News from the Archive

"I Dream of Jeannie" and "Patty Duke Show" Creator Sidney Sheldon Dies at 89

February 1st, 2007


Sidney Sheldon, best-selling author, Oscar®-winner, and writer of classic television series died yesterday.

The Archive of American Television interviewed Sidney Sheldon on March 30, 2000.

Interview description:
Sidney Sheldon was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Beverly Hills, CA. Sheldon recalled his early years in Hollywood as a screenwriter for feature films, and the success he achieved in that field, culminating in his win of the Academy Award for The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. Mr. Sheldon next discussed his creation of The Patty Duke Show, and his fond memories of working with the show’s young star. He recalled how, during his run as writer/producer of Patty Duke, he was approached by Screen Gems to produce another comedy for them, which eventually became I Dream of Jeannie. He talked about how he created the concept for the show, and fondly remembered each of the stars, including Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman and assembling the production staff (including director Hal Cooper). He discussed the effort to hide Eden’s pregnancy in the first season, and how the crew put together the many special effects shots. He also shared his memories of the “navel controversy” that brewed during the time over not revealing Eden’s belly button, and the attempt by the stars of Laugh-In to circumvent that rule. Later, he recalled creating Nancy, the short-lived 1970 sitcom, and Hart to Hart (pilot only), which he produced for Aaron Spelling. Mr. Sheldon next discussed his about-face from television writer to novelist, and shared his delight at the success that he has achieved with the sixteen best-selling books he has written, many of which have been turned into successful television movies.

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"I Love Lucy" writer Bob Carroll, Jr. Dies at 88

January 28th, 2007

We're sad to report that Bob Carroll, Jr. who, along with writing partner Madelyn Pugh Davis (and producer Jess Oppenheimer) wrote some of the classic episodes of "I Love Lucy," including "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" and "Job Switching" died today at age 88.

Carroll with Davis taking a break in Desi Arnaz's office.

The Archive of American Television interviewed Carroll along with his writing partner in 1997. Carroll and Davis spoke of their 50-year writing career that included writing for Steve Allen and Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz.

Click here to access the entire six-part interview with Carroll and Davis.

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"Guiding Light" Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary!

January 25th, 2007


"The Guiding Light" debuted on NBC radio on January 25, 1937 and ran as a fifteen-minute program through 1956 (switching to CBS in 1947). In 1952, the daytime serial made its way to CBS television, where it has become the longest running program in broadcast history. The series was created by Irna Philips, dubbed the "Queen of the Soap Opera" (who was also responsible for television's As the World Turns and Another World). She was a great influence on later daytime producer/creators (and Archive of American Television interviewees) Agnes Nixon (One Life to Live, All My Children) and William J. Bell (The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful).

In 2006, the Archive of American Television interviewed Guiding Light's current executive producer Ellen Wheeler and star Kim Zimmer ("Reva Shayne"). Their interviews can be viewed at TV Academy headquarters in North Hollywood, CA and will later be available online.

In celebration of their 7oth Anniversary, Guiding Light has launched a tribute website, click here for the link.

What are your favorite memories of watching Guiding Light?

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Far Out New Book! "TV's Grooviest Variety Shows of the '60s and '70s"

January 23rd, 2007

Another terrific TV history book has made its way onto bookstore shelves -- Telly R. Davidson's TV's Grooviest Variety Shows of the '60s and '70s (Cumberland House, $22.95). The book consists of well-researched, fun and detailed chapters on the REALLY famous variety shows (Ed Sullivan, Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, The Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Laugh-In, Flip Wilson, and Sonny and Cher), and includes shorter listings on many others like Donny & Marie, Sha Na Na, The Jim Nabors Hour, etc. Other listings include some of television's wackiest fare like The Brady Bunch Hour, and Pink Lady and Jeff -- a whole book can be written on this one alone! If you're like us, you'll ask why a full chapter wasn't done on EVERY series discussed, because Davidson makes the history behind each show so interesting.

To readers in Los Angeles: On Saturday, January 27th, at 2PM, Telly will be signing the book at Book Soup. Book Soup Author Events, Author Apperance , Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, California.

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Producer Martin Hoade's Interview is Now Online

January 22nd, 2007

Producer Martin Hoade's seven-part interview is now available for viewing on Google Video. Mr. Hoade produced NBC's Sunday morning religious program wheel and provides much insight on the topic of how aspects of religion were portrayed on network television.

Interview description:
In his 7-part (each 30-minute segment is posted separately) oral history interview, producer Martin Hoade (1916-2006) recalls his early days in television working for NBC, on programs such as newsreels and political conventions. He talks about his move into religious programming as the producer and director of NBC’s Sunday morning religious program wheel, which was comprised of the series "Frontiers of Faith", "The Catholic Hour", and "The Eternal Light". He speaks of the craft involved in producing religious programming as well as the issue of proselytizing and of religious programming in general.

Click here to access the entire interview.

To read the Archive blog's obituary of Mr. Hoade, click on the following: Archive of American Television: Religious Series Producer/Director Martin Hoade Has Died

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