Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Here’s A Rare Sight & Great Article…’I Love Lucy’

Here’s A Rare Sight & Great Article…’I Love Lucy’

http://www.dga.org/Craft/DGAQ/All-Articles/0307-July-2003/I-Love-Lucy.aspx

At the link is a fascinating article from Ted Elrick in “The Director’s Guild Of America Quarterly” on how the show was done. There is a lot of information there you won’t read anywhere else.

In the photo, we see Desi Arnaz with Jess Oppenheimer looking at a control booth under construction at General Services studio just before the show started production. This is probably around August of 1951.

Now this is really more of an audio and intercom center than anything else, because as you remember the show was shot on film, but coordination was still a key factor in the production. All the camera, dolly and boom people wore headphones. I would think there was an assistant director in the booth reminding them of cues and the DOP and director would be on the studio floor. Enjoy and share!

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Johnny Carson Desk…Sold for $35,000

Johnny Carson Desk…Sold for $35,000 (Click Images To Enlarge)

In October of 2005, this Carson desk sold at auction for $35,000. It was one of around five different desks used on the show and as mentioned on the photo was thought to have been on the set from 1974 till 1981. Here is the auction description…

“The top has a gold formica finish. The inside is carpeted in shag with a “hidden” slide-out tray on which Carson placed his ashtray so it would not be seen by the television audience once it became unfashionable to smoke on the air. This vertically grained rosewood finish desk is really not very large — approximately 60″ x 31″ x 21″

The two pencils shown here were also auctioned but I don’t know what they went for. These were specially made for the show and had erasers on both ends so Johnny could drum along with the band at his desk more easily.


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The Very First Hanna – Barbera Cartoon…’Ruff & Ready’


The Very First Hanna – Barbera Cartoon…’Ruff & Ready’

This is the very first episode of ‘Ruff & Ready’. It aired on NBC December 14, 1957 and was the first cartoon ever produced by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s new company.

Ruff (the cat) was voiced by Don Messick, and Reddy was voiced by Daws Butler. Messick also narrated.

New Mexico native William Hanna and New York City born Joseph Barbera first teamed together while working at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio in 1939. Their first directorial project was a cartoon entitled ‘Puss Gets the Boot’ (1940), which served as the genesis of the popular ‘Tom and Jerry’ series of cartoon theatricals.

Hanna and Barbera served as the directors and story men for the shorts for eighteen years. Seven cartoons of the series won seven Oscars between 1943 and 1953. In 1955, Hanna and Barbera became the producers in charge of the MGM animation studio’s output. Outside of their work on the MGM shorts, the two men moonlighted on outside projects, including the original title sequences and commercials for ‘I Love Lucy’.

MGM decided in early 1957 to close its cartoon studio. Hanna and Barbera, contemplating their future while completing the final ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Droopy’ cartoons, began producing animated television commercials.

During their last year at MGM, they developed a concept for an animated television program about a dog and cat pair who found themselves in various misadventures. After they failed to convince MGM to back their venture, live-action director George Sidney, who’d worked with Hanna and Barbera on several of his features – most notably Anchors Aweigh in 1945 – offered to serve as their business partner and convinced Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, to make a deal with the animation producers. Screen Gems took a twenty percent ownership in Hanna and Barbera’s new company, H-B Enterprises, and provided working capital. H-B Enterprises opened for business in rented offices on the lot of Kling Studios (formerly Charlie Chaplin Studios) on July 7, 1957, two months after the MGM animation studio closed down. The rest, as they say, is history! Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKU9ChKUFU

Visit www.cartoons-forum.org to get retro cartoons of many cartoon studios,such as Disney,Hanna-Barbera,Ruby-Spears,Filmation, etc. You can also be part of o…

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Behind The Scenes Of ‘Wonderama’…WNEW


Behind The Scenes Of ‘Wonderama’…WNEW

This 6 minute clip takes us into the control room with Sonny Fox as our host some time in the early 60s. From 1944 till 1958 this was WABD, Dumont’s flagship station in New York, but in ’58 it became WNEW. There is classic Dumont TV equipment everywhere.

‘Wonderama’ was a popular children’s program that ran for three hours on Sunday mornings on the Metromedia-owned stations from 1955 to 1986, Besides NYC, it ran in five other markets…WTTG in Washington D.C., KMBC-TV in Kansas City, KTTV in Los Angeles, WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, and WTCN-TV in Minneapolis – Saint Paul.

In February of ’55, the Dumont network shut down, but their TV stations continued as independents. In May 1958, DuMont Broadcasting changed its name to the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation in an effort to distinguish itself from its former corporate parent and the corporate name change to Metromedia came in 1961. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfo5wCwai2Q

Sonny takes his young viewers into the control room of his Sunday morning WNEW-TV program to see how a television show is made. Check out the 1950s DuMont br…

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The Very First “Made For Television” Cartoon…’Crusader Rabbit’


The Very First “Made For Television” Cartoon…’Crusader Rabbit’

The concept of an animated series made for television came from animator Alex Anderson, who worked for Terrytoons Studios. Terrytoons turned down Anderson’s proposed series, preferring to remain in theatrical film animation, which opened the door for him to team up with Jay Ward.

The main difference between producing cartoons for movie audiences vs television audiences is money, effort and volume. Since television eats creative effort a lot faster, more episodes have to be done but for financial and production reasons, shortcuts have to be taken for television animation.

In a 20 second clip, a theatrical cartoon could require anywhere from 700 to 1000 drawings. These first cartoons made for television used only about 250 to 300 drawings per 20 seconds. To help with the lack of movement, a narrator was used.

In early 1947, Anderson approached Jay Ward to create a partnership—Anderson being in charge of production and Ward arranging financing. Ward became business manager and producer, joining with Anderson to form “Television Arts Productions” in 1947.

They tried to sell the series to the NBC television network, but the network did not go with it. Although NBC did not telecast ‘Crusader Rabbit’ on their network, it did buy the show for it’s owned and operated stations and allowed the series to be nationally syndicated.

Below is the first episode of ‘Crusader Rabbit’ which made it’s television debut on September 1, 1949 on KNBH in Hollywood. WNBC-TV in New York continued to show the original Crusader Rabbit episodes from 1949 through 1967, and some stations used the program as late as the 1970. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3hHQvkUhJo

Jay Ward’s Crusader Rabbit – Crusade 1 / Episode 1. Like to see more?

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Fans Of Animation Will Love This Page! Rare Early Cartoons…

Fans Of Animation Will Love This Page! Rare Early Cartoons…

The link will take you to a Library Of Congress page that features restored early animation. Here, you can see some of the first claymation stop motion, the first rotoscope films of Max Fleischer’s ‘Koko The Clown’ which combines live action and animation, and more. The clip here is two minute fragment from 1921 of ‘The Centaurs’, which is notable for it’s particular quality of line and movement way ahead of its time…done twenty years before Disney would reach such heights with Fantasia. Enjoy and share!

http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-centaurs-a-fragment-1921/

The Centaurs, a Fragment (1921)

The only surviving fragment of Winsor McCay’s now lost The Centaurs, produced in 1921 by Rialto Productions.

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Johnny Carson – Red Skelton Running Gag…1952


Johnny Carson – Red Skelton Running Gag…

In 1952, Johnny Carson joined CBS owned KNXT in Los Angeles as a staff announcer. About a year later, a 15 minute show called ‘Carson’s Cellar’ debuted but petered out after a few months. That’s when Red Skelton asked Carson to become one of the writers on his top rated CBS show.

Once in 1954, Skelton hurt himself at rehearsal when a breakaway door didn’t breakaway and he chose Carson to fill in for him that night as host. After the show, Jack Benny told Red to “watch that kid…he’s great!”

While still writing for Skelton, Cason had a few other on air adventures at KNXT including the five minute ‘Carson’s Coffee Break’. Carson had invited Red as a guest for several weeks in a row, and Red came, but was never allowed to speak as they always ran out of time. Finally, Skelton tied Johnny up and took over. This a rarity I hope you will enjoy and share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1HM66mxOys

Jimmy Kimmel was not the only television personality to have his show hijacked by a guest. In 1953 Johnny Carson hosted a 5:00 show on KNXT in Los Angeles. H…

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The “2000 Year Old Man”…Now 2088

The “2000 Year Old Man”…Now 2088

Yesterday was Mel Brooks 88th birthday. What a career! Below are a few shots from his early days with Sid Caesar as a writer…one of the best teams ever. In the picture with Mell on the desk is Woody Allen and head writer Mel Tolkin with Sid.

Over the years, this was to be one of the most incredible collections of comedy writers in the world, with Brooks right in the middle of it. Writing for Sid Caesar, be it for ‘Your Show of Shows’, ‘Caesar’s Hour’, or one of his various specials, meant that you were at the top of the ’50s comedy game. This “Justice League of Comedy” included Brooks, Woody Allen, Carl Reiner (The Jerk), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Daniel Simon (Diff’rent Strokes and My Three Sons), Larry Gelbart (M.A.S.H.), Selma Diamond (Night Court, Monsters Inc.), Michael Stewart (Bye Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly!), and comic legend Mel Tolkin.



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The ‘Gunsmoke’ Story (With 2 Rare Clips)

The ‘Gunsmoke’ Story (With 2 Rare Clips)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ43sPt651I
First, please click on this link and listen closely to the first :60 seconds…it will reveal three surprises.

The first surprise…’Gunsmoke’ started as a CBS Radio show. The second surprise is how the series got it’s famous name. The third surprise is the familiar voice of William Conrad who was the radio star of ‘Gunsmoke’…Matt Dillon.

A fourth surprise is that you just listened to the first ever episode of ‘Gunsmoke’, The radio series aired from April 26, 1952 (“Billy the Kid,” written by Walter Newman), until June 18, 1961, on CBS. It starred William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon, Howard McNear as Doc Charles Adams, Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell, and Parley Baer as Dillon’s assistant Chester Wesley Proudfoot.

Conrad was one of the last actors who auditioned for the role of Marshal Dillon. With a powerful, distinctive voice, Conrad was already one of radio’s busiest actors and the show’s creator Norman MacDonnell thought Conrad might be overexposed. During his audition, however, Conrad won him over after reading only a few lines. Dillon as portrayed by Conrad was a lonely, isolated man, toughened by a hard life. MacDonnell later claimed, “Much of Matt Dillon’s character grew out of Bill Conrad.

By the way, it was CBS head William Paley’s idea to create the show. In the late 1940s, Paley, a fan of the Philip Marlowe radio serial, asked his programming chief to develop a western series that would be like a “Philip Marlowe of the Old West.” Harry Ackerman, who had developed the Philip Marlowe series took on the task with the help of MacDonnell.

The TV series ran from September 10, 1955, to March 31, 1975, on CBS with 635 total episodes. The first 12 seasons aired Saturdays at 10 p.m., seasons 13 through 16 aired Mondays at 7:30 p.m.and the last four seasons aired Mondays at 8 p.m. It is the longest running, primetime series of the 20th century. Today, it still has the highest number of scripted episodes for any, U.S. primetime, commercial live-action television series. In ’61, the show went from a half hour to an hour.

John Wayne, may or may not have been offered the lead role (there are conflicting versions), but he did push hard for his friend James Arness to star as Matt Dillon. Wayne even introduced the show to CBS television audiences in the first episode. Here is the first episode of the television version of ‘Gunsmoke’, complete with Wayne’s intro. Enjoy and share!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln19GNiqXBo


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‘The Muppet Show’…Horizontal Split Screen Open…Who knew?

‘The Muppet Show’…Horizontal Split Screen Open

Who knew? Until I saw this photo and compared it to a Season 4 opening montage, I never knew it was done in layers of horizontal image editing. The video starts at the intro. Enjoy and share.
http://youtu.be/fp05wtcvDMk?t=38s

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A Real Rarity…’Amos ‘n’ Andy’ Television Screen Test, 1950


A Real Rarity…’Amos ‘n’ Andy’ Television Screen Test, 1950

Before ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ came to CBS Television in 1951, it had been a huge hit on radio and aired from March 19, 1928 to November 25, 1960. Charles Correll (Andy), and Freeman Gosden (Amos and Kingfish) were the creators and voices of all the characters…170 of them.

The rare video here is a 1950 kinescope recording of a screen test
of Correll and Gosden in blackface. In the last few minutes of the reel, you can see them giving different profiles to the camera to see if they are convincing, which they are not. This was probably done at CBS Columbia Square studios in Hollywood.

Gosden and Correll were very protective of their creation and wanted to play the roles on TV, but that was not in the cards. They even considered voicing the main characters and letting the stage actors lip sync their parts.

In their hearts, they knew that a couple of white guys could not pull this off on television, but they gave it a try. Fortunately they had been smart enough to keep an eye out for the right characters to play the TV roles and had been taking notes on actors for four years.

Alvin Childress was cast as Amos, who was the original main character in 1928, but by the late ’30s, the Kingfish character had become the main character, along with Andy. Tim Moore, who played Kingfish and Spencer Williams who played Andy were coaxed out of retirement to play the lead rolls.

There were a few “firsts” associated with this show’s radio and television history. ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ is thought to be the first ever syndicated radio show: although it was broadcast on NBC for many years, it was also sold to independent stations and delivered on 78 rpm discs. The television show went into production at Hal Roach Studios and began filming with three cameras several months before ‘I Love Lucy’ began filming and is considered one of the first sit coms to be filmed with three cameras. ‘Burns & Allen’ also did this, but live television had been doing three camera shows for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqw6FV3SeDw

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Wait! Now You’re Telling Me Big Bird Is Not Real Too?

Wait! Now You’re Telling Me Big Bird Is Not Real Too?

Sorry again! It’s really a man named Caroll Spinney. Actually, Mr. Spinney retired a few years back, but he was the original Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch.

Here’s an NPR interview with him…he’s 81 now. Enjoy and share!
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1249919


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Kermit Lives In A Drawer & ‘The Muppets’ Was Shot In London…

Kermit Lives In A Drawer & ‘The Muppets’ Was Shot In London…

Who knew? I was quite surprised to find out that ‘The Muppet Show’ that aired here in the US from September 1976 till March 1981, aired in the UK at the same time and was shot there too.

After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 failed to get the attention of America’s network heads, Lew Grade approached Henson to produce the programme for his ATV Associated Television franchise in the UK. The show lasted for five seasons, consisting of 120 episodes, which recorded at ATV’s Elstree Studios just north of London. It’s not easy being green. Enjoy and share.

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Live From Hollywood…Jerry Lewis Takes Over The Camera


Live From Hollywood…Jerry Lewis Takes Over The Camera

As mentioned in the prior two posts from today, both the CBS and NBC studios in Hollywood were tight on space for television, so that’s why this NBC telethon broadcast for the US Olympic Team on June 22, 1952 was done live from The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

NBC had two shows with rotating hosts…’The Colgate Comedy Hour’ and ‘All Star Revue’ at this time. Abbott & Costello, Bob Hope and Martin & Lewis were west coast based hosts and their shows came from a small Radio City West studio until Burbank opened in ’52.

In relation to the ticket below, this tells us the NBC’s Color City in Burbank was still not ready yet, but by sometime between here and October 4, it would be operational. If it were, they would most definitely have put this show in Studio 1 there.

FYI, the other Colgate hosts in ’52 were Jack Carter from Chicago, Eddie Cantor, Donald O’Connor and Danny Thomas from New York.

http://youtu.be/7HOL0n3GdrY?t=3m32sDean Martin & Jerry Lewis on Bob Hope Bing Crosby US Olympic team telethon 22 June 1952. A lost treasure! This was filmed (kinescoped) while it was broadcast…

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CBS, NBC First West Coast Homes (With Video)

CBS, NBC First West Coast Homes (With Video)

Before there was Television City and NBC Color City, there was CBS Columbia Square and NBC Radio City West. Both were originally built for radio and about a third of their radio shows came from Hollywood.

Columbia Square opened in April 1938 and television came there in 1948. The first network television show to originate from the west coast was ‘The Ed Wynn Show’ which came from Studio A…the same stage that would later be used to kinescope the pilot of ‘I Love Lucy’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kuQPbm4FwA
At the link is the Saturday, March 25, 1950 broadcast of ‘The Ed Wynn Show’, (a/k/a Camel Comedy Caravan) with The Three Stooges. The show was done live on the west coast at 9 PM and shown on the east coast, the next Saturday as 9 Eastern via kinescope.

Television came to NBC’s Radio City West in January of 1949 when KNBH was launched. NBC’s Hollywood studios opened in 1938 and served as a replacement for NBC’s radio broadcast center in San Francisco, which had been around since the network’s formation in 1927. Since NBC didn’t own a radio station in Los Angeles, the network’s West Coast programming originated from its San Francisco station (KPO-AM, which later became KNBC-AM, and is now KNBR).


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My Kind Of Weekend! Ultra Rare…Here’s The Back Story

My Kind Of Weekend! Ultra Rare…Here’s The Back Story

Thanks to our friend David Schwartz, here is a historic pair of tickets from a great weekend of live television in Los Angeles. Most of us never think about it, but CBS’s Television City and NBC’s Color City both went into operation about the same time…in the fall of 1952.

We’ll start with the ticket from October 4, 1952. Although the Burbank studios were not officially dedicated till March 27, 1955, after studios 2 and 4 were completed, the facility began to be used in September of ’52. Studios 1 and 3 were in operation, and ‘All Star Review’ was one of the first shows to come from there with the start of the third season of the show.

When the show debuted in late 1950 as the ‘Four Star Revue’ with four rotating hosts, it was an all NYC production. In the fall of 1951, the first coast to coast broadcasts were done and NBC did a few ‘All Star Reviews’ from their Radio City West studios in Hollywood that second season which lasted into the summer of ’52, It’s sister show, ‘The Colgate Comedy Hour’ had a similar history, but a bigger budget and longer life. Bob Hope and Martin & Lewis did most of the Colgate shows with west coast originations in studio 1.

Over at the CBS Columbia Square studios, the radio hit ‘My Friend Irma’ had come to television and was being produced there starting in January of ’52. This was a weekly series which took up a lot of space with it’s multiple sets. Space was at a premium at the Columbia Square address, so it was decided that they needed to move this show asap as the ratings were climbing. As you will see on the ticket, this was the first show ever to originate from Television City. No one knows exactly when the first episode was done from TVC, but I don’t think it could be more than a month or two before this October 3, 1952 ticket. The official dedication of TVC was November 16, 1952.

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NBC Studio 3B…’The Doctors’, March 1973

NBC Studio 3B…’The Doctors’, March 1973

Although I have posted this great shot of the RCA TK41s in action on the set of ‘The Doctors’ before, there is something new here…the date!

I just spoke with Glenn Mack again this morning to verify that this photo was taken in March of 1973 and it was. I had heard that NBC loved the pictures the TK41 made and so did Johnny Carson. Even after the TK44s came out Carson wanted to keep the 41s and did until just before the move to California. DeCordova and the director wanted the audience to get used to the different picture the TK44 made, so they went to the 44 about six or eight months before the move.

The TK44A came out in 1968 and the 44B (a better camera) came out in 1971. NBC, to pacify RCA, began to use some of the 44As on shows that had an audience, but kept the 41s in service on productions with no audience till at least 73, and maybe longer.

It would be interesting to know when the last NBC 41s were taken out of service. Anyone know? I’ve heard the ABC kept a TK41 backup sports truck till around 1978. Enjoy and share!

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The Jeopardy! Set…1973, NBC Studio 8G

The Jeopardy! Set…1973, NBC Studio 8G

You can just barely see Art Fleming over the top of the RCA TK44 lens, but there he is, in about the same spot you would find Seth Meyer’s desk today in 8G.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bClXPNwLeCw
At the link, this the final daytime show hosted by Art Fleming with a great intro from Don Pardo. This was the episode 2,753 and aired on January 3, 1975. This show was done in NBC Studio 6A and I think that after it’s many years in 8G, they moved to 6A in 1973. The original daytime version aired on NBC from March 30, 1964 to January 3, 1975, then spawned a weekly nighttime syndicated edition that aired from September 9, 1974 to September 5, 1975 and Fleming hosted this too with Pardo as his announcer.

At 8:07 there are some favorite clips from the past 11 years and at 20:19 Art Fleming says goodby as “Smile” plays the show out. Enjoy and share.

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Behind The Jeopardy! Board…1973, NBC Studio 8G

Behind The Jeopardy! Board…1973, NBC Studio 8G

While I’m in the Glen Mack folder, here’s a rare shot a lot of people liked when I posted it last year. There seemed to have been at least three board units like this…A, B and C. At this link, you can see the board in use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJtYPKNBqg

Notice in the video, there is a closable curtain over the board which makes the change from unit to unit easier for the crew.

This actually quite a complex piece of equipment. In order for the dollar value card of each question to pop up and reveal the answer card, something had to happen with these tabs…I think we have the answer in the comments below from Mark Ogden. Enjoy and share!

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Walter Cronkite’s Desk…A Reproduction Coming Soon

Walter Cronkite’s Desk…A Reproduction Coming Soon

This fall, Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Cronkite’s alma mater, will open a new exhibit in the Cronkite Museum that will include a replica of his 70’s era ‘CBS Evening News’ set, complete with cameras.

I am helping them with photos (like these rare shots of the set from our friend Glenn Mack), on locating equipment and with information from CBS veterans that were there. If you worked on this set, please message me via Facebook as we need all the help we can get.

In the photo with the green screen, we have determined that the map is a real relief map and, that although two different shades of green, this was indeed the chromakey background which I always thought had to be flat and one color.

The other photo is one of my all time favorite shots. This is what Walter saw as he sat behind the desk. The camera on the right is mounted on a rare German tripod that can be raised and lowered very quickly. You can’t make that adjustment when the camera is live, but you can do it between shots if you need to. We have located one of these tripods and two Norelcos, but need a pedestal.

If you have an old Houston Fearless TD 3, the lead counterbalance model, or TD 7, the pneumatic model, or and early TVP pneumatic pedestal, please let me know.

By the way, I think in this 1973 photo from Glenn, they techs are changing out the teleprompters from the ones that showed a video image of a long paper roll to the computer based character generated system. Any thoughts on this or any details of the set you can add would be appreciated.


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Wherrrrrrrres Johnny? NBC 6B After The ‘Tonight’ Move…

Wherrrrrrrres Johnny? NBC 6B After The ‘Tonight’ Move…

The photo I posted yesterday taken from behind Johnny in 6B was from March 8, 1972. These two great shots were taken by our friend Glenn Mack a year later in March of ’73.

In Carson’s monologue of November 13, 1972 he said “this is our first show back in New York, since moving to Burbank”. So, beginning that Monday night, they returned for at least one week. Notice in the photo that shows the audience area, the ‘Tonight’ sound baffle panels are still on the band area wall. In the other photo, behind the camera with the lit tally lights, you can see on the floor, the outline of where the Homebase set was.

In that same photo, you can also see the huge column which supported the dimmer room, which has been removed now that ‘Tonight’ is back in 6B. Like all the other NBC studios at 30 Rock, this is a two story tall structure, except for the back rear third where the dimmer room is. You can see the end of the dimmer room just to the right of the column, but you can’t see the windows in it in this shot. Across the hall in 6A, that studio is a mirror image of B but the column is still there. I wonder if they will remove it too before Meredith Viera’s show starts there this fall?


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David Muir to Succeed Diane Sawyer as ‘ABC World News’ Anchor

In Case You Missed It…Diane Sawyer Stepping Down As Anchor

Last night, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer announced her departure from the nightly anchor duties to pursue more in depth reporting for ABC. The very capable David Muir will replace her. More at the link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/business/media/david-muir-to-succeed-diane-sawyer-as-world-news-anchor.html?_r=0

David Muir to Succeed Diane Sawyer as ‘ABC World News’ Anchor

The news division said it would give George Stephanopoulos responsibility for breaking news and elections, while Ms. Sawyer will focus on investigations.

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Johnny Carson In NBC’s Studio 6B…

Johnny Carson In NBC’s Studio 6B…

This photo is from March 8, 1972. This would be from the last days of the ‘Tonight’ show with Johnny hosting from New York. The show began in Burbank on May 1, 1972, but I think Johnny actually left for LA in early April and had guest hosts and some reruns to bridge the gap. I have heard that Ed McMahon actually hosted the last week of the show from New York, but am not certain. Anyone know more? Any ‘Tonight’ veterans among us? Got stories?

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The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson Era in New York

Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight’ Show…From Vanity Fair

This is a very fine article from February’s Vanity Fair Magazine written on the occasion of the ‘Tonight’ show’s return to New York. It’s a very intimate and in depth look at Johnny Carson and his years as host of the show in New York and in Los Angeles, but centers on the 30 Rock years in 6B. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did! Read on…

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2014/02/johnny-carson-the-tonight-show

The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson Era in New York

Sam Kashner reports on the New York period of the late-night show, which lasted from 1962 to 1972.

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On A Personal Note…June 25, 2002 – June 25, 2014…My Little Jack Came Home…


On A Personal Note…

June 25, 2002 – June 25, 2014…My Little Jack Came Home

Twelve years ago today, my then six week old puppy, Jack came home with me and my other dog, Jessie for the first time. I took video that day and the last few seconds are included here. This afternoon, Jack came home with me for the last time. I just picked up the urn and he’s at rest here at home with Jessie and Rascal.

When it’s time for me to exit, I want their ashes mixed with mine and scattered in neck deep water in the Atlantic in front of my former beachfront home at 2030 N. Ocean Drive in Ft. Lauderdale where I lived and swam in the ocean every morning and night for several years. Thank you to the hundreds that liked and commented on Jack’s passing Monday afternoon.

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


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

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.

As an interesting side note on this clip, which is part of a sketch called ‘The Trip To Honolulu’, the pretty (but chubby) blond we see at the start is Barbara Pepper. Barbara was a good friend of Lucille Ball’s and was the person Lucy wanted to play the part of Ethel Mertz. Enjoy and share!

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…

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CBS Field Sequential Cameras…Modified RCA TK10 Monochromes

CBS Field Sequential Cameras…Modified RCA TK10 Monochromes

In a nutshell, the Field Sequential System colorcasts were actually black and white pictures transmitted with a sync code which would synchronize the home receiver wheel with the broadcast wheel. In the color photo, we see a reproduction of the wheel that went in front to the home receiver screen and on the close up of the camera, we see behind the lens the color disc that sort of generated the color picture to be transmitted.

Here is a very simplified description of how this worked. The image is scanned at 144 fields per second. Each field is one complete image of either red, blue and green. As each field scans down the screen, the color wheel places the correct filter in front of the tube. After six fields have scanned, and the wheel has made one complete rotation, a complete color frame has been formed. The color frame rate is 24 frames per second, same as film. The wheel is spinning in perfect time to the video color frame period and is turning 24 times per second, which is 1,440 RPM.

On the original 1949 wheel design from Dr. Goldmark, who invented the system, there were two color wheels with half of it clear so that when black and white programs aired, the clear portion would lock in place on the camera and the receiver. This was too difficult to do, so the system went to a single color wheel that was used in the historic telecast sixty three years ago today. Enjoy and share!



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June 25, 1951…The First Commercial Colorcast Is Done By CBS

June 25, 1951…The First Commercial Colorcast Is Done By CBS

Sixty three years ago today, the first commercial color telecast took place as CBS transmitted a one-hour special from New York to four other cities.The whole story and 20 rare photos are at this link
http://www.eyesofageneration.com/Archives_CBS_Color.php

Although there is not a lot of information CBS Studio 57, we do know that it was so hot that day, the floors buckled in a few places. The facility was also known as The Pace Theater and was located at 1280 Fifth Avenue. I think this studio was the home of all the CBS Field Sequential Color testing and after the RCA Dot Sequential Color System won, CBS left there around 1953.

As you will see in the article, there appears to have been three modified RCA TK10s in use as Field Sequential Color cameras…more on this in the next post. Enjoy and share!

Television cameras were the Eyes Of A Generation; this is Television history the way they saw it

Television’s living history.

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Just For Fun, A Little Of Me…


Just For Fun, A Little Of Me…’Squidbillies’ Unveil Major Concert Lineup

Today the line up of this year’s Music Midtown festival was announced on the internet with this little diddy from me and the other characters of my show. ‘The Squidbillies’. I am the voice of Sheriff and our 8th season on Adult Swim starts in September. Yahoo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfD1RVb0BTQ

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History’s First Marriage Of Recorded Sight And Sound…Circa 1894


History’s First Marriage Of Recorded Sight And Sound…Circa 1894

From the inception of motion pictures, various inventors attempted to unite sight and sound through “talking” motion pictures. The Edison Company is known to have experimented with this as early as the fall of 1894 under the supervision of W. K. L. Dickson with a film known today as the Dickson Experimental Sound Film. The film shows a man, who may possibly be Dickson, playing violin before a phonograph horn as two men dance.

By the spring of 1895, Edison was offering Kinetophones (see photo in Comment Section), which were film projector boxes with phonographs inside their cabinets. The viewer would look into the peep-holes of the Kinetoscope to watch the motion picture while listening to the accompanying phonograph through two rubber ear tubes connected to the machine.

While the pictures and sound appeared together, they were not what we would consider synchronous. Although the initial novelty of the machine drew attention, the decline of the Kinetoscope business and Dickson’s departure from Edison ended any further work on the Kinetophone for 18 years. This was most likely shot at the Edison Studios in Bronx, New York.

In this clip, you will see text that explains the discovery of the lost pieces of this puzzle and how it was restored. Enjoy and share!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6b0wpBTR1s

This short film was a test for Edison’s “Kinetophone” project, the first attempt in history to record sound and moving image in synchronization. This was an …

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