News from the Archive

Complete "M*A*S*H" Now on DVD!

November 8th, 2006

Today sees the final season of M*A*S*H released on DVD. The M*A*S*H finale was the highest rated single program ever when it aired on February 28, 1983.

Dr. Walter Dishell was the medical advisor on the entire run of M*A*S*H. This is tape 4 of Dr. Dishell's interview where he discusses each of the ensemble's approach to medicine and talks about co-writing the real-time M*A*S*H episode "Life Time" with Alan Alda.

Click here to view Dr. Walter Dishell's entire three-hour Archive of American Television interview.

Interview description:

Dr. Dishell began by describing how he first got involved in television when he was approached (while a resident at UCLA medical center) to become the medical advisor for a television movie called U.M.C., which severed as the pilot for the long-running drama series Medical Center. Dr. Dishell talked about his work as the medical advisor to this series and the various medical subjects it explored including an episode that led to a change in real-life laws regarding employment discrimination of recovered cancer patients. Dishell talked about his continued work as a medical advisor on various television series while he maintained a full-time private practice. He detailed his work on M*A*S*H including advice he gave regarding medical procedures as they were in the 1950s during the Korean War. He described the episode he co-wrote with star Alan Alda (“Life Time”) that unfolds in real time and centers on an arterial graft operation. Dishell talked about several other television series in which he was associated as a medical advisor and writer, including: Trapper John, M.D., House Calls, and Family Medical Center.

What are your memories of the M*A*S*H finale?

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Four Times 60 Minutes with Andy Rooney

November 4th, 2006

Andy Rooney was interviewed by the Archive of American Television for four hours on his career.

Mr. Rooney has just put out a new book of essays collected in ten themed sections, entitled, "Out of My Mind." The 87-year-old Rooney, according to Booklist, responded to inquiries about when he will retire, "Never. I am never happier than when I am working."

Interview description:

In his Archive of American Television interview, Mr. Rooney spoke about his 50-year career as a writer and producer for television. Rooney detailed his roots as a journalist writing for The Stars and Stripes during World War II. He talked about his entrance into radio and television as a staff writer for Arthur Godfrey and later on television’s The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr. and The Seven Lively Arts. He described his shift to the non-fiction form working on such CBS series as The Twentieth Century and Calendar. It was on the later series that Rooney first worked with newsman Harry Reasoner. He spoke in detail about the many CBS documentary specials the two collaborated on (Rooney as writer, Reasoner as narrator) including: An Essay on Doors (1964), A Bird’s Eye View of America (1964), and The Strange Case of the English Language (1968). Rooney talked about several other documentaries in which he contributed as a producer, writer, or a combination of the two including: Sinatra (1965, re-shown on CBS in 1998) and Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed (1968, Emmy winner). He talked about his long association with 60 Minutes, which began in 1968 when he wrote and appeared in (in silhouette) the recurring segment “Digressions,” a tongue-in-check 30-second “debate” on current events. He talked about his temporary break with CBS when the network refused to air an anti-Vietnam War piece An Essay on War, and the subsequent airing of it on PBS’s The Great American Dream Machine. Rooney described several documentaries he made for ABC and CBS in the 1970s including: A Small Town in Iowa, Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington, and Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner. Rooney spoke of his work writing and appearing in “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney,” the literate and often cantankerous essays on everyday life that appear as an end-of-the program tag to 60 Minutes, a spot he has occupied since 1978. The interview was conducted by Don Carleton on June 22, 1999.

In tape 7 of Rooney's four-hour Archive of American Television interview, he discusses his association with the legendary newsmagazine 60 Minutes.

Click here to watch Andy Rooney's entire Archive of American Television interview.

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AAT Staff Spotted!

November 2nd, 2006

Dateline: Los Angeles
The Archive of American Television staff was spotted heading for the Mystery Machine yesterday afternoon.

Hope your Halloween was fun, too!

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Happy Halloween!

November 1st, 2006

On November 11, 1960 the Twilight Zone aired "Eye of the Beholder," which would become one of the series' classic shows.

Listen to actress Maxine Stuart relate her experiences, playing the woman under the bandages at 21 minutes into tape 1. Spoiler Alert!

Click here to view Maxine Stuart's interview.

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Religious Series Producer / Director Martin Hoade Has Died

October 28th, 2006

Religious series programmer Martin Hoade died on September 26 at the age of 90. Mr. Hoade was interviewed by Michael Rosen for the Archive of American Television on November 23, 2002.

Martin Hoade on his shows:

Was I interested in religious issues? No, I was just interested in the human condition. As far as religion illuminates or instructs the human condition. Since the vehicle is drama or commentary or conversations, I found that more interesting than the commercial work.... As the dramas progressed, I asked if we could drop the visual identification, The Catholic Hour or The Frontiers of Faith or the The Eternal Light, superimposed over the opening scene of a drama. I felt that if we could do that, what was to follow, the word was in the drama, not in that title and so it was agreed that we would drop the titles over those dramas and only at the end of the program we said this program has been produced "in association with." So those titles were lost early on when we went into the dramas, because it seemed to diminish our access. And that was agreeable, they understood that. Because the faith groups were interested in getting out the word as they saw it contained in that script, which they approved.

Interview description:
Martin Hoade was interviewed for over three hours in New York, NY. Mr. Hoade recalled his early days in television working for NBC, on programs such as newsreels and political conventions. He talked about his move into religious programming as the producer and director of NBC’s Sunday morning religious program wheel, which was comprised of the series Frontiers of Faith, The Catholic Hour, and The Eternal Light. He spoke of the craft involved in producing religious programming as well as the issue of proselytizing and of religious programming in general.

The interview can be viewed at the Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood, CA. Martin Hoade was also featured as an interviewee in Jeff Kisseloff's The Box: An Oral History of Television 1920-61.

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