News from the Archive

Lee Grant's Archive of American Television Interview is Now Online!

January 11th, 2007


Actress/Director Lee Grant's interview is now posted on Google Video.

Click here to access all interview segments.

Interview Description:
In her seven-part (each 30-minute segement is posted separately) oral history interview, actress/director Lee Grant discusses her long and distinguished career in stage, television, and film. She describes her breakthrough role in the stage and film versions of Detective Story. She talks about her early television work in the anthology series The Play’s The Thing and Danger. She discusses her role as a regular on the daytime serial Search For Tomorrow. Ms. Grant describes in detail the Hollywood blacklist period which affected her and her husband of the time Arnold Manoff. She talks about her Emmy-winning role on the prime time serial Peyton Place and her work on the sitcom Fay, which followed her Oscar® win for the film Shampoo. She discusses her television directorial debut, for the special The Shape of Things and her work in front of and behind the camera for television movies and documentaries in the 1980s and 1990s. The interview was conducted on May 10, 2000 by Henry Colman.

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A New Book by the Author of "The Box"

January 5th, 2007

Anyone interested in the history of television, has undoubtedly come across the book, The Box: An Oral History of Television, 1929-1961 by Jeff Kisseloff, published in 1995 (Penguin Books). For the book, Jeff interviewed over 300 individuals involved in all aspects of early television -- the audiotaped collection of interviews now resides at the Archive of American Television. What most people don't know, is how instrumental Jeff was in the early days of the Archive, particularly in guiding us to the still-living early pioneers of the medium and interviewing television luminaries Elma Farnsworth, Joseph Wershba, Dick Smith and others for the Archive.

Recently, Jeff focused his oral history talents on another topic, the political and cultural upheaval of the 1960s, in his new book Generation on Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s An Oral History. In it, he interviews those who pushed for change in the tumultuous decade filled with such issues the quest for Civil Rights, free speech, communal movements, the Vietnam War, and the National Guard shootings at Kent State University. For anyone who wants to know more about the 1960s, the power of individuals to instigate change, or who wants to experience the work of a master oral historian, Jeff's book should be at the top of the list.

Visit Jeff's Website.

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David Shaw's Archive Interview Is Now Online!

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.

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Jack Lemmon's Archive of American Television Interview is Now Online!

January 2nd, 2007
Happy New Year from the
Archive of American Television.

More interviews are on the way!

The late Jack Lemmon's interview has just been posted online at Google Video. Click here to access all segments. (The interviews are done chronologically, so be sure to watch the parts in order to hear the whole story.)

Interview Description:
In this 4-part (each 30 minute part is posted separately) oral history interview, actor Jack Lemmon discusses his early television appearances on sitcoms, anthology teleplays, and guest appearances in variety shows. In the 1950s and 60s, Lemmon became an established motion picture star, most notably in Billy Wilder's film Some Like It Hot, which he discusses. He talks about his return to television in 1972, in the special (one of his favorites) Jack Lemmon in 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin. He discusses some of the television movies he appeared in, starting from the late 1980s, which included The Murder of Mary Phagan, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and 12 Angry Men. The Archive of American Television interview was conducted on November 4, 1998 by Morrie Gelman.

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Dick Clark Celebrates 35 Years of "New Year's Rockin' Eve"

December 29th, 2006


Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve celebrates its 35th anniversary with the Dec 31, 2006-January 1, 2007 special.

Dick Clark spoke about his first New Year's special in 1959 and his inaguaration of New Year's Rockin' Eve in 1972, when he was interviewed by the Archive of American Television (scroll to 24 minutes into the segment below) on July 29, 1999.

To access Dick Clark's entire Archive intervew, click here.

This year, the show expands from one to a record three performances, live from the show's exclusive performance stage on Military Island before almost a million people, and tens of million more viewers at home. Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest will host three specials from New York, making three and a half hours of special New Year's programming:

"Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve 2007" (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET)
"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2007," Part 1 (11:35 p.m. -1:05 a.m., ET)
"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2007," Part 2 (1:05-2:05 a.m., ET)

Link to Official ABC site.

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