Posts in Category: Broadcast History

‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ 1944/1948


‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ 1944/1948

This cartoon from Max Fleischer Studios is thought to be the first ever, animated depiction of the original story written by Robert May in 1939. This was released in theaters in December of 1944, but the now famous song was not written until 1947. In ’48 the song, first recorded by Gene Autry, was added and the cartoon re released.

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

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ► http://amzn.to/XmasRudy ► http://XmasFLIX.com ► http://facebook.com/XmasFLIX MP3s ► http://XmasTRAX.com ► Mobile ► http://iX…

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“Santa’s Surprise” 1947


“Santa’s Surprise” 1947

Like today’s ‘Popeye’ cartoon post, this was also done by Paramount. When they bought Max Fleischer Studios in 1942, they renamed it Paramount Famous Studios and later changed the name to Paramount Cartoon Studios. This is a Famous Studios cartoon.

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

http://viewster.com – watch FREE movies on http://www.viewster.com Santa’s Suprise – Classic Cartoons

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‘Popeye’ Christmas Episode And A Brief History


‘Popeye’ Christmas Episode And A Brief History

The Popeye cartoons came to the screen in 1933 and were produced by the Max Fleisher Studio, which was bought by Paramount in 1942. 122 episodes were done at Paramount from ’42 till ’57 when the library was sold to A. A. P. or Associated Artist Productions which was a television distribution company. After Paramount took over, they produced 14 episodes in black/white and all after that were in color. This episode, ‘Mister and Mistletoe’ was released September 1955.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=860IZaxMhTc

Here’s a great Christmas episode from Popeye . Did you know, there were 3 different Christmas episodes from the original popeye series? This was the best one…

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‘Christmas Comes But Once A Year’: 1936


‘Christmas Comes But Once A Year’: 1936

From Adolph Zukor and Max Fleischer, here’s some great hand drawn animation with a very interesting effect in the last 30 seconds. Going from light to dark is hard to do, but they did a wonderful job. Enjoy.

Orphans get broken toys for Christmas and Professor Grampy comes to the rescue. Producer: Fleischer Studios Watch at cccartoons.com: http://www.cccartoons.co…

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Judy Garland Christmas Special…1963


Judy Garland Christmas Special…1963

From Studio 43 at CBS Television City, here’s the whole on hour special complete with commercials and notice how FEW there were back then, only 8 minutes per hour. I think this was shot with their new Marconi Mark IV b/w cameras. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzCL3FM9dDc

In this charming live holiday TV special Judy is joined by her children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna and Joey Luft, and guest stars Jack Jones and Mel Torme. The…

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Andy Williams…The First Christmas Shows

Andy Williams…The First Christmas Shows

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5KiAclcPU4
At the link, you’ll find Andy hosting a 45 minute segment that reminisces about the early Christmas specials he did for NBC. Tomorrow, I’ll post a Best Of video with Andy hosting some of his favorite holiday show clips. Enjoy the music, the memories and the color of the RCA TK41 cameras!

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Fred Mertz? Almost…

Fred Mertz? Almost…

This is James Gleason who you may remember best for his roll in the classic, ‘Here Comes Mr. Jordan’. He also co wrote ‘The Broadway Melody’, the second film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Gleason worked with Lucille Ball on ‘Miss Grant Takes Richmond’ in 1948 and when it came time to cast ‘I Love Lucy’, she suggested Gleason and Gale Gordon for the roll of Fred Mertz. Both had commitments at the time and were not available for the first few shows and that’s when William Frawley won the roll of Fredrick Hobart Mertz.

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First Episode ‘I Love Lucy’ Shooting Schedule

ULTRA RARE! First Episode ‘I Love Lucy’ Shooting Schedule

Although this episode was the 4th to air in season 1, it was actually the first regular episode ever shot. Posted here is the first of the two page schedule with the second page below in Comments. Rehearsals stared on Thursday and the show was filmed at 8PM on September 8, 1951. The show title is “Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying To Murder Her” and the full episode can be seen at the link below. If you watch the video, you’ll see the “satin heart” opening instead of the original “stick figure” opening as all original openings were changed from “stick figure” with (sponsorship mention) to the “satin heart” open when the shows went into reruns. Please share this!

http://www.tv.com/shows/i-love-lucy/watch/lucy-thinks-ricky-is-trying-to-murder-her-13726

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A Rare Piece Of Equipment..The ‘Cinimobile’…

A Rare Piece Of Equipment

This is an ad for the Houston Fearless ‘Cinimobile’ hydraulic dolly. Last week I posted a photo of one of the few that are still around…I think there’s one in Ohio and one in Germany. This is probably an item introduced in the late 60s for film and television. There’s another photo from the users manual below in the Comments section.

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Jeopardy! : A Fred Westbrook Photo

Jeopardy! : A Fred Westbrook Photo

This is another shot of the show from NBC Studio 6A. The show’s host, Art Fleming has his back to us at one of the producers does a pre show warm up with the audience. This was quite likely a three or four camera show, no matter where it came from…6A or 8G. NBC moved shows around quite a bit from season to season depending on their production loads. Over it’s long run (’64-’75) at NBC, I think 8G was more home base for Jeopardy! than 6A. The camera is an RCA TK44.

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‘Scrooged’…A Funny Secret!

‘Scrooged’ Paramount Pictures, 1988

I’ll bet you never recognized all four of the street carolers insulted by Bill Murray…I didn’t either. The leader is Paul Shaffer and the others are Miles Davis, David Sanborn and Larry Carlton, three of the biggest names in jazz. The names of the Christmas television shows from the IBC Network, of which clips were shown were “Scrooge”, “Father Loves Beaver”, “The Night the Reindeer Died” and “Bob Goulet’s Old Fashioned Cajun Christmas”. The network’s promotional slogan for these TV shows was “Yule Love It!”. Sam Kinison was originally slated to play the part of The Ghost of Christmas Past but the part eventually went to David Johansen due to his friendship with Bill Murray. The cameras were RCA TK44s.

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The Chapman Sidewinder

The Chapman Sidewinder

This little workhorse debuted in the 70s and with it’s 6 foot riser arm could get a camera lens 9 feet high and the arm could go all the way to floor level. It can crab and dolly too. You see more of these on the west coast than the east for some reason and ABC seemed to use them a lot at the Prospect studios. Looks like a fun ride. The camera is a Norelco PC60.

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‘Truth Or Consequences’: A Fred Westbrook Photo

‘Truth Or Consequences’: A Fred Westbrook Photo

Did you know this was the first game show ever to air on television? It’s true! ‘Truth or Consequences’ aired as a one-time experiment on the first day of New York station WNBT’s commercial program schedule on July 1, 1941. It was hosted by Ralph Edwards who created and hosted the game in 1940 on NBC radio. The show did not appear on TV again until 1950, when CBS debuted the show which ran there till ’54. NBC picked up the show and did it from Burbank and on On January 22, 1957, the show became the first program to be broadcast in all time zones from a prerecorded videotape; this technology, which had only been introduced in 1956, had previously been used only for time-delayed broadcasts to the West Coast. In 1966, ‘Truth or Consequences’ became the first successful, non network, daily game show in first-run syndication having ended its NBC run one year earlier. This version continued through 1974. The show was done from Metromedia’s studios in Los Angeles. Three years later, in the fall of 1977, a syndicated revival titled ‘The New Truth or Consequences’ premiered. Because Bob Barker was unavailable, due to his work on the daytime and nighttime versions of ‘The Price is Right’, he was replaced by Bob Hilton but this version did not click in the ratings, and was cancelled after a single season.

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Inside The First RCA Experimental Color Cameras

Inside The First RCA Experimental Color Cameras

This is Richard C. Webb, designer of the first simultaneous, all-electronic color camera with the Wardman Park dolly mounted camera (as seen in the photo below) with it’s chassis and viewfinder removed. At the front of the cameras is the early optical system of dichroic mirrors bouncing the incoming image to one of three Image Orthicon tubes. I think the lenses are all 35mm. The center lens feeds the green channel, the right lens feeds the red channel and the left lens feeds the blue channel. In the next generation of experimental color cameras, the “coffin cameras” (which we’ll cover tomorrow) have added a turret of lenses and moved the optics inside along with some of the outboard equipment seen in these photos. It’s a shame that none of these, or the coffin cameras are left.

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RCA’s First Experimental Color Television Cameras

RCA’s First Experimental Color Television Cameras

Shown here are the first two RCA color cameras made. The photo was taken at NBC/RCA’s Wardman Park Studio in Washington DC around 1949. The camera on the left has the lens cowl removed and notice that the color splitting mirrors are mounted in front of the fixed lenses. Although the b/w RCA TK10 and TK30 had come to market in 1946 with turret lenses, this camera was not quite ready for that yet and, as with the old Iconoscope cameras, had to dolly in and out to get close ups or long shots.

In late 1950, these cameras were basically abandoned when RCA moved color testing to NBC Studio 3H in New York. The Washington color veterans were sent there, but these cameras went back to Princeton. The new experimental color cameras in 3H were the black “coffin cameras” which had the first hint of the now famous rounded viewfinder. Color tests began in 3H in early 1951 and stayed there till early ’53 when the Colonial Theater came into service with the prototype RCA TK40s. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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WOW! 3 Top Song Writers On Merv’s First Show…Ultra Rare Clip!


What A HOOT! You MUST See This!

Take 5 minutes to watch this ULTRA RARE clip. This is Merv Griffin’s first TV show ‘Play Your Hunch’, but the GUESTS…WOW! Three of the biggest song writers of the day (early ’60s) and you’ll be stunned at what their songs were, even then! You know them all well! ENJOY!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceb4OY6_24c

JERRY LEIBER, BURT BACHARACH and NORMAN GIMBEL appear in this rare segment of PLAY YOUR HUNCH with MERV GRIFFIN.

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1964, Republican National Convention, San Francisco

1964, Republican National Convention, San Francisco

Great shot of the Marconi Mark IV in it’s suspended bucket with a couple of RCA TK11/31s on in front of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. The ABC cameras have been brought in from KPTV in Portland, OR. Back then, ABC, CBS and NBC would bring in a total of 50 or more big cameras to cover these events, even though they would pool coverage of the convention itself. NBC had a few hand helds, but it would be ’68 before the portable/backpack cameras (mostly Norelco PCP70s) started showing up.

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‘The Red Skelton Show’: CBS Television City, Studio 33

‘The Red Skelton Show’: CBS Television City, Studio 33

This photo from dress rehearsal on January 15, 1957, the first show he had done in several weeks after learning that his 9 year old son, Richard, had leukemia. On December 1, I posted here about how CBS moved their color cameras around in Television City. This is another example of the how and when the TK41s from Studio 41 were brought to Studio 33 (using the Studio 41 control room). From 1955-1960, Skelton’s was the show most color cast on CBS with 100 episodes done in color. By 1960, CBS no longer manufactured television sets (unlike its rival NBC’s parent company, RCA) and pulled the plug on colorcasts. With the exception of a few specials, and the self produced shows Skelton did in color from his own facility in ’61 and ’62, CBS would not colorcast again on a regular basis until the 1965-66 fall season. I think the “woman/wife” here is Mickey Rooney in drag with Paul Wenchel and Jerry Mahoney as hosts of the a show then on CBS called ‘Do You Trust Your Wife’, which later became ‘Who Do You Trust’ when it, and a freshly fired CBS talent named Johnny Carson, moved to ABC in New York with Johnny as host.

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‘Peter Pan’, One Of The First NBC Color Spectaculars

‘Peter Pan’, One Of The First NBC Color Spectaculars

The first president of NBC Television was Pat Weaver. He came from NBC radio and was the man that created ‘Today’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Monitor’ on NBC radio, and “spectaculars”. Many of the spectaculars were done by Fred Coe under ‘The Producers Showcase’ umbrella and were all in color to help promote RCA’s line of color sets. ‘Peter Pan’ had been a Broadway show starring Mary Martin and when it was learned that the show was ending, Weaver decided to do a television version with the same cast. After several months of preparation, ‘Peter Pan’ was presented by ‘The Producers Showcase’ live from NBC’s Brooklyn Studios on March 7, 1955. The show was in color and used 6 RCA TK41s and both studios. Studio 1 was home to interior sets and Studio 2 was where the external scenes were done. The two hour production garnered 65 million viewers, but very few color sets were in use then. Unfortunately, video tape had not been invented yet and there was only a black and white kinescope of the show. The ratings were so good that NBC decided did the whole show again live on January 9, 1956. Again, a huge audience but no color capture of the show for rebroadcast was possible yet. Interest from the public and sponsors to broadcast the show again the next year was there, but without a way to capture it in color, NBC balked. By 1960, color video tape was reliable enough to handle the task, so on December 8 of that year, ‘Peter Pan’ starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard was produced live in Brooklyn for the third time in five years. The video tape with only a few slight edits was re broadcast in 1963, 66, 73, 89 and 1990. Disney now owns the master tape. Thanks to John Bolin for the reminder to cover this ground. Below is a clip from the 1960 show that many of you will recognize. Enjoy! By the way, if you look closely at the photo from the 1956 production, you can see the flying cables on the children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbQqH3c_Uwg

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‘Jeopardy!’ A Fred Westbrook Photo

‘Jeopardy!’ A Fred Westbrook Photo

This is ‘Jeopardy!’ from NBC Studio 6A with host Art Fleming talking to the audience in a pre show warm up round. The cameras are RCA TK44s and on the right is the show’s credit roll box. A popular staple of late night comedy shows was always the bit where they give the answer and then the question. Steve Allen did it as The Question Man, and Johnny Carson did the exact same thing as Karnak the Magnificent. Under the contract of ‘The Merv Griffin Show’, his failed NBC afternoon talk show, Merv was owed a couple of commitments for game shows. He originally tried to assemble a comedy quiz program based on the answer-before-the-question premise but it didn’t come together. At the suggestion of his then-wife, he made it a non-comedy show and defied the notion that daytime TV viewers wanted fluff, not hard questions. In no time at all, Jeopardy! became one of the greatest success stories in the history of television. It debuted in March of 1964 and lasted on NBC until January of 1975. In ’74, a lady named Lin Bolen had taken over in the programming division of NBC and put a new show she had developed called ‘Jackpot’ in the coveted ‘Jeopardy!’ time slot, moving that show to a later, less desirable hour. Both shows failed. NBC cancelled ‘Jeopardy!, but…under the terms of their contract with Griffin’s company, Merv was owed another year of some show, so he came up with ‘Wheel of Fortune’. It debuted the Monday following the last ‘Jeopardy!’ with Chuck Woolery, as the host. In 1978, after Bolen was no longer at NBC, the network tried bringing ‘Jeopardy!’ back in a slightly-glitzier format — at Griffin’s insistence, with Art Fleming — but it only lasted five months. Then in 1983, with ‘Wheel of Fortune’ still doing well on NBC daytime, Griffin launched a syndicated nighttime version. It was a smash so Merv immediately revived ‘Jeopardy!’, hired Alex Trebek to host and sold the two shows as a package. Does anyone know who the bearded man with the check pants is standing behind Art Fleming? I think he is either a producer or floor manager. He is in several shots from the show including the Glenn Mack photo below from this same show. Thanks to Mark Evanier at oldtvtickets.com for the background information.

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I Couldn’t Resist…

I Couldn’t Resist…

After looking at hundreds of shots on the site linked below, I’ve come to the conclusion that at least half the visual magic on ‘I Love Lucy’ is in the faces of the characters. It seems about a quarter of the fun is in big pay off ‘reveal’ shots like this, and the final quarter is in the movement and body language of the cast. There is a huge dose of animation throughout each episode that borders on cartoonish, but usually doesn’t cross that line. For my money, the cast of Lucy, Desi, Fred and Ethyl is the best ensemble of characters ever to appear on television.

http://heckyeahlucilleballilovelucy.tumblr.com/

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‘The Price Is Right’ A Fred Westbrook Photo

‘The Price Is Right’ A Fred Westbrook Photo

This is a rare photo taken during the early days of this show that originated from NBC’s Colonial Theater and Ziegfeld Theater. Notice that the cameras are RCA TK40s, not TK41s (no vents on the viewfinder). I think the first couple of years were from The Colonial, which is where the first TK40s went into service. In ’60 the show moved to Ziegfeld (home of Perry Como) for a year and then back to The Colonial. ‘The Price Is Right’, with Bill Cullen as the original host debuted as an NBC daytime show on November 26, 1956 and ran till September 6, 1963 there. The primetime version ran weekly from September 23, 1957 till September 6, 1963. The show moved to ABC daytime on September 9, 1963 and ran till September 3, 1965. ABC’s primetime version ran weekly from September 18, 1963-September 11, 1964. When the show migrated to ABC, production moved to The Ritz Theater at 219 W. 48th Street. The Ritz is now The Walter Kerr Theater.

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‘I’ve Got A Secret’: A Fred Westbrook Photo

‘I’ve Got A Secret’: A Fred Westbrook Photo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UAVUMjZYnM
In 1964, Gary Moore left the show (details below in the Show History post) and was replaced by Steve Allen. This photo is thought to be of the last episode on April 3, 1967 and was taken at the shows final home, CBS Studio 50 also known as The Ed Sullivan Theater. Later that summer, these Norelco cameras would be replaced by Marconi Mark VIIs. Left center is Allen and on the right Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan (not shown). Bill Cullen, who was a long time panelist, would have been the perfect replacement host, but CBS did not want use him because at the time, he was the host of ‘The Price Is Right’ which was a daytime and prime time show on ABC. Even though he was hosting on a competitor network, it was OK to be a panelist on the show but not the host. The clip above is great! It’s Steve Allen with Pearl Bailey in 1967. Enjoy!

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‘Cash And Carry’, A Fred Westbrook Photo

‘Cash And Carry’, A Fred Westbrook Photo

This is network television’s first game show, and the world’s first TV game show host, Dennis James. ‘Cash And Carry’ originated from DuMont’s New York studio, then located inside Wanamaker’s Department Store. The show aired at 9PM on Thursday nights and was the only show on the air that night on the DuMont network that consisted of WABD in NYC and WTTG in Washington DC (via coaxial cable). The show as sponsored by Libby’s Foods. Dennis James was also one of Fred’s clients in his later years.

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The Fred Westbrook Game Show Photo Archives

MUST READ! The Fred Westbrook Game Show Photo Archives

Starting now, Eyes Of A Generation will be posting some of the best and most rare game show photos ever seen, and it’s all thanks to Fred Westbrook. Below, you see Fred and one of his many famous clients, Adam West, but Fred is best known for his long history of representing many of television’s most popular game show hosts. His list of clients at Kazarian,Measures,Ruskin (KMR Talent) is a true ‘Who’s Who’ of the business. Fred has worked with everyone from Betty White and Phyllis Diller to Bill Cullen, Bob Barker and Gene Rayburn. Fred is also co author of ‘The Encyclopedia Of Game Shows’ and many of the photos he is sharing with us come from the personal collections of his clients. On behalf of all of us that share his passion for television’s glorious history, THANK YOU for sharing Fred!

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Crane Day At “The Tropicana”

Crane Day At “The Tropicana”

This is a rare sight! Here, on the ‘I Love Lucy’ set, a huge stage crane is getting a special shot at Ricky’s club. Usually, there are three dolly mounted Mitchell cameras on the set, but occasionally Karl Freund (DOP) and Jess Oppenheimer (Producer) would bring in a big crane. Thankfully, it was a large studio.

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Guess Who Ocasionally Topped Ed Sullivan & Steve Allen On Sundays?

Guess Who Often Topped Ed Sullivan & Steve Allen On Sundays?

When ‘Maverick’ debuted in September of 1957 on ABC against these two ratings giants, the show often beat out ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and ‘The Steve Allen Show’. James Garner was Brett Maverick, the shows one and only star, BUT…a few episodes into the first season, the producers realized that it took more than a week to shoot and edit the show. Their solution was to add Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) as Garner’s younger brother and use two crews to shoot two episodes at the same time. The show’s sponsors were furious so to help the transition, both Garner and Kelly would film opening vignettes to each others episodes and would occasionally appear together. In 1960, James Garner sued the producer, Warner Brothers, for breach of contract, arising from his suspension during the writers’ strike of that year. Warner claimed that there were no scripts available during the strike, and were, therefore justified in suspending Garner without pay. However, it was learned during court testimony that the studio had secretly obtained approximately 100 television scripts during the strike. Eventually, the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of Garner, and he was released from his contract with the series. The part of Beau Maverick, an English cousin was offered to Sean Connery, but when he turned it down, the part went to another 007…Roger Moore. This was a one of a kind show, built by a one of a kind actor, James Garner and after he left, the show slowly died in the ratings and was gone by early 1962.

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CBS Studio 60, 1947 Broadway

CBS Studio 60, 1947 Broadway

Today, The Julliard School stands here, and it’s really quite fitting that such a renowned school should occupy the space once filled my a movie palace and a network television studio. Lowe’s Lincoln Square Theater was built here in the early 1930s and by 1951 CBS had bought it. It was a large theater with a double balcony and a large single stage. One of the first shows from here was the daytime version of ‘Strike It Rich’. Other shows from here were ‘The Ad Libbers’, ‘Break The Bank’ and ‘Draw To Win’. Draw To Win was a game show hosted by Henry Morgan. Break The Bank was co hosted by Bud Collier and Dennis James. The Ad Libbers only ran 5 episodes but Jack Lemon was one of the members of the cast that acted out short comedy sketches suggested by the audience (shades of Drew Carry’s ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’). Strike It Rich started on radio but the television series premiered May 7, 1951 on CBS’ daytime lineup and ran until January 3, 1958. Its popularity caused CBS to air a prime time version from July 4, 1951 to January 12, 1955. If anyone has more history on Studio 60, please add it in the comments section.

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This Could Have Been Lucy & Ethyl

This Could Have Been Lucy & Ethyl

When ‘I Love Lucy’ was being cast, Lucile Ball wanted her old friend Barbra Pepper (seen here with Lucy) to play the part of Ethyl Mertz. The two had a long history together, as Pepper had been one of the Goldwyn Girls who came to Hollywood with Lucy in 1933. Pepper was favored by Lucy herself, however, CBS refused on the grounds that Pepper suffered from a drinking problem that was far more severe than William Frawley’s. Nonetheless, Pepper did appear in several bit parts during the run of the show.

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CBS Studio 52: 254 West 54th Street

CBS Studio 52: 254 West 54th Street

As you may know, this became the famous Studio 54 nightclub in 1977, but it was built in 1924. It started as the Gallo Theater and by 1940 had become the New Yorker Theater. It sat empty for three years till CBS bought it in 1943 as a radio theater and named it Studio 52, because in New York, CBS named properties and studios in the order they were purchased. In 1948 it was converted to a television facility with a large and a small studio. Studio 52’s small studio was where a lot of commercials were done but many famous shows came from the big stage including ‘What’s My Line?’, ‘The $64,000 Question’, ‘Password’, ‘To Tell the Truth’, ‘Beat the Clock’, ‘The Jack Benny Show’, ‘I’ve Got a Secret’, ‘Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour’, and ‘Captain Kangaroo’. The soap opera ‘Love of Life’ was produced there until 1975. In 1976, CBS moved most of its broadcast functions to the Ed Sullivan Theater and the CBS Broadcast Center, and sold Studio 52. The Ed Sullivan Theater once had access to Studio 52 through an access door, which was cinder-blocked during the theater’s 1993 renovation for ‘Late Show with David Letterman’. There is a special attraction for me to Studio 52 because that’s where my first Norelco PC 60 came from.

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