Archive for the ‘"Newhart"’ Category

Bob Newhart Has a Dream: 20 Years Ago Today

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Considered one of the finest moments in scripted TV history, Newhart ended its eight season run with a brilliant TV in-joke. TV Land to Go: The Big Book of TV Lists, TV Lore, and TV Bests by Tom Hill describes the episode as “a bizarre final chapter in the strange tale of Bob’s life in Vermont, and an ending that immediately became a television legend.”

The Archive of American Television celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Newhart finale two ways. Tune in tonight to the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, which features a final segment with Bob Newhart himself (and a clip of our interview with Suzanne Pleshette) discussing the landmark show. Plus, see the Archive’s new show page for Newhart: “The Last Newhart” featuring behind-the-scenes stories from Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Tom Poston, and director Dick Martin.

Dick Martin Dies at the Age of 86– Archive Interview Segment Online

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Comedian Dick Martin, best known as the co-host with Dan Rowan of television’s Laugh-In (1968-73) has died (click here for his obituary on Newsday.com). The Archive interviewed Martin in 2002. His complete three-and-a-half hour interview will be available online soon and can also be viewed at Academy headquarters.

For Laugh-In’s 40th anniversary in January of this year, the Archive posted a lengthy segment of his interview, which can be viewed here.


Interview description:
Martin spoke about his lifelong ambition to work in the entertainment industry, and his early career steps in Hollywood. He described his first encounter with Dan Rowan, and their subsequent partnership. He remembered with great detail their years on the road working in nightclubs around the country, and their early forays into television. Next, he spoke about working with Lucille Ball as an occasional performer on her CBS series The Lucy Show. Mr. Martin spoke at length about their renowned variety series Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and talked about working with his well-known co-stars. Finally, he discussed his second career as a director for television, on programs including The Bob Newhart Show, Flo, Family Ties, Mama’s Family, The Bradys, and Newhart.

Actress Suzanne Pleshette has died – Archive Interview Online

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

We’re sad to report that Archive interviewee Suzanne Pleshette, the actress best known for her role as Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show, died last night (Saturday, January 19th) at the age of 70. She was interviewed in February, 2006 and the interview is now available online.


Click here for her full San Jose Mercury News obituary.

Click here to view a special TV Land Online video featuring Archive interviews with Suzanne Pleshette & Bob Newhart talking about The Bob Newhart Show.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences online Suzanne Pleshette obituary.

Click here to access Suzanne Pleshette’s Archive interview.

Interview description:
In her 5-part oral history interview, actress Suzanne Pleshette talks about her early years as an actress in film (The Geisha Boy), television (Playhouse 90, One Step Beyond), and Broadway (“The Miracle Worker”). She discusses her friendship with Alfred Hitchcock that began on the feature film The Birds. She spoke candidly and in detail about her television work, including The Bob Newhart Show, in which she played Newhart’s wife “Emily Hartley,” including her surprise re-appearance in the series finale of Newhart. She talks about several of her other appearances on television including Columbo, Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (in which she played the title role), and 8 Simple Rules and recounted, with honesty, the personalities of many of the people she worked with throughout her career.

Books: A Memoir by Archive Interviewee John Rich

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

A recent book, Warm up the Snake: A Hollywood Memoir (The University of Michigan Press), recounts Archive interviewee John Rich’s life in the trenches as one of television’s premier directors and producers. Rich boldly recounts his work on many classic series (and episodes) including The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan’s Island, All in the Family and MacGyver as well as his longtime involvement in the Directors Guild of America. It’s a humerous, no-holds-barred look behind the scenes at some of our favorite shows and also gives readers a glimpse into what makes a great director.

From Warm Up the Snake:

During my days as an NBC stage manager, I witnessed plenty of foul-ups that no one could have invented. One day I was assigned to monitor the time and placement of a live commercial insert within a program, produced by an outside advertising agency. The program featured “Dunninger, the Mental Wizard,” a see-all know-all “mentalist” act. As the NBC representative, I had little to do but sit in the control room behind the production team and observe the action with my notepad at the ready. The first two sales pitches went as planned, but as the program neared its end, the director became concerned that the time would run out before the final commercial. He instructed the stage manager to “give Dunninger a speed-up and signal we have one minute to go.”

The stage manager obeyed, but the mentalist’s pace continued as before. The director called, “Give him 30 seconds!” No response. “Speed him up, we’re not going to make it!” Pandemonium reigned as the performer talked right into the NBC systems cue, cutting off transmission. The last commercial was lost: disaster. I made my notes, and joined the angry mob as they boiled out of the control room and confronted a bewildered Dunninger. “W lost the last commercial: the agency men screamed. “Why didn’t you take our cues?”

“What cues?” Dunninger asked.

“The three or four speed-ups, the one-minute, and the thirty-second cues we gave to the stage manager.”

Dunninger was irate. “Why don’t you put the son of a bitch where I can see him? What do you think I am, a mind reader?”


John Rich’s Archive interview is now online.
Click here to access all 14 parts.


Interview description:
John Rich was interviewed for nearly seven hours in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Rich talked about his start in television as a stage manager for NBC, where he worked on The Colgate Comedy HourT. He eventually got his start as a director on The Ezio Pinza Show. He talked numerous shows he directed throughout his career including I Married Joan, The Ray Bolger Show, Our Miss Brooks, Gunsmoke, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, and All In the Family, which he also produced. He also discussed directing pilots for Maude, The Jeffersons, Barney Miller, and Newhart. Mr. Rich also discussed executive producing Benson and MacGyver. The interview was conducted by Henry Colman on August 3, 1999.

Beloved Character Actor Tom Poston Leaves A Legacy of Comedy

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Tom Poston, who was a regular on The Steve Allen Show,
Mork & Mindy, and Newhart, has died at the age of 85.

Poston was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on
February 2006 (pictured here with interviewer Stephen J. Abramson).
His entire two-hour interview (part 2 of 4 can be seen below)
can be viewed at the Television Academy offices
in North Hollywood.

In the clip above (part 2 of 4), Tom Poston discusses how he became a regular on The Steve Allen Show. PRESS THE PLAY ARROW IN THE PLAYER ABOVE TO VIEW THE SEGMENT.


Interview Description:
Tom Poston talked about his first television appearances, including his stint as a regular on the early soap opera, Hawkins Falls, Population 6200, which originated in Chicago. He chronicled his work on a local New York daytime show, that led to appearances as a regular on The Steve Allen Show where he memorably appeared in the “Man on the Street” sketches with Don Knotts and Louis Nye. He discussed his work with colleague Bob Newhart – including his recurring role on The Bob Newhart Show, and his regular role as handyman “George Utley” on Newhart. Other topics he discussed include his original consideration for the lead of Get Smart (before the project changed networks nullifying his contract), his regular role on Mork & Mindy, and his relationship and marriage to actress Suzanne Pleshette. The interview was conducted by Stephen J. Abramson

The Bob Newhart Book

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006


Bob Newhart has written his first book, “a hilarious combination of stories from his career and observations about life.”

Read the book and watch Bob Newhart’s Archive of American Television Interview. This is part 3, where he talks about The Bob Newhart Show. Click here to watch the entire three-and-a-half hour interview.