Baltimore Sun, edited the Museum of Broadcast Communications’ Encyclopedia of Television, and inspired countless budding TV scholars, including me. Today we take for granted that there are semester-long university courses offered on The Sopranos or The Wire, but those classes are only possible because of the pioneering work done by Horace and his peers. I benefitted first-hand from the work that he did in the 1970s, and as a result, I’m a producer at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.

Sitting down with Dr. Horace Newcomb for an afternoon is one of my most cherished experiences from my time here at the Television Academy Foundation. So Horace, thank you for motivating generations of scholars to examine the stories the small screen has to tell, and thank you for giving a doctoral student a sense of belonging to a field that matters. To think critically about what we see on television isn’t trivial. It’s crucial. Perhaps now more than ever.

Watch Horace Newcomb’s full interview.

- Adrienne Faillace

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