Henry Colman

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Henry Colman (1923-2012) talks of his start in television as an assistant to the director on Kraft Television Theater. He discusses his work on other programs, including Robert Montgomery Presents and Colgate Comedy Hour, and describes how he then became a television executive, overseeing the pilot of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He recalls joining the CBS development department, working on programs such as Green Acres and Hawaii Five-0, and details the development of The Love Boat, where he became line producer. Colman also speaks of producing the series Hotel and shares tales of being an interviewer himself for the Archive of American Television. Karen Herman conducted the interview on March 16, 2001 in Brentwood, CA.

"Learn the basics of how to put a show together and establish a level of taste for the kind of material you want to do. Meet as many other producers that you can because so they can help you, too. A lot of it has to do with the people you worked with before. That's the way I've gotten a lot of my jobs: having done a good job for these people, they wanted to hire me for something else."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Henry Colman on working in live television, where an actor thought the dress rehearsal was the aired show
Henry Colman on covering The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the network when Tom Smothers wouldn't relinquish a tape to CBS
Henry Colman on producing the first Love Boat pilot; on the development and casting of The Love Boat series
Henry Colman on a scene of a black man dancing with a white woman on one of Matthew Rapf's shows and the network's decision to cut the scene
Henry Colman on escorting Elizabeth Taylor to a party while he was a producer on Hotel  (continued)
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and education; on serving in the Air Force during World War II
On attending Columbia University and training at NBC studios; on his early theater work; on his transition to television at NBC

Chapter 2

On working on early NBC shows including Kraft Television Theatre
On working on Navy Log and Robert Montgomery Presents

Chapter 3

On leaving Robert Montgomery Presents; on doing program development at The Theatre Guild and pitching shows to ABC; on turning down the chance to produce The U.S. Steel Hour
On working in as a commercial producer at an Emil Mogul Advertising agency; on producing Pillsbury commercials for Arthur Godfrey and His Friends
On producing the soap opera Love of Life;  on joining General Artists Corporation to head up program development; on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis;  on the Blacklist
On moving to Los Angeles and working for a video production company; on becoming associate producer on Dr. Kildare

Chapter 4

On working as associate producer on Dr. Kildare
On working as an associate producer on Peyton Place
On joining the CBS-TV Program Department; on working with Filmways; on being a program executive for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hawaii Five-0, The Prisoner, and The Lucy Show
On covering The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the network when Tom Smothers wouldn't relinquish a tape to CBS for approval
On being an executive on Medical Center; on approving O.J. Simpson on his first TV acting role
On becoming VP of Current Programs at Paramount Television in 1970 and working on such series as Mission: Impossible  and Mannix

Chapter 5

On working as a Paramount production executive on Love, American Style  and The Brady Bunch
On working as VP of Current Programs at Screen Gems  on such shows as He & She, The Partridge Family, Bewitched, and Bridget Loves Bernie
On freelancing and producing the TV movies The Dead Don't Die and Who is the Black Dahlia?
On producing the first Love Boat pilot; on the development and casting of The Love Boat series

Chapter 6

On producing The Love Boat
On producing Hotel (starting in the second season)

Chapter 7

On escorting Elizabeth Taylor to a party while he was a producer on Hotel  (continued)
On producing Top of the Hill
On producing TV movies including The Rape of Dr. Willis and Body of Evidence; on his then-current projects; on being an interviewer for the Archive of American Television
On his advice to aspiring producers; on how he would like to be remembered
On some photos from his collection
Shows

Amahl and the Night Visitors

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Henry Colman briefly on watching the rehearsals for Amahl and the Night Visitors

Arthur Godfrey and His Friends

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Henry Colman on producing Pillsbury commercials for Arthur Godfrey and His Friends

Bewitched

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Henry Colman on working as a Screen Gems production executive on Bewitched (and his run-in with William Asher)

Brady Bunch, The

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount production executive on The Brady Bunch

Bridget Loves Bernie

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Henry Colman on working as a Screen Gems production executive on Bridget Loves Bernie

Colgate Comedy Hour, The

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Henry Colman on an incident early in his career when he was working on The Colgate Comedy Hour

Dr. Kildare

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Henry Colman on becoming associate producer on Dr. Kildare
Henry Colman on working as associate producer on Dr. Kildare

Hawaii Five-O

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Henry Colman on working as a CBS program executive on Hawaii Five-0 and The Prisoner

He & She

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount production executive on He & She

Hotel

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Henry Colman on producing Hotel
Henry Colman on escorting Elizabeth Taylor to a party while he was a producer on Hotel  (continued)

Kraft Television Theatre

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Henry Colman details being production coordinator on Kraft Television Theatre

Love Boat, The

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount production executive on Love, American Style  and its influence on The Love Boat
Henry Colman on producing the first Love Boat pilot; on the development and casting of The Love Boat series
Henry Colman on producing The Love Boat

Love of Life

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Henry Colman on producing Love of Life

Love, American Style

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount production executive on Love, American Style  and its influence on The Love Boat

Lucy Show, The

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Henry Colman on working as a CBS program executive on The Lucy Show

Mannix

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount executive on Mannix

Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The

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Henry Colman on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

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Henry Colman on working as a CBS program executive during the development of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Medical Center

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Henry Colman on being an executive on Medical Center; on approving O.J. Simpson on his first TV acting role

Mission: Impossible

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Henry Colman being an executive on Mission: Impossible  when producer Bruce Geller died in a plane crash

Navy Log

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Henry Colman on working in production on Navy Log

Partridge Family, The

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Henry Colman on working as a Screen Gems production executive on The Partridge Family

Peyton Place

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Henry Colman on working as an associate producer on Peyton Place

Prisoner, The

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Henry Colman on working as a CBS program executive on Hawaii Five-0 and The Prisoner

Robert Montgomery Presents

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Henry Colman on working in live television, where an actor thought the dress rehearsal was the aired show
Henry Colman on being assistant to the production supervisor on Robert Montgomery Presents
Henry Colman on his encounter with the Blacklist during his tenure at Robert Montgomery Presents

Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The

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Henry Colman on covering The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the network when Tom Smothers wouldn't relinquish a tape to CBS

Top of the Hill

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On producing Top of the Hill

Who Is the Black Dahlia?

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Henry Colman on producing the NBC TV movie Who is the Black Dahlia?
Topics

Bloopers

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Henry Colman on working in live television, where an actor thought the dress rehearsal was the aired show

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Henry Colman on an incident early in his career when he was working on The Colgate Comedy Hour (Jimmy Durante)

Hollywood Blacklist

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Henry Colman on his encounter with the Blacklist during his tenure at Robert Montgomery Presents

Minorities

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Henry Colman on a scene of a black man dancing with a white woman on one of Matthew Rapf's shows and the network's decision to cut the scene

Studio and Network Management

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Henry Colman on covering The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the network when Tom Smothers wouldn't relinquish a tape to CBS

War

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Henry Colman on serving in the Air Force during World War II

World War II

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Henry Colman on serving in the Air Force during World War II
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Henry Colman on working in live television, where an actor thought the dress rehearsal was the aired show

Commercials

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Henry Colman details being production coordinator on Kraft Television Theatre
Henry Colman on working in as a commercial producer at an Emil Mogul Advertising agency in 1956; on working on Pillsbury commercials for Arthur Godfrey and His Friends
People

William Asher

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Henry Colman on working as a Screen Gems production executive on Bewitched

Lucille Ball

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Henry Colman on working as a CBS program executive on The Lucy Show

Arthur Godfrey

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Henry Colman on producing Pillsbury commercials for Arthur Godfrey and His Friends

Paul Monash

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Henry Colman on working as an associate producer on Peyton Place

Robert Montgomery

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Henry Colman on being assistant to the production supervisor on Robert Montgomery Presents

Stanley Quinn

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Henry Colman details being production coordinator on Kraft Television Theatre

Matthew Rapf

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Henry Colman on a scene of a black man dancing with a white woman on one of Matthew Rapf's shows and the network's decision to cut the scene

O. J. Simpson

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Henry Colman on being an executive on Medical Center; on approving O.J. Simpson on his first TV acting role

Tom Smothers

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Henry Colman on covering The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the network when Tom Smothers wouldn't relinquish a tape to CBS

Barbra Streisand

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Henry Colman on working as a Paramount production executive on He & She

Elizabeth Taylor

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Henry Colman on escorting Elizabeth Taylor to a party while he was a producer on Hotel  (continued)

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