Alan Neuman

Producer / Director


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 Neuman (1924-2008) talks about joining NBC as a page in 1947 and his rise through the ranks as stage manager and then director. He describes the studios at Rockefeller Center and the early camerawork on series including Kraft Television Theater. He recalls directing NBC's first televised presidential election coverage in 1948, anchored by Ben Grauer, which lasted so long that he had Grauer doing calisthenics on the air. He talks about serving as director on early series, including The Three Flames, Mary Kay and Johnny and Broadway Open House (the forerunner to The Tonight Show). He speaks in detail about his work with Kate Smith and her manager Ted Collins on The Kate Smith Hour. Neuman discusses his work as a producer/director on programs that featured several Presidents of the United States, including Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. He talks about the first color remote broadcast done by NBC, for Matinee Theater. He also speaks in detail about the series Wide Wide World and Person to Person, for which he served as a producer. Additionally, he talks about the era of the Hollywood Blacklist. B-roll consists of several photos of Neuman with the presidents he worked with and a photo from the premiere episode of Adlai Stevenson Presents. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on February 15, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA. 

"I believe that television hasn't even begun to be used as it can be, in education and in all other areas. I'm the guy that, with West Point, set up testing on how to dismantle a machine gun, so you could see it perfectly done. I showed Bellevue the first time a surgery was done. You don't have to stop with that....The world is in front of us, literally."

Highlights
Alan Neuman on directing Kraft Television Theatre
08:02
Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
09:51
Alan Neuman on directing Broadway Open House
06:15
Alan Neuman on the technical challenges of directing Wide Wide World
07:27
Alan Neuman on directing Adlai Stevenson Reports
02:34
Alan Neuman on how he would like to be remembered
00:52
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on being a child actor on radio and in theater; on going to work for NBC as a page and soon being hired to work in production
16:14
On working on the show You Are an Artist, and on what he learned in his time working in production at NBC; on a typical work week at NBC in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and on election night, 1948
11:50

Chapter 2

On working in production at NBC during the first televised election returns in 1948; on directing Kraft Television Theatre; on directing The Three Flames Show
11:17
On directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out; on directing Meet the Press, and on dealing with ad agencies in the early days of television; on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
17:23

Chapter 3

On working with Kate Smith on Kate Smith Hour; on working Kate Smith Hour producer Ted Collins, and on the guests of the show; on the Hollywood Blacklist
16:42
On the guests during his time directing Meet the Press; on directing Broadway Open House; on directing City at Midnight
12:17

Chapter 4

On directing and producing City at Midnight; on directing various variety shows on location and outdoors; on directing Wide Wide World
16:44
On memorable locations for Wide Wide World, and on the show winning awards; on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
11:32

Chapter 5

On directing NBC Matinee Theater; on directing Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow
17:10
On directing Adlai Stevenson Reports; on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and on his relationship with the Kennedy family; on starting his own production company
11:01

Chapter 6

On how he would direct television in the then-present; on directing Letters to Laugh-In; on directing You Asked For It
06:39
On various people with whom he worked in his career
14:48
On advice to an aspiring television director; on technological advances during his directing career, and on wanting to keep on working; on how he would like to be remembered
03:34
On b-roll pictures from his career- with Herbert Hoover; with Herbert Hoover in Key West; with Herbert Hoover; with Dwight Eisenhower; with John F. Kennedy; on the set of Adlai Stevenson Presents with Stevenson and Dean Rusk; in uniform in World War II
03:52
Shows

Broadway Open House

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Alan Neuman on directing Broadway Open House
06:15

City at Midnight

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Alan Neuman on directing City at Midnight
01:42
Alan Neuman on producing and directing City at Midnight
01:36

Kate Smith Hour

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Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
09:51
Alan Neuman on working with Kate Smith on Kate Smith Hour
04:12
Alan Neuman on working Kate Smith Hour producer Ted Collins, and on the guests of the show
03:44

Kraft Television Theatre

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Alan Neuman on directing Kraft Television Theatre
02:13
Alan Neuman on his relationship with the advertising agency for Kraft Television Theatre, and memorable bloopers on the show
05:49

Lights Out

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Alan Neuman on directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out
04:06

Mary Kay and Johnny

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Alan Neuman on directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out
04:06

Meet the Press

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Alan Neuman on directing Meet the Press, and on dealing with ad agencies in the early days of television
03:25
Alan Neuman on the guests during his time directing Meet the Press, and on moderator Lawrence E. Spivak
04:19
Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows, including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56

NBC Matinee Theater

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Alan Neuman on directing NBC Matinee Theater
05:20

Person to Person

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Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56
Alan Neuman on directing Person to Person, and on working with Edward R. Murrow on the show
11:49
Alan Neuman on John F. Kennedy appearing on Person to Person
03:43

Wide Wide World

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Alan Neuman on directing Wide Wide World
03:26
Alan Neuman on the technical challenges of directing Wide Wide World
07:27
Alan Neuman on memorable locations for Wide Wide World, and on the show winning awards
03:36

You Are an Artist

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Alan Neuman on working on the show You Are an Artist, and on what he learned in his time working in production at NBC
04:37

You Asked For It

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Alan Neuman on directing You Asked For It
02:19
Topics

Advice

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Alan Neuman on advice to an aspiring television director
00:59

Bloopers

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Alan Neuman on memorable bloopers on Kraft Television Theatre
04:59

Historic Events and Social Change

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Alan Neuman on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and on his relationship with the Kennedy family
04:02

Hollywood Blacklist

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Alan Neuman on the Hollywood Blacklist
08:46

Industry Crossroads

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Alan Neuman on the Hollywood Blacklist
08:46

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Alan Neuman on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and on his relationship with the Kennedy family
04:02

John F. Kennedy

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Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
08:06
Alan Neuman on John F. Kennedy appearing on Person to Person
03:43

Pre-FDR

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Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56

Technological Innovation

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Alan Neuman on technological advances during his directing career, and on wanting to keep on working
01:43

Television Industry

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Alan Neuman on the Hollywood Blacklist
08:46
Alan Neuman on advice to an aspiring television director
00:59

Television and the Presidency

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Alan Neuman on election night, 1948
04:49
Alan Neuman on working in production at NBC during the first televised election returns in 1948
00:43
Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
08:06
Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56
Alan Neuman on John F. Kennedy appearing on Person to Person
03:43
Professions

Directors

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Alan Neuman on how he would direct television in the then-present
01:56
Alan Neuman on advice to an aspiring television director
00:59
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Alan Neuman on directing Kraft Television Theatre
08:02
Alan Neuman on directing City at Midnight
01:42
Alan Neuman on directing NBC Matinee Theater
05:20

Comedy Series

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Alan Neuman on directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out
04:06
Alan Neuman on directing Letters to Laugh-In
02:24

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Alan Neuman on directing Mary Kay and Johnny and Lights Out
04:06

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Alan Neuman on directing The Three Flames Show
02:33
Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour
09:51
Alan Neuman on working with Kate Smith on Kate Smith Hour
07:56
Alan Neuman on directing Broadway Open House
06:15
Alan Neuman on directing various variety shows on location and outdoors
04:15

News and Documentary

View Genre
Alan Neuman on directing Meet the Press, and on dealing with ad agencies in the early days of television
03:25
Alan Neuman on the guests during his time directing Meet the Press
04:20
Alan Neuman on directing Wide Wide World
15:29
Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56
Alan Neuman on directing Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow
11:49
Alan Neuman on directing Adlai Stevenson Reports
02:34
Alan Neuman on John F. Kennedy appearing on Person to Person
03:43

Reality TV

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Alan Neuman on directing You Asked For It
02:19
People

Morey Amsterdam

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Alan Neuman on Morey Amsterdam
03:46

Milton Berle

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Alan Neuman on Milton Berle
00:44

Imogene Coca

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Alan Neuman on Imogene Coca
00:55

Ted Collins

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Alan Neuman on working Kate Smith Hour producer Ted Collins, and on the guests of the show
03:44

Perry Como

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Alan Neuman on Perry Como
00:44

Ralph Edwards

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Alan Neuman on Ralph Edwards and Glenn Ford
02:54

Herbert Hoover

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Alan Neuman on working with President Herbert Hoover on several shows including Meet the Press and Person to Person
07:56

John F. Kennedy

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Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
08:06
Alan Neuman on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and on his relationship with the Kennedy family
07:45

Burt Lancaster

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Alan Neuman on Burt Lancaster
01:51

Edward R. Murrow

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Alan Neuman on directing Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow
11:49

David Sarnoff

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Alan Neuman on David Sarnoff
01:35

Kate Smith

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Alan Neuman on directing the Kate Smith Hour, and on John F. Kennedy appearing on the show
09:51
Alan Neuman on working with Kate Smith on Kate Smith Hour
04:12

Lawrence E. Spivak

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Alan Neuman on the guests during his time directing Meet the Press, and on moderator Lawrence E. Spivak
04:19

Adlai Stevenson

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Alan Neuman on directing Adlai Stevenson Reports
02:34

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