"I loved what television was - the cat fights on 'Dynasty,' Archie Bunker yelling at his wife, Noel Coward and Mary Martin singing, and Dinah Shore or some of those great 'Carol Burnett Shows.' We don't have that anymore. On the good nights, we'd have 30 to 40 million people. There'd be disaster at the network if we had 20 million. You look at shows now, they get a million viewers and they think they're a hit. Something went wrong along the way."
About This Interview
In his nearly three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Douglas S. Cramer talks about his early life and his first foray into television at Procter & Gamble. He describes the development of his first primetime series Peyton Place, the groundbreaking first night-time soap opera. He recounts the development of Batman and supervising the artistic style of the show. He discusses his years as Vice President in Charge of Production at Paramount, where he shepherded such hit series as The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, Bridget Loves Bernie, Barefoot in the Park, and the first network miniseries, QB VII. Cramer outlines the creation and development of The Love Boat and its various guest stars including Andy Warhol and Ethel Merman, and speaks of his long association with Aaron Spelling. He comments on developing the wildly successful primetime soap Dynasty, and shares how he saved the show from cancellation in its second season by casting Joan Collins as "Alexis Carrington Colby." He concludes by discussing his feelings on the then-current state of television and offers sage advice to aspiring television producers. Henry Colman and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on May 22, 2009 in New York, NY.