Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Life of Elizabeth Montgomery, Plus Election Night: NBC: Next on TVC

The Life of Elizabeth Montgomery, Plus Election Night: NBC: Next on TVC

Authors Herbie J Pilato and Stephen Battaglio will join us on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Oct. 31-Nov. 6 at
the following times and venues:
WROM RadioDetroit, MI
esday 10/31
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 11/4
8pm ET, 5pm PT
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Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 11/2
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
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Talktainment Radio
Columbus, OH
Friday 11/2
3am ET, Midnight PT
Noon ET, 9am PT
9pm ET, 6pm PT
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The Coyote KKYT 93.7 FM
Ridgecrest, CA
Sunday 11/4
9pm PT
Monday 11/5
Midnight ET
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The Radio Slot Network
San Francisco, CA
Monday 11/5
8pm ET, 5pm PT
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Passionate World Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
Tuesday 11/6
10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT
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We’ll drop by at 1164 Morning Glory Circle in our first hour as we welcome back Herbie J Pilato. Herbie, of course, is not only the leading authority on Bewitched, he is also the author of Twitch Upon a Star, the first full-fledged, no-holds barred biography of the star of Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery. Though many of us think of Elizabeth Montgomery as the supernatural character Samantha Stephens, in real life she was as human — or, as Endora would put it — as “mortal” as you can be. She was outgoing, yet private; strong-willed, yet sometimes insecure; fiercely independent of her father, screen legend Robert Montgomery, yet always seeking his approval.

Twitch Upon a Star not only features interviews with many of Elizabeth’s family members and closest friends, including Liz Sheridan (Jerry Seinfeld’s mom on Seinfeld), Florence Henderson, Sally Kemp, Cliff Robertson, William Asher and Robert Foxworth, but previously unpublished interviews with some of Elizabeth’s cast members on Bewitched, including David White and Dick Sargent.

Herbie J Pilato will be appearing at the Book Star Barnes and Noble, 12136 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City on Friday, Nov. 9, beginning at 7pm. He’ll also be at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA on Monday, Nov. 12, beginning at 7pm.

Also joining us this week will be Stephen Battaglio, business editor for TV Guide. Steve’s latest book,
Election Night: A Television History: 1948-2012 is an enhanced e-Book that provides an inside look at how NBC News has covered U.S. presidential elections since the dawn of television. Steve’s book not only includes comments from such legendary news figures as Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw, and Tim Russert, but explores the technical advancements in vote counting, live coverage from the field, how the networks call a state for a candidate, and how the drama unfolds in the control room.

The enhanced e-Book edition of Election Night: A Television History also includes more than 90 minutes of archival video from NBC News, including footage of NBC’s coverage of past Presidential debates, as well as the assassination of Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. Steve will be joining us in our first hour.

Plus: a brand new edition of This Week in TV History. It’s a full program as always; we certainly hope you’ll join us.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about televisionWed and Sun 8pm ET, 5pm PT on WROM Radio
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio,

Fri 9pm ET, 6pm PT on Talktainment Radio
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Midnight ET on
The Coyote KKYT 93.7 FM (Ridgecrest, Calif.)
Mon 8pm ET, 5pm PT on The Radio Slot Network
Tue 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT on
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Monday, October 29, 2012

This Week in Television History: October 2012 PART V

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

November 2, 1992

Hal Roach dies.

Producer, director, and screenwriter Hal Roach dies at the age of 100. Roach is best remembered for his silent comedies featuring Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, and the gaggle of mischievous kids who starred in the "Our Gang" comedies (who later became known as the Little Rascals).

The silent-film maker, born in Elmira, New York, had worked as a mule skinner, stunt man, truck driver, and Alaska gold prospector when he came to Hollywood in the early 1900s. He started out as a stunt man and bit-part actor, then formed his own production company with D. Whiting, called The Rolin Company, after he inherited $3,000 in 1915 (he later bought Whiting out and changed the studio's name to Hal Roach Studios).

Roach hired Harold Lloyd to play Willie Work in a series of comic shorts he hoped to produce. The series fell through until Roach changed Willie Work's name to Lonesome Luke, who became a much-beloved movie character known as "the man with the glasses." Regulars in the comic series, called "Phun-Philms," included Will Rogers, Edgar Kennedy, and Laurel and Hardy.

In the 1920s, Roach started making feature films and dramas along with the comedies and westerns that had occupied the bulk of his energy earlier in his career. He weeded out the least-popular shows and concentrated on his gems, including the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang series. Actors who worked under Hal Roach contracts early in their careers included Jean Harlow, Mickey Rooney, and Zasu Pitts, along with directors Norman Z. McLeod, Leo McCarey, and George Stevens.

Roach won Oscars for two shorts, The Music Box in 1932 and Bored of Education in 1936. When he shifted his focus to feature-length movies (in partnership with his son, Hal Roach Jr.), he sold the Our Gang rights to MGM and produced the acclaimed film Of Mice and Men, an adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about a sweet, developmentally disabled man named Lennie and his protector, George. In the 1940s, he turned his attention from the big screen to television production. A military colonel, Roach produced propaganda and training films for the armed forces during World War II, and when he returned to Hollywood after the war, he began working in television. His company collapsed in the 1950s, but in the 1960s he produced The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy. The film proved to be his swan song: His studio was demolished in 1963 (a housing development is on Roach Ranch now). He received an honorary Academy Award in 1983 for his contributions to making movies. He died in 1992 at age 100.

November 5, 2007

Writers strike stalls production of TV shows, movies

Members of the Writers Guild of America, East, and Writers Guild of America, West—labor organizations representing television, film and radio writers—go on strike in Los Angeles and New York after negotiations break down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a trade group that represents TV and film producers in the United States, including CBS, NBC Universal, Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, News Corp., Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM and Warner Brothers. The strike caused production to shut down on more than 60 TV shows and resulted in a loss of $3 billion, by some estimates, to the Los Angeles economy alone.

The strike’s key issues included the writers’ demand for a larger share of DVD revenues and payment for films and TV shows distributed over the Internet and other forms of new media. Late-night talk shows, which used guild writers, were immediately affected by the strike and went into reruns. Production also shut down on many prime-time comedies and dramas; however, some had stockpiled completed programming and were able to avoid going straight into reruns.

After a series of stalemated discussions, leaders from both sides eventually reached a tentative agreement, and on February 12, 2008, WGA members voted to end the strike and go back to work. The strike officially ended on February 26, when WGA members overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract with the AMPTP.

The impact of the writers’ walkout was felt across the entertainment industry, from actors to caterers to editors to set designers to animal wranglers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation estimated the strike resulted in a loss to the local economy of more than $3 billion. The Times article stated: “Of that total, an estimated $772 million came from lost wages for writers and production workers, $981 million from various businesses that service the industry, including caterers and equipment rental houses, and $1.3 billion from the ripple effect of consumers not spending as much at retail shops, restaurants and car dealers.”

Previous multiple-month strikes launched by Writers Guild members in 1960 and 1988 had also greatly impacted the entertainment industry, bringing TV and movie production to a standstill and costing millions in revenue.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa