Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Bid through August 1st: TV experiences, swag, and set-visits highlight auction to benefit the TV Academy Foundation

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

The auction’s live! Bid on unique television mementos, and support a great cause!

The Television Academy Foundation is offering an array of exclusive items and experiences to bidders through a special online charity auction hosted by eBay Giving Works. All proceeds benefit the Television Academy Foundation’s educational outreach programs — from seminars to scholarships — as well as yours truly, the Archive of American Television.

Auction items include:

Experience a table read for Family Guy
Red Carpet Bleacher seating for the 62nd Primetime® Emmy Arrivals
Visit the set of How I Met Your Mother
Unique signed props from popular primetime shows like Rescue Me and Saving Grace
Visit the set of Parks and Recreation with Aziz Ansari

62nd Primetime Emmy Noms Announced Today

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

With the 62nd Primetime Emmy Nominations, the Archive of American Television congratulates all of the nominees, including our interviewees:
Paris Barclay (comedy series direction, Glee)
Ken Burns (producer nonfiction series, National Parks: America’s Best Idea)
Kevin Clash (producer children’s nonfiction program, When Families Grieve)
Robert A. Dickinson (lighting direction, 82nd Annual Academy Awards)
Dick Ebersol (exec producer special class programs, Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony)
Sharon Gless (supporting actress drama series, Burn Notice)
Louis J. Horvitz (variety special direction, The Kennedy Center Honors)
Shirley Jones (guest actress drama series, The Cleaner)
Susan Lacy (exec producer nonfiction series, American Masters)
Christopher Lloyd (producer/writer comedy series, Modern Family)
Sheila Nevins (producer nonfiction special, Teddy: In His Own Words & exceptional merit filmmaking Sergio)
Tim Van Patten (miniseries direction, The Pacific)
Betty White (guest actress comedy series, Saturday Night Live)
Dick Wolf (producer nonfiction series, American Masters)

Special note: With 126 total series nominations, Saturday Night Live has now become the most-nominated series of all-time.

Watch the Emmy Awards Sunday, August 29 on NBC!

Happy Father’s Day

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences celebrated TV Dads on Thursday June 18th and the Archive of American Television was there to catch a few of the “adored and endeared” fathers on the press line. Among the beloved patriarchs present were Stephen Collins, Bryan Cranston, Jon Cryer, Patrick Duffy, Michael Gross, Bill Paxton, Dick Van Dyke, Dick Van Patten, and Reginald VelJohnson.

Below, the Archive talks with Big Love’s Bill Paxton on how his character fits in with the TV dads of earlier eras and Family’s Ties‘ Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter talk about the family values of their show and the fun they had on the set.

Archive Interviewee Jerry Lewis Discusses the MDA Telethon

Friday, August 29th, 2008

The 43rd annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on Sunday, August 31. “I’ll never wave the white flag in the fight against muscular dystrophy and other muscle-wasting diseases,” Lewis has said. “Not only is the Telethon a chance to help put an end to these debilitating diseases, but it’s also a way to inform and educate the public, while having a darn good time.” Last year’s telethon ended with a record-setting $63.8 million in donations and pledges. A new feature of this year’s broadcast is the Jerry Lewis Telethon Online Auction at

Jerry Lewis was interviewed in October 2000 by the Archive of American Television where he talked about his long association with the annual event.

On doing a telethon with Dean Martin in 1949:
We did a telethon for two hours with the mail carriers in 1949. Then we went to Carnegie Hall in 1950. He did the six-hour telethon with me there… We did MDA from ‘50 to ‘52, and then there was a hiatus. I didn’t do another one till after we split up. But he was very helpful and he understood it was something I had to do and he was very supportive.

On going national with the telethon:
In 1950, Dean and I did the first telethon out of WNEW New York. That was the flagship. The flagship meaning they also had stations in New Jersey and Connecticut… Then we were on hiatus from ‘53 to about ‘57. And in that, in the interim Dean and I had split up, and then I was doing the telethon local New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from ‘57, ‘58, ‘59. Then in 1960 I started to travel to get stations, because we were on three stations, New York and two, whatever that was. By 1960 I was already getting seventy stations, ninety stations. ‘61, ‘62, I’m into a hundred and four stations. ‘66, we went national. I had taken those years to put everybody in place and then finally get them to go with us, when we went national. So we were the first telethon to ever go in color, the first telethon to go coast-to-coast, and by the time we went into 1970 I had 213 stations. We moved the telethon in 1973 to Las Vegas for the first time. And this last year [1999] was my fiftieth year. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing it for 50 years. But the thing that is so magnificent is that the television medium helped me generate a billion seven hundred million dollars in these last 38 years, because twelve years I didn’t raise two hundred thousand dollars.

On the hope for a cure:
And God-willing, again, because of television, we’re going to find a cure. We’re into DNA now, we’re into genetic engineering, which is certain to give us information. And now I’m being told by the clinicians and the researchers and the lab people, you’re going to see the cure in your lifetime. I mean, it’s incredible.

On special moments on the telethon through the years:
Jack Benny came on and destroyed the audience. I had introduced him and he walked on and he looked right in the camera and he thought for a minute, he looked in the camera again. He looked around, and he said, “I don’t guarantee that I’m going to make a pledge.” And we were destroyed! Everybody was hysterical. And he leaned on that for about another minute of just staring. I’ll never forget what that man did with one thought. “Cheapest man in the world,” he’s not going to make a pledge. The Ritz Brothers came on and did the act that they did in vaudeville forty years before, and it was spectacular… I had the hundred and twenty Russian Bolshoi ballet. A hundred and twenty coming right at the center camera, one at a time. One at a time. And about after a hundred and three I was in it. I did my thing. I’ll tell you one thing that I could never ever forget. Mary Passalacqua was a victim of neuromuscular disease, and I went to the hospital to see her in San Francisco, hoping that she would be better. And she was, she was skeleton-like. She was dying so badly. And we funded a thing called plasmapheresis, which flushes the bad blood out and puts new blood in, and she had been given the last rights when I arrived there. When I arrived there she was the epitome of what hero worship is, because she saw me and she, she practically came alive. And then I left, I said good-bye, never though I’d see her again, and then I get a letter from her two months later. Thanks so much for visiting me: it made the difference. I’m doing well. I’m fine. And P.S. my dream is to one day dance with you. I read the letter on television in front of eighty million people. And then I pointed to the curtain and there she came. She walked out and she and I danced dead center of that stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. She’s alive and well because of our funding the plasmapheresis syndrome. And that’s probably one of the most unforgettable things, because I was trembling so, trying to dance and be cool. It was so important to her and to everyone else that was a victim. It was a special moment for people in trouble.

On his 1976 reunion with Dean Martin on the telethon:
The other great moment that’s pretty close emotionally was when Frank [Sinatra] decided to bring Dean on and have us embrace, and stop the twenty years of silence, because it was twenty years we hadn’t talked. And Frank worked it out. He worked it out so that everyone in that studio, every member of my staff— nobody knew Dean was coming on. The only one that knew it was Ed McMahon. So I could never have heard about it. It was such a total surprise. And when you look at the footage and you see the look on my face and the look on his face you see two men that love one another. It was an incredible moment. It was great television.

On the instituting of “ You’ll Never Walk Alone” as the telethon’s closing song:
In 1950 I had the occasion to go to Chicago and visit a twelve-year-old little boy who was suffering from spinal atrophy. And they had operated on him and put a shunt in his spine so he could sit up. And when he saw me he said, I got to tell you something. I just love what you do, and, and you know, you should have a theme song. Twelve years old. I said, what do you mean, a theme song? You should have a song for all of us kids. Your kids. I said, a song like what? He said, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” And it was like I was hit between the eyes with a bullet. What? Of course, I know that lyric, I know where he’s coming from. But he was a very bright twelve-year-old little boy. Speaking for all of the kids that were in trouble. I dedicated it to him on Telethon ‘50. I’ve done it for fifty years.

Link to information about the 2008 MDA telethon.

The entire five-part Archive of American Television interview can be viewed by clicking here.

Additionally, Archive interviewee Eddie Foy III also spoke about working with Jerry Lewis on the MDA Telethons (six minutes into part 10 of his interview).

Interview Description:

Jerry Lewis was interviewed for nearly two-and-a-half hours in San Diego, CA. Mr. Lewis described his rise to stardom and his work on early television, including hosting The Colgate Comedy Hour with his partner, Dean Martin. Mr. Lewis spoke of his many accomplishments in the entertainment industry and his major work in television, including his annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The interview was conducted by Sam Denoff.

The TVLand Awards: A Sneak Preview!

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Sunday marked the 6th Annual TV Land Awards, and the Archive was represented in full effect!

Archive staff attended the gala event, held in Santa Monica, which airs this Sunday June 15 on TvLand, one of our sponsor partners.

Many of our Archive Interviewees were honored, including a special tribute to producer Garry Marshall, and the Golden Girls’ Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Rue McClanahan!

Jonathan Winters (pictured here with Archive Digital Projects Manager Jenni Matz) was given the “Pioneer Award” by Robin Williams, and Mike Meyers was on-hand to receive a “Legacy of Laughter” award from Justin Timberlake.

The day began with a red carpet gala with special guests from Barry Williams to Cindy Williams. We spotted Get Smart’s original ‘Agent 99′, Barbara Feldon, Star Trek’s William Shatner, and ‘The Fonz’– Henry Winkler!

En route from the parking lot I bumped into Dick Van Dyke, who was gracious enough to thank ME for remembering HIM from his interview.

We can’t spill the beans on ALL the surprises the night brought, but be sure to tune in to see it all.

Online Auction to Benefit the Television Academy Foundation

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Here’s your chance to own a unique television memento AND support a great cause — the Television Academy Foundation! Check out the auction items up for bid on the widget below (must see: the custom-made 24 guitar signed by Kiefer Sutherland himself):

These exclusive items and experiences are being offered through a special online charity auction hosted by eBay Giving Works. All proceeds benefit the educational outreach programs — from seminars to scholarships — of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation as well as the preservation efforts of yours truly, the Archive of American Television.

Reminder: The auction ends the afternoon of Thursday, February 28th.

Legacy of the Watts Writers Workshop Continues

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Archive interviewee Marla Gibbs (co-star of The Jeffersons and star of 227) will be one of the honorees at the Watts Writers Workshop Gala Banquet on February 9th. Other honorees include actor Ted Lange (co-star of The Love Boat), actor Roger E. Mosley (co-star of Magnum, P.I.), and Professor Johnnie Scott, the Emmy award winning writer of the acclaimed NBC documentary, The Angry Voices of Watts. Selections of a recent interview with Budd Schulberg will also be screened.

In September of 1965, television and film writer Budd Schulberg started the Watts Writers’ Workshop in response to the devastation of the infamous riots, which had taken place in the primarily African-American South Los Angeles neighborhood a month earlier. “In a small way, I wanted to help,” says the Academy Award-winner. “The only thing I knew was writing, so I decided to start a writers’ workshop.”

The Watts Writers’ Workshop applied for and received a $25,000 grant from the fledgling National Endowment for the Arts — which enabled the group to establish Douglass House. The Workshop’s new home served as a meeting space for its writing programs as well as housing for some of the Workshop’s members, many of whom were homeless.

“The NEA provided tremendous assistance, no question about it,” says Schulberg. “It was like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, and it helped us gain additional private support and also obtain help from the film industry.”

The Workshop quickly attracted national and international media attention; in 1966 it was the subject of an hour-long NBC TV documentary. Writing from the Workshop was also collected in the 1967 anthology From the Ashes: Voices of Watts.

“The Watts Writers’ Workshop allowed us to voice what urban, black America was thinking, feeling, and seeing and to get that out to he rest of the country,” observes honoree Johnnie Scott. “Before that, we had no voice; no one was listening.”

Though the Watts Writers’ Workshop lasted less than a decade, its legacy endures. In 1971, Schulberg and screenwriter Fred Hudson, founded the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center in Harlem, New York. The center’s programs include writing classes in several genres as well as an after school program in creative writing and computer literacy for elementary and middle school students. The Center also produces the annual Black Roots Festival of Poetry, Prose, Drama, and Music, which has showcased leading African American writers and artists such as Lucille Clifton, Gordon Parks, Toni Morrison, and Ishmael Reed.

For information or tickets call 619-531-0902 or visit