Posts in Category: Broadcast History

The Demise of NBC Burbank Part 2

October 17, 1958…Video Tape Editing Makes It’s Debut!

All week, we have danced around this subject with the Smith Block posts, but it was only this morning that I realized that we are at the 56th Anniversary of video tape editing. The following is excerpted from Richard Wirth’s article from March, which is included in full below.

The first official broadcast use of the Editor Synch Guide (ESG) system aired on October 17th, 1958, on the NBC special ‘An Evening With Fred Astaire’. It was also one of the first programs to be recorded on color videotape.

Video tape was introduced in late 1956 and as the 50’s wore on, more shows began to record in advance, but they had to be done live – recorded in their entirety in one pass. There was no way to stop and fix mistakes. It didn’t take engineers long to begin experimenting with ways to edit the unwieldy and unforgiving two-inch wide quadruplex recordings. Audiotape had been physically edited for years using a metal guide, a razor blade and some special adhesive tape. But television signals were more complicated, particularly in the way they were recorded on the tape.

NBC Burbank engineers and editors decided they had to come up with some kind of process to edit, and eventually they did. Kinescope equipment was still in use and available so they developed a system of editing using 16mm kinescope films. After a master videotape was recorded, a 16mm film “work print” would be made of it along with 16mm magnetic sound recordings. On the cue track of the master videotape, the sound area of the kinescoped film and the cue track of the 16mm sound recording engineers would record the Editor Sync Guide (ESG), a forerunner to what we know now as Time Code.

ESG consisted of a male voice calling out the minutes and a female voice calling out the seconds. Every 24 frames, there would be a one frame “beep” tone. Art Schneider, an NBC editor involved with the system’s creation, says in his book “Jump Cut” it took three people and a week to create the seventy-three minute ESG master recording.

The kine program would then be edited with frame accuracy using standard motion picture editing techniques. When complete, the tape was “conformed” to match the 16mm sound cue track. By the time the ESG was put into use, the manual videotape splicer had become more sophisticated to include adjustment dials and a microscope to ensure accuracy. Using the Smith Block, this became known as double system or offline editing.

Because of the twenty frame difference between the location of the video heads and the audio heads on the videotape machines, the 16mm sound track was used for all subsequent sound mixing and sweetening to maintain sync. After final mixing, it was laid back to the videotape in one pass.

The word of mouth buzz from Astaire program “literally opened up the floodgates to producers and directors who wanted their shows edited at NBC.” Word of its accuracy spread quickly and for about 10 years after, NBC Color City was place to go to edit your videotaped program! The editing on the Astaire program was minimal by comparison to some of the later efforts using the ESG system.

The ESG system was eventually used on ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In’…this was the first program use very quick cutting, sometimes just a few frames. For some segments, every camera take was a physical cut in the tape. It was said when the ‘Laugh-In’ master tapes were played, they had so many physical cuts they sounded like a machine gun firing as the tape passed the spinning video heads!

Many thanks to Richard Wirth for his fine work over the years. The full article, complete with videos is at this link. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://provideocoalition.com/pvcexclusive/story/the-demise-of-nbc-burbank-part-2

The Demise of NBC Burbank Part 2

Recently, I wrote about the beginnings of NBC’s historic lot in Burbank as the Peacock network completed its move to nearby Universal Studios.  The look back on NBC Burbank’s sixty-two year history wouldn’t be complete without exploring some of the technical history NBC engine…

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A Primer On The History Of Chroma Key In Television


A Primer On The History Of Chroma Key In Television…

Was this Milton Berle chroma key sketch the first? No, but it is one of the most sophisticated early uses of the technology as it employs both chroma key and video tape editing. This was quite a feat in 1959!

Motion picture production had been using compositing for years prior to the invention of television, but it was an involved process requiring optical printers and intermediate film mattes, hardly suitable for the immediacy of live television.

In July of 1957, chroma key had its first on-air test on one of NBC Burbank’s more ambitious projects, ‘Matinee Theater’ that ran from 1955 to 1958. Every weekday afternoon, a one-hour live dramatic production was presented. The source material varied, but often it was an adaptation of some famous literary work.

A television version of the H.G. Wells classic “The Invisible Man,” lent itself perfectly for the first live use of chroma key. When the title character’s hands and head were wrapped in blue and he stood in front of a blue screen, the chroma key amplifier would replace the blue parts of the video with an image from another camera. All that would be seen in the composite shot was the man’s clothing in front of scenery being shot by the background camera, thus making him appear to be invisible.

Chroma key was developed by Frank Gaskins, NBC Burbank’s technical operations supervisor and Milt Altman, graphics arts supervisor. Together, they pooled their talent to develop what has become standard equipment on live video switchers throughout the world and now can be launched on any home computer. Today, blue has been largely replaced by the use of green, but is the same process. The key color change became necessary when video started to be compressed and primary colors began to be sampled at the ratio of 4:2:2, with luminance and green being the only fully sampled channel in most cases.

Thanks to Gary Walters for the video clip and the question. Thanks to our friend Richard Wirth for the answers. In today’s next post, I’ll give you the link to Richard’s article and also discuss the early process of video tape editing that originated at NBC Burbank…ground zero for tape innovation in the early days! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoLi3MFMS6c&feature=youtu.be

Milton Berle satirizes himself in a 1959 special comparing the old slapstick Berle with his new more sophisticated image in dual appearances that utilizes an…

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Ultra Rare! Smith Block Editing Video…A Fine Follow Up

Ultra Rare! Smith Block Editing Video…A Fine Follow Up

Here is a short video of a BBC engineer editing 2″ tape with the Smith Block. There has been a lot of interest in the two prior posts this week and this is the perfect piece to top off this subject.

This is from this link http://www.vtoldboys.com/edit.htm# and there is other interesting early video tape editing information here, including how early electronic editing was done. Thanks thanks to Pat Phos Martin for sharing this with us. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee
http://www.vtoldboys.com/editm01.htm

Movie 720×576

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‘Hollywood Squares’…Unaired Pilot AND How Peter Marshall Won The Job


‘Hollywood Squares’…Unaired Pilot AND How Peter Marshall Won

I don’t think Bert Parks was ever really seriously considered for the role of host of this show, but for the pilot pitch to CBS…he’d be an OK choice. Obviously not though. After the pilot sat on Fred Silverman’s desk for six months, Heater & Quigley did another pilot with comedian Sandy Baron. CBS thought Parks to corney and Baron to “New Yorky”.

The director of the pilot, Larry White took the show to NBC after Silverman passed and they liked it, but they too did not like either host. This is when Peter’s name got put in the hat.

The short version is that Bob Quigley saw Peter in a Kellogg’s commercial and called him. They flew him to Sherman Oaks, showed him the pilot and Marshall liked it, but asked why they were interested in him and not Parks or Baron. Quigley said they wanted a “nonentity”. Marshall replied, “then, I’m your man”! The rest as they say is history.

Marshall’s starting salary was $1250 per week and the stars were paid union scale, which as the time was $750 a week.

Most don’t know it, but this was actually Marshall’s second time to host a game show. The first was a local LA show called ‘Stimulus’ which only ran for ten weeks, but it gave him some good experience.

By the way…Peter had reported long ago that NBC had dumped all of those tape archives, and he was right BUT! Low and behold, a cable channel somewhere found 3,500 episodes in their warehouse. Thanks to them, we can see most of these classic shows. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

Here’s the link to Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syMXK0Gxncc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrSvImHsUX4

Yep, I finally am back to uploading, and I forgot I had this saved weeks ago! Lazy me… Here’s a great one! It’s the original 1965 pilot of the classic cele…

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RARE! ‘Hollywood Squares’ In Studio Shot…First And Only

ULTRA RARE! ‘Hollywood Squares’ In Studio Shot…The First And Only

Yesterday marked the 48th Anniversary of the debut of ‘Hollywood Squares’ on NBC, which began the long run of the original daytime show from October 17, 1966 – June 20, 1980.

Although I have looked high and low, this is the only backstage shot I have ever seen that shows the cameras and I thank Randy West for sharing it. I’m sure the show started with RCA TK41s and would love to find a picture of that, but till one turns up, here are RCA TK44s on the set. Does anyone know which studio this came from at NBC Burbank? Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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This Was Indeed, The Start Of Something BIG! The Roone Arlidge Era


This Was Indeed, The Start Of Something BIG! The Roone Arlidge Era

This video is from the last episode of ABC’s ‘Wide World Of Sports’ debut season which started April 29, 1961. This clip highlights some firsts in football coverage.

This is the first use of a crane camera over the field, microphones on the quarterbacks and possibly, handheld sideline coverage in a professional football game. (NBC used RCA’s Walky Looky on some college games in the late 50s). The video is quite historic.

In January of ’62, WWOS was given a permanent time slot where it remained for over forty years. The show was the creation of Edgar Scherick through his company, Sports Programs, Inc. After selling his company to the American Broadcasting Company, and joining them to run ABC Sports, he hired a young Roone Arledge to produce the show.

Around 1956, after graduating with a masters degree from Columbia College, Arlidge got a stage manager’s job at NBC’s New York City station, which was then WRCA. One of his assignments there was to help produce a children’s puppet show hosted by Shari Lewis.

Sometime in late 1960, Arledge convinced his superiors at WRCA to let him film a pilot of a show he called ‘For Men Only’. While his superiors liked the pilot, they told him they couldn’t find a place in the programming schedule for it. But the WRCA weatherman, Pat Hernon, who hosted the pilot, began showing it and Edgar Scherick was one of the people who saw it.

While Scherick wasn’t interested in ‘For Men Only’, he recognized the talent Arledge had. Arledge realized ABC was the organization he was looking to join. The lack of a formal organization would offer him the opportunity to claim real power when the network matured, so, he signed on with Scherick as an assistant producer for WWOS.

Several months before ABC began broadcasting NCAA college football games, Arledge sent 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 from Birmingham, Alabama, between Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs. Sports broadcasting has not been the same since. Thanks to Chaz Bryant for the clip. Enjoy, share and Go Dawgs! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvgnv7xJidY

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NBC Burbank 1958…Here’s A Drive By


Speaking Of NBC Burbank And 1958…Here’s A Drive By

In the last post, we saw a 1958 clip of Steve Allen and company singing and strolling the halls inside 3000 West Alameda…here’s the outside. Thanks to David Crosthwait and DC Video for this trip down memory lane. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us2flcoPut0

This is a 1958 videotape of NBC Burbank as recorded on 2″ Quad in a mobile unit. The show opens as the camera travels down California Street, takes a right t…

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Steve Allen Special…Singing Tour Of NBC Burbank


Follow Up…First ‘Tonight’ Host With Billboard Top 40 Hit, Steve Allen

Special Updated Version Of NBC Burbank Stroll!

In yesterday’s post of the Jimmy Fallon record release, I mentioned that he was not the first ‘Tonight’ host to have a record charted in Billboard Magazine. Steve Allen was, and here is the song that he wrote and recorded in a very special television version!

This is the original 1958 footage of the famous stroll through NBC Burbank updated in 2013 with a present day look to the same route. For once, the notes on a Youtube video are very good and quite detailed so make sure to read them. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/zbxoF4F0TrYThis is a special version of a YOUTUBE clip uploaded by goldenvmedia of This Could Be the Start of Something Big-Steve Allen Show clip as video taped at NBC …

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The Smith Block, Up Close And Personal

In Case You Missed This…The Smith Block, Up Close And Personal

Earlier in the week, I posted a photo of a 1965 NBC videotape edit session using the Smith Block. Thanks to David Crosthwait at DC Video, here are some awesome close ups of the Smith Block which was created by NBC Burbank editor Bob Smith.

Our friend Pete Fascino is the man that built the Avid Editing System and thanks to Kevin Vahey, here (at the link) is an SMPTE article Pete wrote on editing with this metal beast. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.smpte-ne.org/articles/painfulwayitwas.html






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The Great Dennis James…A Video Tribute By Monty Hall


The Great Dennis James…A Video Tribute By Monty Hall

Few have had a carrier like this…as you’ll see, even Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope respected the trail he blazed. Dennis James was among the first television announcers and game show hosts, and “made his bones”, partially by cracking chicken bones (on mic) as he called wrestling matches which were a staple of early television. He is also the first person to record a commercial on video tape, but his depth and stature is much greater. As good friend Monty Hall will tell you, Dennis James is truly one of television’s great pioneers. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IihYyy3hZ4

This Video Chronicles the life of Television Pioneer and Game Show Icon Dennis James.

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Another Of Television’s First Game Shows…’Cash And Carry’

Another Of Television’s First Game Shows…’Cash And Carry’

This may actually be network television’s first game show. The distinction here is “network television”, as this debuted on June 20, 1946 on Dumont and was broadcast in New York and Washington.

Earlier today, we looked at the CBS game show ‘Missus Goes – A -Shopping’ which aired in 1944, but that was only shown in New York City. As we also saw, ‘It’s A Gift’ debuted in January of ’46 on CBS, but that’s several months after ‘Cash And Carry’ with Dennis James.

I wanted to post this to do two things…connect some dots in the history department and to prepare you to meet Dennis James. In the next post, there is a superb video tribute to one of television’s true pioneers. Don’t miss it! Enjoy and Share! -Bobby Ellerbee

By the way, ‘Cash And Carry’ was broadcast from Dumont’s first studios located inside Wanamaker’s Department Store in NYC.

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One Of CBS Television’s First Game Show Hosts…John Reed King

One Of CBS Television’s First Game Show Hosts…John Reed King

Pictured here is John Reed King hosting ‘It’s A Gift’. There’s a good chance this photo was taken the night of the show’s debut, January 29, 1946 in what is probably CBS Studio 42 at Grand Central Terminal.

This television story actually starts two years earlier. One of, if not the first, CBS television game show was ‘Missus’ Goes – A – Shopping’ which debuted the evening of August 3, 1944. King was the host of that show too, on radio and on television. When ‘Missus’ left the air, it was replaced by ‘It’s A Gift’ on January 29, 1946.

With King as host, ‘Missus Goes A-Shopping’ ran on CBS Radio from February of 1941 till December of 1951. Bud Collier took over the radio show when King took it to television. In 1952, Bill Cullen was his announcer and on camera assistant on ‘Give And Take’.

In addition to his radio and television quiz shows, Mr. King was also notable as the voice of many Paramount newsreels, and for a time he was coordinating producer of the series. His voice can often be heard on the Turner Movie Classics cable network when the movie newsreels are replayed from time to time.

One of John’s best known roles in radio was as the star of ‘Sky King’. In television, he is celebrated as the producer of one of the most popular series of the late 1950’s, ‘Death Valley Days’, which featured, among other hosts, Ronald Reagan.

From 1933 to 1936, while attending Princeton University, King broadcast news for the CBS network in New York. During World War II, King worked in Europe with CBS newsmen Edward R. Murrow and Robert Trout. At the height of the hostilities, King narrated a weekly news show in French beamed into occupied France. In later life, he retired to Fresno, California but kept his hand in the advertising business. Mr. King died in 1979. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Rare…CBS Studio 52 Spec Sheets From 1961

Rare…CBS Studio 52 Spec Sheets From 1961

At one time, the CBS production office had a big book listing all their studios, complete with diagrams of the stage and all the technical specifications. Thanks to Gady Reinhold, we get to see these pages on Studio 52 from the 1961 edition.

Having just seen this studio in the IGAS video post just before this should make this a lot more interesting. A lot of CBS game shows came from here including ‘I’ve Got A Secret’, ‘To Tell The Truth’, ‘What’s My Line’, ‘Password’ and several soap operas eventually came from here including ‘Love Of Life’. ‘The Arthur Godfrey Show’ and ‘Arthur Murray’s Dance Party’ also came from 52.

I think the first television shows done here may have been ‘The 54th Street Revue’ directed by Ralph Levy in late 1949. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



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‘I’ve Got A Secret’…Backstage Video #3, 1962


‘I’ve Got A Secret’…Backstage Video #3, 1962

A Rare Look At CBS Studio 52

This is the third of several backstage videos from IGAS that I’ll be posting here this week. This opens in the Control Room and moves to the stage of Studio 52. This is a long and narrow building with the entrance on West 54th Street and the back door on 53rd and is just behind The Ed Sullivan Theater, which is on Broadway.

As you watch, here is a key for orientation…entering from 54th street, the stage is on the left and the control room is on the right. As you’ll see, there is very little seating on the studio floor as 90% of the audience is in the balcony, which is still there. I was in this building in May. I’ll post the CBS Spec Sheet for this studio next.

The show moved here from Studio 59 in late 1960 and this is the show’s 10th Anniversary episode. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgR87ZP1sf8&feature=em-share_video_user

A trip inside the control room shows more of the crew, including producer Chester Feldman; Garry and crew members play “Ain’t She Sweet” and “12th Street Rag.”

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How’s This For RARE? ‘Tonight’ Show, Debut Ad

How’s This For RARE? ‘Tonight’ Show, Debut Ad

Thanks to Maureen Caney, here is a print ad that ran Sunday, September 26, 1954 announcing the debut of ‘Tonight’ With Steve Allen, the next night. The first guests to ever appear on ‘Tonight’ were Martha Raye and The Inkspots.

On September 27th of this year, ‘Tonight’ turned 60, but to my amazement, nothing was said about it and there was no celebration. Tony Bennett was on the show that night and even though he was on Johnny Carson’s debut show, not a word about any of the show’s proud history was mentioned. Thanks to Maureen, there are more interesting ads to come. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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October 15, 1973…’Tomorrow’ Debuted On NBC


October 15, 1973…’Tomorrow’ Debuted On NBC

The only way to remember this great show is to remember what made it great…Tom Snyder. On the event of his death in 2007, here are remembrances from Brian Williams, Jay Leno and David Letterman. Incidentally, Letterman’s NBC show replaced ‘Tomorrow’.

‘Tomorrow’ followed ‘Tonight’ With Johnny Carson and started as a 60-minute series which aired only four nights a week, Monday through Thursday, in order to accommodate the weekly shows ‘Midnight Special’ (1973–81) and SCTV (1981–82) in that time slot on Fridays. It was originally broadcast from the NBC studios in Burbank, but relocated to New York in December 1974 when Snyder took on additional anchor duties for NBC News and the network’s flagship station, WNBC-TV.

In June 1977, the show returned to Burbank until 1979, when Snyder once again began originating from 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
On September 16, 1980, when ‘Tonight’ was shortened to 60 minutes, ‘Tomorrow’ was scheduled at 12:30 Eastern and lengthened to 90 minutes, a format that lasted until its cancellation 16 months later. In February 1982, NBC replaced ‘Tomorrow Coast-To-Coast’ with ‘Late Night With David Letterman’. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/4cc2S2ZJCBM?t=1m44sFrom July 29, 2007, here are various news clips about the death of veteran broadcaster Tom Snyder. I am SO glad that I have an entire “Tomorrow” Show on tape…

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I LOVE LUCY Behind The Scenes 1953

October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 4 Of 4

On The Set Of ‘I Love Lucy’

This is a close to “being there” as we’ll ever get. This clip from an ‘I Love Lucy’ movie takes us inside the Desilu Playhouse and gives us an ultra rare glimpse of what it was like on the set of one of television’s most famous shows.

As we have confirmed with other sources, this was pretty much the same warm up that Desi used for the entire six years, including the camera push in. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ERpYCuQsh8

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October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 3 Of 4


October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 3 Of 4

Rare Color Footage…In Context

As you saw in the pilot episode post just before this, the script from the pilot was rewritten and was used as Episode 6, Season 1 with the title “The Audition”. In the closing curtain call here, we even see Pepito again briefly.

Although photos and filming by anyone on the set was prohibited, somehow, someone in the audience the night of October 12, 1951 managed to get these few minutes of color film, which is expertly edited into footage from this episode.

I have posted all of today’s videos before, but now for the first time, with all of them together, there is a greater context for you to see the linkage between them. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxsiItd1iN8

A Request from an “I Love Lucy” fan who lives in New Jersey, United States. This short 8mm Color film Footage was fimed by an audience member of “I Love Lucy…

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I LOVE LUCY – PILOT

October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 2 Of 4

The Lost Pilot Episode!

This kinescope of the pilot was thought lost until a 16mm copy was discovered in the effects of Pepito Perez. His estate provided the film to CBS, and the network aired it in April 1990, almost exactly 39 years after it was made. Perez is the famous Spanish clown that appears in this pilot.

This was never intended for broadcast and wasn’t shot on film; instead CBS kinescoped the show and peddled it to major advertising agencies in an effort to find a sponsor for the first season of ‘I Love Lucy’.

Writers Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, Jr. had worked with Ball on ‘My Favorite Wife’ and also wrote the Ball-Arnaz vaudeville routine that set up this pilot. They knew exactly how to exploit Ball’s personality and mastery of physical comedy. This is the first iteration of the premise that would drive the show’s spectacular run: A TV producer is coming to see Ricky perform. Lucy wants to be part of the act. Sound familiar?

The plot has it that Ricky has booked Pepito to appear with him at the club that night. When Pepito suffers an accident, Lucy dons his costume and takes his place at the nightclub, performing a routine with a trick cello. Ball and Arnaz had been married for a decade and had polished their routine during the road tour, and their timing is superb. The live audience adds immensely to the performances.

Ball was five months pregnant at the time the pilot was produced, which was concealed by layered costumes. ‘My Favorite Wife’ ended its radio run a month after this pilot was produced, and Ball’s TV show, Cuban husband and all, was eventually picked up by tobacco giant Philip Morris. On October 15, 1951, seven months after the pilot was shot, I Love Lucy premiered on CBS, launching Ball into a quarter-century TV career that remains in broadcast rotation to this day.

Several of the gags used in the pilot were recycled into ”The Audition,” episode six of the first season, and we will see rare color studio footage of that in the next post. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://vimeo.com/16732468

I LOVE LUCY – PILOT

This is “I LOVE LUCY – PILOT” by lukkasoli on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

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October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 1 Of 4


October 15, 1951…’I Love Lucy’ Debuts On CBS, Tribute 1 Of 4

Original Stick Figure Intro And First Episode…

This is the first of four tributes today to one of television’s most famous shows. In this post, there are a few surprises in the text story and you’ll see first, a clip of the original animated opening to Episode 1, Season 1 and, the full episode which was titled “The Girls Want To Go To A Nightclub” which is at this link.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqFnDxQ2wag

Before the “satin heart” intro that almost everyone on the planet has seen, the show’s entire six years of first run episodes used the animated stick figure opening that you will see below. The opening familiar to most viewers, featuring the credits superimposed over a “heart on satin” image, was created specifically for the 1959–67 CBS daytime network rebroadcasts.

For the original run of the show, the episodes opened with animated matchstick figures of Arnaz and Ball making reference to whoever the particular episode’s sponsor was. Here’s a surprise…these sequences were created by the animation team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who declined screen credit because they were technically under exclusive contract to MGM at the time. More to come! Enjoy and Share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1rpAUhbARY

i Love Lucy Clip

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The Peabody Awards – First Season Peabody Winners: Television’s Early Years

The Peabody Awards…First Season Winners From The Early Years

Some shows are so unique and shining that their merit is immediately recognizable. Here is the story of four programs that were awarded The Peabody in their first seasons, and why. Among the winners…’Howdy Doody’ in 1947, ‘Disneyland’ in 1954, ‘Lassie’ in 1955 and ‘Mr. Novak’ in 1963. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.peabodyawards.com/stories/story/first-season-peabody-winners-televisions-early-years

The Peabody Awards – First Season Peabody Winners: Television’s Early Years

After 70+ years of presentations, there are a vast number of Peabody Award winners, across numerous genres, all notable in their own way. Those shows which find resonance with multiple audiences over a great number of years, but were acknowledged as innovative and excellent from their very beginning…

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October 14, 1968…A First For Television


October 14, 1968…A First For Television

On this day in 1968, the first live telecast to come from a manned U.S. spacecraft was transmitted from Apollo 7. There were six broadcasts during the 11-day flight of this first manned Apollo mission. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYLuIyR_BT0

From October 14th 1968 CBS News covers The Apollo 7 Mission. The very first manned Apollo mission. Here is the very first TV transmission to broadcasted live…

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In The Beginning…There Was The Smith Block

In The Beginning…There Was The Smith Block

Thanks to John Schipp, here’s a 1965 photo showing the Smith Block in action. The editor is thought to be Peter Groom and the location, NBC New York.

The first show known for extensive use of video tape editing was ‘Rowan And Martin’s Laugh In’, which debuted on NBC in January of 1968, but there was a pilot done in mid ’67. I have heard that it took six weeks to edit each episode, but on the bright side, a few new curse words were created in the process. They too were created by splicing. I think GDMF and MFSOB were the top two.

This was a devilish combination of art and science and very tricky business. If you want to know more about just how it was done, go to this link. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.videomaker.com/article/1221-edit-points-a-history-of-videotape-editing

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October 14, 1943…ABC Was Born

October 14, 1943…ABC Was Born

71 years ago today, RCA finalized the sale of the NBC Blue radio network to Edward J. Noble for $8 million for the network that was renamed American Broadcasting Company.

As it happened, NBC which had only came into existence in 1926, expanded so rapidly that by 1927 it found itself with an excess of affiliates in the same cities, so it split its programming into two separate networks, called the Red and the Blue networks. After the Federal Communications Commission declared in 1941 that no company could own more than one radio network, NBC sold the less-lucrative Blue Network to Edward J. Noble, the millionaire maker of Life Savers candy, who initially renamed it the American Broadcasting System before settling on the name the American Broadcasting Company, Inc.

This was right in the middle of World War II and since all manufacturing was in support of the war effort, ABC took over the NBC Blue facilites as they were in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, with the main office inside NBC HQ at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. I think it was around late 1946 that ABC was able to move it’s radio operations into it’s own offices.

As the newest and smallest radio network, ABC had to play catch up with CBS and NBC, but after the war ended, they did so in earnest and one way they did that was to jump ahead in technology…with the help of Bing Crosby.

ABC Radio needed a big star and Bing Crosby needed more freedom from a hectic live radio schedule which cut into his touring and movie making abilities. Neither NBC or CBS would allow pre recorded programs, but in order to sign Crosby, ABC agreed to his terms.

In 1946, Crosby stepped away from live broadcasts choosing a sponsor and network that would let him use large, wax discs. That was when ‘The Philco Radio Hour’ debuted at thirty-thousand dollars a week. Bob Hope was his first guest.

Meanwhile, engineers interested the Magnetophon tape recorder brought to the U.S. from Nazi Germany made their way to Crosby and showed him what the new magnetic technology could do. His interest was more than piqued; he handed fifty thousand dollars to the men from the Ampex corporation, which at that time was just a half-dozen people. The machines they delivered went into use in 1947, and a new Crosby show, edited by tape splicing, was broadcast…the first radio show to use the new technology. Suddenly audio, recorded media, was flexible. It could be cut and pasted, rearranged, and edited. ABC helped lead the way. Enjoy and share! Bobby Ellerbee

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Tech talk: Behind the scenes with GC and NBC | Golf Channel

Behind The Scenes With NBC Sports And The Golf Channel…

I’ve had several requests to repost this great look at the latest and greatest in television’s coverage of golf, so here we go. Around 4:45, we’ll meet the cameramen, including our friend John “Bo” Boeddecker who always has the birdseye seat in the crane a hundred or so feet in the air. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/tech-talk-behind-scenes-gc-and-nbc/

Tech talk: Behind the scenes with GC and NBC | Golf Channel

See behind the scenes as Golf Channel and NBC Sports used the latest technologies to bring you the most advanced coverage of any golf tournament to date.

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‘I’ve Got A Secret’…Backstage Video #2, 1959


‘I’ve Got A Secret’…Backstage Video #2, 1959

This is the second of several backstage videos from IGAS that I’ll be posting here this week. It opens on the empty stage of CBS Studio 59 which is also known as The Mansfield Theater at 256 West 47th Street. Our host, Garry Moore shows us the stage and takes us outside where we see CBS Studio 62 across the street and back into the theater via the front door with a stop in the control room and then on back to the stage. This is the show’s 7th Anniversary episode. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTfjSbk8tdU

The 7th anniversary episode opens with a tour of the theater on 47th Street.

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Remembering Ed Sullivan…September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974

Remembering Ed Sullivan…September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974

It was 40 years ago today that we lost Edward Vincent Sullivan. Gone, but not forgotten! Bobby Ellerbee



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The First Ever CBS Television Series…’Tonight On Broadway’

The First Ever CBS Television Series…’Tonight On Broadway’

There is not very much information on this show, but here’s one thing we know for sure…the CBS remote trucks in New York got a workout. Each week, it was broadcast from the theater in which the featured Broadway show was playing…not a television theater or studio.

‘Tonight on Broadway’ was the first series to be broadcast over the newly formed CBS Television Network. It was a weekly half hour program that aired from 1948 to 1950. The debut was April 6, 1948, featuring the original Broadway cast of the musical ‘Lend an Ear’ and aired from 7 till 7:30 Sunday nights. Some list ‘Mr. Roberts’ on April 20 as the debut. Two months later on Sunday nights at 8, ‘Toast Of The Town’ with Ed Sullivan debuted.

The host was drama critic John Mason Brown, who had worked for the New York Evening Post and The Saturday Review. Usually, an abbreviated scene from the show was included along with an interview of the cast members and it was all live and on location with a live audience at a different theater each week. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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A Look Inside ‘Sunday Morning’, And CBS Studio 45

A Look Inside ‘Sunday Morning’, And CBS Studio 45

This is a story I posted a few days after my visit to The CBS Broadcast Center in early May. I don’t know if this “share” will include the great comments and add on’s from the original, so I’m pasting in the link just in case. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=673957542641798&id=189359747768249




Inside ‘CBS Sunday Morning’

This has always been one of my favorite shows. There is a line in a Lionel Richie song that says it all…”easy like a Sunday morning”, and that’s just the way it feels. Actually, that’s the foundation it was built on; to be like the magazine section of the Sunday paper, taken in at a leisurely pace with your morning coffee.

The show has been on since January 29, 1979 and that’s proof that the ‘Sunday Morning’ formula works. The program was created by Robert Northshield and it’s original host Charles Kuralt. The current host of the show is Charles Osgood, who took over duties from Kuralt upon his retirement on April 3, 1994, and has since surpassed Kuralt’s tenure as host. Both are perfect hosts.

This set is located directly across from something we saw here yesterday, the ‘Inside Edition’ greenscreen set in Studio 45 at the CBS Broadcast Center, which is a just over 3000 square feet. When ’60 Minutes’ first began, it shared space with ‘Captain Kangaroo’ and I think it was in this studio.

I’ve always wondered about the show’s trumpet theme. I had always thought the opening was played on a coronet which is smaller than a regular trumpet, but it’s actually played on a piccolo trumpet, which is smaller than a cornet.

The show’s theme is the trumpet fanfare “Abblasen”, attributed to Gottfried Reiche. A recording of the piece on a baroque trumpet by Don Smithers was used as the show’s theme for many years, until producers decided to replace the vinyl recording with a digital of a piccolo trumpet by former ‘Tonight Show’ musical director Doc Severinsen. The current version is played by Wynton Marsalis. I can hear it now, can you?

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‘CBS Sunday Morning’…Seems Like Only Yesterday, And It WAS!

‘CBS Sunday Morning’…Seems Like Only Yesterday, And It WAS!

Thanks to Craig Wilson, here’s a nice shot of yesterday’s show in CBS Studio 45 with Charles Osgood. The floor director is Mark Dicso with cameraman Allan Brown. With this in mind, the next post here today is a ‘Sunday Morning’ story I did in May on my visit to to New York. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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