Posts Tagged ‘“Mr. Peepers”’

James Sheldon’s Interview is Online

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Director James Sheldon’s Archive of American Television Interview is now online.


In part 4 of his interview, Sheldon talks about working with James Dean in “live” television. James Dean appeared in about twenty television productions in the early 1950s before embarking on his feature film career.
PRESS THE PLAY ARROW IN THE PLAYER ABOVE TO WATCH THE SEGMENT NOW.

James Sheldon directed one of the quintessential episodes of the classic anthology series The Twilight Zone— “It’s A Good Life,” in which a boy (played by Billy Mumy) holds an entire town in fear demanding that they think “good thoughts” or face his wrath. As Rod Serling describes in his introduction to the episode: “….Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.” Sheldon discusses “It’s A Good Life” and the other five episodes of The Twilight Zone he directed in Part 5 and Part 6 of his interview.

Interview description:
James Sheldon was interviewed for over three hours in New York, NY. He spoke about breaking into the business as an NBC page, and after a few years in advertising, turning his attentions to directing for television. He described his work on several shows from the 1950s including such diverse fare as: sitcom Mr. Peepers, daytime variety series The Eddie Albert Show, military anthology West Point Story, and drama The Millionaire. He also spoke in great detail about working with then-budding actor James Dean in two “live” television productions of Armstrong Circle Theater and Robert Montgomery Presents. He discussed his work on the anthology series The Twilight Zone, for which he directed such classic episodes as “It’s A Good Life” starring Billy Mumy. Other series he discussed included Family Affair and My Three Sons. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on April 6, 2005.

See the full interview here.

David Shaw’s Archive Interview Is Now Online!

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Writer David Shaw’s five-part interview is now available for viewing on Google Video. Shaw was one of the most prolific writers during television’s “Golden Age.”

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.

Interview Description:

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. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on August 31, 2004.

Click here to access David Shaw’s entire interview.