News from the Archive

Quinn Martin Fans: Check Out this Book

February 21st, 2007

We're always on the lookout for the latest and greatest TV books, recently a 2003 publication we had missed, crossed our desks....

Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder by Jonathan Etter (

ISBN 0-7864-1501-0, 232 pages, $39.95) gives a brief personal history of Quinn Martin (nee Irwin Martin Cohn) (1922-1987) and then provides full chapters on many of his most memorable series including: The Fugitive, The FBI, The Invaders, Dan August, Barnaby Jones, The Untouchables, The Streets of San Francisco, Banyan, Tales of the Unexpected, and Cannon (and a few pilots and movies). The book highlights his specific contributions to the series (In terms of writing, casting and editing), as well as his dealings with the networks and other behind-the-scenes goings-on.

If you're a fan of Martin's many series, you'll enjoy the inside information culled from the interviews Etter did with many of the shows' personnel.

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Oscar®-winning Songwriter Ray Evans Has Died

February 17th, 2007
Ray Evans (left), interviewer Jon Burlingame (center),
Jay Livingston (right) prior to the Archive interview.

Ray Evans, who co-wrote such popular television theme songs as "Mister Ed" and who won an Oscar for the song "Buttons and Bows" has died at the age of 92.

The Archive of American Television interviewed both Evans and his late partner Jay Livingston (1915-2001) on February 8, 2000. Their interview can be viewed at Television Academy Headquarters.

Interview description:
Ray Evans and his partner Jay Livingston were interviewed for nearly an hour-and-a-half by Jon Burlingame in Los Angeles, CA. They discussed the genesis of their 60-year partnership, and how they came to Hollywood to write songs for the movies. The duo recalled signing a contract at Paramount Pictures, and the many projects that followed. Mr. Burlingame encouraged them to discuss their Oscar nominated and winning tunes, including “Buttons and Bows,” “Mona Lisa,” “Que Sera, Sera” and “Tammy.” They also humorously recalled writing the now classic Christmas song, “Silver Bells,” for the Bob Hope film “The Lemon Drop Kid.” Later, they discussed at length the title songs they wrote for such television shows as Bonanza, Mr. Ed and The Doris Day Show, and marveled at the lasting popularity of those tunes. They also mentioned their collaboration with composer Henry Mancini, and spoke about the entertainers that they have written for throughout the years, including Bob Hope, Betty Hutton, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney and Debbie Reynolds. The interview was conducted on February 8, 2000.

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Co-Inventor of Wireless Television Remote Control, Dr. Robert Adler Has Died

February 17th, 2007

Dr. Robert Adler, who died at age 93, was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on October 11, 2004. His two-and-a-half hour oral history interview can be viewed at Television Academy Headquarters in North Hollywood.

Interview description:
Dr. Adler spoke in great detail about his pioneering work as the developer of the first practical wireless television remote control (co-invented with fellow Zenith engineer Eugene Polley). Adler talked about his long association with Zenith, which began shortly after he emigrated to the United States in 1940. He discussed the evolution of the remote control’s invention at Zenith, which began with an attached remote box and cable. He talked about the impractical light-activated wireless versions that preceded his ultrasonic (and practical) version. He described the theory behind his invention as well as its technical specifications. Adler then discussed other key innovations in television for which he contributed. He also talked about the research department at Zenith and detailed its makeup and functions. He then talked about his involvement in current technologies, including touch screen and HDTV. B-roll consisted of cover shots and illustrations from journal articles regarding some of his most significant work.

UPDATE: 12/01/2007 Dr. Robert Adler's full Archive of American Television interview is now online. Click here to access.

UPDATE: 12/29/2007 The life of Dr. Robert Adler is recounted in The New York Times Magazine's year-end special, "The Lives They Lived." Click here to access John Gertner's excellent profile (which includes a mention of his Archive interview).

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Birthday Wishes to Harvey Korman Who Turns 80 Today

February 16th, 2007

Harvey Korman— Carol Burnett Show regular, Mel Brooks films ensemble player, and The Flintstones' Great Gazoo— turns 80 years old today.

The Archive asks: What are your favorite comedy moments from Harvey Korman's career?

Click here to access the Archive of American Television Interview with Harvey Korman.

Click here to access the Archive of American Television Interview with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway discussing their work together.

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Archive Interviewee Peter Ellenshaw, Disney's Legendary Matte Artist, Has Died

February 15th, 2007

Peter Ellenshaw, a matte artist whose work was seen in many projects for Walt Disney, has died at age 93. Mr. Ellenshaw's interview can be viewed at Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood.

Interview description:
Mr. Ellenshaw described his long association with the Walt Disney Studios where he became a preeminent matte artist. He discussed the craft of the matte artist and how a matte is incorporated into a film. He talked about Disney’s foray into television with the Disneyland series, and mentioned his work on such segments of the show as Davy Crockett. B-roll consisted of Ellenshaw voicing-over descriptions of mattes done for various projects, as well as a few photos from his Disney years. Additionally, a 30-minute interview was conducted with his son, Harrison Ellenshaw, who talked about his father as well as the work that he has done as a special effects artist in his own right, which includes the feature film Star Wars. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on September 11, 2003.

Link to Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw's website.

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