Archive for April, 2018

David Susskind and the Sitcom Class Wars: Next on TVC

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Stephen Battaglio, business editor for the Los Angeles Times, and cultural historian Ray Starman will join us this weekend on an encore edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

Stephen Battaglio, business editor for the Los Angeles Times, will join us this week as we replay our conversation from April 2011 about David Susskind, the television impresario who took risks, broke rules and, in many ways, shaped television programming as we currently know it today. After beginning his career as a publicist and agent, and establishing his own agency, Talent Associates, Susskind went from behind the desk to behind the scenes, establishing himself as a producer of such live television productions as Armstrong Circle Theatre, where he battled network practices of blacklisting, exposed TV audiences to provocative subject matter and introduced such actors as Sir Laurence Olivier to American television. But it was his groundbreaking weekly talk show, Open End, that made Susskind a household name. Open End ran for twenty-five years and featured movers and shakers could speak their minds about a wide range of topics literally without restrictions.

Steve’s excellent biography David Susskind: A Televised Life not only covers every aspect of Susskind’s life and career, but in many ways serves as a capsule history of the first four decades of television. We’ll replay our conversation with Steve Battaglio in our first hour.

With the sudden interest in ABC’s reboot of Roseanne, its political and social consequences and relevance, and the portrayal of class political differences on network television today, our second hour will include a replay of our conversation from November 2016 with author, film and TV noir expert, and cultural historian Ray Starman. Ray’s book Sitcom Class Wars: The 20th Century examines the portrayals of class and status in sixty popular sitcoms from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including The Honeymooners, The Goldbergs, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, All in the Family, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Addams Family, The Odd Couple, Seinfeld, The King of Queens, and Roseanne, with a particular focus on the various status anxieties reflected in each show—and how those portrayals changed as the medium of television changed.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 10am ET, 7am PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
Tape us now, listen to us later, using DAR.fm/tvconfidential
Also available as a podcast via iTunes, Spreaker, FeedBurner, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube and other platforms
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Joyce Bulifant, Ella Fitzgerald’s Birthday, and The Birth of The Blues Brothers: Next on TVC

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

We’ll welcome back actress and author Joyce Bulifant and author and showbiz historian Geoffrey Mark on this weekend’s edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

Most people know Joyce Bulifant from her many appearances on such popular game shows as Password, Crosswits, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, $25,000 Pyramid, Name That Tune, and, of course, the CBS Match Game, not to mention her roles on such film, TV and stage productions as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Love Thy Neighbor, The Bill Cosby Show, Perry Mason, Alcoa Presents, Big John, Little John, the Tom, Dick and Mary edition of 90 Bristol Court, The Paisley Convertible, Auntie Mame, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire and, of course, Airplane! Joyce Bulifant is also known for her effervescent personality and smile. Those were difficult for Joyce to maintain sometimes, in the face of her real-life struggle with dyslexia and feelings of self worth, and a series of tumultuous marriages characterized by alcoholism, co-dependency and addictive behavior.

A story of eternal love that is woven through the fabric of the entertainment world, Joyce’s book, My Four Hollywood Husbands, is a memoir of her life and career, interwoven through the story of her marriages to James McArthur, Edward Mallory, William Asher and Roger Perry. A beacon of hope for anyone who finds themselves caught in the web of addiction, the book also reminds us that, as Joyce herself puts it, “If you’re not afraid to learn and to keep trying, there can be a happy ending.”

My Four Hollywood Husbands has become incredibly timely since Joyce’s last visit to our program, in more ways that anyone could imagine. We’ll tell why when Joyce Bulifant joins us in our second hour.

This week being the birthday week of Ella Fitzgerald, and this year being the centennial year of Ella’s birth, we will say Happy Birthday to the First Lady of Song in our first hour when we welcome back singer, comedian and show business raconteur Geoffrey Mark. Geoffey’s latest book, Ella: A Biography of the Legendary Ella Fitzgerald, is a comprehensive biography and discography of the greatest female singer in history—a true pioneer whose personal life was one of the best-kept secrets in show business.

The Deluxe Edition of Ella: A Biography of the Legendary Ella Fitzgerald includes a two-CD set with more than forty studio/live tracks of Ella in her prime, as well as the hardcover book. All forty tracks in the CD set were personally selected by Geoffrey Mark himself from all four of her major recording labels, Decca, Verve, Capital Records and Pablo. Both the hardcover edition and the Deluxe Edition of Ella are available at Amazon.com and UltimateSymbol.com/Ella. (There is also an Ella Legend Bundle Edition that includes the book, the two bonus CDs, plus a third CD, Ella at Zardi’s. The Ella Legend Bundle is available exclusively at UltimateSymbol.com/EllaLegendBundle.)

For our listeners on the East Coast, Geoffrey will be performing some of the music of Ella Fitzgerald on Wednesday, April 25 at Germano’s in Baltimore, Maryland, and on Sunday, April 29 at the Triad Theater in New York City. Geoffrey Mark will join us in our first hour.

Also this week: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen will bring us Part 2 of our look at the 40th anniversary of the birth of The Blues Brothers as part of This Week in TV History. This week’s segment will focus particularly on the many great musicians that Dan Ackroyd introduced to a new generation by way of The Blues Brothers.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 10am ET, 7am PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
Tape us now, listen to us later, using DAR.fm/tvconfidential
Also available as a podcast via iTunes, FeedBurner, SoundCloud
and now on your mobile phone via Stitcher.com
Follow us online at http://www.televisionconfidential.com
Follow us now on Twitter: Twitter.com/tvconfidential
Like our Fan Page at www.facebook.com/tvconfidential

Judy Norton, plus More of The Monkees: Next on TVC

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Actress, screenwriter and independent filmmaker Judy Norton and author, musician and Monkees historian Chuck Harter will join us this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

Most of you know Judy Norton as Mary Ellen Walton, the eldest daughter on The Waltons, reruns of which air twice a day, Monday through Friday, on the INSP digital cable channel. What you may not know is that over the years since The Waltons, Judy’s accomplishments have encompassed the worlds of music, theatre, cabaret, stage and film production, and independent filmmaking.

Among her recent credits, Judy Norton wrote, produced and stars in Inclusion Criteria, an independent film about a painter who suddenly finds herself haunted by a tragedy that devastated her family many years before. Also starring Lauri Hendler (Gimme a Break), Inclusion Criteria premiered earlier this month on Amazon Prime and is now available for streaming on demand. We’ll ask Judy how she came to write Inclusion Criteria, plus we’ll get caught up on some on her other recent projects (including the offbeat web series Disorganized Zone), when she joins us in our second hour.

Also this week: Chuck Harter returns for Part 2 of our look at the history of The Monkees and their impact on music and television. Chuck wrote Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees, the acclaimed documentary that originally aired on The Disney Channel, and for which Chuck interviewed Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and other key people behind the Monkees phenomenon. Among other things, we’ll talk about the songs written by Boyce and Hart, Neil Diamond and Mike Nesmith (and particularly how Mike’s songs each have a distinct signature of their own); how the Monkees world tour of 1967 changed the dynamics of The Monkees television series (both seasons of which are now available on Blu-ray); how the Monkees feature motion picture Head was ahead of its time; and how the ill-fated NBC special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee marked the beginning of the end of the group. An accomplished musician himself, Chuck Harter will also perform two Monkees tunes for us when he joins us in our first hour.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 10am ET, 7am PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
Tape us now, listen to us later, using DAR.fm/tvconfidential
Also available as a podcast via iTunes, FeedBurner, SoundCloud
and now on your mobile phone via Stitcher.com
Follow us online at http://www.televisionconfidential.com
Follow us now on Twitter: Twitter.com/tvconfidential
Like our Fan Page at www.facebook.com/tvconfidential

Marion Ross, The Monkees and Show No. 400: Next on TVC

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Actress and author Marion Ross and author, musician and Monkees historian Chuck Harter will join us this weekend for the landmark 400th edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision RadioKSAV.org.

Everyone who has ever watched Happy Days knows that, in many respects, “Mrs. C” (the character played by Marion Ross) was the one who held everything together. Everyone was drawn to her, including—and especially—The Fonz. What you may not know is that, for many years, off camera, Marion Ross always felt invisible—a Hollywood outsider—despite the fact that she had appeared in just about every major TV series in the two decades prior to Happy Days, as well as such films as Operation Petticoat, Teacher’s Pet, The Glenn Miller Story, The Proud and Profane and Airport, and despite the fact that Happy Days itself was the No. 1 show on television.

Marion talks about her struggle with invisibility, and how she overcame that, in My Days: Happy and Otherwise, an inspiring new memoir that includes great stories about Marion’s work alongside Lauren Bacall, Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Tony Curtis and her idol, Noel Coward, plus memories from her Happy Days cast mates—including the very last interviews ever given by Garry Marshall and Erin Moran. Marion Ross will join us in our second hour.

For our listeners in Southern California, Marion Ross will be appearing at the Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 3pm. My Days: Happy and Otherwise is available wherever books are sold through Kensington Publishing.

Calendar year 1968 marks the 50th anniversary of the final season of The Monkees (NBC, 1966-1968), the groundbreaking series starring Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith that not only won the Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series of 1966, but which continues to attract viewers worldwide, spanning three generations. Though some still question the authenticity of the group (criticizing it for being “made for television”), time has shown that all four Monkees were indeed talented musicians in their own right, leaving their mark in the world of music as well as television.

Our friend Chuck Harter will join us this week to discuss the legacy of The Monkees, from their origins in 1965 (and how the series nearly never made it on the air) to the height of Monkee-mania in 1967, to the pivotal role that MTV and Rhino Records played in the group’s comeback in 1986, to the death of Davy Jones in 2012 and the ongoing live tours of today. Chuck wrote Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees, the acclaimed documentary that originally aired on The Disney Channel, and for which Chuck interviewed just about key person behind the Monkees phenomenon (including all four Monkees themselves). An accomplished musician himself, Chuck Harter will also perform a few Monkees tunes when he joins us in our first hour.

This being the 400th edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL—and speaking on behalf of Tony Figueroa, Donna Allen, Phil Gries, Greg Ehrbar and producer Chris Korman—I want to thank you, our listeners, for tuning in each week over the past ten years. We appreciate your support and your feedback, and we look forward to bringing you more TV CONFIDENTIAL in the future.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 10am ET, 7am PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
Tape us now, listen to us later, using DAR.fm/tvconfidential
Also available as a podcast via iTunes, FeedBurner, SoundCloud
and now on your mobile phone via Stitcher.com
Follow us online at http://www.televisionconfidential.com
Follow us now on Twitter: Twitter.com/tvconfidential
Like our Fan Page at www.facebook.com/tvconfidential