Posts in Category: Broadcast History

September 21, 1948…Berle Becomes “Texaco Star Theater” Host

[ad_1]
September 21, 1948…Berle Becomes “Texaco Star Theater” Host

This is an ultra rare photo of NBC’s newly converted Studio 6B, where “Texaco Start Theater” is about to go on the air. Berle hosted the debut show June 8, 1948, but over the summer, Henny Youngman, Morey Amsterdam, George Price, Jack Carter and Peter Donald rotated as host, before Berle “won the competition,”. He was made permanent host on September 21, and over the next three years, he, and this show were the biggest thing in television! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 21’s Moments In TV History…Many Major TV Debuts

[ad_1]
September 21’s Moments In TV History…Many Major TV Debuts

1948 – Milton Berle debuted as the permanent host of “The Texaco Star Theater” on NBC.

1957 – The first episode of “Perry Mason” aired on CBS.

1968 – The television show “Adam-12” debuted on NBC.

1970 – “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won 31-21.

1972 – ABC-TV debuted “In Concert.” Alice Cooper appeared in the first episode.

1993 – The first episode of “NYPD Blue” aired on ABC.

1998 – The first episode of “Will & Grace” aired on NBC.

1999 – HBO’s live music show, “Reverb,” debuted with performances by Alanis Morissette and Ever


[ad_2]

Source

September 20, 1962…”The Jack Paar Show” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]

September 20, 1962…”The Jack Paar Show” Debuts On NBC

When Jack Paar left the ‘Tonight’ show in the summer of 1962, he took a few months off, but returned to NBC in primetime with a weekly Friday night show.

Jack’s new show debuted on September 20, 1962, about two weeks before Carson’s “Tonight” debut. For the next three years, he owned the 10-11 ratings but ended the show in September of 1965. One of his favorite guests, on both shows, was Jonathan Winters. On this 1964 appearance, Paar told the audience to just watch what would happen when he gave Winters a simple stick as a prop. The rest is comedy history! Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwWDa1xPTPA

just a stick…. and woooooo there he goes…..
[ad_2]

Source

September 20, 1952…”The Jackie Gleason Show” Debuts On CBS

[ad_1]
September 20, 1952…”The Jackie Gleason Show” Debuts On CBS

In July of 1950, Jackie Gleason took over as host of Dumont’s “Cavalcade Of Stars”. The original hosts had been Jack Carter, then Jerry Lester, who was followed by Morey Amsterdam.

By the middle of ’51, Gleason and his writing staff developed an idea for a sketch based on the popular radio show “The Bickersons”.
After rejecting titles like “The Beast”, “The Lovers”, and “The Couple Next Door”, Gleason and his staff settled on “The Honeymooners” for the name of the new sketch.

The debut sketch on October 5, 1951 was six-minutes and the only two characters were Ralph Kramden and his wife, Alice, who was originally played by Pert Kelton, who in real life was nine years older than Gleason.

Due in part to the success of these sketches, “Cavalcade of Stars” became a huge success for DuMont, as the audience size quadrupled. Gleason’s contract with DuMont expired in the summer of 1952, and the financially struggling network was unable to re-sign him.

On September 20, 1952, “The Jackie Gleason Show” debuted from CBS Studio 50, or what is now known as The Ed Sullivan Theater. Although CBS was very generous with Gleason, they could not accommodate his wishes to bring Pert along to the new show.

Kelton’s husband had been labeled a communist and, by association, she too had wound up on the dreaded “Black List”. A new Alice had to be found, and Audrey Meadows went for an audition. Gleason had seen her as “Linda Lovely”, on “The Bob And Ray” show, and thought she was good, but too glamorous. Meadows heard about this and a few days later auditioned again under another name but this time, with no makeup and a dressed down look. The rest, as they say, is history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3qTIZ9ZFPc&feature=youtu.be&t=3m11s
At the link above, is Meadows as “Linda Lovely” in 1951.

In the photo below, we see Gleason in rehearsal of the opening with The June Taylor Dancers. The cameraman in the foreground is the legendary Pat McBride. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 19, 1970…”The Mary Tyler Moore Show” Debuts

[ad_1]

September 19, 1970…”The Mary Tyler Moore Show” Debuts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qALx1IReGcE
At the link above, Mary Tyler Moore discusses the problems with the pilot, and there were many…it was the lowest scoring pilot ever tested at CBS.

Below is the first episode, the one that aired 46 years ago today, but when you watch it, the story just doesn’t seem dated does it? This is the episode that sets up everything and where she meets “Lou Grant” in the famous “you’ve got spunk” scene. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0MWATBr6q4

See her full interview at http://emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mary-tyler-moore
[ad_2]

Source

September 19, 1952…This Was The News Of The Day On NBC

[ad_1]

September 19, 1952…This Was The News Of The Day On NBC

Here is a 64 year old time capsule…a look at the news on this day in 1952. This is the full 15 minute broadcast of “The Camel News Caravan” live from Studio C of NBC’s Uptown Studios at 105 East 106th Street. A location NBC leased from Pathe, as they worked closely on film processing and kinescope production.

This live feed of John Cameron Swayze in Studio C, plus film inserts from Studio F at Uptown was sent to Master Control at 30 Rock via coaxial cable, and there, modern technology allowed live reports from Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago to be inserted. Since the coast to coast television linkage had only become possible the year before, this was still novel and quite impressive to viewers.

As you watch, you’ll notice that not much has changed! The democrats and republicans are butting heads over Nixon, and there are even a couple of fluff pieces here on fashion and portable swimming pools. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK_3NBHJyBk

kinescope of a live network news broadcast. News items include Richard Nixon, Charlie Chaplin (at 13:14), fashion, missiles and more, plus original commercia…
[ad_2]

Source

September 19, 1960…The “Tonight” Show Goes Color

[ad_1]
September 19, 1960…The “Tonight” Show Goes Color

The “Tonight” Show is a creation of the late Pat Weaver, and has been on the air since 1954. It is the longest currently-running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States, and the third longest-running show on NBC, after “Meet the Press” and “Today”.

When the show began it was broadcast live from The Hudson Theater, with Steve Allen as the host. Paar took over in ’57 and while still at The Hudson, on January 12, 1959, the show began to be videotaped for broadcast later the same day.

The first week of January 1960, the show was moved to NBC Studio 6B at 30 Rock in preparation for the switch to color, which came on September 19, 1960 during Jack Paar’s tenure as host.

NBC’s “Broadway Open House”, which began in 1950, first demonstrated the potential for late-night network programming. The format for The “Tonight” Show can be traced to a 40 minute late night local show on WNBT New York, which was hosted by Allen. That show started in 1953. Network president Pat Weaver saw it, liked Allen, and made a deal. Beginning in September 1954, it was renamed “Tonight” and shown on the full NBC network. -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 18, 1927…The CBS Radio Network Debuted

[ad_1]
September 18, 1927…The CBS Radio Network Debuted







July 25, 1964…CBS Radio Bids Farewell To 485 Madison Avenue

On September 18, 1927, the CBS Radio Network, with 18 affiliates went on the air from their studios in The Steinway Building near Carnegie Hall on West 57th Street.

Exactly two years later, CBS Radio moved into the new 485 Madison Avenue building on September 18, 1929.

On July 25, 1964, the last broadcast from the heart of CBS Radio News…Studio 9, was a hosted by Steve Rowan, and the next day, Rowan was the first to broadcast from the new CBS Broadcast Center. At this link is the 2 page CBS press release. http://donswaim.com/cbs-radio-moves-1964.pdf

That last show from 485 Madison, “Farewell To Studio 9” was historic in every way, and included clips from the many world shaping newscasts, and the most iconic newscasters this country
has known, including Edward R. Murrow, and many more that you can hear at this link to that last show.
http://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/historical/farewell-to-studio-9/farewell-to-studio-9-19xx-xx-xx

Some Interesting History: When 485 Madison Avenue was first built, CBS occupied only the upper floors. As need grew, CBS expanded throughout the building. Originally, there were six studios.

Studios 1, 2, and 6 were on the 22nd floor. Studio 1 was reached by a staircase as its floor was higher in order to accommodate the higher ceilings of Studios 3 and 5 which were directly underneath.
Studios 3, 5, and 4 were located on the 21st floor. Master Control and the upper part of Studio 1 occupied the 23rd floor.

Studios 1 to 6 were remodeled in the mid 30s reflecting acoustic enhancements unknown when first built. Suspended light fixtures became recessed, sound insulation, wooden panels, and rubberized flooring were among the improvements. Also in the mid 30s, Studios 7 and 8 were constructed on the 3rd floor of 485 Madison Avenue.

Studio 9, which was the news studio and the news department were located on the 17th floor. CBS also had radio studios at 49 East 52nd Street, just around the corner from 485 Madison.

CBS television studios were also in the process of moving to the Broadcast Center including 41 through 44 at Grand Central. Studios 53 to 56 at Liederkrantz Hall, 111 East 58th Street were also moving to the Broadcast Center. The corporate offices later moved from 485 to Black Rock which opened in 1965 at 51 West 52nd Street. Happy Birthday to the CBS Broadcast Center! -Bobby Ellerbee
[ad_2]

Source

September 18, 1965…”I Dream Of Jeannie” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]
September 18, 1965…”I Dream Of Jeannie” Debuts On NBC

http://www.biography.com/news/i-dream-of-jeannie-facts
Did you know that Barbara Eden had to climb an 8 foot ladder to get into “her bottle”? It never won an Emmy, or ranked in the Top 30 shows, but many loved the show…especially Barbara’s cleavage. The link above will take you to a story that tells the real tales of how a “second bottle” affected the show…the bottle Larry Hagman drank from. -Bobby Ellerbee



[ad_2]

Source

September 17, 1960…Roone Arledge Changes College Football Forever

[ad_1]
September 17, 1960…Roone Arledge Changes College Football Forever

56 years ago today, The Georgia Bulldogs, lead by quarterback Fran Tarkenton, traveled to Legion Field in Birmingham to take on Coach Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide. At 2:45 that afternoon, college football on television changed forever, as ABC broadcast the game.

That is where the ideas of a young Roone Arledge got put to the test. He had a different theory on how the game should be presented on TV, and was going to give fans something different.

With intimacy that was unprecedented, Arledge displayed the calm concentration of Bear Bryant on the sidelines before and important call, the youthful elation of Georgia QB Fran Tarkenton after scrambling for a first down, and the anguish of a Bulldog fan with a UGA pennant.

Several months before ABC began broadcasting NCAA college football games, Arledge sent his boss Ed Scherick a remarkable memo, filled with television production concepts which sports broadcasts have adhered to since. Previously, network sporting broadcasts had consisted of simple set-ups and focused on the game itself. The genius of Arledge in this memo was not that he offered another way to broadcast the game to the sports fan. The genius was to recognize television had to take the sports fan to the game.

In addition, Arledge realized that the broadcasts needed to attract and hold the attention of women viewers. At age 29, on September 17, 1960 he put his vision into reality with ABC’s first NCAA college football broadcast, and Roone’s future was on the line…along with the $6 Million ABC had spent for the rights to the season.

He had picked the right game and it was broadcast nation wide. He knew Bear Bryant was out to avenge the previous year’s humiliating season opener loss to UGA, and would draw a lot of interest. Roone had Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman in the booth, and he had told them both to “emphasize the the developing story of the game, the contrast of the Bryant team and the individual ability of Tarkenton”.

Arledge told the cameramen to focus on personalities driving the game, and the activity in the stands and on the sidelines as well…especially the cheerleaders. He wanted impact shots that showed “all the excitement, wonder, jubilation and despair that makes this America’s Number One sports spectacle”.

As a UGA grad, I’m sorry to report that Bama beat us that day. Enjoy, share and Go Dawgs! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 16, 1949…ABC’s KECA TV In Los Angeles Signs On

[ad_1]
September 16, 1949…ABC’s KECA TV In Los Angeles Signs On

On May 7, 1949, Billboard revealed that ABC would spend $2.5 million to convert the old Vitagraph/Warner East Annex in Hollywood into The Prospect Studios, and construct a transmitter on Mount Wilson in anticipation of the launch of KECA-TV, which went on the air on September 16, 1949. In 1954, the call letters were changed to KABC.

When ABC began television operations on April 19, 1948, it had what CBS, Dumont and NBC did not have…5 major market, Owned and Operated stations. Well, almost…but they did have construction permits from the FCC, and over the next 13 months, they all came to air.

On April 19, 1948, the ABC Television Network began its broadcasts on its first primary affiliate, WFIL-TV in Philadelphia. In August 1948, the network’s flagship owned-and-operated station, WJZ-TV in New York City, began its broadcasts.

WENR-TV in Chicago launched on September 17, 1948, while WXYZ-TV in Detroit went on the air October 9, 1948. KGO-TV in San Francisco went on the air May 5, 1949. Happy Birthday KABC! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 16, 1965…”The Dean Martin Show” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]

September 16, 1965…”The Dean Martin Show” Debuts On NBC

This video goes to the heart of why the show was such a big success. It was as spontanious as a taped, network variety show could be, thanks to the unique relationship that Dean and director Greg Garrison had.

The great open secret of The Dean Martin Show was that Dean barely showed up for work. He did for its first season, but the program wasn’t working, and Dean was unhappy with how hard he was working. That was when Greg Garrison, who’d been hired as director only, came up with an idea. To make the show more spontaneous, and to keep Dino interested in doing it at all, he would arrange the schedule so Martin only had to come in one day a week, and not even for the entire day. Rehearsals were done with a stand-in, and everything that didn’t involve Dean was taped when he was nowhere on the premises. There were people who appeared on The Dean Martin Show without ever meeting Dean.

On tape day, Dean would come in, watch a run-through with the stand-in, then go out and replicate the stand-in’s actions. Everything was configured for maximum speed. Dean almost always wore a tuxedo, thereby minimizing costume changes and making it possible for any segment to be edited into any other show. The lines were all on cue cards and the songs, which were performed live, were all tunes that Dean already knew. If something went wrong, Garrison would usually not start over. He’d work some kind of paste-up edit, often inserting a freeze-frame in a manner that made other TV directors wince. Once in a while during a musical number, Dean wouldn’t be able to hear the orchestra and if you watch, you can see him rubbing his ear to signal Garrison to have the audio cranked up a notch. Anyone else would have restarted or edited…but Garrison promised his star he’d be done by 10 PM, and did whatever was necessary to make that happen.

In this particular segment, you’ll see everything you just read demonstrated, but given how this ends, this is one of the few times taping had to stop for a few minutes. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLwHtOzq2M4

with Anna Moffo and Lloyd Bridges and Dean rips his pants LOL
[ad_2]

Source

Great Interview…Director, Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”

[ad_1]

Great Interview…Director, Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”

In case you missed this link in the comments section of the SNL story earlier this week, here is a rare treat. In this half hour interview, Don Roy King gives us an incredibly detailed and interesting description of how the show is done, the weekly schedule, and the things that would reduce mere mortals to tears and panic in directing television’s only live 90 minute comedy sketch show.

With the best, and most experienced crews, actors and support staff in live television, they pull it off without a hitch, week after week and year after year, but as you will see…it’s not easy. They just make it look that way! Thanks to Andy Rose for the clip. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 15, 1938…NBC Debuts TV’s First Live Remote Show

[ad_1]
September 15, 1938…NBC Debuts TV’s First Live Remote Show

On December 12, 1937, the world’s first electronic television remote units were delivered by RCA to NBC in New York City. The dual vehicle system, consisting two, 26 foot buses included one for production and one for transmission. The production bus provided two portable single-lens Iconoscope cameras and the support equipment. The transmission bus contained the 177 MHz transmitter with a 50 foot antenna which could relay a remote pickup to the Empire State Building from as far away as 25 miles.

The units were field tested for about six months before being returned to RCA’s Camden plant for modifications in the synchronizing equipment. Another modification was the installation of an coaxial feed out the transmitter truck, which allowed them to shoot at 30 Rock’s sunken ice skating rink.

The trucks came back in late August, and on September 15, 1938, W2XBS broadcast the first “Man On The Street” episode, by interviewing passers-by in Rockefeller Plaza (via the new coax). It is thought that the “Man On The Street” interviews were done once a week on W2XBS, up until the 1939 World’s Fair opened in New York.

In 1935, a “man on the street” show called “Vox Pop” came to NBC’s Blue radio network and is thought to be the inspiration for the W2XBS remotes. Although there were still very few sets in use, the 15 minute show was a good work out for the crews and trucks.

By the time the 1939 World’s Fair came to town, NBC had a lot of experience with the units and used them heavily at the Fair.There is more on the photos, so click though, enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee






[ad_2]

Source

Getting You Ready For…”SNL” Season 42 Debut, October 1

[ad_1]
Getting You Ready For…”SNL” Season 42 Debut, October 1

A little further down are links to 3 great time lapse videos that show you how “active” Studio 8H is during each episode of “Saturday Night Live”, but we will start with a rare look at a stage map for the show.

If you have wondered how Studio 8H is arranged for the hive of action that happens in 90 minutes, here is the answer. Of course, the written in sketches change from week to week, but the stage areas stay the same.

To acclimate you, the south wall is to the left (49th Street) and the north wall to the right (50th Street). The wall where homebase is, is the west wall on the 6th Avenue side. At the bottom is the area where the bleachers are, but they wrap around on the north and south wall sides too.

At the bottom, you see the opening between stages 5 and 4C…this is the tunnel under the bleachers that leads to the page desk area and the dressing rooms. As you’ll see in one of the videos, this is a very busy area at showtime too. By the way, stage 2 is where the musical guests always perform, with the SNL house band at homebase. Where you see the “Three Dog Night, Control Audio” written in, that is the retractable tongue where the opening monologue is done, as well as “Weekend Update”.

Notice that some sketches are stacked in front of others, and that scenery is “pealed off” as the show progresses. Having seen this done live, you would be amazed at how many stage hands are setting and striking scenes during the show. It is ballet at it’s best!

Here are the 3 video links of the time lapsed action in Studio 8H… home of the best of the best in live television. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i72I9NNTTM0 2 years ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU8k2hoCr2w 7 years ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oRRYJs-Ec0 Page Area


[ad_2]

Source

September 13, 1947…The RCA Kinescope Machine Debuts

[ad_1]
September 13, 1947…The RCA Kinescope Machine Debuts

In association with Dumont, Kodak and RCA announced the developed a special film camera to shoot directly off a TV screen. This was the first “time shifting” technology to come to television. Nine years later, video tape would become the second.

Officially titled, the “Eastman Kodak Television Recording Camera”, a Kinescope recorder was basically a special 16mm film camera mounted in a large box aimed at a high quality monochrome video monitor. All things considered the Kinescope made high quality, and respectable TV recordings.

The Kinescope was quite the clever device. It’s film camera ran at a speed of 24 fps. Because the TV image repeated at 60 fields interlaced (30 fps) the film had to move intermittently between video frames and then be rock steady during exposure.

The pull-down period for the film frame was during the vertical interval of less than 2 mili seconds, which was something no mechanical contraption could do at the time.

Together, Dumont, RCA and Eastman Kodak found various ways around the problem by creating a novel shutter system that used an extra six frames of the 30 frame video signal to move the film. This action integrated the video half-images into what seemed like smooth 24 fps film pictures.

Of course, the kines were played back on air using film chains running at 24 fps, so the conversion to film was complete and seamless. Until videotape recorders made their debut, the Kinescope was the only way to transmit delayed television programs that were produced live.

For much more on the history of kinescope recording, go to this link. -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.earlytelevision.org/pdf/Television_Recording_Origins.pdf.pdf


[ad_2]

Source

September 13, 1953…Marilyn Monroe’s First Network TV Appearance

[ad_1]

September 13, 1953…Marilyn Monroe’s First Television Appearance

In the Comment section below, you’ll see the gift Jack Benny gave Marilyn for appearing on his show. She was reluctant and didn’t really want to do it because on live television, to many things could go wrong, but the “gift” helped, as did the studio executives who saw this as a great promo for her new movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” which went into general release in August of ’53.

This was the first show of Benny’s fourth season and having lost thirty percent of his audience in the third season, he was anxious to step up the guest star power. It worked and the ratings zoomed.  -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vhQqJXJz-o

On September 13, 1953 The Jack Benny Show episode with Marilyn Monroe aired on CBS. I really enjoy this episode! Marilyn is such a sweetheart and did a great…
[ad_2]

Source

September 13, 1990…”Law And Order” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]

September 13, 1990…”Law And Order” Debuts On NBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RJQghAf95Y
Below is a tour or the set from the beloved Jerry Orbach.

“Law And Order” and “Gunsmoke” are tied for the honor of television’s longest running live action primetime series…both lasted 20 years, but “Gunsmoke” aired more episodes, so it still holds the record. FYI, “The Simpsons” is actually the winner with 28 seasons, and “South Park” also has 20 season, but those are animated. Doh!

“Law And Order” is the only show that was sold to three networks before it got to air. Initially, Fox ordered thirteen episodes based on the concept alone, with no pilot. Then-network head Barry Diller reversed the decision. Although he loved the idea, he didn’t believe it was a “Fox show”.

Dick Wolf then went to CBS, which ordered a pilot, “Everybody’s Favorite Bagman”, written by Wolf about corrupt city officials involved with the mob. The network liked the pilot but did not order it because there were no breakout stars.

In the summer of 1989, NBC’s top executives, Brandon Tartikoff and Warren Littlefield, screened the pilot and liked it; but they were concerned the intensity of the series could not be repeated week after week. However, by 1990, NBC executives had enough confidence that the innovative show could appeal to a wide audience that they ordered the series for a full season.

The rest as they say, is history…and a great one at that! This is my all time favorite show. Yours too? Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

Copyright © 2004 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. No copyright infringement intended. Jerry Orbach gives a guided tour of the Law & Order set.
[ad_2]

Source

September 12, 1959…”Bonanza” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]

September 12, 1959…”Bonanza” Debuts On NBC

First, let me tell you about this embedded video. This was the original ending of Episode 1…it is the Cartwright family singing the theme song which was a one time only thing. After you hear it, you’ll know why it was cut, and never aired.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUd9KecPa4

Initially, “Bonanza” aired on Saturday evenings opposite “Perry Mason”. The ratings were dismal and the show was soon targeted for cancellation, but NBC kept it because “Bonanza” was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe Nevada. NBC’s corporate parent, RCA, used the show to spur sales of color television sets and was also the primary sponsor of the series during its first two seasons.

In 1961, NBC moved “Bonanza” to Sundays at 9:00 with a new sponsor…Chevrolet (replacing “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show”). The new time slot caused the show to soar in the ratings, and it eventually reached number one in 1964, an honor it would keep until 1967 when it was seriously challenged by the “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” on CBS. Had the geniuses at CBS not put “The Judy Garland Show” against “Bonanza” in 1963, it would have certainly lasted more than one season.

By 1970, “Bonanza” was the first series to appear in the Top Five list for nine consecutive seasons (a record that would stand for many years) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit television series of the 1960s. The show remained high on the Nielsen ratings until 1971, when it finally fell out of the Top Ten.

The show ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, just behind “Gunsmoke” which ran for 20 seasons.

By the way, Michael Landon was the only cast member that did not require a hair piece. Even Hop Sing wore a fake Q. Enjoy and share!
-Bobby Ellerbee

‘BONANZA’ written by Ray Evans (lyrics) & Jay Livingston (music). This was the way the original pilot episode of Bonanza was shot in 1959. The producers did …
[ad_2]

Source

September 12, 1955…3K, NBC’s First Color Studio Inside 30 Rock Debuts

[ad_1]
September 12, 1955…3K, NBC’s First Color Studio Inside 30 Rock Debuts

On this day (also a Monday), in 1955, Studio 3K debuted as NBC’s first in-house color facility. It was created by combining historic Studio 3H, television’s first home, and radio Studio 3F. The debut broadcast was of  “The Howdy Doody Show”, and 3K became Howdy’s premenant home, making it the first ever daily color broadcast.

Below is the detailed history of Studio 3H, how it came to be, and what it became. Did you know 3K was the home of the famous Kraft Kitchen? That is were all the Kraft commercials came from, and why the third floor always smelled great. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



Inside Studio 3H, 3rd floor level studio above and below, 4th floor level control room that you can see in the photo above.

The “coffin camera” color tests that started in 3H in 1951 (below) with “Color Girl” Marie McNamara.


Me kissing the floor where 3H and 3F came together to make 3K, 2014.


A Brief History Of Television’s First Real Home…NBC’s Studio 3H

Above is a rare, digitally enhanced photo of the NBC Radio Master Control board from 1933…the year RCA and NBC moved into 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

In the beginning, Studio 33 was radio studio, just one of six medium sized spaces on the 3rd floor, which were about half the size of 3A and 3B. At the time, there were roughly 50 NBC studios in the building, but RCA had plans for 3H.

In late 1935, two years after Radio City opened, NBC Radio Studio 3H was converted to RCA Television Studio 3H and technically, would remain an RCA domain until 1939, at which time W2XBS and this studio were put under the control of NBC Television.

It was done under a blanket of secrecy. This mysterious new space was kept secret due to competitive developments for a year, while low key experimental broadcasts from 3H were done, but by early in 1936, RCA decided to go public with the news of their electronic television operations.

After the experimental public broadcasts were started with the three live Iconoscope cameras, RCA also took over a space on the 5th floor for film and called that new area Studio 5F, which was linked to the 3H control room.

Until 1951, 3H was used for experimental and regular programming, and was NBC’s only permanently equipped studio till radio studio 8G began television trials in 1946. Some of the earliest network shows from 3H were “The Kraft Music Hall,” “Television Scene Magazine,” “The Howdy Doody Show” and more. All these shows started out in 3H with the big Iconoscope cameras, and in April of 1948, 3H finally got the new RCA TK30s. The next month, 8G was converted to television.

In 1951, Howdy and the other shows done here moved out, and 3H would become the home of the experimental color tests after the Wardman Park color tests concluded in Washington. The Wardman color cameras were not installed in 3H, however the Washington color veterans were brought from there to continue color tests with the new “coffin cameras.” The joke was, these huge new umber gray cameras were big enough to bury a man in. These were the predecessor to the TK40s and this is the first appearance of the rounded top viewfinder. The color tests from 3H, and later, The Colonial Theater were broadcast over RCA’s experimental color station KE2XJV.

Variety like demonstration shows were done weekdays at 10, 2 and 4 and were staged with vivid colored wardrobes and sets. These shows were mostly for the engineers in New York and RCA’s Princeton labs who watched on closed circuit feeds. Not one to ever miss a marketing opportunity though, these shows were also fed to a half dozen custom built color receivers that were on display in the RCA Exhibition Hall in Rockefeller Plaza. In early ’53 these daily shows would move to The Colonial Theater which was where the new prototype TK40 cameras were beginning to be tested.

After the color tests left for the Colonial, 3H was still involved in color monitor tests, but even then, it stayed busy with regular 15 minute daily programs and live commercials coming from the studio with TK30s wheeled in from Studio 3B.

In the summer of 1955 3H was closed as construction crews took out the wall between 3H and 3F to create the first color studio inside Radio City. The new studio was to become 3K and with a double debut, both Studio 3K and Howdy Doody went to live color the afternoon of September 12, 1955.

Today, 3K is used by MSNBC and is the home to most of their hosts after 7PM, including Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell. There is more on the photos, so click through! Enjoy, and there is more to come on 3H. -Bobby Ellerbee
[ad_2]

Source

September 12, 1954…Brooklyn 1, NBC’s Second Color Studio Debuts

[ad_1]
September 12, 1954…Brooklyn 1, NBC’s Second Color Studio Debuts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEa3LzIam5E
The full story is below, but at this link is a tour of Brooklyn 1 by Steve Allan, just after NBC’s first color spectacular “Satin & Spurs”, aired live from this new color studio September 12, 1954. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee





A Rare And Detailed Look At NBC’s Brooklyn Studios…Part 1 of 2

For me, these new photos and information have cleared up a lot of confusion about these famous and historic film and television studios. I hope they will do the same for you.

Here are two annotated aerial views of the property and the recently discovered September 29, 1951 article from the Brooklyn Eagle that announces the sale of the Warner Brothers – Vitagraph property to NBC.

I had always thought that NBC bought the entire Warner Brothers holdings in Brooklyn…the studios and property that WB had bought from Vitagraph Studios. This is not the case. As it turns out, the big white building was retained by WB, but they sold the property on the other side of 14th Street to NBC. This will not surprise you but Wikipedia and other wiki sites have a lot of wrong information on this.

The white Vitagraph building was built in 1906. Vitagraph was bought by Warner Brothers April 22, 1925. What we now know as NBC Brooklyn Studio 1 was built by WB in 1936 and was first used by NBC September 12, 1954. Studio II, the smaller studio was built new from the ground up by NBC and went into service in the fall of 1956.

All of this sheds new light on a bigger picture…a big color picture! As I compare notes on dates and locations, it is dawning on me that with the broadcast of ‘Satin And Spurs’ on September 12, 1954, NBC Brooklyn Studio I, became NBC’s second ever color facility. That is a fact I have never seen documented anywhere before, even in NBC’s press releases of the time.

It’s interesting to note that this property was bought about the same time RCA/NBC took over The Colonial Theater. That was NBC’s first real color facility and after transforming it from a movie theater to a color television studio, the first live broadcast was done from The Colonial on November 8, 1952 with a one time only broadcast of ‘Your Show Of Shows’ with the color burst removed, but viewed in color via closed at RCA Labs in Princeton.

I suspect the three year gap between when NBC bought the property and it’s first use was due in large part to a wait and see attitude regarding the NTSC color system court battles with CBS and the FCC. When CBS testified before Congress in March 1953 that it had no further plans for its own color system, the path was open for the NTSC to submit its petition for FCC approval in July 1953, which was granted in December. I think that is when NBC finally began the serious work of transforming Studio I from a film sound stage into the world’s largest color television studio.

Now that we’ve seen the outside and made some new discoveries, we’ll move to the inside of these two studios tomorrow with some great pictures. Thanks to Glenn Mack for the aerial views, Dave Miller for the Brooklyn Eagle article and to many NBC veterans that helped with this including Joel Spector, Dennis Degan, Jan Kassoff, Frank Gaeta, Russell Ross and more. Enjoy and SHARE! -Bobby Ellerbee
[ad_2]

Source

September 11, 1967…”The Carol Burnett Show” Debuts on CBS

[ad_1]

September 11, 1967…”The Carol Burnett Show” Debuts on CBS

After leaving the “Garry Moore Show” in 1962, Burnett signed a 10 year contract with CBS with 2 options. Option 1 required her to do two guest appearances and a special each year, which she did for the first five years.

Option 2 gave her 30 weeks in her own show. After discussion with her husband Joe Hamilton, in the fifth year of the contract, Burnett decided to call CBS and exercise Option 2 of the contract. Mike Dann of CBS Programming, explaining that the variety show Carroll wanted to do was a “man’s genre”, offered Burnett a sitcom called “Here’s Agnes”. Burnett had no interest in doing a sitcom and because of the contract, CBS was obliged to give Burnett her own variety show. The rest as they say is history!

The original show ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 278 episodes and originated in CBS Television City’s Studio 33. It won 25 prime-time Emmy Awards, was ranked No. 16 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002, and in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.” Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

#t=106″ target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlF4GVVi6Ss #t=106

Bloopers from the classic CBS variety show.
[ad_2]

Source

September 10, 1955…”Gunsmoke” Debuts With John Wayne Intro

[ad_1]

September 10, 1955…”Gunsmoke” Debuts With John Wayne Intro

According to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows”, John Wayne was the first choice to play Marshal Matt Dillon, but he declined because he did not want to commit to a weekly TV series. He did, however, recommend his friend James Arness for the role, and gave the on-camera introduction in the pilot, which is included here.

According to a TV Guide article, 26 actors screen-tested for the role of Matt Dillon. William Conrad (voice of radio’s Matt Dillon) was one, but didn’t look the part. Raymond Burr sounded great, but according to producer-director Charles Marquis Warren: “he was too big; when he stood up his chair stood up with him” (Burr later lost considerable weight to play Perry Mason).

John Pickard almost made it, but did poorly in a love scene with Kitty. Warren and producer Norman MacDonnell denied that they even considered John Wayne, but their choice for Marshall Dillon, James Arness, looked and sounded a lot like Wayne. When Arness was reluctant to take the role, Wayne persuaded him and even agreed to introduce the first episode.

‘Gunsmoke’ was created by writer John Meston and producer Norman MacDonnell as a radio series that premiered on CBS in 1952. Many of the early television episodes are adaptations of Meston’s radio scripts. The radio series ran for more than 400 episodes and lasted until 1961.

The gunfight between Matt Dillon and an unknown gunman that opened every episode was shot on the same main street as that used in High Noon (1952). During one filming of this gunfight, as a joke on everyone else, James Arness let the gunman win.

During WWII, James Arness was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division and took part in the invasion of Anzio where he was severely wounded in the leg and foot by machine-gun fire. He lost part of his foot and the wound plagued him the rest of his life. The injury made it difficult for him to walk for extended stretches, so, when shooting movies or TV shows, any scenes that required extensive walking would be shot early in the morning, before his feet and knees started giving out.

At 20 years and 635 episodes, ‘Gunsmoke’ is one of the longest-running American prime-time drama television series. It was originally produced for the CBS Television Network by Filmcrafters at the Producers Studio (now the Raleigh Studio). Around 1960, CBS took over production and moved it to KTLA Studios, then owned by Paramount Pictures. Around 1963 production was moved to CBS Studio Center, formerly Republic Studios, where it remained for the rest of the show’s run.

Slated to be canceled in 1967 due to low ratings, CBS president William Paley reversed the decision. He moved the show from Saturdays to Mondays (cancelling Gilligan’s Island in the process), placing it back in the Nielsen’s Top Ten. Paley and his wife were both big fans of the show. -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T646gNcRiMs

The first episode of GUNSMOKE was televised on 10th September 1955. JOHN WAYNE introduced the first episode – the sheriff Matt Dillon (James Arness) against …
[ad_2]

Source

September 9, 1963…”Huntley – Brinkley Report” Goes To Half Hour Format

[ad_1]
September 9, 1963…”Huntley – Brinkley Report” Goes To Half Hour Format

A week after CBS took Walter Cronkite’s evening news show to 30 minutes, NBC followed. On that first extended broadcast, a taped interview with President Kennedy was included. These are rare photos taken that morning in the Oval Office. Much more below. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee












ULTRA RARE! JFK, Huntley-Brinkley Interview In The Oval Office


At the link above are videotape outtakes, from what would be President Kennedy’s last interview on NBC.

The date is September 9, 1963, and these rare behind the scenes photos were taken by long time NBC/WRC-TV production manager, Bill Wells, and are made available to us by his friend, Tom Buckley, and the Wells estate.

As seen in these remarkable photos, NBC reporters Chet Huntley and David Brinkley sat down with the President in the White House for an exclusive interview for their program, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report”.

Kennedy stuck to outlining the policy priorities of his first term throughout the expansive interview, particularly focusing on the conflict in Southeast Asia. But he grew reflective when Huntley asked if, three years into his presidency, he found the office of the presidency unmanageable.

Kennedy gave a strikingly thoughtful, long response assessing America’s place in the world and economic issues and political roadblocks at home – essentially summing up all the challenges facing his presidency. But Kennedy ended on a hopeful and humble note, saying that the country was really managed – not by the White House, but by its citizens.

He concluded that America was making progress and said, “I think we can really look forward to the ’60s with a great deal of hope.” Tragically, of course, Kennedy would not outlive the decade for which he had so much hope, nor the the year of 1963.

In that these images are so rare, I’m sure you have friends that you would like to share them with, so please do. If you can help identify the people shown here, that would be appreciated too. -Bobby Ellerbee
[ad_2]

Source

September 9, 1926…RCA Creates NBC: A History Lesson

[ad_1]
September 9, 1926…RCA Creates NBC: A History Lesson

In the beginning, there was David Sarnoff. By 1919, Sarnoff was the commercial manager of American Marconi in New York. That same year, British Marconi had made an offer to General Electric to buy the worldwide rights to their Alexanderson Alternator technology which was vital for transatlantic communication.

The prospect of a foreign company controlling international communications set off alarm bells in Washington and the government approached GE with a counter offer. If GE would place the Alternator in a new subsidiary company, they would be allowed to operate the international wireless circuits for both government and commercial traffic.

To sweeten the deal, the Navy agreed to turn over all the wireless patents it received through their wartime research. Who could refuse? The new GE subsidiary company was named the Radio Corporation of America and at the helm was Owen Young as Chairman, Ernst Alexanderson as Chief Engineer and David Sarnoff as General Manager.

Within months, AT&T, Westinghouse and a big customer of international wireless services, United Fruit Company bought up all the RCA shares. By 1921, things had gotten interesting on another front…radio stations. 28 sprang up that year including the Westinghouse owned WJZ in New Jersey.

With the July 2, 1921 World Heavyweight Championship fight between America’s Jack Dempsey and France’s George Carpentier looming, the nation was anxious for a speedy way to know the details and outcome. David Sarnoff decided RCA should broadcast the fight on WJZ. It was a radio first; a publicity coup for RCA and Westinghouse, and sold lots of radios!

With Westinghouse in a good mood, Sarnoff convinced them to allow RCA to take over WJZ, and later that month, RCA built and installed a powerful new transmitter for their first station atop Aeolian Hall in New York. By the end of 1922, 430 more radio station licenses had been granted and Sarnoff was paying attention, but had a different train of thought.

To him, it seemed the bigger opportunity was not in owning local stations, but in creating a national network. In a memo to Chairman Owen Young, Sarnoff said that RCA should provide “a national broadcasting company” that would entertain a nation with high quality programs of news, sports and music. The plans for The National Broadcasting Company were in place now, but it would take a few more years.

Part of RCA’s original corporate mandate was to issue and collect licensing fees from those manufacturing wireless radio equipment. That meant everyone; including one of RCA’s major shareholders… AT&T. Even though they would be rewarded by their stock ownership, AT&T began to chafe at the bit and in early 1923, began manufacturing receivers without paying the license fees to RCA. On top of that, they had also refused to allow RCA to lease phone lines to begin a network for WJZ. RCA’s only alternative was to use telegraph lines which had very poor voice quality. In the summer of ’24, there were some anti-Semitic remarks aimed at Sarnoff by AT&T head Walter Gilbert, and things got pretty heated, but that actually worked to RCA’s advantage.

After that embarrassing flap, AT&T’s management began to discuss getting out of the radio business, and in July of 1926, AT&T agreed to sell WEAF to RCA. The sale came with the stipulation that from then on, they would rent AT&T lines, which is what Sarnoff wanted all along.

The Beginning of NBC, September 9, 1926…NBC Was Incorporated By RCA The incorporation process was the first step on a long and profitable road for RCA’s new broadcast division.

The nation’s first major broadcasting network came to life on November 15, 1926, with a gala four-hour radio program originating from the ballroom of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 5th Avenue and 34th Street, which is now the Empire State Building’s location.
After NBC was created, their two stations became the centers of their two semi-independent networks…NBC Blue, based on WJZ, and NBC Red, based on WEAF, each with its respective links to stations in other cities. RCA became the network’s sole owner January 1, 1930, when former partners General Electric and Westinghouse were bought out.

Many believe that NBC created the first radio network but that is not exactly the case. RCA’s old partner AT&T had the first radio network and their first network radio broadcast was January 4, 1923 between WEAF in NYC and WNAC in Boston. -Bobby Ellerbee





[ad_2]

Source

September 8, 1966…”Star Trek” Debuts On NBC

[ad_1]
September 8, 1966…”Star Trek” Debuts On NBC

“The Man Trap” was the first episode of a television series that has become a trek unto itself…it aired 50 years ago today.

The first season of ‘Star Trek’ comprised 29 episodes, including the two-part episode “The Menagerie”, which was based on the original pilot, “The Cage” which had starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike.

As you probably know, there were two pilots done for this show and the second was “Where No Man Has Gone Before” with William Shatner as Captain Kirk. That pilot was re edited with some new footage and aired as the third episode of that first season. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

September 8, 1951…First Episode Of “I Love Lucy” Was Filmed

[ad_1]
September 8, 1951…First Episode Of “I Love Lucy” Was Filmed

When ‘I Love Lucy’ debuted October 15, 1951, the first episode to air was “The Girls Want To Go To A Nightclub”, but the first episode to be filmed was “Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying To Murder Her” which was filmed on September 8, 1951. It aired as the fourth episode on November 5th.

This rare schedule shows the rehearsals and shooting times at The General Services Studios location, which is where the show was done for the first three seasons. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




[ad_2]

Source

September 7, 1927…First Electronic Television Demonstrated

[ad_1]

September 7, 1927…First Electronic Television Demonstrated

While others were trying to perfect mechanical television, Philo T. Farnsworth was creating the Image Dissector tube which was the heart of his electronic television system. RCA’s Vladimir Zworykin developed the Iconoscope tube and later the Orthicon tube, but it was only when he incorporated ideas from Philo’s Image Dissector tube that the great Image Orthicon tube was born. Enjoy and share this excellent 10 minute tribute to Mr. Farnsworth which includes rare color film of his 1939 experiments too. -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHy04aN0jfI

Philo Farnsworth invented television from an idea he had at 14 years old. Yet no one knows his name. His great grand daughter Jessica tries to set the record…
[ad_2]

Source

September 7, 1957…NBC Debuts The Animated Living Color Peacock

[ad_1]
September 7, 1957…NBC Debuts The Animated Living Color Peacock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug9ndBnWi9A
At the link is the original version. This animated film clip rolled at NBC for the first time at the start of “Your Hit Parade” which originated from The Ziegfeld Theater, and the voice belongs to legendary NBC announcer Ben Grauer. The animation was done by Electra Film Labs in New York City. The man who designed the peacock is John J. Graham. Below is a rare set of photos and the story of John Graham’s development of most of NBC’s dramatic logos, including “The Snake”. Enjoy and share!


http://big13.com/NBC%20Peacock/NBCPeacock1.htm

First, a huge thanks to our friend Mike Clark and his great “Big 13” website for this amazing, rare and unique story on the peacock and it’s creator, John Graham. At the link, you will see one of a kind images of the original artwork that Mike got from Graham’s son, Bruce.

With the help of our mutual friend David Schwartz, one of television’s top historians, Mike lays out the complete behind the scenes story like you will never see anywhere else. This is a “must see” effort and even includes the development of the NBC Snake logo, the first 1954 color chimes logo, the ‘Laramie Peacock’ animation and much more.

I’ve pulled out a few of the historic peacock photos because today is the 57th anniversary of that animations use at the top of ‘Your Hit Parade’, but you’ll want to see rest! Thanks to Mike Clark for this great effort and for letting us see it. More on the photos. Enjoy and please share this! – Bobby Ellerbee
[ad_2]

Source

Behind The Scenes…”West Side Story” Home Movie Footage

[ad_1]

Behind The Scenes…”West Side Story” Home Movie Footage

Having posted some photos from this 1961 classic over the weekend, it was only natural to share this too. Enjoy. -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CifywKcjKVw

Silent, colour 8mm home movies shot behind the scenes of the filming of WEST SIDE STORY. Included are many of the songs and also included is a comparison of …
[ad_2]

Source

Scroll Up