Edgar J. Scherick

Executive / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half-hour interview, Executive/Producer Edgar J. Scherick (1924-2002) speaks of his early years and education, getting drafted into the Air Corps as a meteorologist during World War II, and getting a job at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising in New York. He talks about founding Sports Programs, Inc., a sports packaging organization which created ABC's Wide World of Sports. Scherick recalls how the company merged with ABC in 1961 and describes becoming ABC's Vice-President in Charge of Television Network Sales and later, Vice-President of Programming. He talks about how, during his tenure, he spearheaded the airing of Batman, Peyton Place, Bewitched and The FBI. He recalls later leaving ABC to form his own production company, Palomar Pictures, which produced films for theatrical release, including Take the Money and Run, The Heartbreak Kid, The Stepford Wives, and Rambling Rose, as well as films and miniseries made for television, including Raid on Entebbe, Little Gloria ... Happy At Last, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Evergreen, the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga," On Wings of Eagles, and The Kennedys of Massachusetts. He concludes with remarks on the rise of cable television, mentors, and how he'd like to be remembered. Marvin Wolf conducted the interview on July 28, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA.

"I always tell everybody I'm a storyteller, that's what I do for a living. I tell stories. I spin tales."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Edgar Scherick on why ABC's Wide World of Sports was groundbreaking and on some of the technology that helped make the show possible
Edgar Scherick on the development of Batman
Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time
Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.
Edgar Scherick on the development of Peyton Place
Edgar Scherick on producing (and being a writer on) the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and education; on getting drafted into the Air Corps as a meteorologist during World War II; on getting a job at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising in New York
On working for CBS as Sports Specialist of the television network and CBS' entry into televising football games; on football being a bigger production for television than baseball; on creating his own company to conceive and negotiate the rights to and sell sports programming for a network; on how he got clients; on how he got the television rights to NCAA games

Chapter 2

On producing sports programming for ABC; on the creation of ABC's Wide World of Sports; on broadcasting the NCAA football games
On broadcasting Fight of the Week on closed-circuit television; on the importance of sports to a network
On sportscasters he recruited and worked with including Jim McKay, Paul Christman, and others; on his experience with the Blacklist; on his company merging with ABC
On becoming head of network sales at ABC; on the ABC sports department; on transitioning to become ABC's head of programming
On developing Ben Casey; on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on his programming philosophy; on the development and promotion of Batman

Chapter 3

On the development of The FBI, The Hollywood Palace, Bewitched, and Peyton Place; on why he left ABC and formed Palomar Productions
On feature films he produced, including Take the Money and Run, The Heartbreak Kid, The Stepford Wives, Rambling Rose, and others
On producing TV series and miniseries, including Raid on Entebbe, Little Gloria ... Happy At Last, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Evergreen, the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga," On Wings of Eagles, and The Kennedys of Massachusetts; on then current productions; on advice to someone starting out in the business; on how American TV audiences have changed over the years

Chapter 4

On the impact of cable; on mentors throughout his career and on being a mentor; on how he'd like to be remembered
On B-roll photos from his life and career: a photo during the filming of Raid on Entebbe; a photo of him with Michael Caine during the filming of the movie Sleuth, and a photo of him with Walter Mathau during the filming of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Shows

ABC's Wide World of Sports

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Edgar Scherick on the creation of ABC's Wide World of Sports and the rights negotiations for the show

Academy Awards, The

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Edgar Scherick on working with ABC founder Leonard Goldenson and Goldenson taking him to the Academy Awards

Batman

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Edgar Scherick on the development and promotion of Batman

Ben Casey

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Ben Casey (it was developed and owned by Bing Crosby's company)

Bewitched

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Edgar Scherick briefly on the development of Bewitched

FBI, The

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Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.

Fight of the Week

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Edgar Scherick on producing ABC's Fight of the Week

Hollywood Palace, The

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Edgar Scherick on developing The Hollywood Palace

Kennedys of Massachusetts, The

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts

Little Gloria ... Happy At Last

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV movie Little Gloria ... Happy At Last

Medic

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Edgar Scherick on Medic and Ben Casey starting a trend for medical shows on television

On Wings of Eagles

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries On Wings of Eagles

Peyton Place

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Peyton Place

Raid on Entebbe

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Edgar Scherick on producing (and being a writer on) the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)
Edgar Scherick on the response to the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)
Edgar Scherick on a photo during the filming of Raid on Entebbe

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV movie Uncle Tom's Cabin
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Edgar Scherick on remembering seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair

Advertising and Sponsorship

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Edgar Scherick on getting a job at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample's advertising in New York; on Dancer Fitzgerald Sample's major clients at the time and on the power advertising agencies had over television content in the 1950s

Advice

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Edgar Scherick on advice to someone starting out in the business

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Edgar Scherick on mentors throughout his career
Edgar Scherick on being a mentor to others (Roone Arledge, Brian Grazier, Scott Rudin, Barry Gordon, Michael Barnathan)

Diversity in Television

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Edgar Scherick on producing the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga"

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Edgar Scherick on remembering seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair

Historic Events and Social Change

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Edgar Scherick on getting drafted into the Air Corps as a meteorologist during World War II
Edgar Scherick on remembering seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair
Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time
Edgar Scherick on producing the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga"

Hollywood Blacklist

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Edgar Scherick on his experiences with the Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Edgar Scherick on his experiences with the Blacklist

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time

John F. Kennedy

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Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time

Pivotal Career Moments

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Edgar Scherick on mentors throughout his career
Edgar Scherick on being a mentor to others (Roone Arledge, Brian Grazier, Scott Rudin, Barry Gordon, Michael Barnathan)

Technological Innovation

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Edgar Scherick on why ABC's Wide World of Sports was groundbreaking and on some of the technology that helped make the show possible
Edgar Scherick on the impact of cable on television

Television Industry

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Edgar Scherick on getting a job at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample's advertising in New York; on Dancer Fitzgerald Sample's major clients at the time and on the power advertising agencies had over television content in the 1950s
Edgar Scherick on his experiences with the Blacklist
Edgar Scherick on advice to someone starting out in the business
Edgar Scherick on the impact of cable on television
Edgar Scherick on the key to successful network programming
Edgar Scherick on whether he thinks networks will survive after the rise of cable

Television and the Presidency

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Edgar Scherick on remembering seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair
Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time

Underrepresented Voices

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Edgar Scherick on producing the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga"

War

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Edgar Scherick on getting drafted into the Air Corps as a meteorologist during World War II

World War II

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Edgar Scherick on getting drafted into the Air Corps as a meteorologist during World War II
Professions

Executives

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Edgar Scherick on becoming head of network sales at ABC and then moving into head of programming
Edgar Scherick on his programming philosophy as head of ABC programming
Edgar Scherick on his most important contributions to ABC when he was a network executive
Edgar Scherick on advice to someone starting out in the business

Television Executive

View Profession
Edgar Scherick on becoming head of network sales at ABC and then moving into head of programming
Edgar Scherick on his programming philosophy as head of ABC programming
Edgar Scherick on his most important contributions to ABC when he was a network executive
Edgar Scherick on advice to someone starting out in the business
Genres

Comedy Series

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Edgar Scherick on the development and promotion of Batman
Edgar Scherick briefly on the development of Bewitched

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Peyton Place

Drama Series

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Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.

Medical Dramas

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Ben Casey (it was developed and owned by Bing Crosby's company)

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Edgar Scherick on developing The Hollywood Palace

Sports

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Edgar Scherick on putting together Baseball Game of the Week and packaging other sports shows while at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample
Edgar Scherick on his role as Director of Sports and Special Events at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample and making a deal with ABC President Bob Kintner
Edgar Scherick on working for CBS as Sports Specialist of the television network and CBS' entry into televising football games; on football being a bigger production for television than baseball
Edgar Scherick on how he got the television rights to NCAA games
Edgar Scherick on the creation of ABC's Wide World of Sports
Edgar Scherick on ratings for early televised sports

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Edgar Scherick on producing (and being a writer on) the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)
Edgar Scherick on producing the TV movie Uncle Tom's Cabin
Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries On Wings of Eagles
Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts
Edgar Scherick on the response to the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)
People

Harry Ackerman

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Bewitched

Eddie Albert

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Heartbreak Kid

Woody Allen

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film Take the Money and Run

Roone Arledge

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Edgar Scherick on hiring Roone Arledge to work for his company
Edgar Scherick on making Roone Arledge the producer of NCAA football

James T. Aubrey

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Edgar Scherick on how started producing sports programming for ABC -- James Aubrey reached out to him
Edgar Scherick on the development of Bewitched

Julie Barnathan

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Edgar Scherick on working with Julie Barnathan

Harve Bennett

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Edgar Scherick on his team at ABC when he was head of programming

Charles Bronson

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Edgar Scherick on the response to the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976)

Avery Brooks

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV movie Uncle Tom's Cabin

Michael Caine

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Edgar Scherick on a photo of him with Michael Caine during the filming of the movie Sleuth

Paul Christman

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Edgar Scherick on getting Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman involved with NCAA football for ABC

Douglas S. Cramer

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Edgar Scherick on his team at ABC when he was head of programming

Bing Crosby

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Ben Casey (it was developed and owned by Bing Crosby's company)

Laura Dern

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film Rambling Rose, which introduced Laura Dern

Bill Dozier

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Batman

Vince Edwards

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Ben Casey

Ben Gazzara

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film When Michael Calls, with Ben Gazarra and Michael Douglas

Leonard Goldberg

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Edgar Scherick on his team at ABC when he was head of programming

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Edgar Scherick on working with ABC founder Leonard Goldenson and Goldenson taking him to the Academy Awards
Edgar Scherick on telling Leonard Goldenson that he wanted to be involved with (non-sports) programming at ABC

Curt Gowdy

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Edgar Scherick on getting Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman involved with NCAA football for ABC

Charles Grodin

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Heartbreak Kid

Charlton Heston

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Edgar Scherick on ABC's tribute to President Kennedy

Irving B. Kahn

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Edgar Scherick on producing ABC's Fight of the Week -- teleprompter creator Irving B. Kahn negotiated boxing rights and Scherick produced the matches

Ben Kalmenson

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Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.

John F. Kennedy

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Edgar Scherick on being the only ABC executive in the office when President John F. Kennedy was shot; on the special ABC programming done at the time
Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts

Robert E. Kintner

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Edgar Scherick on his role as Director of Sports and Special Events at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample and making a deal with ABC President Bob Kintner

Jerry Lewis

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Edgar Scherick on developing The Hollywood Palace

Quinn Martin

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Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.

Walter Matthau

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Edgar Scherick on a photo of him with Walter Mathau during the filming of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Elaine May

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Heartbreak Kid

Jim McKay

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Edgar Scherick on working with Jim McKay

John Mitchell

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Bewitched

Elizabeth Montgomery

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Bewitched

Don Ohlmeyer

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Edgar Scherick on working with Don Ohlmeyer

Ross Perot

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Edgar Scherick on producing the TV miniseries On Wings of Eagles

Sidney Poitier

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film For Love of Ivy

Robert Saudek

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Edgar Scherick on ABC's tribute to President Kennedy

Chris Schenkel

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Edgar Scherick on working with Chris Schenkel

William Self

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Batman

Cybill Shepherd

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Heartbreak Kid

Fred Silverman

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Edgar Scherick on producing the ABC Weekend Special TV movie "Tales of the Nunundaga"

Chet Simmons

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Edgar Scherick on working with Chet Simmons

Neil Simon

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Edgar Scherick on developing the film The Heartbreak Kid

Jim Spence

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Edgar Scherick on working with Jim Spence

Yale Udoff

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Edgar Scherick on the development of Batman

Jack L. Warner

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Edgar Scherick on developing The F.B.I.

Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver

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Edgar Scherick on Pat Weaver's name for another show influencing the name ABC's Wide World of Sports

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