News from the Archive

Guest Post: At the Emmys with the Pop Culture Passionistas

September 26th, 2017
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Our good friends the Pop Culture Passionistas helped us cover the red carpet and press room at the Emmys this year! Here's their behind-the-scenes scoop on the 69th Creative Arts and Primetime Emmys - enjoy!

For the eighth consecutive year, we’ve been honored to represent the Television Academy Foundation on the red carpet and the press room of the Emmys. But this year, as the current Golden Age of Television continues to raise the bar, we found ourselves surrounded by bona fide movie stars.

Actors formerly seen only on the big screen — Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies), Anthony Hopkins (Westworld), Robert De Niro (The Wizard of Lies), Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) and John Turturro (The Night Of) — are now flocking to TV. It’s a place where they are welcomed to explore their characters in-depth and encouraged by outlets like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO to strive for new heights in innovation, creativity, and diversity.

Geoffrey Rush, who was nominated for playing Albert Einstein in the TV miniseries Genius, told us what he likes about TV projects, “You get to tell a bigger story. We had 500 minutes. That’s like Ivan the Terrible in film terms.”

Director/producer J.J. Abrams (Westworld) talked about the difference in the two mediums staying, “The obvious and wonderful thing about TV is that it goes on and on and on… It’s an evolving thing… TV is more like theater than it is cinema.”

It was an exciting year at the Emmys with The Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies, and Saturday Night Live taking home the most statues. Diversity was celebrated, women dominated, and politics were palpable. And we experienced it all from our front row seats. We conducted over 150 interviews in our two days covering the Emmys, so picking our highlights was difficult but we narrowed it down to the clips below.

Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke

As Gerald McRaney approached us on the carpet at the Creative Arts Emmys, we were excited to hear why he thought This Is Us resonated with so many people. He answered, “It’s about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.” While he talked, Delta Burke (Designing Women), his wife of 28 years, looked on so lovingly you could see the glow. 

Later that evening, Gerald won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work playing Dr. Katowski. In the press room after his win, he explained he found the emotion for his scenes by thinking about his own wife and how he could not go on if he lost her. A few minutes later we were in the ladies room and encountered Delta, still shedding tears of joy over her husband’s win. We told her what he said moments earlier and thanked her for being an inspiration and a shining example of a loving Hollywood couple.

The Television Academy Foundation Internship Pays Off

The team from Veep returned to the press room to field questions about their third straight win for Outstanding Comedy Series. And the show’s star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was the focus of most of the attention, having just tied Cloris Leachman’s record for most performing Emmys. Selina Meyer may be out of office, but JLD ruled supreme at the Emmys taking home her sixth statuette for playing the ex-President.

But after the reporters had asked the eight-time Emmy winner all of their questions, we jumped in to speak to another important member of the team. The cast and crew of the HBO hit was ecstatic when we said we had a question for Supervising Producer Rachel Axler. As they cheered her on, she answered our question about the merits of having been a Television Academy Foundation Intern. Of course, Axler is no newbie to the Emmys herself. Her 2017 win marked her fourth Emmy award thanks to a previous win for Veep and two for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It looks like someone just might give Louis-Dreyfus a run for her money when it comes to taking home the most statues someday.

The Unfinished Acceptance Speech    

Home viewers had the pleasure of listening to the charismatic Sterling K. Brown’s acceptance speech until he was cut off midway through. Those of us in the press room got the added treat of hearing the rest of what he had to say. In addition to thanking the team behind the “impeccable, beautiful, thoughtful writing on This Is Us,” he gave a nod to producers, directors and series creator Dan Fogelman. But the heart-tugging moment that those in their living rooms missed, was his effusive tribute to his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe. With tears in his eyes, the Outstanding Actor in a Drama recipient gushed, “You’re everything. You make my life worth living. And you gave me two of the most beautiful things that God has ever put on this planet, my sons.” See the unaired portion of his speech and more of his loving message to his two children in the clip below.

What TV Character Would You Be and Why?

We like to have some fun on the red carpet, so this year we asked people, “If you could be one TV character from all time, who would you pick and why?” The answers ranged from the Golden Girls and Wonder Woman (we got those a lot) to Alf (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal from Westworld) and the creature from Stranger Things (Anika Noni Rose from The Quad). A few actors went with classic shows like Good Times — Niecy Nash (Claws) chose Wilona and Anthony Anderson (black-ish) picked James. Jane Lynch (Dropping the Soap) praised Maude for being, “A woman who is still very modern. She is a woman who stood up for her own rights and… was unquestionably independent.” Denis O’Hare (This Is Us) couldn’t decide between Dr. Smith from Lost in Space and Uncle Arthur from Bewitched, "I'm a character actor, what do you want from me?" But our favorite answer came from Michael Kenneth Williams (The Night Of). Watch the clip below to see who he chose and why. 

 And to find out who your favorite stars picked, check out all our Emmy clips:

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Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th, 2017

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate we've partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to create a new exhibit: Latinos in News and Entertainment. Check it out below!

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Remembering Don Ohlmeyer

September 11th, 2017
Don Ohlmeyer

We’re sad to learn that Sports Executive/Producer Don Ohlmeyer passed away on Sunday, September 10 at the age of 72. Ohlmeyer began his career as an assistant director for ABC Sports, before going on to direct the 1968 and 1972 Olympics. Through his varied and accomplished career, he produced Battle of the Network Stars, worked at NBC Sports, founded his own production company, Ohlmeyer Communications, led NBC to its number-one status with “Must See TV” and Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and produced Monday Night Football at ABC.   

Below are some selections from his 2004 interview:

On the battle for late night:

On staying true to yourself:

Watch Don Ohlmeyer’s full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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Remembering Shelley Berman

September 1st, 2017
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We’re sad to learn that comedian Shelley Berman has passed away at the age of 92. Berman began his career studying acting at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, and went on to perform on The Steve Allen Show and to appear 22 times on The Ed Sullivan Show. He also starred in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone (“The Mind and the Matter”) and, in later years, was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as “Nat David” on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Below are some selections from his 2012 interview:

On dealing with television censors:

"I guess there might have been times when you had to be sure that you're not going to do anything that would hurt the show. … I really didn’t spend a whole lot of my time worrying about whether it can get by the censors. I knew my audience in a nightclub, anywhere; I knew my audience.  And I was going to do something that was going to make them laugh."

On his starring role on The Twilight Zone:

"I picked up my phone, and this fellow said, 'I am Rod Serling. I want you to do one of my shows. Is that okay?' Well, besides almost dropping the phone …I said, 'Great, I'd like to do that.' … The premise of the episode is that I want everybody to change. I want everybody to be like I am. That's the way the world should be. Exactly like I am. And so everybody on that show had my face. It was incredible, what they did, how they photographed it and did it. The people all had that mask of my face. And it was very scary to see. … But it was a kick. Everybody liked it. I liked it. And people still compliment me on it."

On appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show:

"It could be wonderful. It could feel great. And he could treat you as if you are the most wonderful thing in the world. That's really where it is. And I had the good luck of pleasing him almost always. … When I got off the stage I knew to march right up to his office. You don’t go to your dressing room; you go to his office so he can tell you that you're no damn good. Or he can tell you, how long do you have to be? There are other people on that stage. He was very, very demanding, but he was never demanding in a way that was career ruining or career frightening. He just had a good way. I had [22] times with him. And it wasn't enough."

Watch Shelley Berman’s full interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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Tuesday, August 29, 1967: The Day The Running Stopped for "The Fugitive's" Richard Kimble

August 29th, 2017

50 years ago today, The Fugitive's Dr. Richard Kimble finally got justice. Falsely accused for the murder of his wife, Kimble (played by David Janssen) spent four years on the run, pursuing his wife's true killer, the One-Armed Man, while also being diligently pursued himself by Lt. Gerard. In the two-part series finale ("The Judgment" Parts I and II) Kimble learns the One-Armed Man is in Los Angeles, but before Kimble can make his move, Gerard finally catches up with Kimble. Kimble tells Gerard of the most recent developments in his pursuit of the One-Armed Man, and Gerard grants him 24 hours to gather the evidence he would need to exonerate himself. 24 hours come and go, but just as Gerard is about to take Kimble to prison, the two are led to an amusement park where the one remaining witness to Mrs. Kimble's murder, Lloyd Chandler, is attempting to murder the One-Armed Man for blackmailing him. Then the showdown the world had been waiting for ensued: Kimble v. the One-Armed Man.

But viewers almost never got a chance to see Kimble find retribution. According to ABC's Leonard Goldberg, when David Janssen did not want to return for a fifth season of the series, The Fugitive was supposed to end in May of 1967, with the last episode being simply what had been shot as the conclusion of the fourth season when production still anticipated a fifth. There was no resolution to the series at that point - Kimble was still chasing the One-Armed Man. Goldberg describes how he fought for a real series finale (a two-parter, as it turned out), which would give viewers a satisfying end to The Fugitive. "The Judgment: Part II" earned the highest TV rating ever at that time - a whopping 45.9 and a 72 share, meaning that of all the television sets in use at that time, 72% of them were tuned to that episode. "The Judgment: Part II" was watched by over 78 million people that Tuesday night:

Kimble got his man, viewers got satisfaction, and ABC got huge ratings. And "The Judgment: Part II" remains one of the most memorable series finales of all time. Win win.

Learn more about The Fugitive at our show page.

- Adrienne Faillace

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