Slate with countdown. NET At Issue "What's Happening to Television"
CU Large wall clock indicating time, 7:59.
Hands turning the dials on a control board
CU same wall clock reads 8:00
NBC WEEK graphics. Announcement for the NBC TV Station offerings for a new season Sept. 12 to 19. (1966)
CBS animated graphics and clips from Hogan's Heroes. Title of the show overlay with the word "color"
Clips from television show, F Troop on ABC (circa mid 1960s)
NET animated graphics. show opener.
Cu of a newspaper press rolling at full speed.
CU hands typing on a vintage manual typewriter keyboard
Terrence O'Flaherty of the San Francisco Chronicle in his office at his desk, taking a puff of his cigarette.
Critic, Bill Greely of Variety typing on a manual typewriter in his office. Small TV on table, papers strewn on desk.
Z'in on Greely's hands typing away on manual keyboard
Shot from behind, Critic Percy Shain of the Boston Globe at his desk typing very quickly on manual typewriter.
Larry Laurent from the Washington Post working at his typewriter.
CU hands typing very fast on manual typewriter circa 1960's.
At Issue: show graphics and title of show "What's Happening to Television" overlay a TV studio with over a dozen TV monitors on the wall and man seated at desk wearing headset mic.
Nighttime z'in on small one level home, Crickets chirping and shadow of tree branches in picture window.
Young man kneeling over, light illuminating on his face as he tunes his (unseen) television then takes a seat in his easy chair with a cigar in his mouth.
Woman ironing clothes as her husband is sitting near her staring at unseen tv.
Show opener for the Milton Berle Show - WS of a foggy New York skyline. Berle enters on stage on a sled pulled by puppies with a "New York or Bust" sign.
Unknown older man in a robe sitting in an easy chair sipping a glass of milk and eating a donut. Pan out from the man revealing a pretty lady seated next to him munching on the snacks piled up on the table between them.
Pan in on small tv screen in a dark room - the NBC Peacock logo is seen on the screen.
Aerial view the New York World's Fair, 1939
Archival footage of General David Sarnoff, a pioneer in the development of radio and television broadcasting. Sarnoff at an RCA podium speaking into mics announcing a new "art" -form called "Television" .
Var clips are shown of the New York World's Fair exhibits and the many pavilions as Sarnoff speaks about the advent of television.
still of David Sarnoff standing at the RCA podium with NBC mics pointed at him.
WS an American family in their wood paneled family room watching the TV series ,"Peyton Place" on their B&W television console. Z'in on the TV featuring the stars of the program's faces including Ed Nelson and a very young Mia Farrow
Pan across buildings with TV antennas on roofs.
Tilt down on "Television Alley", Sixth Avenue, New York City 1966. Wide street with some traffic , peds and buildings.
Shot from waist down, men walking holding brief cases.
Tilt up on two hi rise buildings housing ABC, CBS and NBC, New York City 1966.
People ice skaing at Rockefeller Centre, pan across rink to Rockefeller Plaza high rise building.
30 Rockefeller Plaza building elaborate front entrance clock with the engraved, "Wisdom and Knowledge Shall be the Stability of They Times"
CU RCA Television Camera equipment in the studio circa 1966
CU on television featuring the CBS Reports program
Well known CBS Anchorman, Walter Cronkite, reporting live (on his CBS News program)
CU on TV programming listings (ie TV Guide)
CU TV console with the Batman logo on the screen and scenes from the original Batman tv show, Bat,an is seen climbing out of the Batmobile.
In his office seated alone at round table and gathering papers, John Schneider, Group Vice President of Broadcasting at CBS talking with unseen interviewer about how he rgards TV and his role in it.
INTERVIEW - JOHN SCHNEIDER, CBS.
I think we're in a commercial art form. And as such, operating this commercial art form in a cultural democracy, which I think we have to grant these United States being then I would like to have most people I would like to be the most popular. I'd like to have the attention of most people looking at my network because that's really, that's an honorable goal. I want to be best I want to strive to be best. I want to be more popular. Now. If I say to the public, I don't really care whether you look at me or not. I don't see how their interest is served with that attitude. I think it's important that I want to be best that I'm competitive. I want to be in first place when the report cards are issued. I want to get an A and as long long as I'm striving for an A, and the public has served, if I only strive for a See, I don't know who's served by that I'm mediocre. And the public isn't getting the maximum. If I'm second, I want to be first and I'm if I'm third, or fourth, or fifth, I'm darn ashamed of myself, I want to be better. And I want to stimulate the people I work with to be better to be more popular.
What should television ideally be? And what obligations does Mr. Schneider have to the viewer?
Well, I think the television programming could be looked on as a mix I think there is the head of the household acquired a television set for his home, as an entertainment medium, he bought it to be entertained. And primarily, I think it's our job to entertain him. Incidentally, he maybe is a byproduct, maybe subconsciously, maybe accidentally, he wants to be informed, and we inform him. We inform him in many, many ways. We inform him clearly in news and weather and sports and information programs designed to inform that we also inform him and his family in programs like Captain Kangaroo. We inform him in many ways and in the program like password.
ABC President, Tom Moore, in his office, speaking with unseen interviewer about his obligation to minority programming needs.
INTERVIEW - TOM MOORE, ABC
Across the street at ABC, President Tom Moore defined his obligation to minority programming needs this way.
We are in a development stage of television and have been since our very inception, we are adolescents. We have not reached a maturity. And it will take a long time for us to do so. But we have come a long way in our programming, and it has changed. But as we get into the second set in the home, as we get into entire color programming. As we get into deeper research into audience composition, it will become necessary to know more about our audiences. And if we have enough facilities that would support more than three choices in most television markets. I think that there will be a tendency for us to program or some members of our industry to program toward minority groups, but I think that some distance away.
Large ABC logo on exterior of building in New York, peds seem walking by and z'out to top of hi rise.
INTERVIEW - JOHN SCHNEIDER
The Golden Age is perfectly dreadful. Some of the things that were done in television in the alleged golden age or simply wouldn't stand up today. programs go off the air because they fail. Studio One was not popular and then went off the air and Playhouse 90 was not popular, and it went off the air. It didn't go off the air because it was successful. Our goal is to have a successful program to have a popular program. The critics have been terribly short memoried, if you will, because Playhouse 90 was on every week, we found that the creative well ran dry so what went on every other week, in an effort to keep it on. When that failed. We tried to keep it on as a special as an approximately once a month. We irregularly programmed that the following year. We tried to keep Playhouse 90 And we couldn't get material. And I must say if this program had the time and unfortunately it does and I would be delighted to read some of the old criticisms that these very critics now say give me back the wonderful Playhouse 90 They wrapped it and wrapped it and wrapped it and drove it off the air along with the lack of audience.
John Schneider talking with unseen interviewer about the "Golden Age" of television.
American film producer, screenwriter, actor and director, Worthington MinEr, is seen coaching young acting students. Lighting a cigarette he talks with unseen interviewer.
INTERVIEW - WORTHINGTON MINER.
How and why did Studio One
why did it end? Well, it's a very simple thing. Up until the time when I left and went over to NBC. The control of that program was entirely in the hands of the network. The moment the advertising agency got control of that program, it began immediately to go downhill and never stopped until it just disappeared. And a clear evidence of the fact that what they believed was going to increase the appeal and increase the rating of the show turned out to could be a cumulative disaster. And I think this happened to a good many shows for different circumstances, not perhaps the fact that a person left as I did. But the fact that the advertising agencies put the screws on and got their hands in the control. And at that point, programming began to decline in quality, in fact that I don't excite.
Int. printing press machinery at work.
Large boxes moving along up a conveyor belt in a factory.
INTERVIEW - TERRENCE O'FLAHERTY and RICHARD 'DICK' PINKHAM
Terrence O'Flaherty 15:39
The role of commercial TV is to sell products. And I think if we forget that for for one minute, we've forgotten the important thing. It is to sell products. And that's what the network's are interested in. That's what the sponsor is interested in. That's what everybody on the other side of the camera is concerned. What a it's ideal role to provide entertainment, I suppose. But there again, entertainment with some substance. But they've set a terrible thing there. They have set mediocrity. Because they're as they're ideal, because it's selling products, they want the lowest common denominator,
Deke pink, I'm Ted Bates, agency TV billing $136 million.
Richard Pinkham 16:31
That's a very familiar point of view, I think. And of course, the objective of television is not to sell products. The objective of television, from the point of view of the television people is to put on programs which will be attractive to advertisers so that they can sell products. From the point of view of the advertiser. Of course, it is to buy programs, which will sell products, but that's not televisions objective, as far as the lowest common denominator is concerned, that's one of those wonderful catchphrases with which the intellectual tends to remain the taste of the American public. And by the same token, you could say that successful movies are programmed for the lowest common denominator of successful books, successful magazines, and a mass medium obviously as to appeal to as many people as possible.
The greatest suspense stories in television are found not in the spy episodes, but in the twice monthly rating reports. These critically affect three men who have been responsible for selecting most of the programs now on television, more to warn her NBC, Ed sherek, ABC.
CU Terrence O'Flaherty, Critic San Francisco Chronicle speaking with unseen interviewer.
Slow pan down a list of Nielsen ratings for TV programs from the 1960's
Mort Werner, Vice President Programs NBC; and Ed Sherick, ABC Director of Programming are seen seated in a screening room.
CU dark hair'd '60's gal with a camera aimed at the camera, fades out.
Opening scene of short lived TV program, title card overlay reads "Peter Falk" starring in "Trials of O'Brien".
Mike Dann, CBS Vice President Programs speaking with unseen interviewer about hopefully programming what's popular with most audiences, and will be a hit, but at the same time combining that idea with something hopefully of quality.
A scene from the TV show, "F Troop" playing on a console TV set. "F Troop" starring Forrest Tucker overlay scenes from the show.
INTERVIEW - ED SCHERICK, FORMER DIRECTOR PROGRAMMING ABC.
Ed Scherick 19:20
we program seven nights a week from 730 till 11 o'clock. Our needs are again in my area specifically because I work in conjunction with news with public affairs. Our needs are to provide the most variegated entertainment schedule. Our talents and the creative talents of the people we work with, can allow will allow we have operated against a maximum in evaluating every program that maximum is does it contain a touch of singularity?
How many of his recommendations did he personally enjoy?
Ed Scherick 19:56
Well if they are done Well, I enjoy all of them. I may not select naturally all of them to view. But as far as liking shows that go on the air, I think you'd be, it would be suicide to put any show on the air you did not like
INTERVIEW - MORT WERNER, VICE PRESIDENT PROGRAMS NBC.
Mort Werner of NBC reduces the complex design for survival to this.
Mort Werner 20:17
We discuss our overall strategy. We look at our competition, we program against other networks, we select the programs we think have the best organized staff and the best possibility of doing well. In some cases, we go after high ratings. In some cases, we know we're not going to get high ratings, but the program department makes its recommendation, and it's either approved or disapproved. It is generally approved.
The title sequence of the 1960's TV show, I SPY, with Bill Cosby and Robert Culp
Interior pan of a news and public affairs department of a television station. Shots of printers, desks with telephones, people at work, busy and bustling.
Pan in on newspaper articles - titles read "Crisis in Need of Commentary" ; "The Corn Must Be for Eggheads by John Horn"
Print is illegible.
Newspaper article imbedded around other articles: "Friendly Quits C.B.S. News Post in Dispute Over Vietnam Hearing." Pan in on the photo in the article of Fred W. Friendly, CBS News President.
Another newspaper article, "Text of Friendly's Letter of Resignation" Narrator (unseen) states the reason for Friendly's resignation was because John Schneider, CBS VP of Broadcasting, decided to run I Love Lucy rather than the hearings on Vietnam. Narrator states, Schneider made the statement that the housewives wouldn't be interested and the hearings would be better served by a 20 minute summary later that evenings.
CU B&W photo still John Schneider
CU B&W photo stills, Fred Friendly.
Newspaper article title: TV and the Viet Nam War by John Horn. Narrator unseen quotes John Horn's opinion on the Vietnam War.
Slow pan down the article as Walter Cronkite is heard talkking.
INTERVIEW WITH WALTER CRONKITE.
Walter Cronkite 22:48
I got quite upset over the criticism of it. I don't know what we can do more than what we're doing some of that that we're doing, we might do better. Yes. We have certainly exposed as deeply as we can the arguments for and against Vietnamese involvement with our documentaries in our daily programs, the statements from the secretary of state from the president from the Secretary of Defense, and from those who are opposed to the war effort. I don't see where this criticism comes from, or why I suspect that why we get this criticism of the Vietnam War. stems from the fact that we're all confused about this war. And we in television, cannot make up the answer to the Vietnam War, we can only reflect the confusion. And when we do, those critics who watch and criticize themselves are confused and blame us for not throwing the spotlight on the answers. When there aren't any answers.
Iconic CBS News Achorman, Walter Cronkite, speaking with unseen interviewer from his office, books on shelves in bkgd., about news media and their reporting on the Vietnam War.
WS Howard K. Smith, ABC News, giving speech from podium on a dais. Speaks about television's definition of "objectivity".
CONTINUING INTERVIEW WALTER CRONKITE
Walter Cronkite 26:51
Well, with all due respect to my esteemed colleague, Howard, I happen to think he's just absolutely wrong. I think that the proof is in the documentaries we have done. We have not pulled punches, we haven't gone through the process of self cancellation through objectivity. objectivity, I think is not a bad word. And I do not decry its use or it's the goal of objectivity. But I do feel that that he is simply wrong and in the criticism or show on cigarettes and the Ku Klux Klan. That's just recent examples of abortion and political issues themselves. We don't I don't think that we self cancel
Back with Cronkite in his office, feels Howard Smith is "absolutely wrong". He states, the proof is in the documentaries they have done, they haven't pulled punches and haven't gone through the process of self-cancellation through objectivity.
Nighttime shot New York City streets - traffic headlights, Radio City and NBC Studios across the street. Z'in on NBC Studios and the Rainbow Room entrance.
Vice President NBC, Reuven Frank, one of the architects of TV news coverage is seen walking through the NBC offices (while smokig a cigarette).
INTERVIEW WITH REUVEN FRANK.
Reuven Frank 28:05
The film can't take a point of view. The editing might the commentator of course, can if if there's something he said he thinks he ought to say. And if he's one of those guys who has a license to say it, this is another thing. I love the people on television, you want them all blacking their opinions? How much? In fact? I think he ought to
How often do NBC News men editorialize.
Reuven Frank 28:40
Brinkley does it very rarely. Only does it a little oftener. But I think if they did it all the time, the course you know that you were at you were the tolerance of the audience. They're not always looking for an editorial page. Television at its best is a narrative medium. Television does one thing that no other medium can. It transmits experience. It tells people how a situation feels television has because it's because everybody watches it. Responsibility to cover stories to air discussions, that is not ideally suited for perhaps. But you know, coming back to Smith and objectivity he is stating objectively a highly subjective view. He would like to be able to say more, maybe he ought to worry. That's not an argument about objectivity in documentaries.
Frank speaking as we see a man in NBC offices holding reams of paper, paper coming off a multitude of printers, people working at their desks.
CU pan across Variety newspaper headlines, "Era of No-Guts Journalism", December, 1965 .
Pan out from newspaper articles "How much do you really know about your health?"; "Find out whether you know your rights and obligations as a citizen. Fill out this test..."
Narrator taling about, "... the public affairs game show which threatens to test everything in sight including our patience"
CU on printers with paper. Zoom over to large office, men in suits standing around, a man leaning over his desk.
Photo stills iconic news reporters, Elmer Davis and Ed Murrow
A.C. Nielsen Company radio index machines, automators, transponders and data processors - rating processors that now make programming decisions.
Hands typing on keyboard. CU on an automatic IBM machine resembling an electric typewriter but reports TV ratings.
CU two large reels (looking like film reels)
Arthur C. Nielsen Company equipment at work sampling the viewing habits of families. Shots of data processing cards, tape coming out of equipment, cards coming out of shoots.
Arthur C Nielson, Jr. speaking with unseen interviewer.
INTERVIEW WITH ARTHUR C. NIELSEN, JR., AND HERBERT ARKIN, CHAIRMAN DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS CITY COLLEGE.
Arthur Nielsen 31:28
Well, we must remember that television is a commercial system as we know it in the United States. And when the network's use ratings, they are really, I think, doing quite a service to the public by finding out the types of programs which the public really enjoys what they like and what they don't like. As far as our company goes, we take no position on this matter. Our function is merely to count the the box office,
Professor Herbert Arkin, the City College of New York has published many studies on ratings.
Herbert Arkin 32:08
Systems, which make use of electronic devices attached to the TV sets. Assume that if a set is on, somebody is watching it. This is often far from the truth. And a recent study undertaken by the Oklahoma State University, which was later printed in the journal of advertising research, in which a camera was attached to television sets for a small sample of families. It was found that 19% of the time, there was no one watching the television set at all, for an additional 21% of the time. While there were people in the room. They were in attentive, we're not watching the set. That's a total of 40% of the time nobody was watching
Arthur Nielsen 32:50
my say our ratings are analogous to the ticket taker. at the box office, we tell how many people actually viewed a particular program. And the decision as to whether that will be left on or taken off is up to others.
Herbert Arkin 33:04
While are some comparison between counting the box office and publishing ratings, the analogy is not a very close one. In the box office, we get 100% account of those people who actually paid money to attend to performance. In the case of the ratings, which are published currently, through the use of electronic devices. All we know is the number of sets that were turned on among a sample of people. We have no idea whether or not they viewed the set view of the programs or had an interest in them whatsoever.
Ticker tape running through machine. Collecting data.
Bill Greeley of Variety seated at his desk speaking with unseen interviewer. He disagrees with the data collection and states that it's not an "honest box office" when the entire industry is focused on a sampling of 1,000 out of 55 million. Also he states it creates a hysteria and has nothing to do with the character of the show.
Close up on data collecting equipment
New York Times - two full page ads side by side - unclear, illegible. Clips from articles about television ratings.
Back with Bill Greeley of Variety in his office, states the network atmosphere is charged when the ratings come on. They should have a melodrama on the screen, "would that get a rating!"
Mike Dann from CBS talking about the function of TV ratings, comparing them to circulation reports for a newspaper or sales at bookstores.
Photo stills of various TV programs that did not make it to be seen the next year due to poor ratings.
New York City outside the ABC building, garbage truck parked, lots of traffic, peds.
ABC President, Tom Moore speaking to unseen interviewer from his New York City office.
INTERVIEW TOM MOORE.
Tom Moore 36:19
But I think the the fault comes in our averaging the ratings and saying that ABC is at this position this week. NBC is at this position this week. And CBS is at this position. Because I think such figures are meaningless. I know they're meaningless, but to the public, and to the people who invest in and back us in stock buying. They seem to be out of proportion. In interest, I think that we must find some way in AI industry to be more cautious in the use of ratings. And I believe that there's a consciousness of this spreading through the top of our industry. I hope that ratings in the future will be less of a factor.
CU tilt up on high rise building with many windows. Slow pan down on building.
Close up electric typewriter keyboard.
CU Rod Serling, ionic Television Producer, Screenwriter and Screen Host.
INTERVIEW ROD SERLING.
Rod Serling 37:34
Number one, the money belt. And number two, the more amorphous area of creatively satisfying. Certainly, it has been a windfall and a godsend to the so called, quote, young writer, unquote, to begin with, most of us would never have had a platform nor percent of them at all, we would have probably worked for ad agencies, or had done Civic Theater plays in small towns are coached football teams. Through the good offices of television, we not only made a living, but we became known and we became relatively wealthy. So it's difficult to predict early bite the hand that feeds without being cognizant, or at least paying some kind of lip service indeed, the fact that television isn't very good to us, but in terms of what it does emotionally into the gut of the man who wants to create this isn't the platform anymore. To the man with a serious idea commentated on the problems of our times, the legitimate conflicts between human beings. I don't think really the television is the proper place for him to take his idea.
Emmy Awards lined up on mantel (in Rod Serling's office)
Pan up on a stack of books or scripts in same binders
Framed Look Television Award from 1959 to Rod Serling for Best Playwright, "The Velvet Alley"
Montage of Rod Serling's various framed awards
Aerial pan Hollywood sound stages.
Int. Paramount Sound Stage #2 a behind the scenes "take" for a TV pilot, The Hero, a David Susskind Talent Associates Production. Television cameras moving around the room shooting a scene with the actors.
Tilt down on sound stage.
Dick Pinkham, Senior Vice President Media and Programming from Ted Bates Advertising Agency speaking with unseen interviewer
INTERVIEW - RICHARD PINKHAM
Richard Pinkham 40:45
the main problem for my money right now, is that the direction the thrust of television programming is counter to the mainstream of the thrust of American society. We are, after all, increasingly, an educated nation, we've made tremendous strides. And more and more people are getting more and more educated through secondary school through college and into postgraduate work. And yet television the direction is going now, with programs like Batman, which is a big head is exactly countered with this, it is going more towards the people who haven't had the experience of a an excellent education. I think this is a sickness for television. And it shouldn't be corrected.
Back with Rod Serling speaking with unseen interviewer.
Rod Serling 41:29
I doubt if television really will ever change. I think, basically, we're fighting a losing battle. Those of us who keep claiming this, and it's an art form. Indeed, it can be an art form, indeed an art occasions it is an art form. But I suppose principally, basically, fundamentally, it's a commercial medium, designed as a display case, to push products. And so long as it fits into that mold and performs that function, the key approach it's going to be taken and the most basic approach is get as many people to watch as you can, and program down to that level, that arithmetical level. And as long as you program down to that level, you're not going to get properly balanced programs, you're gonna get only those shows which appeal to the greatest number. And as in the history of art, since for 2000 years, beyond Sophocles, beyond all of them, you're going to get mass entertainment, which but which by its nature, can be titillating and funny and cute, and Frawley and light, which will which will not survive? It's one half hour on the year. And nobody's going to be talking about that 100 years from now,
Ext. the building that houses the FCC - the Federal Communications Commission. Z'in on window with window air conditioner.
E. William Henry, Chairman FCC in his office speaking with unseen interviewer. Zoom in on his face.
INTERVIEW - E. WILLIAM HENRY, CHAIRMAN FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.
E. William Henry 42:40
What troubles me is the is the truth that I see in the rising tide of criticism that the commercial medium is now receiving. And it's receiving it from people other than the government, fine lot from me or my colleagues. I think as I say this criticism is true. And I think it's widespread and I think it's the it's not limited only to the critics in the major cities. It's noticeable in the letters that I get from people who liked television and want to look at it, but who are tremendously dissatisfied with this season show.
What did the commissioner feel would happen if television didn't improve?
E. William Henry 43:33
I believe that if television entertainment, mass appeal programming continued as it is now, it would fall of its own wait. People might the television people might might wake up one morning and find that they were talking to themselves.
John White, President - National Education Television (NET) looking out window of his office in New York City.
Larry Laurent, from the Washington Post followed by camera walking through the office to his desk and takes a seat at his manual typewriter.
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WHITE, NET
John White 44:27
Fact is that the producers for Net are under specific instructions to do just the opposite. They're told to dig deep into suggest solutions. I mean, our programs in foreign affairs, our programs and education, our programs and in on values and packaging, and auto safety. Each and every one of these has suggested solutions that we believe that the American people ought to seek this is in fact one of the things that we do that's different from commercial television, because they don't do this and we do do it.
Terrence O'Flanherty, San Francisco Chronicle ,sitting looking at TV monitor in recording studio talking with unseen interviewer about the future of NET.
INTERVIEWS WITH TERRENCE O'FLANHERTY AND JOHN WHITE
Terrence O'Flaherty 45:07
Now, National Educational Television. They're going to they're going to have to, to do something better than classroom television at night. I don't care how sophisticated one viewer might be. He doesn't want to watch a lecture.
John White 45:24
Well on the question of production values. I quite agree. I think, frankly, that we've made giant strides in improving our production techniques. But I'd also be the very first to maintain that we we've only just started we've got to go much further. If he if he is specific, in the suggestion about lectures, he's watching the different network, because the fact is that we got away from professors in front of gray draperies a long time ago. If on the other hand, he means that we are suggesting alternatives, and we are in a sense preaching at people. We will never escape this because as I indicated earlier, I think this is one of our responsibilities
Shot from behind, Larry Laurent watching three small tv's that are sitting on top of a book shelf.
Larry Laurent talking with unseen interviewer. In answer to the question from interviewer, does he feel we must be forever hung up in commercial TV? He responds, " hell no, the battle is only beginning". He states we will see some changes coming in the next ten years with more stations, diverse stations, specialized stations and this will force the business as it exists to change.
Animated graphics for WFLD channel 32 Chicago
Tilt up zoom high rise in Chicago. Construction workers on roof of building.
Red Quinlan, General Manager UHF Station WFLD Chicago talking with unseen interviewer. He announces adult programming from 6 to midnight, not programming to teenagers, documentaries, adult programming 6:30 to 8:00 period, profiles in courage. They will be "Adult".
Woman typing on manual typewriter
Automatic remote controlled tv camera spinning around
Tilt down, male news editors at their desks side by side, papers strewn about, typewriter, collaborating.
Quinlan stating they will not be locked into numbers or a rating game and if they get them they'll use them the best they can.
Critic, John Crosby, walking toward camera on a London street. Camera following Crosby crossing street from behind
Crosby, well respected and formerly of the New York Herald Tribune, having a beer in a British Pub smoking a cigar talking to unseen interviewer about where the impetus for improvement in television must come.
Pat Weaver, former President NBC and head of a pay TV Network, in his office and speaking on the phone. Narrator states Weaver feels there is a broadcast lobby which restricts the viewer's free choice.
WS Weaver at his desk speaking to unseen interviewer about the broadcast lobby.
Pat Weaver 49:40
The broadcast lobby though is also well known to be tremendously powerful. This is because so many congressional people in Congress, Senators and Congressmen either have or represent in their law firms. Other interests that is broadcasting interest Send and in theater interests and this is most unfortunate the the present work for instance of the broadcast lobby, to block ca TV community antenna systems from having their own programming is ridiculous. I mean, as I say the American citizen has bought a set, let's say bought a color set spent four or $500 pays several dollars a month for electricity. He has 80 channels in the set, when he finally gets around to realizing that every one of those 80 channels can be hot, in other words can be giving him material. If he wants it, he's gonna scream, like nothing you ever heard and then the whole thing will change in Washington.
Ext pan up a broadcast antennae
Child laying on the floor propped up by his arms and engaged in watching TV (unseen). Pan out from child revealing his parents sitting on chairs also watching TV.
The US Capital building on a foggy day
Downtown Washington, D.C. pov moving vehicle passed government buildings
INTERVIEW: FCC CHAIRMAN, E. WILLIAM HENRY AND BILL GREELY OF VARIETY
E. William Henry 50:48
Ideally, we should make better use of the system. The non commercial side should have more money, it should be more exciting, it should be more interesting. It should, in my judgment at some times, appeal to more people in it and make an attempt to appeal to more people. It's the reverse of the commercial side. On the commercial side, ideally, while it should continue to be an advertising medium and sell soap and automobiles and toothpaste, the the the managers of the television commercial television system should try to make it more of a communications system than an advertising system. At some times during the day they should communicate, not advertise. It's these pressures of the marketplace that that make the medium what it is. And it takes a courageous man with the pressures of the Wall Street, the Board of Directors, the need to make profit in this regard those pressures at various times. That's what needs to be done.
Bill Greely of variety thinks what needs to be done is for sponsors to buy commercials like magazine ads, his solution is
Bill Greely 52:06
To get them the hell out of programming. They shouldn't make any decisions whatsoever pertaining to programming. Even if they had the hippest showman on Earth. If they had PT Barnum and I don't know who else rolled up into one, they are men with a special interest in which overrides anything they do, they shouldn't be taken out of the medium. They shouldn't be allowed the by their minute, they should. I think they should pay twice for what they're getting. The the FCC should rule that they they should never look at a rating book, they should look at the cash register. If the minutes sold goods for them, they decide then they can buy more of them if it didn't take them out. And these minutes shouldn't be rotated so they don't even know on a particular night, which show it'll be in
Speaking from his office in Washiungton D.C., Chairman of the FCC, E. William Henry talking with unseen interviewer about changes in the system that are needed.
Clips from Bob Hope's show, "The Chrysler Theater"(footage faded Photo stills of var TV actors.
Tilt up on high rise buildings
INTERVIEW JOHN SCHNEIDER, CBS
John Schneider 54:25
I'm hard pressed to say that there's something wrong with the status quo. Will it change? Yes, television will change enormously in the next 7-10 years. The changes that will be taking place will grow out of technology. The small miniature color camera will cause programming to look different because we'll be able to go different places with it. Will the stories be any better and drama? I don't know how the stories are going to be any better because I don't think the writers are going to be worse or better they we're going to get the best writer We can to do their very best work and the best actors and actresses and comedians, dancers, designers, they're gonna do the best they know how. But I don't know what form I don't know if I don't know what form that can change and news and informational programming will change. Early bird will bring us in touch with the word early bird in its sisters of the future. Certainly in 10 years, we will have an instant communications capability worldwide. But as to what we are going to say to the world when we have their attention, I'm not certain yet. That's the thing that worries me. If we are thinking about it, we have respect for it. I don't have any solution toward quite yet. least nothing I'd articulate at this time. It's rather frightening though to think frightening probably is too strong a word but I think respect maybe we'll be able maybe to talk to everybody in the world. Now all we got to do is decide what we're gonna say.
Vice President of Programs for CBS, John Schneider, speaking to unseen interviewer from his office about the changes television will experience in the next ten years.
Shot from behind, a man (smoking a cigarette) and woman are seen watching a small TV in their living room
Tilt up high rise buidlings, then quick pan up to very top of building
Back with FCC Chairman, E. William Henry speaking with unseen interviewer. He states, "it takes a courageous man with the pressures of Wall Street and Board of Directors, the need to make profits. To disregard those pressures at various times, that's what needs to be done."
Pan out from close up of the United States Capital building, with narration about the need for a "communications act" with more teeth in it.
Paper rolling quickly through printing press.
'60's family in their living room. Woman eating an apple, woman holding a cigarette and yawning big, child lying down and munching on a snack.
Unclear scenes from a broadcast on a small tv screen., looks like maybe a clip from Batman or Superman.
More folk lying on their couches, in their easy chairs having milk and cookies, looking bored.
Quick clips of 1960's TV Execs: Tom Moore, ABC; Mort Werner, NBC; Mike Dann, CBS; and Jack White, NET.
Pan out from a foggy New York skyline beginning with the Empire State Building.
Pan lights in a TV studio.
Pan out from close up of an older man seemingly watching TV, man and woman in their living room watching TV.
Show end. Credits over technical equipment in TV studio and rows of small tv monitors.
NET animated graphics.
End Reel: What's Happening to Television?
Description: At Issue Episode #65 Title: What's Happening to Television? OBD: Apr-66 TRT: 60 min Description: A look at the current television season, the history of television, and the prospects for the future. Television performers, executives, and critics appear on the program to express their own generally strong opinions. (Source: NET Jan-June 1966 Semi-Annual Report) April’s entry from AT ISSUE takes a critical look at the television industry – past, present, and future. Segments focus on prime time programming, news coverage and the rating system. This analysis of the medium features filmed interviews with network executives, news commentators and writers and critics. “What’s Happening to Television?” is the topic explored by no fewer than twenty-two top personalities allied to the television industry. This hour program in National Educational Television’s “At Issue” series presents timely and critical observations on daily programs, news, TV ratings, government regulations and the role of advertising. “What’s Happening to Television?” is analyzed by network executives, news commentators, advertising people, writers and critics. They comment on the growth of television, from its infant days to its present giant development, when more than 35 million Americans watch their sets for some 3 ½ hours daily. “What’s Happening to Television?” looks back into TV history, analyzing some of the early successes, commenting on present programs, and giving the viewer a glimpse of next fall’s offerings. Some of the questions discussed include: Will television ever live up to its potential? What is the real purpose? Who determines which programs are dropped? What is the role of the program sponsors? Is the public interest being protected? Is educational television the answer to more worthy programs? What can the viewer do to control the quality of programs coming into the family living room? Among those appearing on the program are television executives such as ABC’s Thomas Moore, network president and Edgar Scherick, former director of programming; CBS’s Michael Dann, vice president of programs and John Schneider, group vice president of broadcasting; NBC’s Mort Werner, vice president of programs and Reuven Frank, vice president of news; and N.E.T.’s president John F. White. News commentators such as Walter Cronkite of CBS and Howard K. Smith of ABC; television critics, Percy Shain of the Boston Globe, Terrence O’Flaherty of the San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Greely of Variety, Laurence Laurent of the Washington Post, and John Crosby, formerly of the Herald Tribune. Also appearing are E. William Henry, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., president of A.C. Nielsen Company; Rod Serling, TV writer and president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and Worthington Miner, president of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and former producer of Studio One. Also Pat Weaver, president of Subscription Television Inc, and former president and chairman of the board of NBC; Richard Pinkham, senior vice president in charge of media and programming of Ted Bates Advertising Agency; Red Quinlan, general manager of UHF station WFLD, Chicago; and Herbert Arkin, chairman of the Department of Statistics at City College of the City University of New York.
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