News from the Archive

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th, 2017

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate we've partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to create a new exhibit: Latinos in News and Entertainment. Check it out below!

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Remembering Don Ohlmeyer

September 11th, 2017
Don Ohlmeyer

We’re sad to learn that Sports Executive/Producer Don Ohlmeyer passed away on Sunday, September 10 at the age of 72. Ohlmeyer began his career as an assistant director for ABC Sports, before going on to direct the 1968 and 1972 Olympics. Through his varied and accomplished career, he produced Battle of the Network Stars, worked at NBC Sports, founded his own production company, Ohlmeyer Communications, led NBC to its number-one status with “Must See TV” and Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and produced Monday Night Football at ABC.   

Below are some selections from his 2004 interview:

On the battle for late night:

On staying true to yourself:

Watch Don Ohlmeyer’s full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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Remembering Shelley Berman

September 1st, 2017
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We’re sad to learn that comedian Shelley Berman has passed away at the age of 92. Berman began his career studying acting at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, and went on to perform on The Steve Allen Show and to appear 22 times on The Ed Sullivan Show. He also starred in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone (“The Mind and the Matter”) and, in later years, was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as “Nat David” on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Below are some selections from his 2012 interview:

On dealing with television censors:

"I guess there might have been times when you had to be sure that you're not going to do anything that would hurt the show. … I really didn’t spend a whole lot of my time worrying about whether it can get by the censors. I knew my audience in a nightclub, anywhere; I knew my audience.  And I was going to do something that was going to make them laugh."

On his starring role on The Twilight Zone:

"I picked up my phone, and this fellow said, 'I am Rod Serling. I want you to do one of my shows. Is that okay?' Well, besides almost dropping the phone …I said, 'Great, I'd like to do that.' … The premise of the episode is that I want everybody to change. I want everybody to be like I am. That's the way the world should be. Exactly like I am. And so everybody on that show had my face. It was incredible, what they did, how they photographed it and did it. The people all had that mask of my face. And it was very scary to see. … But it was a kick. Everybody liked it. I liked it. And people still compliment me on it."

On appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show:

"It could be wonderful. It could feel great. And he could treat you as if you are the most wonderful thing in the world. That's really where it is. And I had the good luck of pleasing him almost always. … When I got off the stage I knew to march right up to his office. You don’t go to your dressing room; you go to his office so he can tell you that you're no damn good. Or he can tell you, how long do you have to be? There are other people on that stage. He was very, very demanding, but he was never demanding in a way that was career ruining or career frightening. He just had a good way. I had [22] times with him. And it wasn't enough."

Watch Shelley Berman’s full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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Tuesday, August 29, 1967: The Day The Running Stopped for "The Fugitive's" Richard Kimble

August 29th, 2017

50 years ago today, The Fugitive's Dr. Richard Kimble finally got justice. Falsely accused for the murder of his wife, Kimble (played by David Janssen) spent four years on the run, pursuing his wife's true killer, the One-Armed Man, while also being diligently pursued himself by Lt. Gerard. In the two-part series finale ("The Judgment" Parts I and II) Kimble learns the One-Armed Man is in Los Angeles, but before Kimble can make his move, Gerard finally catches up with Kimble. Kimble tells Gerard of the most recent developments in his pursuit of the One-Armed Man, and Gerard grants him 24 hours to gather the evidence he would need to exonerate himself. 24 hours come and go, but just as Gerard is about to take Kimble to prison, the two are led to an amusement park where the one remaining witness to Mrs. Kimble's murder, Lloyd Chandler, is attempting to murder the One-Armed Man for blackmailing him. Then the showdown the world had been waiting for ensued: Kimble v. the One-Armed Man.

But viewers almost never got a chance to see Kimble find retribution. According to ABC's Leonard Goldberg, when David Janssen did not want to return for a fifth season of the series, The Fugitive was supposed to end in May of 1967, with the last episode being simply what had been shot as the conclusion of the fourth season when production still anticipated a fifth. There was no resolution to the series at that point - Kimble was still chasing the One-Armed Man. Goldberg describes how he fought for a real series finale (a two-parter, as it turned out), which would give viewers a satisfying end to The Fugitive. "The Judgment: Part II" earned the highest TV rating ever at that time - a whopping 45.9 and a 72 share, meaning that of all the television sets in use at that time, 72% of them were tuned to that episode. "The Judgment: Part II" was watched by over 78 million people that Tuesday night:

Kimble got his man, viewers got satisfaction, and ABC got huge ratings. And "The Judgment: Part II" remains one of the most memorable series finales of all time. Win win.

Learn more about The Fugitive at our show page.

- Adrienne Faillace

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Remembering Jerry Lewis

August 21st, 2017
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We’re sad to learn that actor/comedian Jerry Lewis has passed away at the age of 91. Lewis began his career as a performer in the Borscht Belt before forming his legendary partnership with Dean Martin. As a team, Martin and Lewis hosted a radio program, made films together, and regularly appeared on television, including serving as rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour, and appearing on The Eddie Fisher Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. After the break-up of Martin and Lewis, Lewis went on to a wildly successful film career, as well as hosting annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 

Below are some selections from his 2000 interview:

On Martin and Lewis:

On the MDA Telethons:

On his advice for young comedians:

Watch Jerry Lewis’ full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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