Charles Cappleman

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over four-hour Archive interview, Charles "Cappy" Cappleman discusses his tenure at the NBC Summer Radio-TV Institute at Northwestern University, and his interactions with Chicago television greats including Dave Garroway, Bob Banner and the cast of Kukla, Fran and Ollie. He recalls his early years at CBS in the mid-1950s, working as a floor manager on programs including The Judy Garland Show, The Red Skelton Show, and Climax! Next, Cappleman talks about becoming manager of stage operations and his involvement on programs such as Playhouse 90, Studio One, Person to Person, and The Ed Sullivan Show. He also touches on his work with the production electronics department, and his promotion to director of program production services, where he worked on programs including The Carol Burnett Show and All in the Family. Finally, he discusses his role as the general manager of Television City. Sam Denoff conducted the interview on December 13, 2000 at CBS Television City in Hollywood, CA.

"If you simply say to a person, 'here's what I expect of you,' and leave him the hell alone, they'll probably give you a much better job than you could have dreamed of if you'd have written very tight specifications -- because that's what they do for a living."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Charles Cappleman on various people he worked with as a stage manager, including Judy Garland and Jack Benny
Charles Cappleman on celebrating the 33rd Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show on stage 33 at Television City with the cast of the show
Charles Cappleman on being hired by Bob Daly to become general manager of Television City
Charles Cappleman on then-current projects, including implementing HDTV, and the emergence of new media
Charles Cappleman on the advent and development of video tape, and how it impacted production
Charles Cappleman on his involvement with NASA and covering the space program
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on the first time he saw television, and on his early experience with it
On his experiences as a disc jockey; on attending Northwestern University, and on witness the birth of television while interning at the NBC affiliate in Chicago; on the technology at the dawn of television

Chapter 2

On playing "race records" as a disc jockey; on working with Kukla, Fran & Ollie creator Burr Tillstrom at NBC in Chicago; on working with Studs Terkel on Studs' Place, and on Chicago in the 1950s
On his experiences during the Korean War; on becoming a stage manager at CBS; on stage managing for My Friend Irma and The Red Skelton Show
On how CBS in Los Angeles was structured in the 1950s; on working for William S. Paley and Frank Stanton; on his involvement with NASA and covering the space program

Chapter 3

On his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90; on working with Judy Garland on Ford Star Jubilee, and on working with big stars; on stage managing for the series Meet Millie and My Favorite Husband
On stage managing That's My Boy! and The Jo Stafford Show; on the stages at CBS Television City; on celebrating the 33rd Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show on stage 33 at Television City with the cast of the show
On various people he worked with as a stage manager, including Judy Garland and Jack Benny

Chapter 4

On becoming manager of stage operations at CBS; on working on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person; on the production challenges of Playhouse 90, and on working with John Frankenheimer and Fred Coe
On casting director Ethel Winant and producer David Susskind; on the directors and writers of Playhouse 90; on Studio One, and on Herbert Brodkin and Worthington Miner
On The Ed Sullivan Show; on the Hollywood Blacklist; on his duties as assistant director of design and production operations at CBS in the 1960s

Chapter 5

On managing the production electronics department at CBS; on the technological innovation he oversaw at CBS as manager of production electronics; on attending the Don Martin School of Broadcasting
On the role CBS executives like Frank Stanton played in technological innovation while he was manager of production electronic, and on its impact on news gathering; on how new technology impacted the CBS coverage of political conventions
On his duties as director of special projects at CBS; on his duties as director of program production services at CBS; on The Carol Burnett Show

Chapter 6

On working with Joe Hamilton and Dave Powers on The Carol Burnett Show; on All in the Family produced by Norman Lear, and on director Paul Bogart; on the cast of All in the Family, including Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, and Rob Reiner
On Captain & Tennille ; on CBS Playhouse; on being hired by Bob Daly to become general manager of Television City
On the various stages at CBS Television City; on the technological innovations that emanated from CBS Television City; on the advent of video tape, and the impact it had on production

Chapter 7

On where CBS produced their shows before Television City; on the advent and development of video tape, and how it impacted production; on CBS Television City converting to color broadcasting
On attending a yearly CBS affiliates conference; on how the distribution of shows to the CBS affiliates changed over time
On William S. Paley and Frank Stanton; on James T. Aburey and Robert D. Wood; on how Frank Stanton leaving CBS impacted the network
On William S. Paley's management style; on Laurence A. Tisch

Chapter 8

On the consolidation of Viacom, CBS, and Infinity, and on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves; on how Television City has changed over the years; on implementing HDTV at CBS
On the emergence of new media; on his advice to aspiring television executives; on his involvement in various charities
On his mentors and career achievements and regrets; on how he would like to be remembered; on various people he worked with in his career

Chapter 9

On various people with whom he worked in his career
Shows

All in the Family

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Charles Cappleman on All in the Family produced by Norman Lear
Charles Cappleman on All in the Family director Paul Bogart
Charles Cappleman on the cast of All in the Family, including Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, and Rob Reiner

CBS Playhouse

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Charles Cappleman on CBS Playhouse

Captain & Tennille

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Charles Cappleman on Captain & Tennille

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Charles Cappleman on celebrating the 33rd Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show on stage 33 at Television City with the cast of the show
Charles Cappleman on The Carol Burnett Show
Charles Cappleman on working with Joe Hamilton and Dave Powers on The Carol Burnett Show

Climax!

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Charles Cappleman on The Ed Sullivan Show

Ford Star Jubilee

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Charles Cappleman on working with Judy Garland on Ford Star Jubilee, and on working with big stars
Charles Cappleman on working with Judy Garland on Ford Star Jubilee

Jack Benny Program, The

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Charles Cappleman on working with Nat Perrin and Jack Benny on The Jack Benny Program

Kukla, Fran & Ollie

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Charles Cappleman on working with Kukla, Fran & Ollie creator Burr Tillstrom at NBC in Chicago

Meet Millie

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Charles Cappleman on stage managing for the series Meet Millie and My Favorite Husband

Person to Person

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Charles Cappleman on working on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person

Playhouse 90

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90
Charles Cappleman on the production challenges of Playhouse 90, and on working with John Frankenheimer and Fred Coe
Charles Cappleman on the directors and writers of Playhouse 90

Red Skelton Show, The

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Charles Cappleman on stage managing for My Friend Irma and The Red Skelton Show

Studio One

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Charles Cappleman on Studio One, and on Herbert Brodkin and Worthington Miner

Studs' Place

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Charles Cappleman on working with Studs Terkel on Studs' Place, and on Chicago in the 1950s

That's My Boy!

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Charles Cappleman on stage managing That's My Boy! and The Jo Stafford Show
Topics

Advice

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Charles Cappleman on his advice to aspiring television executives

Classic TV series episodes

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Charles Cappleman on his mentors

Drama

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90

First Big Break

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Charles Cappleman on becoming a stage manager at CBS

Historic Events and Social Change

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Charles Cappleman on the Korean War interrupting his broadcasting career

Hollywood Blacklist

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Charles Cappleman on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Charles Cappleman on the Hollywood Blacklist

Korean War

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Charles Cappleman on his involvement in the Korean War

Media Consolidation

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Charles Cappleman on the consolidation of Viacom, CBS, and Infinity, and on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves

New Media

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Charles Cappleman on the emergence of new media

Pivotal Career Moments

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Charles Cappleman on becoming a stage manager at CBS
Charles Cappleman on his mentors

Pop Culture

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90

Studio and Network Management

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Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley
Charles Cappleman on Frank Stanton
Charles Cappleman on James T. Aburey and Robert D. Wood
Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley's management style

Technological Innovation

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Charles Cappleman on the technology at the dawn of television
Charles Cappleman on the technological innovation he oversaw at CBS as manager of the production electronics department
Charles Cappleman on the role CBS executives like Frank Stanton played in technological innovation while he was manager of the production electronics department, and on its impact on news gathering
Charles Cappleman on how new technology impacted the CBS coverage of political conventions
Charles Cappleman on the technological innovations that emanated from CBS Television City
Charles Cappleman on the advent of video tape, and the impact it had on production
Charles Cappleman on the advent and development of video tape, and how it impacted production
Charles Cappleman on CBS Television City converting to color broadcasting
Charles Cappleman on how the distribution of shows to the CBS affiliates changed over time
Charles Cappleman on implementing HDTV at CBS

Television Industry

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Charles Cappleman on how CBS in Los Angeles was structured in the 1950s
Charles Cappleman on the stages at CBS Television City
Charles Cappleman on the Hollywood Blacklist
Charles Cappleman on the various stages at CBS Television City
Charles Cappleman on where CBS produced their shows before Television City
Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley
Charles Cappleman on Frank Stanton
Charles Cappleman on James T. Aburey and Robert D. Wood
Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley's management style
Charles Cappleman on the consolidation of Viacom, CBS, and Infinity, and on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves
Charles Cappleman on how Television City has changed over the years
Charles Cappleman on the emergence of new media
Charles Cappleman on his advice to aspiring television executives

War

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Charles Cappleman on the Korean War interrupting his broadcasting career
Professions

Executives

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Charles Cappleman on being hired by Bob Daly to become general manager of Television City
Charles Cappleman on attending a yearly CBS affiliates conference
Charles Cappleman on his advice to aspiring television executives

Production Professionals

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90
Charles Cappleman on his duties as assistant director of design and production operations at CBS in the 1960s
Charles Cappleman on managing the production electronics department at CBS
Charles Cappleman on the technological innovation he oversaw at CBS as manager of production electronics
Charles Cappleman on the role CBS executives like Frank Stanton played in technological innovation while he was manager of production electronic, and on its impact on news gathering
Charles Cappleman on how new technology impacted the CBS coverage of political conventions
Charles Cappleman on his duties as director of special projects at CBS
Charles Cappleman on his duties as director of program production services at CBS

Stage Manager

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90

Television Executive

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Charles Cappleman on being hired by Bob Daly to become general manager of Television City
Charles Cappleman on attending a yearly CBS affiliates conference
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Charles Cappleman on his duties as a stage manager, and on working on Climax! and Playhouse 90
Charles Cappleman on the production challenges of Playhouse 90
Charles Cappleman on Studio One, and on Herbert Brodkin and Worthington Minor
Charles Cappleman on CBS Playhouse

Comedy Series

View Genre
Charles Cappleman on stage managing for the series Meet Millie and My Favorite Husband
Charles Cappleman on stage managing That's My Boy! and The Jo Stafford Show
Charles Cappleman on The Carol Burnett Show
Charles Cappleman on All in the Family

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Charles Cappleman on working with Judy Garland on Ford Star Jubilee, and on working with big stars
Charles Cappleman on stage managing That's My Boy! and The Jo Stafford Show
Charles Cappleman on celebrating the 33rd Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show on stage 33 at Television City with the cast of the show
Charles Cappleman on The Ed Sullivan Show
Charles Cappleman on working with Joe Hamilton and Dave Powers on The Carol Burnett Show
Charles Cappleman on Captain & Tennille

News and Documentary

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Charles Cappleman on working on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person

Talk Shows

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Charles Cappleman on working on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person
People

James T. Aubrey

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Charles Cappleman on James T. Aburey and Robert D. Wood
Charles Cappleman on James T. Aubrey

Bob Barker

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Charles Cappleman on Bob Barker

William J. Bell, Jr.

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Charles Cappleman on William J. Bell, Jr.

Jack Benny

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Charles Cappleman on working with Nat Perrin and Jack Benny on The Jack Benny Program

Seymour Berns

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Charles Cappleman on working with Seymour Berns on The Red Skelton Show

Herbert Brodkin

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Charles Cappleman on Studio One, and on Herbert Brodkin and Worthington Miner

Carol Burnett

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Charles Cappleman on The Carol Burnett Show

Walter Cronkite

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Charles Cappleman on Walter Cronkite

Bob Daly

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Charles Cappleman on being hired by Bob Daly to become general manager of Television City
Charles Cappleman on Bob Daly

Michael Dann

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Charles Cappleman on Michael Dann

Fred Friendly

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Charles Cappleman on Fred Friendly

Judy Garland

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Charles Cappleman on working with Judy Garland on Ford Star Jubilee
Charles Cappleman on Judy Garland

Whoopi Goldberg

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Charles Cappleman on Whoopi Goldberg

Joe Hamilton

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Charles Cappleman on working with Joe Hamilton and Dave Powers on The Carol Burnett Show

Mel Karmazin

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Charles Cappleman on the consolidation of Viacom, CBS, and Infinity, and on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves
Charles Cappleman on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves

Danny Kaye

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Charles Cappleman on Danny Kaye

Perry Lafferty

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Charles Cappleman on Perry Lafferty

Worthington Miner

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Charles Cappleman on Studio One, and on Herbert Brodkin and Worthington Miner

Leslie Moonves

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Charles Cappleman on the consolidation of Viacom, CBS, and Infinity, and on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves
Charles Cappleman on Mel Karmazin and Leslie Moonves

Mary Tyler Moore

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Charles Cappleman on Mary Tyler Moore

Anne Nelson

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Charles Cappleman on Anne Nelson

Bob Newhart

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Charles Cappleman on Bob Newhart

Carroll O'Connor

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Charles Cappleman on the cast of All in the Family, including Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, and Rob Reiner

William S. Paley

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Charles Cappleman on working for William S. Paley and Frank Stanton
Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley
Charles Cappleman on William S. Paley's management style

Nat Perrin

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Charles Cappleman on working with Nat Perrin and Jack Benny on The Jack Benny Program

Dave Powers

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Charles Cappleman on working with Joe Hamilton and Dave Powers on The Carol Burnett Show

Rob Reiner

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Charles Cappleman on the cast of All in the Family, including Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, and Rob Reiner

Hubbell Robinson

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Charles Cappleman on Hubbell Robinson

Marion Ross

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Charles Cappleman on Marion Ross

Fred Silverman

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Charles Cappleman on Fred Silverman

Frank Stanton

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Charles Cappleman on working for William S. Paley and Frank Stanton
Charles Cappleman on the role CBS executives like Frank Stanton played in technological innovation while he was manager of the production electronics department, and on its impact on news gathering
Charles Cappleman on Frank Stanton
Charles Cappleman on how Frank Stanton leaving CBS impacted the network

Jean Stapleton

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Charles Cappleman on the cast of All in the Family, including Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, and Rob Reiner

David Susskind

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Chales Cappleman on David Susskind

Studs Terkel

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Charles Cappleman on working with Studs Terkel on Studs' Place, and on Chicago in the 1950s

Burr Tillstrom

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Charles Cappleman on working with Kukla, Fran & Ollie creator Burr Tillstrom at NBC in Chicago

Laurence A. Tisch

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Charles Cappleman on Laurence A. Tisch
Charles Cappleman on Laurence A. Tisch

Norman Tokar

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Charles Cappleman on working with Norman Tokar

Ethel Winant

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Chales Cappleman on casting director Ethel Winant
Charles Cappleman on Ethel Winant

Robert D. Wood

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Charles Cappleman on James T. Aburey and Robert D. Wood
Charles Cappleman on Robert D. Wood

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