News from the Archive

Carroll O'Connor's Archive of American Television Interview is Now Online

September 18th, 2006

Actor Carroll O'Connor's 4-hour Archive of American Television interview has been added to the online collection at Google Video. This is tape 4 of Carroll O'Connor's interview in which he talks about Archie Bunker and All in the Family. Click here to access all eight parts of the interview.

Carroll O'Connor (1924-2001) won Emmy Awards for portraying "Archie Bunker" on All in the Family and "Sheriff Bill Gillespie" on In the Heat of the Night.

O'Connor on Archie Bunker (from Part 2):

The funniest man in a play [Micheál MacLiammóir once told me] is the most serious man on the stage. That was Archie Bunker, wasn’t it? That was Archie Bunker. He never thought he was funny. He never came into the house with a smile or a laugh on his lips. Nothing was funny to him, and god forbid, anybody told him he was funny. Well, I learned that back then…. I’ve passed that onto people over and over, you know, during the years. But I’m afraid there are actors today and comedians who know they’re funny. And it takes away from their work.

Interview Description:

Carroll O’Connor spoke about his stage career at University College in Dublin and his Broadway debut as Buck Mulligan in “Ulysses in Nighttown” in 1958. He also discussed such television anthology series as Armstrong Circle Theatre, as well as other dramatic series. He talked about starring, in 1968, in the first pilot for what would become All in the Family. During his interview Mr. O’Connor spoke vividly about his early television as well as his acclaimed work on both All in the Family and In the Heat of the Night.

Share and Enjoy:

25 Years Ago Today: "Hill Street Blues" Swept the Emmy Awards

September 14th, 2006

On September 13, 1981, Hill Street Blues set the record for the most Emmy Awards ever won by a primetime show in one season: eight. The record would stand until The West Wing won nine Emmys in 2000. At the time, Hill Street Blues was one of the poorest-rated shows of the season (ranking 87 among 96 primetime shows) when it made Emmy history (Its 21 nominations was also a record). As headlined by Variety: "'Hill Street' Cops Most Emmys: NBC-TV Series Busts Awards Open."

Co-Creator/Producer Steven Bochco talks about Hill Street Blues in his Archive of American Television interview. This is Part 5 of the interview. Click here to access all 12 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...).)

Hill Street Blues' wins in its first season were:

Outstanding Drama Series
Outstand Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Daniel J. Travanti)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Barbara Babcock)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Michael Conrad)
Outstanbding Directing in a Drama Series (Robert Butler)
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series (Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll)
Outstanding Cinematography: Series (William H. Cronjager)
Outstanding Film Sound Editing (Samuel Horta, Robert Cornet, Denise Horta, Eileen Horta)

The Archive of American Television has also conducted interviews with Daniel J. Travanti and Robert Butler. These interviews are not currently available online but can be viewed at the Academy's offices in North Hollywood.

Did you watch Hill Street Blues? What are your favorite moments from the show?

Share and Enjoy:

Stardate: 2006

September 8th, 2006

Star Trek, the orginal series celebrates its 40th anniversary today! The series ran three years from September 8, 1966 to September 2, 1969.

The Archive of American Television has interviewed several of the significant contributors to the series, including Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner.

Click here to access all 5 interview segments. This is Part 5 of the interview. (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...).)

Did you watch the series when it originally aired? What are your memories of Star Trek?

Share and Enjoy:

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.

Share and Enjoy:

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.

Share and Enjoy: