News from the Archive

50 years ago today… Dick Clark began hosting American Bandstand

July 10th, 2006


On July 9, 1956 Dick Clark became the permanent host of American Bandstand and his boyish looks and straight-laced style bridged the gap between teenagers and their parents, helping to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the mainstream. The show broadcast locally from Philadelphia starting in 1952 and by August 5, 1957, with Clark taking the show to the top of the ratings, the show went national (its initial title Bandstand was changed to American Bandstand). Records were rated in one of the segments of the show and as was oft said about these songs could easily apply to the show itself: “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”

The Archive of American Television interviewed Dick Clark who talks about his long tenure on American Bandstand as well as his other television ventures including the $10,000 Pyramid and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Click here to access Dick Clark's interview.

What are your memories of American Bandstand?

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Advertising Executive / Producer Rod Erickson Has Died

July 8th, 2006

Advertising Executive and Producer Rod Erickson died recently at the age of 89. Erickson was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on October 17, 1997.

His interview can be viewed in the Archive's Los Angeles offices and will be available online in the near future.

Historian Jeff Kisseloff conducted the five hour interview with Erickson in Bedford, NY. Mr. Erickson talked about working for Procter & Gamble when the agency first entered television, and discussed his first television show, We, The People. He spoke about his many years at ad agency Young & Rubicam, as well as the evolution of television sponsorship.

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2005-06 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Announced

July 7th, 2006

Nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced today. Among the nominees is television legend Alan Alda, who received his 32nd career Emmy Award nomination in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for his role as “Arnold Vinick” on The West Wing. Alda was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1993.

Alan Alda was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on November 17, 2000 in New York, NY.

Click here to access all Alan Alda interview segments.

Alda spoke about his early years, which included a serious bout with polio as a child. He detailed his training as an actor, which included time at Paul Sills’s Improvisational Workshop at Second City and the Compass School of Improvisation, both in New York. He described his early appearances on television, including as a regular on That Was the Week That Was (1964) and the syndicated What’s My Line?. In great detail, he described his role as actor, director, and writer of the critically-acclaimed and long-running series M*A*S*H (1972-83), in which he played “Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce,” and for which he won multiple Emmy Awards. He talked about his later work as a writer-director of feature films including The Four Seasons, which he also produced as a series in 1984. He also talked about his work as an actor in feature films, notably several directed by Woody Allen. Finally, Alda discussed such recent acting work in television as the telefilms … And the Band Played On and Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women (reprising his Broadway performance), as well as series guest star on ER, for which he received his 29th Emmy nomination.

Tune in to the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, August 27 on NBC.

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Mort Lachman's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

July 4th, 2006
Comedy Writer/Producer Mort Lachman's 3-hour Archive of American Television interview has been added to the online collection at Google Video.

Interview Description:

Lachman begins by talking about his early years becoming a writer in network radio for Eddie Cantor and Bob Hope. He describes in detail working as a writer, and later head writer/ director/ producer on the Bob Hope Television Specials. He vividly describes Bob Hope’s topical humor and gift for ad libbing. He speaks about his work as a writer for several Ralph Edwards series. He also describes his work as a producer and writer on All in the Family [for which he won an Emmy Award], Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day at a Time, Sanford, Gimme a Break, Kate & Allie, and Bagdad Café. The interview, part of the Archive Comedy Collection Sponsored by Bob Hope, was conducted by Jeff Abraham on January 24, 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.

Click here to access all Mort Lachman interview segments.

Remember, if you'd like to watch the interview in the order in which it was conducted, select the parts in order (1,2,3...).

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Writer / Producer Abby Mann's Archive of American Television Interview is now on Google Video!

June 30th, 2006


Abby Mann's interview is one of the latest additions to the Archive of American Television's interviews available on Google Video:

About the interview:

In this three-hour interview, Mann discusses his early teleplays, written during the Golden Age of Television Drama in the 1950s, including such noteworthy teleplays as “A Child Is Waiting” (for Studio One) and “Judgment at Nuremberg” (for Playhouse 90). He also talked about the feature film adaptations of these teleplays. Mann discussed his writing of the television movie The Marcus Nelson Murders, and the creation of the subsequent series, Kojak. Mann talked in detail about two other 1970s projects, the series Medical Story and the miniseries King, the dramatization of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. He spoke about his more recent endeavors as writer and executive producer of such television movies as The Atlanta Child Murders and Indictment: The McMartin Trials. Throughout the interview Mann expressed his concern about the state of the American justice system and his lifelong passion to correct injustices through the written word. The interview was conducted on August 18, 2004 by Gary Rutkowski.

Click here to access all Abby Mann interview segments.

Remember, if you'd like to watch the interview in chronological order, select the parts in order (1,2,3...).

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