Ernest Kinoy

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-hour Archive interview, Ernest Kinoy (1925-2014) describes his early career writing for NBC radio. He discusses writing for many "live" dramatic television shows including: Studio One, Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, Playhouse 90, DuPont Show of the Week, Naked City, and Dr. Kildare. He talks of his 1964 Emmy win for an episode of The Defenders entitled "Blacklist," and his second Emmy win for the groundbreaking miniseries Roots. Kinoy also speaks of the legacy of television producer Herbert Brodkin. Sunny Parich conducted the interview in Williamsville, VT on October 29, 1998.

"The first thing you have to know is to write. The second thing is finish it. And the third is send it to somebody. And the fourth is when they send it back, send it to somebody else. Essentially...if you're going to do something - do it."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Ernest Kinoy on working with Mel Brooks
Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on Marlon Brando in Roots: The Next Generations
Ernest Kinoy on the most important element of a successful show
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years; on his interest in writing; on starting in radio
On joining NBC radio; on first seeing television; on writing for radio

Chapter 2

On starting to write for early live television; on making the transition from radio to television; on what he was paid for early television scripts and working with producers
On writing for live television; on the Golden Age of Television 

Chapter 3

On critical and viewer response to his scripts; on writing for The Imogene Coca Show; on discrimination in Hollywood; on working with Mel Brooks
On writing The Marriage for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Studio One

Chapter 4

On writing the Studio One episode "Walk Down the Hill"
On The Defenders  with Robert Reed and E.G Marshall; on the McCarthy era and the Blacklist episode of The Defenders

Chapter 5

On the Hollywood Blacklist and The Defenders; on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels 
On The Defenders episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement; on the end of The Defenders; on writing the Playhouse 90 episode "Shadows Tremble"

Chapter 6

On working on Playhouse 90; on writing for Naked City and Route 66; on writing for Saints and Sinners
On writing The Doctors and The Nurses; on writing the unsold pilot The Happeners; on his adaptations of Pinocchio and Brigadoon; on writing Broadway musicals

Chapter 7

On being head of the WGA East; on directing the feature film "Brother John"; on writing the made-for-television movie Crawlspace 
On working with producer Herbert Brodkin; on the production schedule for made-for-television movies; on writing the made-for-television movie Victory at Entebbe

Chapter 8

On the miniseries Roots and how it came about; on the public reaction to Roots and its impact on the Civil Rights movement; on the process of writing an episode of Roots
On writing Roots: The Next Generations; on winning an Emmy for Roots; on the legacy of Roots and Roots: The Next Generations; on the made-for-television movie Skokie

Chapter 9

On writing the made-for-television movie Skokie; on his longevity in television; on advice to aspiring writers
On career highlights and regrets; on television at its best; on the then-future of television; on how he'd like to be remembered 
On various people he has worked with in his career; on his wife Barbara; on The Archive of American Television 
Shows

Alcoa Hour, The

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Ernest Kinoy on a mishap on the set of The Alcoa Hour

Defenders, The

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Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders with Robert Reed and E.G Marshall
Ernest Kinoy on the McCarthy era and the Blacklist episode of The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on winning an Emmy for The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the stories of The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the end of The Defenders

Imogene Coca Show, The

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for The Imogene Coca Show

Marriage, The

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Ernest Kinoy on writing The Marriage for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

Naked City

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Naked City

Playhouse 90

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Ernest Kinoy on writing the Playhouse 90 episode "Shadows Tremble"
Ernest Kinoy on working on Playhouse 90

Roots

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Ernest Kinoy on how he got involved with writing Roots 
Ernest Kinoy on the public reaction to Roots and its impact on the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the process of writing an episode of Roots
Ernest Kinoy on winning an Emmy for Roots
Ernest Kinoy on the legacy of Roots and Roots: The Next Generations

Roots: The Next Generations

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Ernest Kinoy on writing Roots: The Next Generations
Ernest Kinoy on Marlon Brando in Roots: The Next Generations
Ernest Kinoy on the legacy of Roots and Roots: The Next Generations

Route 66

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Route 66

Saints and Sinners

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Saints and Sinners

Studio One

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Studio One
Ernest Kinoy on the Studio One episode "Walk Down the Hill"
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Ernest Kinoy on the first time he saw television at the 1939 World's Fair

Advice

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Ernest Kinoy on advice to aspiring writers

Bloopers

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Ernest Kinoy on a mishap on the set of The Alcoa Hour

Diversity in Television

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Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the public reaction to Roots  and its impact on the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the legacy of Roots  and Roots: The Next Generations

Emmy Awards

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Ernest Kinoy on winning an Emmy for The Defenders

Historic Events and Social Change

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Ernest Kinoy on the first time he saw television at the 1939 World's Fair
Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the public reaction to Roots  and its impact on the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the legacy of Roots  and Roots: The Next Generations

Hollywood Blacklist

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Ernest Kinoy on the McCarthy era and the Blacklist episode of The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels 

Industry Crossroads

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Ernest Kinoy on the McCarthy era and the Blacklist episode of The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels 

Minorities

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Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  episode "The Non-Violent" and the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the public reaction to Roots  and its impact on the Civil Rights movement
Ernest Kinoy on the legacy of Roots and Roots: The Next Generations

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Ernest Kinoy on the Golden Age of Television 

Television Industry

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Ernest Kinoy on the McCarthy era and the Blacklist episode of The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and The Defenders
Ernest Kinoy on the Hollywood Blacklist and Red Channels 
Ernest Kinoy on the then-future of television
Ernest Kinoy on advice to aspiring writers
Professions

Writers

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Ernest Kinoy on advice to aspiring writers
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Studio One
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Studio One  
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Playhouse 90
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Playhouse 90

Comedy Series

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Ernest Kinoy on writing The Marriage  for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for Naked City

Drama Series

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Ernest Kinoy on writing The Defenders (Part 2)
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Route 66
Ernest Kinoy on writing for Saints and Sinners

Legal Dramas

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for The Defenders

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for The Imogene Coca Show
Ernest Kinoy on his adaptation of Pinocchio 
Ernest Kinoy on his adaptation of Brigadoon  in 1966

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Ernest Kinoy on writing the made-for-television movie Crawlspace 
Ernest Kinoy on writing the made-for-television movie Victory at Entebbe
Ernest Kinoy on writing Roots and Roots: The Next Generations
Ernest Kinoy on writing the made-for-television movie Skokie
People

Gertrude Berg

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Ernest Kinoy on starting to write for early television 

Marlon Brando

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Ernest Kinoy on Marlon Brando in Roots: The Next Generations

Herbert Brodkin

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Ernest Kinoy on meeting producer Herbert Brodkin
Ernest Kinoy on working with producer Herbert Brodkin
Ernest Kinoy on Herbert Brodkin's legacy in television 

Mel Brooks

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for The Imogene Coca Show

Imogene Coca

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Ernest Kinoy on writing for The Imogene Coca Show

Hume Cronyn

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Ernest Kinoy on writing The Marriage  for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

Danny Kaye

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Ernest Kinoy on writing the made-for-television movie Skokie

E. G. Marshall

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Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  with Robert Reed and E.G Marshall

Robert Reed

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Ernest Kinoy on The Defenders  with Robert Reed and E.G Marshall

Edward G. Robinson

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Ernest Kinoy on writing the Playhouse 90  episode "Shadows Tremble"

Jessica Tandy

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Ernest Kinoy on writing The Marriage  for Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

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