News from the Archive

Archive Interviewee John Conte Has Died

September 6th, 2006

Actor/ Host/ TV Station Owner John Conte has died at the age of 90.

Conte was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on July 27, 1999. His interview can be viewed in the Archive's Los Angeles offices and will be available online in the near future.

Interview description:
John Conte was interviewed for four-and-a-half hours in Malibu, CA. Conte talked about his early professional career as an announcer for network radio on such programs as "The Screen Guild Theater" and "Burns and Allen." As the “Singing M. C.” on radio’s "Maxwell House Coffee Time," Conte described his role as a straight man for the comedy of Frank Morgan. He talked about his brief appearance in movies as an actor, notably in the Abbott and Costello film Lost in a Harem, before his entrance into the service in World War II. Conte detailed his work after the war as an actor and singer on Broadway and in “live” television. Among the series in which he appeared were Studio One, The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre, and Musical Comedy Time. Conte detailed his work as a regular on Van Camp’s Little Show (1950-1; 1953) which through his association became known as John Conte’s Little Show. This music show featured Conte and various musical guests and regulars. Conte also discussed in detail the Matinee Theatre anthology series, an ambitious undertaking which offered a different “live” production every afternoon for three straight years (1955-58); Conte appeared as the host on every show (and occasionally appeared as an actor on the series). Conte described his appearances on four productions of Max Liebman Presents, elaborate musical specials on NBC. He talked about his numerous other appearances in television series as a regular and as a guest actor, including numerous appearances on Perry Mason. He described in detail the creation of the Palm Springs television station KMIR-TV, an NBC affiliate, and his 30-year service as its president, general manager, and owner.

Click here to access John Conte's full interview.

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Family's on DVD!

September 5th, 2006

The first and second seasons of the Emmy-Award winning series Family (1976-80) has now been released on DVD.

The series was executive-produced by Leonard Goldberg, Mike Nichols, and Aaron Spelling. Here are some sound bites from Goldberg and Spelling’s interviews with the Archive of American Television where they discuss Family.

Aaron Spelling (Executive Producer):

[Family] was the first family show on television. It’s a husband and wife raising their children and everyday things that happen in their life. It’s just everyday life. Not huge things. It had that.

Leonard Goldberg (Executive Producer):

Aaron and I were standing in his kitchen. And we got to talking about new ideas for shows. And we came up with two ideas. So far apart— perhaps illustrating our partnership. One was about a chopper, called Chopper One. And the other was Family. And I told Aaron that night the story of my Dad, about the little moments, we talked about…. We had dinner with Jay [Presson Allen]… and she wrote the script. It was a great script. And Barry Diller came over to see me…. And he said I came over to talk to you about Family. We’re not gonna do it. I said, Barry, why? He said because it’s so good and I know your heart is in this and you’ll make a great pilot and then we’ll break your heart… because it’ll never go on the air, it’s too soft…. I can’t let them do that to you…. Then what happened was Jay lived nearby to Mike Nichols. And ABC had made a deal with Mike Nichols. And they couldn’t find anything that he wanted to do. He read Jay’s script…. and called ABC and said I’ll do [Family]…. Eisner calls me and goes, Mike Nichols wants to do Family so we want to do it. I said you son of a gun. Aaron and I want to do it, that’s not good enough, with everything we’ve done for you? But because Mike Nichols wants it… ! He said, are you finished? Will you just please call… Mike, and make a deal with the two of you. And, let’s go. And that’s how Family got made as a pilot and then picked up as a series.

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Just Published: A Guide to Television, Film, and Digital Media Programs at Top Colleges and Universities Nationwide

September 1st, 2006

Anyone who's watched the Archive of American Television's interviews, knows that many of our honorees stress how a solid education or a special mentorship was critical to their success.

If you or someone you know would like to pursue a career in the industry, check out the schools featured in the just-published Television, Film, and Digital Media Programs: 556 Outstanding Programs at Top Colleges and Universities across the Nation.

Co-written with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation (the Archive's parent organization), The Princeton Review guide profiles 215 schools that offer a total 556 of the most outstanding programs in television, film, and digital media studies. The book details areas of focus, faculty and campus equipment. You'll also find a foreword written by HBO Chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht and 16 thumbnail profiles of successful industry professionals who benefited from the mentorship and programs of the Academy's Foundation.

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Yes, Yes, Nanette Fabray's Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

August 28th, 2006

Get set to watch tonight's 58th Annual Emmy Awards on NBC (8 p.m.EST)! In celebration, we've chosen to highlight one of the medium's most versatile performers, Nanette Fabray. Fifty Emmys-years ago, at the 1956 Emmy Awards ceremony, Fabray won an Emmy for Best Comedienne (winning out against nominees Gracie Allen, Eve Arden, Lucille Ball and Ann Sothern) AND she picked up an Emmy for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work on Caesar's Hour!

Her 3-hour Archive of American Television interview is available for viewing on Google Video.
Click here to access all Nanette Fabray interview segments.
Remember, if you'd like to watch the interview in chronological order, select the parts in order (1,2,3...).

About the interview:
Fabray talks about her early years in theater and in early experimental television where she served as an NBC “color girl” -- where women of particular complexions were cast to calibrate the then-new color cameras. She speaks in great detail about her work with Sid Caesar on the variety series Caesar’s Hour -- including some of the series most memorable comedy sketches including “Shadow Waltz” (a take-off on Your Hit Parade) and “The Commuters” (a recurring high-strung-husband and his wife sketch). She discusses her own short-lived series Yes Yes Nanette as well as guest appearances on such series as The Carol Burnett Show, The Jerry Lewis Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (she played Mary's mom). She talks about her recurring role on the CBS sitcom One Day at a Time, where she plays Ann Romano's mother. She also discusses her passion for raising awareness of hearing impairment issues. The interview was conducted by Jennifer Howard on August 12, 2004.

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"Omnibus" and "M*A*S*H" Director Charles S. Dubin's Interview is Now Online

August 24th, 2006

This video is Part 2 of Charles S. Dubin's 7-part interview. In this segment, he talks about his work on the 1950s cultural anthology series Omnibus. Click here to access all Charles Dubin interview segments. (Remember, if you'd like to watch the interview in the order in which it was conducted, select the parts in order (1,2,3...).

Charles Dubin directed more episodes of the landmark sitcom M*A*S*H than any other single director!

Interview Description:

Dubin begins by describing his lengthy career as a television director, which began in 1950 when he was hired at ABC as an associate director, and culminated in his long association with M*A*S*H. Dubin details his early work in “live” television for such series as Pulitizer Prize Playhouse (1950-52) and Opera Vs. Jazz (1953). He speaks in great detail about the over twenty segments of Omnibus (1955-58) that he directed, including celebrated pieces with choreographer Agnes DeMille and conductor/ composer Leonard Bernstein. It was his association with Bernstein in this capacity which led to his directing of the first three of the “Young People’s Concerts” which Dubin then talks about. Additionally, Dubin discusses his work as a director on the quiz show series Twenty-One, which became the center of the quiz show scandal, although Dubin was at the time unaware of the backstage practices that led to the show’s demise. Dubin discusses his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, in which he plead the Fifth and was blacklisted from the industry for five years. He describes his later work, directing multiple episodes of The Defenders, Kojak, Ironside, Hawaii Five-O, and the Father Dowling Mysteries. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on September 9, 2003.

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