Archive for the ‘Genre: Children's Television’ Category

Don Herbert, TV’s "Mr. Wizard," Passes On

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Don Herbert, known to television viewers for four decades as “Mr. Wizard,” has died at age 89. The first incarnation of his educational science show, Watch Mr. Wizard, began on March 3, 1951 on WMAQ (WNBQ) in Chicago. The show continued in various formats, finding new life in the 1980s as the Nickelodeon series Mr. Wizard’s World. Herbert also developed the 90s series Teacher to Teacher with Mr. Wizard that highlighted exemplary elementary science teachers and projects.

Don Herbert was interviewed by the Archive of American Television’s Karen Herman on January 24, 2005.

Interview Description:
Don Herbert described his early years as an actor on stage and radio before turning to television where he created the classic children’s science series Watch Mr. Wizard. He detailed his hosting of the show, as well as working with his young assistants. He talked about his simultaneous work as G. E. Theater’s “progress reporter,” hosting a different three-minute commercial segment for each episode through the majority of the run. He talked about the later incarnations of the “Mr. Wizard” franchise. He also mentioned his appearances on morning and late-night television talk shows.

There is also a wonderful Mr. Wizard website — click here to access.

Reminder: Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship Deadline is Coming Up

Monday, February 5th, 2007
Entry deadline is February 15, 2007.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation (which runs the Archive of American Television), in association with Ernst & Young LLP, is offering two scholarships in honor of Fred Rogers, the creator and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The scholarships are intended to support and encourage aspiring upper division or graduate students to pursue careers in children’s media and further the values and principles of Fred Rogers’ work. To see our original post about this amazing opportunity (and about our interview with Fred Rogers himself), click here. Hurry, there are only a few more “snappy new days” left to apply!

Click here for full Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship application information.

Animation Legend Joseph Barbera Has Died

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Honoree and Archive Interviewee Joseph Barbera has died at the age of 95. Barbera was interviewed by Leonard Maltin for the Archive in 1997.

Click here to access Joseph Barbera’s entire three hour-plus interview.

Interview description:

Joseph Barbera discussed his start as a young animator at the Van Beuren Studios in New York, before his move to California and MGM’s cartoon studio. He recalled working for executive Fred Quimby, and his eventual partnership with William Hanna at MGM. This collaboration with Hanna ultimately led to their own cartoon production company, and Barbera shared many stories about the creation of some of their more memorable characters and shows including: Tom and Jerry, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Top Cat, The Jetsons, and The Smurfs.

Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship Applications Are Now Being Accepted!

Friday, December 15th, 2006

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, in association with Ernst & Young LLP, is offering two scholarships in honor of Fred Rogers, the creator and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The scholarships are intended to support and encourage aspiring upper division or graduate students to pursue careers in children’s media and further the values and principles of Fred Rogers’ work.

From 1967 to 2001, Fred Rogers produced his daily children’s television program, celebrating imagination and play, exploring children’s feelings and sense of self worth, and treating young viewers with love and respect. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood continues to air on PBS stations throughout the United States and remains the gold standard of how television can enlighten, educate and increase social consciousness and understanding. The Archive of American Television was very honored to conduct his four-and-a-half hour videotaped interview (puppets and all) in 1999. Click here to access Fred Rogers’ Archive interview.

Two $10,000 scholarships are awarded annually to two qualified applicants. In addition to the monetary award, successful applicants are mentored by children’s programming professionals during the academic year.

The Fred Rogers Scholarships are made possible through the generous underwriting of Ernst & Young.

Entry deadline is February 15, 2007.

Click here for full Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship application information.

Bob Keeshan’s ("Captain Kangaroo" and TV’s First Clarabell the Clown) Interview is now Online

Saturday, November 18th, 2006


Remember Clarabell the clown on The Howdy Doody Show? Or what about Captain Kangaroo, with his menagerie of “Dancing Bear,” “Mr. Moose,” and “Mr. Greenjeans”? Bob Keeshan, best known as television’s “Captain Kangaroo” was interviewed by the Archive of American Television in 1999 and it’s now accessible on Google Video.

Interview Description:

Mr. Keeshan related his experiences as an NBC page before going to work for “Buffalo” Bob Smith. Keeshan talked about the beginnings of Smith’s Howdy Doody Show and how he was eventually transformed into the show’s clown, Clarabell. Keeshan discussed his four years on the show, and his eventual falling-out with Smith, which led to Keeshan’s departure. He talked about starring in two local New York childrens’ programs before CBS tapped him to star in his own show, which ultimately became Captain Kangaroo. He talked about executive producing and starring in the program for almost 30 years and discussed the ensemble cast and classic moments. The 3-1/2 hour interview was conducted by Karen Herman in Queechee, Vermont on October 19, 1999.

Click here to access the entire interview. (The interview is done chronologically, so it’s best to watch the parts in order.)

Classic "Sesame Street" Comes to DVD!

Tuesday, 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?

Puppeteer (and Archive Interviewee) Carroll Spinney Honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Saturday, April 29th, 2006


Archive interviewee Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who plays the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, was honored with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Daytime Craft Emmy Awards. Spinney was chosen for his work entertaining and educating children for nearly four decades, since the series debut in 1969. His characters have been seen on more than 4,000 episodes, as well as Sesame Street television specials that have taken Spinney to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Spinney starred in the feature film Follow That Bird and has performed on a number of other shows, including The West Wing and Hollywood Squares.

Mr. Spinney’s Archive of American Television interview was conducted on May 12, 2001.

Click here to access Carroll Spinney’s interview segments.


Fred Rogers’ Legacy Continues…

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Congratulations to the winners of the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship presented at Saturday’s 33rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (see the press release below for details). In 1999, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s Archive of American Television interviewed Mr. Rogers in-depth about his entire television career. Watch this amazing interview (and look for a few cameos by some of his favorite puppets) and see why he continues to be an inspiration to so many.

Interview description:

In his 4-1/2 hour interview, Fred Rogers described his work as the creator and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which began its run in 1968. He described the show’s evolution, which started with Misterogers which he produced in Canada for the CBC. He described each aspect of the show including the origin of his trademark sweaters. He described his early years in television working as a floor manager for NBC on such shows as NBC Opera Theatre, The Kate Smith Hour, and The Gabby Hayes Show. He detailed his move into public television in 1953 with his work as the program director for WQED, Pittsburgh. He described his first children’s program The Children’s Corner (1954-61 WQED; 1955-56 NBC), which introduced several puppets later used on Mister Rogers. He talked about the importance of children’s programming and his longevity as a childrens’ show host. The interview was conducted on July 22, 1999 by Karen Herman in Pittsburgh, PA.

Click Here to Access Fred Rogers Interview Segments

NATHALIE CARRICK AND NICHOLAS DEYSHER NAMED RECIPIENTS OF ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES FOUNDATION FRED ROGERS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Graduate Students to Each Receive $10,000
for Their Work in Children’s Media

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA. April 21, 2006 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation along with Ernst & Young LLP jointly announced that Nathalie Carrick and Nicholas Deysher are the recipients of the second Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship. The announcement was made by Nancy Steingard and Vicki Ariyasu, Governors of the Television Academy’s Children’s Programming Peer Group and Andy Sale, Ernst & Young’s Media and Entertainment Leader for the Pacific Southwest Area.

The scholarships will be presented to the students at the 33rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday, April 22 in Los Angeles by Daytime Emmy® nominee, J.D. Roth (“Endurance: Tehachapi“). Carrick, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the UC Irvine, will be given the Research Scholarship. Deysher, a grad student in the University of Miami’s Media Writing and Production program, will be given the Production Scholarship. Each will receive $10,000 to support their aspiring careers in children’s media and furthering the values and principles of Rogers’ work. In addition to the monetary award, both will be assigned a mentor from the Television Academy’s Children’s Programming Group who will work with them during the academic year.

“Both Nathalie and Nicholas are students that devote their time to the field of children’s media and we are thrilled to be able to award these scholarships to them,” said Steingard. “They have both demonstrated a commitment to programming that reflects the values, creativity and spirit of Fred Rogers.”

Added Ariyasu, “We couldn’t ask for two better recipients to be emissaries of Fred Rogers and the Television Academy. Nathalie and Nicholas are both sincere and passionate about children’s media and their work truly best represents Rogers’ vision of using television to enlighten and inspire young children.”

“Ernst & Young is proud to underwrite this unique scholarship program,” commented Andy Sale, Ernst & Young’s Media and Entertainment Leader for the Pacific Southwest Area. “We share a commitment to promoting quality education and hope this scholarship encourages others to pursue a career in educational programming for children.” ….

Click here to view the entire press release.