News from the Archive

"Twilight Zone" and "Playhouse 90" Story Editor Del Reisman's Archive Interview is now online

August 5th, 2006

This video is Part 8 of Del Reisman's 12-part interview. In this segment, he talks about Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. Click here to access the interview.

"I always knew when [Rod] came to the Twilight Zone offices because I’d hear the Coca-Cola machine going... he had a coke in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He needed neither of them. I mean, he was tremendously energetic on his own."

Del Reisman's six-hour Archive of American Television Interview is now available for viewing on EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG

Interview Description:

Reisman begins by looking back on his early years growing up as a “studio brat” observing his mother at work as a secretary at Universal Studios in the 1930s. He describes his entry in television as a reader on the anthology series Four Star Playhouse. He details his most prolific period in television as an associate producer/ story editor on such television series as: the “live,” daily color anthology Matinee Theater, the prestigious ninety-minute anthology Playhouse 90, the classic filmed anthology The Twilight Zone, the popular crime series The Untouchables, the western series Rawhide, and the drama The Man and the City. He discusses his work as story consultant on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place, for which he wrote the cliffhanging final episode (the series was canceled without a finale). He also talks about his later work as a freelance writer of such 1970s series as The Streets of San Francisco and Little House on the Prairie. Finally, Reisman describes his long service to the Writers Guild of America, west for which he ultimately served as President from 1991-93. Other subjects discussed include the Hollywood blacklist and the McCarthy era, as well as Reisman’s work (at the WGA) to restore the credits of blacklisted writers of feature films made in the 1950s-60s. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on October 28, 2003.

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Aaron Spelling's Interview Now Available on Google Video

August 5th, 2006

Aaron Spelling, who died at the age of 83 on June 23rd, was interviewed for three hours by the Archive of American Television in a two-part interview on November 18 and 24, 1999.

Interview Description:

During his interview, Mr. Spelling spoke of his early career as an actor before turning to writing. He described the role of a producer and discussed the creation of such programs as Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210, and Melrose Place. He also discussed his role as producer of the films And the Band Played On and Mr. Mom. The interview was conducted by Henry Colman.

Click here to see Aaron Spelling's full interview.

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Just sit right back... and watch Russell Johnson's Interview on Google Video

August 2nd, 2006

Actor Russell Johnson's two hour Archive of American Television Interview is now available for viewing on Google Video.

This video is Part 3 of Russell Johnson's 4-part interview in which he talks about his favorite episodes of Gilligan's Island. Click here to access all 4 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...).)

Full interview description:

Johnson begins by talking about his early years learning his craft at the Actors Lab in Hollywood. He describes his work in movies (It Came From Outer Space) and “live television” in the 1950s. He recalls his work as a guest star on such various television series as You Are There, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. He describes his first series as a regular, Black Saddle and the series and role for which he is most identified, Gilligan’s Island and “the Professor.” The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on February 8, 2004.

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See Cliff Robertson In-Person

July 29th, 2006

Actor Cliff Robertson will appear in person on Wednesday, August 9, for UCLA Film & Television Archive's 13th Festival of Preservation, in Los Angeles, CA.

Robertson will appear for a screening of two classic television dramas that aired as a part of the series The U.S. Steel Hour, one of the longest running and most prestigious of early television anthologies. The shows to be presented are: "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon" (which originally aired on February 22, 1961) and "Man on the Mountaintop" (which originally aired on November 15, 1961). This is a free screening. General information about this and the entire festival can be found at

Also, check out Cliff Robertson's Archive of American Television interivew -- now online!

This video is Part 2 of Cliff Robertson's 5-part interview. In this segment, he speaks in-depth about his work in early "live" television. Click here to access all 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...).)

Archive of American Television Interview description:

Robertson begins by talking about his training at the Actors Studio and his early career on the New York stage. He talks about working in anthology series during the “live” television era of the 1950s. He discusses his role as mentally disabled “Charlie Gordon” in both television (The U.S. Steel Hour’s “The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon”) and film (Charly, which earned him an Oscar for Best Actor). He speaks in great detail about his work with director John Frankenheimer on the Playhouse 90 show “The Days of Wine and Roses.” Robertson talks about being personally selected by President John F. Kennedy to play him in the feature film PT109. He describes his two appearances on the classic anthology series The Twilight Zone and speaks about series creator Rod Serling. Robertson discusses his blacklisting by the industry following “Hollywoodgate,” in which he accused Columbia Pictures head David Begelman of forging a check. Robertson speaks about several of his television movie appearances as well as such television series as Rod Brown and the Rocket Rangers and Batman. The interview was conducted by Stephen J. Abramson on March 1, 2005.

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Ira Skutch's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

July 27th, 2006

This video is Part 1 of Ira Skutch's 6-part interview. Click here to view the entire interview.

Producer/Director Ira Skutch's three hour Archive of American Television Interview is available for viewing on Google Video.

Ira Skutch started working at NBC in 1942 as an NBC Page.

Interview Description:

Skutch talks about his early years as a page and later manager of guided tours at NBC. He describes in detail the layout of the NBC building, listing the various studios and the radio series that were produced in each, as well as which were modified to bring in television production. Skutch talks about his work as a stage manger on NBC’s earliest television series including NBC Television Theater, You Are an Artist, Face to Face, Kraft Television Theater, and the big budget variety series Hour Glass. Skutch discusses his work in technique and production as a director of “live” television commercials for television series as well as the 1952 political conventions. He chronicles his work as a director on such shows as Disc Magic (a 1946 precursor to music video), The Swift Home Service Club (one of network television first daytime series), and Philco TV Playhouse. Lastly, Skutch speaks in detail about his 26 year tenure as director, then producer at Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, where he worked on such series as Beat the Clock, Play Your Hunch, and Match Game. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on January 29, 2004.

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