Harve Bennett

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Harve Bennett (1930-2015) talks about his early exposure to show business as one of the contestants on radio's "Quiz Kids," on which he appeared 213 times. He speaks of writing for the "Chicago Sun-Times" as a teenager, attending college at UCLA, and serving in The Korean War. He then describes how he came to work for CBS, eventually becoming a producer (the youngest at the time), working with rising stars like Johnny Carson. He discusses his transition to ABC, where he ultimately served as the Vice President in charge of programming under Leonard Goldberg. Bennett recounts how he left ABC to produce The Mod Squad with Aaron Spelling, and details the series, which featured "one white, one black, one blonde," (as the show promoted). He outlines production on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, talks about the casts of the shows, and comments on pop culture touchstones such as the "bionic" sound effect, and the voice-over narration ("Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive…"), which he himself voiced. He reflects on the production of the landmark miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and its introduction of actor Nick Nolte. Bennett also describes working on From Here to Eternity (miniseries and series), A Woman Named Golda, and The Jesse Owens Story. Lastly, Bennett talks about "becoming a Trekkie" watching every episode of the classic series to prepare himself to produce the feature films (II through V). He notes the ideas behind some of the movies, and gives his impressions of the actors in the series. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 13, 2008 in Pacific Palisades, CA. 

"Take any opportunity that takes you into where you want to go, even if it's peripheral. Begin collecting experiences, and more importantly, connections. Networking. People who are today's mailroom boys are tomorrow's studio heads. You get a base of friendship and of working together, and you pursue your dream. Sooner or later, these things all kind of come together, I hope. It has for me."

Highlights
Harve Bennett on his favorite scene in The Six Million Dollar Man
01:44
Harve Bennett on appearing on the radio program "Quiz Kids"
12:30
Harve Bennett on doing a famous voiceover for a popular '70s TV show
01:17
Harve Bennett on how he came to produce the Star Trek features
04:11
Harve Bennett on Gene Roddenberry's involvement in the Star Trek feature films
02:05
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on appearing on the radio program "Quiz Kids"
17:14
On his college years; on his foray into journalism; on his early television career at CBS and working with Johnny Carson
13:39
On becoming a full-fledged producer; on going to work for ABC
14:58
On becoming director of program development at ABC; on leaving the network to produce The Mod Squad
11:50

Chapter 2

On working with Aaron Spelling on The Mod Squad; on dealing with the cast of The Mod Squad; on writing the show and its effect on popular culture
14:26
On producing The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman
17:25
On budget constraints on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman; on critical and popular reaction to the shows
08:51
On producing and casting Rich Man, Poor Man; on producing the made-for-television remake of From Here to Eternity 
19:03

Chapter 3

On producing Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith; on producing A Woman Called Golda; on the cast of, public reaction to, and awards for the made-for-TV movie A Woman Called Golda
17:36
On producing the made-for-TV movie The Jesse Owens Story; on how he came to produce the Star Trek feature films
14:26
On saving the Star Trek franchise; on the cast of Star Trek; on making the transition from television to feature films
15:00
On producing the short-lived series The Powers of Matthew Star,  the made-for-television movie Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232 and Time Trax; on current projects, his proudest achievement, and television's responsibility to its audience
Shows

Bionic Woman, The

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Harve Bennett on Lindsay Wagner as "Jamie Sommers" on The Bionic Woman
01:26
Harve Bennett on why The Bionic Woman worked
01:49

Irwin Shaw's Rich Man, Poor Man

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Harve Bennett on the genesis of Rich Man, Poor Man
02:11
Harve Bennett on the casting of Rich Man, Poor Man
08:40

Jesse Owens Story, The

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Harve Bennett on producing the made-for-TV movie The Jesse Owens Story
04:38

Johnny Carson Show, The (1955-56)

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Harve Bennett on producing Johnny Carson's early daytime show
03:22

Mod Squad, The

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Harve Bennett on the genesis of The Mod Squad
04:38
Harve Bennett on the elements that made The Mod Squad a groundbreaking show
01:34
Harve Bennett on working with Aaron Spelling on The Mod Squad
05:36
Harve Bennett on the cast of The Mod Squad
04:06
Harve Bennett on writing The Mod Squad
02:53
Harve Bennett on The Mod Squad's effect on popular culture
01:50

Quiz Kids

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Harve Bennett on appearing on the radio version of "Quiz Kids"
12:30

Six Million Dollar Man, The

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Harve Bennett on the genesis of The Six Million Dollar Man
04:39
Harve Bennett on Lee Majors as "Steve Austin" running in The Six Million Dollar Man
02:12
Harve Bennett on The Six Million Dollar Man  bionic sound effect
02:55
Harve Bennett on the production restraints of The Six Million Dollar Man
01:44

Star Trek

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Harve Bennett on how he came to produce the Star Trek  features
04:11
Harve Bennett on choosing "Khan" as the villain for the feature "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
01:58
Harve Bennett on the cast of Star Trek
03:02
Harve Bennett on killing off "Spock" in the feature film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
02:20

Woman Called Golda, A

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Harve Bennett on producing A Woman Called Golda
14:07
Harve Bennett on casting Ingrid Bergman in A Woman Called Golda
05:34
Harve Bennett on the importance of A Woman Called Golda
01:36
Harve Bennett on casting the made-for-TV movie A Woman Called Golda
03:17
Harve Bennett on critical reaction and awards for A Woman Called Golda
01:42
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Harve Bennett on Lee Majors as "Steve Austin" running in The Six Million Dollar Man
02:12

Memorable Moments on Television

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Harve Bennett on the importance of the made-for-TV movie A Woman Called Golda
01:16

Pop Culture

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Harve Bennett on Lee Majors as "Steve Austin" running in The Six Million Dollar Man
02:12
Harve Bennett on doing a famous voiceover for The Six Million Dollar Man
01:17

We Considered

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Harve Bennett on the importance of the made-for-TV movie A Woman Called Golda
01:16
Professions

Producers

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Harve Bennett on his advice to aspiring producers
00:51
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Harve Bennett on producing The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman
21:39

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Harve Bennett on the genesis and influence of The Mod Squad
06:12
Harve Bennett on writing and producing The Mod Squad  and its effect on popular culture 
08:50

Drama Series

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Harve Bennett producing Rich Man, Poor Man
21:39

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Harve Bennett on producing A Woman Called Golda
13:57
People

Edward Asner

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Harve Bennett on how Edward Asner came to be cast in Rich Man, Poor Man
02:10

Ingrid Bergman

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Harve Bennett on casting Ingrid Bergman in the made-for-TV movie A Woman Called Golda
05:34

Johnny Carson

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Harve Bennett on producing Johnny Carson's early daytime show
03:22

Andy Griffith

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Harve Bennett on producing the short-lived series Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith
02:23
Harve Bennett on a letter he received from Andy Griffith
01:06

Hal Kanter

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Harve Bennett on going to work for ABC and a telegram from Hal Kanter
08:09

Ricardo Montalban

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Harve Bennett on choosing "Khan" as the villain for the feature, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
01:58

Leonard Nimoy

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Harve Bennett on killing off "Spock" in the feature film, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
02:20

Gene Roddenberry

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Harve Bennett on Gene Roddenberry's involvement in the Star Trek feature films
02:05

Aaron Spelling

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Harve Bennett on working with Aaron Spelling on The Mod Squad
05:36

Lindsay Wagner

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Harve Bennett on Lindsay Wagner as "Jamie Sommers" The Bionic Woman
01:26

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