Alan A. Armer

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Alan A. Armer (1922-2010)  talks about his early years growing up during the Great Depression. He acknowledges winning a World's Fastest Talker contest, while a teenager, speaking 617 words in 57 seconds. He speaks about his studies in speech and drama and his practical experience as an announcer in radio. He describes his years in local television in Los Angeles at KNBH (now KNBC) where he worked in many capacities and developed the series Lights, Camera, Action, a showcase for new young acting talent. He chronicles his work as a producer at 20th Century Fox in series television, where he produced My Friend Flicka and Broken Arrow. With Broken Arrow's production falling during the era of the Hollywood Blacklist, Armer reveals that the series' original writers could not be hired, rejected by the sponsor (but that he later employed them on The Fugitive). He speaks in great detail about his association as executive producer with the classic crime series The Untouchables.  For this series, he comments on the controversy that arose due to the show's portrayal of Italian-Americans, the necessity to tone down the show's depiction of violence, and Robert Stack's performance as Eliot Ness. He then talks about his work with Quinn Martin on the series The Fugitive. For The Fugitive, he gives his impressions of the cast, comments on the series highly-rated finale, and notes the series' Emmy win for Best Drama Series. He also touches on later Quinn Martin-produced series The Invaders and Cannon. Lastly, he talks about serving as Chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the early 1970s, and the increase in membership and creation of the Film Group screenings during his tenure. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on July 15, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.

"It was a pattern we used successfully in 'The Untouchables," where the framework for the series would be 'the fugitive' running from the law and there would be a human-dimensional story about the characters 'the fugitive' would become involved with. That's really what made the series work."

Highlights
Alan A. Armer on the historical accuracy on The Untouchables and events it was based on
43:50
Alan A. Armer on the violence on The Untouchables and the way to get ratings
35:30
Alan Armer on The Fugitive and the process they used to develop the story; what Roy Huggins based the story on
22:22
Alan A. Armer on producing The Invaders; again with Quinn Martin
45:24
Alan Armer on the finale of The Fugitive; how it was received
01:54
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences

Chapter 2

On producing The Untouchables and The Fugitive and how they were developed
59:31

Chapter 3

On The Fugitive and censorship issues; wining an Emmy, The Invaders, on his advice to aspiring producers
34:25
Shows

Fugitive, The

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Alan A. Armer on how The Fugitive came about
26:15
Alan Armer on The Fugitive and the process they used to develop the story; what Roy Huggins based the story on
22:22
Alan Armer on the finale of The Fugitive; how it was received
01:54
Alan A. Armer on The Fugitive' s success and his producing style
49:47
Alan A. Armer on winning an Emmy for The Fugitive and how it's ending was necessary to satisfy audiences
47:44

Invaders, The

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Alan A. Armer on producing The Invaders; again with Quinn Martin
45:24

Untouchables, The

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Alan A. Armer on the coming to work on The Untouchables, which he produced
59:31
Alan A. Armer on the popularity of The Untouchables, which he produced
48:19
Alan A. Armer on what was attractive about the characters on The Untouchables, which he produced; how audiences were beginning to root for the bad guys, or "heavies"
46:44
Alan A. Armer on the historical accuracy on The Untouchables and events it was based on
43:50
Alan A. Armer on the violence on The Untouchables and the way to get ratings
35:30

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