Geraldine Laybourne

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Geraldine Laybourne talks about her early interests in education and visual media for children. She chronicles her role (and that of her husband Kit Laybourne) in the creation of Media Center for Children and Early Bird Specials Company and the independent productions she developed including Video Dream Theatre, an animated program based on the dreams of children. She speaks about her early years at Nickelodeon, where she joined as program manager in 1980. She talks about creating Nick at Nite, which featured classic television programming. She also speaks about several of the popular shows that appeared on Nickelodeon, including You Can't Do That on Television, Rugrats, Double Dare, The Ren and Stimpy Show and the children's news show Nick News. Moving up the ladder, she became the network's President in 1989. She notes that her greatest contribution as head of the network was to "always be on the side of kids." She comments on her tenures at MTV Networks and Disney/ABC in the mid-90s. She then speaks in great detail about serving as CEO and Chairman of the Oxygen Media Group and her involvement in co-founding the Oxygen Network. She talks about the other principles of the company, the network's initial programming, and its branding. She also discusses 9/11, and how, with its transmission center at ground zero, Oxygen was knocked off the air. B-roll consists of over twenty photos related to her career. Jane Altschuler conducted the interview in a joint venture with New York Women in Film & Television, on August 25, 2008 in New York, NY.

"Most mission statements would say, 'To be the largest provider of kids' entertainment in the world.' We didn't do that. [Nickelodeon] had a mission statement which was: 'To connect kids with each other and with their world through entertainment.' Now, that is a big idea."

Highlights
Geraldine Laybourne on how You Can't Do That on Television came to be on Nickelodeon; the invention of "green slime"
Geraldine Laybourne on how the children's show Rugrats came to Nickelodeon
Geraldine Laybourne on how Ren and Stimpy came to be on Nickelodeon
Geraldine Laybourne on how Marcy Carsey came to be a partner on the Oxygen network
Geraldine Laybourne on 9/11 and how the the Oxygen network addressed the tragedy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood, education, and early influences
On starting the Media Center for Children and its "Early Bird Specials"; on the birth of Nickelodeon; You Can't Do that on Television; Rugrats and other Nick show

Chapter 2

On the development of Rugrats; Ren and Stimpy; Double Dare; on Nickelodeon's programming philosophy; Sumner Redstone; Tom Freston; the birth of the Oxygen network
On the development of Double Dare; on Nickelodeon's programming philosophy
On the birth of the Oxygen Network; Oprah Winfrey and Marcy Carsey

Chapter 3

On Madonna; the O Network; on how the Oxygen network dealt with 9/11
On her greatest achievments and mistakes; on developments in television; on advice to aspiring television professionals; on regulation in television
On being voted one of the most influential people in Time magazine
Shows

Nick News

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Geraldine Laybourne on Nick News and Linda Ellerbee's contribution to the show

Ren & Stimpy Show, The

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Geraldine Laybourne on how Ren and Stimpy came to be on Nickelodeon

Rugrats

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Geraldine Laybourne on how the children's show Rugrats came to Nickelodeon

You Can't Do That on Television

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Geraldine Laybourne on how You Can't Do That on Television came to be on Nickelodeon; the invention of "green slime"
Topics

9/11

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Geraldine Laybourne on 9/11 and how the the Oxygen network addressed the tragedy
Professions

Television Executive

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Geraldine Laybourne on the early programming mandate to "program only to boys because girls will watch anything" while at Nickelodeon
Genres

Children's Programming

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Geraldine Laybourne on how You Can't Do That on Television came to be on Nickelodeon; the invention of "green slime"
03:17
People

Marcy Carsey

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Geraldine Laybourne on how Marcy Carsey came to be a partner on the Oxygen network

Linda Ellerbee

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Geraldine Laybourne on Nick News and Linda Ellerbee's contribution to the show

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