News from the Archive

D. C. Fontana's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

July 19th, 2006

Writer D. C. Fontana's three-and-a-half hour Archive of American Television interview has been added to the online collection at Google Video.

This video is Part 3 of D.C. Fontana's 7-part interview. In this segment, she speaks in-depth about her work on Star Trek. To access all segments, click here. (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...).)

Interview Description:

Fontana begins by recalling her early career working for producers such as Samuel Peeples and Del Reisman, and describes how she came to work for writer/producer Gene Roddenberry as his assistant on The Lieutenant. Next, she speaks about the development of the science-fiction series Star Trek. She talks at great length about the show, including discussing the cast, the technology, and working with Roddenberry. She also explains how she came to be a writer on the series, and describes the episodes that she wrote. Later, she discusses her other many writing credits, including Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Streets of San Francisco, Logan’s Run, and The Waltons. Finally, Fontana talks about her experiences working on the first season of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on December 29, 2003.

During the interview Fontana gives her choices for her favorite original Star Trek episodes (see the end of part 3, above at about 27 minutes in). What are your favorites?

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New Book Highlights the History of Television Taboos

July 13th, 2006

From the July 14th, 2006 Issue of Entertainment Weekly:

Ten Things We Love This Week

3. 'THEY'LL NEVER PUT THAT ON THE AIR,' BY ALLAN NEUWIRTH From All in the Family to Seinfeld: Sharp analysis and firsthand anecdotes illuminate the stories behind TV's most taboo-busting comedies.

The book is a fun oral history of the behind-the-scenes machinations of those who fought to break down television taboos. Nobably, writer (and Archive interviewer) Allan Neuwirth used excerpts from three Archive interviews in the book and also interviewed some Archive alums on his own. Check it out.

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Stanley Rubin's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

July 11th, 2006

Producer Stanley Rubin's two-and-a-half-hour Archive of American Television interview has been added to the online collection at Google Video.

Rubin won an Emmy at the very first Emmy Awards in 1949.

Interview Description:

Rubin begins by talking about his early years in the entertainment business working in the mailroom at Paramount Pictures and then as a reader for several studios, including Universal. He talks about his transition to screenwriting and ultimately producing, which began with the now-classic film noir The Narrow Margin (1952). He describes in great detail his first work as a producer in television, the dramatic anthology series Your Show Time. He discusses the creation of the pilot (which he co-wrote and co-produced with Louis Lantz), the shooting schedule of the series, and the source material that was used for the episodes. He also describes fully the experience and significance of his winning the first Emmy Award ever awarded a “film made for television,” that he accepted at the very first Emmy Awards that took place on January 25, 1949. He talks about his other credits as a television producer including the series G. E. Theater and Bracken’s World, and the television movie Babe. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on June 17, 2004.

Click here to access all Stanley Rubin 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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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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