News from the Archive

Classic "Sesame Street" Comes to DVD!

October 24th, 2006

Today sees the release of highlights from the early years of Sesame Street on DVD. This revolutionary children's show was developed by Joan Ganz Cooney and made its debut on November 10, 1969.

The Archive of American Television has interviewed many of the key talents associated with this series.

Click here to access Joan Ganz Cooney's interview.

Click here to access Big Bird himself, Carroll Spinney's interview.

Click here to access performer Bob McGrath's interview.

Among the many other contributors to Sesame Street who have been interviewed by AAT are: Dr. Lewis Bernstein (executive producer), Ed Christie (art director/ puppet designer), Kevin Clash (puppeteer, "Elmo"), Danny Epstein (music director), Tony Geiss (writer), Loretta Long ("Susan"), Sonia Manzano ("Maria"), Lloyd Morrisett (executive, Children's Television Workshop), and Roscoe Orman ("Gordon"). These interviews can be viewed at Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood, CA and will be available on Google Video in the future.

What did you learn from watching Sesame Street?

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Actress Jane Wyatt has Died

October 23rd, 2006

Jane Wyatt talks about working on Father Knows Best

Actress Jane Wyatt died at her home on Friday, October 20 at the age of 96. For six years, she starred on Father Knows Best, where she played Margaret Anderson, one of the most beloved television moms. The Archive of American Television interviewed Ms. Wyatt for two hours on November 16, 1999. Click here to access Jane Wyatt's interview.

Interview Description:

Ms. Wyatt described her lengthy career in film, stage, and television. She talked about her feature film debut in 1934 in James Whale’s One More River and her subsequent film roles in such classics as Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon and Elia Kazan’s Gentleman’s Agreement. She discussed the McCarthy era in which she found herself on an industry blacklist unable to work in film. She described her television debut on Robert Montgomery Presents in the title role of “Kitty Foyle” (1950) and her varied roles in “live” television. She described in detail her most memorable and enduring work for television on Father Knows Best (1954-63), in which she played the role of Margaret Anderson, a part which won her three consecutive Emmy Awards. She talked about her later television work on such series as the Bell Telephone Hour and Hollywood Television Theatre. She talked about her appearance as Mr. Spock’s human mother on the series Star Trek (a role she repeated in the feature film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). Ms. Wyatt also described her memorable recurring role as Katherine Auschlander on the medical drama St. Elsewhere. Ms. Wyatt was interviewed by Gary Rutkowski in Los Angeles.

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For Golden Girls Fans in Los Angeles

October 18th, 2006

This Wednesday, October 18th, those of you in the Los Angeles-area can join author Jim Colucci at 7:30 pm at the A Different Light bookstore (8853 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood) for a signing of his book, The Q Guide to The Golden Girls. Also to be in attendance: Sirius OutQ host Frank DeCaro, author of the book's introduction, and Glen Hanson, the book's cover artist.

The book chronicles the genesis and key gay-themed episodes of The Golden Girls with interviews with the stars, producers, writers and viewers. In fact, parts of Archive of American Television interviews with Rue McClanahan (which Jim conducted) and Beatrice Arthur were cited in the book.

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Ben Wolf's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

October 17th, 2006

Cameraman Ben Wolf's four-hour Archive of American Television interview has been added to the online collection at Google Video. This is tape 6 of his interview in which he talks about working on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Click here to view the entire 8-part interview.

Ben Wolf worked on many of the first shows produced at CBS Television City including Carson's Cellar (with Johnny Carson), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, and My Favorite Husband.

Interview description:

Ben Wolf was interviewed for nearly four hours in Los Angeles, CA. He recalled his early television experience at KLAC, and then CBS in Los Angeles, working on such programs as The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Carson’s Cellar and Climax! Next, he spoke about his work on The Jack Benny Show and The Red Skelton Show, and explained the day-to-day process of working as a cameraman on the latter program. He also touched upon his work on The Judy Garland Show, CBS Playhouse and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Next, he reminisced about working on Norman Lear-produced programs including All in the Family and Maude. Finally, he talked about working on Three’s Company and Mama’s Family before becoming a freelance cameraman for the remainder of his career.

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Happy 60th ATAS!

October 13th, 2006

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences celebrated its 60th anniversary yesterday with a gala event hosted by Beau Bridges. The event was held at Academy Headquarters in North Hollywood at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre.

The nostalgic evening offered clips from television's past and featured many special guests. In person were such television luminaries as Dick Van Dyke, Florence Henderson, and Art Linkletter. Many of the Television Academy's past presidents were also in attendance.

Also attending was Emmy-Award winner Dennis Franz, who sat down with the Archive of American Television for an Archive interview, just before the celebration. Franz was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours about his long and distiguished career and discussed his work in television, which notably included regular roles on Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.

Click here for a history of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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