Posts in Category: Broadcast History

‘Wagon Train’, NBC 1957-1962: ABC 1962-1965

‘Wagon Train’, NBC 1957-1962: ABC 1962-1965

The Indians and outlaws along the way were nothing compared to the difficulties behind the scenes. Series star Ward Bond and co star Robert Horton did not get along well on the set but they finally settled their differences two days before Bond died in the forth season. Oddly, no mention of his absence was ever made on the show. Bond died on November 5, 1960 and John McIntire assumed the job of wagon master but the next year, Horton left the show too. By early ’62, NBC had decided to replace the show but ABC stepped in to save it for three more seasons. In the 62-63 prime time season on ABC it continued as an hour show in black and white and in the daytime hours, reruns of the earlier seasons ran under the title ‘Trailmaster’ as not to confuse viewers. In 64, the show went color and to 90 minute format which was hugely expensive, but did not add many new viewers. The next year, it went back to 60 minutes and worse, back to black and white which drove the last few fans away. The last episode aired in September of 1965.

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Recording And Editing Video In The 60s


Ch Ch Ch Changes

Recording and editing video recordings today is NOTHING like it was when the state of the art was 2″ quad machines. Here’s a quick look back in time to the early 60s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YtmwB9Ds5Y

Shows how to splice 2 inch ‘quad’ video tape using a microscope and two machine ‘electronic’ video editing from the 1960’s – www.vtoldboys.com

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CBS Color At Television City & The Bob Crosby Show (1953-57)

CBS Color At Television City & The Bob Crosby Show (1953-57)

In the mid to late 50’s and even in the early 60s, there seems to be no particular rhyme or reason as to when CBS shows from Television City would be done in color,as none were colorcast on a regular basis, but once or maybe even a couple of times a month, they would do a single day or maybe even a whole week in color and here’s how it was done. This was taken in Studio 33 but the cameras are from Studio 41 (across the hall) and are being controlled from 41. Studios 31 and 33 were color cabled to the control rooms in 41 and 43. Studio 43 had RCA TK40s and Studio 41 had TK41s, but neither 43 or 41 had this type of permanent seating (originally Studio 31 had this seating too, but not now). Even though 41 and 43 were designated color studios, many black and white shows, like ‘Art Linkletter’s House Party’, ‘Climax’, ‘General Electric Theater’ and ‘Life With Father’ were done in 41 and 43. Interestingly, ‘Playhouse 90’ was usually done in Studio 33 which is half the size of the stages in 41 and 43. Below is a full half hour episode of ‘The Bob Crosby Show’ with guest, the great Johnny Mercer. The announcer is a very young Jack Narz. Tom Kennedy was also an announcer on this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7XI_UqIYNQ

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Must See! Behind The Scenes…Fox Sports NFL Coverage


Must See! Behind The Scenes…Fox Sports NFL Coverage

Thanks to Dave Perrussel and Dennis Martin for the link. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im1KLxrl6ss

An exclusive, all access look at the people, technology, and highly organized chaos that results in the NFL’s most advanced game broadcast.

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your day, but take a close look at that turkey…it may be an old friend. All my best to you and your family. Bobby Ellerbee

Happy Thanksgiving from Nathan Love & NBC. Client: NBC Artworks Animation Studio: Nathan Love Director: Nathan Love Creative Director: Joe Burrascano Art Dir…

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Macy’s Parade Television History

Macy’s Parade Television History

Below is a shot from 1954 showing NBC’s new Chime logo on a TK30. If you look closely at the viewfinder, you will see that the WNBT call letters have been removed and as of yet have not been replaced with the new (October 18, 1954) WRCA call letters. More than 44 million people watch the parade on television each year. It was first televised locally in 1939 as an experimental broadcast. No television stations broadcast the parade in 1940 or 1941, but when the parade returned in 1945 after the wartime suspension, so too did local broadcasts. The parade began its network television appearances on CBS in 1948, the year that regular television network programming began. NBC has been the official broadcaster of the event since 1952, though CBS also carries unauthorized coverage under the title “The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS.” Since the parade takes place in public, the parade committee can endorse an official broadcaster, but they cannot award exclusive rights as other events (such as sporting events, which take place inside restricted-access stadiums) do.

At first, the telecasts were only an hour long. In 1961, the telecast expanded to two hours, then 90 minutes in 1962–1964, back to two hours in 1965, and by 1969, all three hours of it were being televised. The broadcasts have been in color since 1960. NBC tape delays the program so that it airs at the same time (9 a.m. to noon) in all four of the major time zones in the contiguous United States.

From 1962 to 1971, NBC’s coverage was hosted by Lorne Greene (who was then appearing in NBC’s Bonanza), and Betty White. Ed McMahon co-hosted in 1971, then hosted until 1982. Bryant Gumbel hosted 1982-1987 Between 1987 and 1997, the NBC telecast coverage was hosted by The Today Show’s Willard Scott. During that period, their co-hosts were Mary Hart, Sandy Duncan, Deborah Norville, and Katie Couric; from the early 80s until circa 1994, the show was produced and directed by Dick Schneider; since circa 1994, the telecast has been executive produced by Brad Lachman, produced by Bill Bracken and directed by Gary Halvorson. In recent years, NBC’s coverage has been hosted by Today anchors Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira; Ann Curry; and Savannah Guthrie as well as Today weatherman Al Roker; with announcements provided by Don Pardo, followed by Lynda Lopez, the telecast’s only female announcer, who served during the decade wherein Willard Scott was parade host. The 87th annual parade will kick off from 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m. The route will continue down Central Park West to Columbus Circle before turning onto Central Park South and 6th Avenue. Marchers will be heading straight down onto 6th Avenue past 59th down to 34th Street until they reach the iconic Macy’s Herald Square.

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Mary Tyler Moore Show

Ultra Rare! Mary Tyler Moore Show

It’s amazing how much this shot looks like others from ‘I Love Lucy’ and even ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’…from the typical three camera setup to the rail on the audience bleachers. The show was done at CBS Studio City on Radford Avenue in Los Angeles and from it’s 1970 start till it’s end in 1977, the show ran on Saturday nights. In season one, it was on from 9:30-10, but over time moved up to the 8-8:30 slot, but kept it’s Saturday place the whole time. Tina Fey had this show in mind when she created ’30 Rock’.

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Can You Spot The Impostors?

Can You Spot The Impostors?

These TK41 cameras prop really got around. Here they are on the set of a ‘Dragnet’ episode. I’m think MGM owned them and I’m pretty sure these are the same two that were used in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” in 1967. If the pedestals had cable skirts, it would be hard to tell if they were real, but the bad wheels and lack of circular vents on the back and left rear side are dead giveaways. Can you name any other productions you have seen them in? Thanks to John Bolin for the photo.

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“Cleopatra”, RARE, Home Movie Footage


“Cleopatra”, 1963’s Top Movie

Here is a RARE, home movie look at the grand entrance to Rome scene. This scene took 3 days to shoot and had to be redone several months later because the light was going fast when the first takes were done. The Kennedy’s viewed this film at the White House in June of ’63.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc4hR55aJ1s

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Remembering JFK

Remembering JFK

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All Hands On Deck For Kennedy Funeral Coverage

All Hands On Deck For Funeral Coverage

This photo is from Sunday, November 24, 1963. Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs and Jack Lescoulie are shown on the ‘TODAY’ Show set. Only NBC had an early morning news show that could help with the coverage of these events and it was kept on the air in it’s regular 7 till 9 (EST) slot as a anchoring platform each day. They did the show from Washington on Sunday and Monday, but not sure about where the Saturday show was done. All networks were stretched to the limit on personnel and equipment during this time and coverage was sign on till sign off on CBS and ABC, but NBC fed a live signal around the clock on Saturday and Sunday with a camera trained on President Kennedy’s casket lying in state at both the White House and Capital. The FCC was very liberal with sign on and sign off rules during this time with both TV and radio.

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In Better Days…

In Better Days…

Here’s a rare color shot of Jackie Kennedy taken during her famous tour of the White House in 1962. There were 8 TK11/31s there for the 7 hour taping session and the CBS producer played back some video tape at the end of the day for her and President Kennedy, who seemed quite proud of his wife. I just learned from a recent special that she smoked the whole time off camera and surprisingly dumped ashes everywhere as there seemed never to be an ashtray available anywhere. Bless her heart.

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Televising The Oswald Transfer…Fascinating Clip


Televising The Oswald Transfer…Fascinating Clip

NBC’s Tom Pettit, the cameraman Home Venso, director Fred Rheinstein and producer Chet Hagen discuss television’s roll in the coverage of the move and subsequent killing of Oswald. Via this clip, we now know that WBAP had 2 TK30s in the basement. The other WBAP TK30 was the one Homer Venso operated and racked the lenses live on NBC air just one second before Oswald was shot. As you can see at 4:13, the second TK30 had only a Zoomar lens with no others on the turret. It is moving to the left of where the three main cameras were to join them behind a rail that police had ordered them behind and all were shooting the door that Oswald would emerge from. This same camera appears to move behind the bank of cameras after shooting and shows KRLD’s GE PC 12. Interestingly, in the last part of this 8 minute clip, a WFAA Marconi Mark IV is seen at Parkland Hospital for the death announcement. Oswald was shot at 11:20 Central and died at 1:07 Central. Parkland was 4 miles away so the live trucks had to literally break and run to strike and reset in order to get the shots. Even though pooling was supposed to be happening, I’m sure there were a mad dash by all to get their own equipment moved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjphDSY5QJ4

*Poor quality both audio and video Oswald is paraded back and forth through the hallways of the Dallas Police Department. Comments regarding the transfer and…

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That Unforgettable MomentIn a weekend filled with unforgettable moments

That Unforgettable Moment

In a weekend filled with unforgettable moments and images, this is one of the most iconic of all. Choking back the emotion that all of us felt, the sight of Walter Cronkite making the news official and showing ever so briefly his human side, this consummate professional soldiered on. Although all three networks were on the air reporting furiously, this image of this man in this moment is the one most remembered.

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Where Were You? No one that was alive that day can forget

Where Were You?

No one that was alive that day can forget where they were when they heard the news…please share with us your experience of learning the President Kennedy had been killed. This rarely seen photo was taken from from the Dealey Plaza monument just after the first shot.

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The Beginning Of The End…

The Beginning Of The End…

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NBC…Initial Coverage Of The Assassination


NBC…Initial Coverage Of The Assassination

Video tape did not roll immediately at NBC and Don Pardo’s first audio booth bulletins are available only because Phil Gries happened to be recording audio at home. At 6:06, video starts with Chet Huntley, Frank McGee and Bill Ryan at the news desk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0Oec1Gm1ew&list=PL0O5WNzrZqIMcKyft37X7uIknKcs7dSpP&index=1

WATCH ALL 3 PARTS HERE: http://JFK-Assassination-As-It-Happened.blogspot.com/2012/03/nbc-tv.html —————— Part 1 of 3. NBC-TV footage from the day …

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ABC…Initial Coverage Of The Assassination


ABC…Initial Coverage Of The Assassination

At 1:50 PM EST, a ‘Father Knows Best’ rerun was on the air when it was interrupted with the first audio bullitens delivered by announcer Ed Silverman. I don’t know who the first on screen newsman is, but I’m guessing he was the only one in the building when the news hit. He is joined by Ron Cochran who was called back from lunch. The coverage here is shockingly crude.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzYvsaieR4g

Two hours of live, as-it’s-happening ABC-TV coverage of the news surrounding the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on Friday, November 22, 1963…

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Literally, The LAST SECOND Of Camelot

Literally, The LAST SECOND Of Camelot

This photo was taken involuntarily by C L Bronson and was snapped simultaneously between Zapruder frames 226 and 227, while the first shot was being fired. Thinking ahead, Mr. Bronson had planned to capture this photo a couple seconds later when the limo was further out in the open from his perspective, and further away from the nearby “North Peristyle’s” cement vertical structure portion that is visible at the photo’s right. Mr. Bronson had prepared to snap his photo by having his camera already up to his eye and his finger on the camera’s shutter button. However, a sharp sound startled him so much that it caused his finger to immediately depress the shutter button on his 35mm camera earlier than he had wanted to.

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Why It Was Called “Walkie Lookie”

Why It Was Called “Walkie Lookie”

Yes, this portable wireless Vidicon camera had a lot of potential for broadcasters, but guess who else was interested in it! That’s right…the Army. RCA had a long history with military radio, radar, television and more but having “eyes” at a forward position was what interested the Army in this unit. Having used RCA Walkie Talkies for years, the obvious nick name for this equipment pack was the Walkie Lookie. Experimental versions came along in 1949. In a related note, the RCA TK30 field camera was RCA’s top priority for release because of commitments to the Army. The TK10 studio camera was supposed to be the first to debut to broadcasters but the military’s need put the TK30 first in line. The TK10 was held back so that RCA could supply the Army with TK30s in early 1946. NBC got their first TK30s in June of 46 and the TK10s debuted in late 1946.

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August 1960, Boston’s Fenway Park

August 1960, Boston’s Fenway Park

This TK41 is shooing from center field in a test of their ability to colorcast Red Sox baseball. This is just after WHDH moved into it’s new all color facility and there is an RCA color truck here as well as a support unit just in case. This game may have been against the NY Yankees, with coverage sent to WNBC. It would be interesting to see a clip of this video to see how a night game looked. If you look up in the upper deck, you can see another TK41. From other photos I have of this night (that I’ll post soon), it appears that there are at least 4 TK41s at the game. Thanks to Maureen Carney for the photo and background.

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The Grandfather Of ENG Cameras, 1950

The Grandfather Of ENG Cameras, 1950

Last week, we looked at RCA’s wireless version of this portable Vidicon camera that was used in the coverage of the 1952 political conventions. Here is a good article with pictures on the cabled version of the grandfather of ENG cameras.
http://www.myvintagetv.com/rca_videcon_camera.htm

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Point & Shoot…The First Portable Movie Camera, 1882

Point & Shoot…The First Portable Movie Camera, 1882

The design of the first “Chronograph” as it was called then, was made by French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey and debuted at 1882 by the name of Fusil Photographique or photographic ‘rifle’. The rifle used a magazine consisting a plate film separated into 25 light tight compartments – each was exposed separately at a staggering rate for that time of 12 FPS. To see the film it shot and how it worked, click on this link and be ready to be amazed.
http://www.diyphotography.net/first-movie-cameras-was-12-fps-rifle

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The Surprise…Wireless Studio Cameras At Television City!

The Surprise…Wireless Studio Cameras At Television City

http://www.aerialvideo.com/technology/hd-wireless
Until I verified this myself yesterday, I was skeptical of a post a few weeks back by Father Bob Sewvello, but it is true! I had replied to Bob that the cameras in Studio 33 had white triax cables which was also true…till a few months ago. The link above takes you to the Aerial Video Systems site which is what CBS is using. If you look closely, you can see two aerials on each camera (one for data, one for compressed video) and a 12 volt battery attached to the base of the Vinten Quattro pedestals. There are five cameras on ‘The Price Is Right’ set and all are Sony 1500s…only the jib camera (taking this screen shot) is cabled now. More news…this week, CBS will be doing side by side testing of 4K cameras on ‘The Price Is Right’ and ‘The Bold And Beautiful’ sets. Thanks to Father Bob Sewvello for the sharp eye and this photo.

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New “Do” And A Great Crew…More On The NBC 8H Electra Crane

New “Do” And A Great Crew…More On The NBC 8H Electra Crane

Yesterday you met John Pinto, but without Louis Delli Paoli, Philip Pernice and Bobby Mancari, SNL could not get those great crane shots because they are the crew that drives and mans the boom arm. As you can see in this photo, the Chapman Electra # 308 has had a new paint job and make over. In case you did not know, this historic crane is owned by Chapman but leased by NBC and last year, Chapman wanted to retire #308 and did…for a while. Turns out that the new Electra could not make the tight turns and was not as maneuverable as the old one. There was only one solution…bring back #308. While Chapman had her, they did an overhaul and gave her a new paint job. I would appreciate it if someone would get me the names of all the other camera operators on SNL and if possible, some pictures of them with their Sony’s.

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You Mean They Weren’t Even On The Ship?

You Mean They Weren’t Even On The Ship?

Nope! Blame it on green screen. Even the famous earlier shot of Jack and Fabizio on the bow was all green screen. Here director James Cameron directs Jack and Rose (DeCcaprio and Winslet) on their bow shot. The studio wanted Matthew McConaughey, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio. There was so much green screen at even in the departure scene, the extras were filmed on a green screen in a parking lot. ‘Titanic’ ranks first in the Academy Award Most Nominated Films List with 14 nominations, tying with All About Eve. #1 at the U.S. box office for a record fifteen consecutive weeks, from 19 December 1997 to 2 April 1998. The character of Rose is partially based on California artist Beatrice Wood, who died in 1998 at the age of 105. The most expensive movie to be filmed in the 20th century with a budget of $200,000,000. James Cameron drew all the pictures in Jack’s sketchbook. In fact, the hands seen sketching Rose wearing the necklace are not Jack’s but Cameron’s. Since he is left-handed and Jack right-handed, the shots were mirror-imaged in post-production.

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The Care & Feeding Of The Ampex VR 2000 Quad VTR


The Care & Feeding Of The Ampex VR 2000 Quad VTR

In 1964, Ampex introduces the VR-2000 high band videotape recorder, the first ever to be capable of color fidelity required for high quality color broadcasting. In ’67, the VR 2000 won an Emmy. For the more curious there are several parts to this training tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bFPPJgFUJg

Ampex training on the operation of the VR-2000 2″ Quad VTR, part 1

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Super Rare Footage…Live Television At 1939 World’s Fair After the opening day…


Super Rare Footage…Live Television At 1939 World’s Fair

After the opening days of the fair that were broadcast by NBC, the RCA Pavilion had a camera that visitors could walk in front of and see themselves on a monitor. It was all the rage and certificates were issued stating that the bearer had indeed been among the first people ever to be “televised”![fb_vid id=”10201188466899905″]

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RCA TK30 Remote System

RCA TK30 Remote System

From the 1949 RCA catalog, here’s what it took to do a two camera remote. Some don’t know that the TK30, as well as the TK10 and TK11/31 had a two part head. The bottom of the head is the camera itself and on top, the viewfinder. The TK30 field camera came out in the summer of 1946, a few months earlier than the TK10 studio camera which debuted in October. As far as I know, they used the same tubes and were practically identical inside but the TK30 could operate with less power.

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One Of A Kind Photo

One Of A Kind Photo

This is the full compliment of equipment associated with the RCA “Walkie Lookie” Vidicon camera. The wireless back pack is on the table far left. This picture was made at the 1952 NAB Convention. This camera and a few others like it were used by NBC for the ’52 political conventions.

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