David Shaw has died at the age of 90. Shaw was one of the most prolific writers during television’s “Golden Age,” nominated for an Emmy Award for his adaptation of “Our Town” for Producers Showcase. He was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on August 31, 2004.
Writer David Shaw’s five-part interview is available for viewing on Google Video. Click here to access David Shaw’s entire interview.
In part 2 of his interview, David Shaw talks about his work as a writer on Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, one of the key dramatic anthology series of the “Golden Age,” for which he wrote the most teleplays of any single writer.
From Part 3:
Q: There was a term called “kitchen sink” dramas. What did that refer to?
A: It referred to many of the Philcos that are family dramas. With family problems. They weren’t shoot ‘em ups, they weren’t crime, they weren’t sexy. They were just family dramas…. They’re not too far away from soap operas, really. But they’re easy to produce and didn’t call for big sets or lavish outdoor production.
Q: What is the legacy of Philco-Goodyear Playhouse?
A: I think that it was the beginning of good drama on television.
Q: How important do you think [Philco-Goodyear Playhouse producer Fred] Coe was to what is referred to as the “Golden Age of Television”?
A: How important? He was it! Fred was it. There was nobody like him.
Shaw discussed his prolific career as a television writer that began in 1949 for the ABC “live” dramatic anthology series Actors Studio. He spoke in great detail about his work on the series Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, for which he contributed the most teleplays of any writer. For Philco-Goodyear, Shaw commented on several of his individual teleplays and talked about working with legendary producer Fred Coe. Shaw described knowing and working with other such figures of the “Golden Age of Television Drama,” as director Delbert Mann, writer Paddy Chayefsky, and actress Eva Marie Saint. Shaw discussed several series for which he served as a story editor including Mr. Peepers and The Defenders. He described his teleplays for Producer’s Showcase (including his Emmy-nominated adaptation of “Our Town”) and the six shows he wrote for Playhouse 90.