Frederic Ziv

Syndication Pioneer / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour-plus Archive interview, Frederic Ziv (1905-2001) discusses his start in print advertising. He then details the founding of one of the first and largest syndication companies in television history. He talks of the first program he syndicated for radio, "The Freshest Thing in Town" (for local bakeries) and explains transitioning from radio to television syndication. He recalls how Ziv Television Programs became the leading programming force outside the networks during the 1950's, producing and distributing telefilms for local station use. Among the big hits Ziv outlines: Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, and Whirlybirds. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 23, 1998 in Cincinnati, OH.

"I'm opposed to the idea of networks. I'm opposed to giving them six stations. I'm opposed to the idea that they deserve any stations. We fought the network on every single count."

Highlights
Frederic Ziv on syndicating his first program as an independent producer
03:08
Frederic Ziv on rates for radio and television rights before television took off
02:13
Frederic Ziv on competition from other television syndicators
01:11
Frederic Ziv on his recollections of the Hollywood Blacklist
01:46
Frederic Ziv on network reaction to his television syndication
01:52
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on growing up in Cincinnati; on his interest in radio and going to law school; on writing
11:07
On working for an advertising agency and starting his own agency; on producing radio programs for sponsors; on syndicating his first program, "The Freshest Thing in Town"
16:04

Chapter 2

On his ad campaigns for syndicated shows; on selling programs to sponsors; on specific programs including Boston Blackie; on buying television rights for radio shows
11:05
On the first time he saw television; on the cost of television rights and selecting the half-hour format for TV shows; on how his company was affected by World War II
09:46
On Ziv television; on the first TV shows he produced and his competition
08:12

Chapter 3

On the premiere of Cisco Kid, his first original programming for television; on shooting shows in California and the audience who watched Cisco Kid
10:25
On his role as President of his company; on how he sold shows; on his recollections of the Hollywood Blacklist
11:07
On opening his international division; on forming Economy TV and purchasing a studio
06:03

Chapter 4

On standards he used for the content of his programs; on the beginning of network syndication
02:31
On producing Sea Hun t starring blacklisted actor Lloyd Bridges; on producing Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry
08:32
On being the father of the action-adventure genre on television; on producing Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford
04:49
On selling 80 percent of his company to United Artists; on how Hollywood has changed over the years; on teaching at the University of Cincinnati
04:03
On writing the book "The Business of Writing;" on his thoughts on network programming and his success in syndication
08:57

Chapter 5

On his thoughts on people with whom he's worked: Guy Lombardo, Lloyd Bridges, and others
11:01
Shows

Bat Masterson

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Frederic Ziv on producing Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry
02:01

Cisco Kid, The

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Frederic Ziv on buying the radio and television rights to Cisco Kid
02:39
Frederic Ziv on the premiere of Cisco Kid, his first original programming for television
18:14

Highway Patrol

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Frederic Ziv on producing Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford
04:17

Red Skelton Show, The

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Frederic Ziv on syndicating The Red Skelton Show for radio
00:48

Sea Hunt

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Frederic Ziv on producing Sea Hunt starring blacklisted actor Lloyd Bridges; on filming underwater
03:32
Frederic Ziv on producers on Sea Hunt
02:58
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Frederic Ziv on standards he used for the content of his programs
01:26

Historic Events and Social Change

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Frederic Ziv on how his company was affected by World War II
03:07

Hollywood Blacklist

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Frederic Ziv on his recollections of the Hollywood Blacklist
01:46

Industry Crossroads

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Frederic Ziv on his recollections of the Hollywood Blacklist
01:46

Sex & Violence

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Frederic Ziv on criticisms of too much violence on television Westerns
00:55

Technological Innovation

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Frederic Ziv on filming shows in color
00:26

Television Industry

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Frederic Ziv on rates for radio and television rights before television took off
02:13
Frederic Ziv on network reaction to his television syndication
01:52
Frederic Ziv on competition from other television syndicators
01:11
Frederic Ziv on criticisms of too much violence on television Westerns
00:55
Frederic Ziv on international syndication
02:57
Frederic Ziv on forming Economy TV and the state of his syndication library in the 1950s
00:54
Frederic Ziv on standards he used for the content of his programs
01:26
Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on network programming
01:16

War

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Frederic Ziv on how his company was affected by World War II
03:07

World War II

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Frederic Ziv on how his company was affected by World War II
03:07
Professions

Executives

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Frederic Ziv on his role as President of his company
00:49

Producers

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Frederic Ziv on syndicating his first program as an independent producer
03:08
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Frederic Ziv on being the father of the action-adventure genre on television
00:32

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Frederic Ziv on producing Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford; on problems with Broderick Crawford
04:17

Western Series

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Frederic Ziv on the premiere of Cisco Kid, his first original programming for television
18:14
Frederic Ziv on producing Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry
02:01
People

Lauren Bacall

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Lauren Bacall
00:23

Gene Barry

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Frederic Ziv on producing Bat Masterson starring Gene Barry
02:01

Humphrey Bogart

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Humphrey Bogart
00:43

Lloyd Bridges

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Frederic Ziv on his recollections of the Hollywood Blacklist
01:46
Frederic Ziv on producing Sea Hunt starring blacklisted actor Lloyd Bridges
03:32
Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Lloyd Bridges
00:29

Eddie Cantor

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Eddie Cantor
00:29

Ronald Colman

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Ronald Colman
00:19

Broderick Crawford

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Frederic Ziv on producing Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford; on problems with Broderick Crawford
04:17

Samuel Goldwyn

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Samuel Goldwyn
00:53

Guy Lombardo

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Guy Lombardo
00:58

Fred MacMurray

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Fred MacMurray
00:15

Red Skelton

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Frederic Ziv on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked - Red Skelton
00:11

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