Linda Bell Blue

Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour Archive interview, Linda Bell Blue describes her early interest in television news. She talks of breaking into television in a series of small-market local newscasts, and chronicles her rise to KCBS news in Los Angeles. At KCBS she covered the 1984 Summer Olympics and the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, and landed an interview with convicted murderer Charles Manson. She recounts her move to Hard Copy, where she covered sensational stories on Michael Jackson and Princess Diana, and comments on stories on which she regrets passing. She then discusses her role as the producer of Entertainment Tonight, where she covered the OJ Simpson trial and Anna Nicole Smith's death, and traveled to the Vatican to cover Tom Hanks and Ron Howard filming "The Da Vinci Code." She outlines her work producing Entertainment Tonight's sister show, The Insider, and offers her advice to aspiring news producers. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on January 22, 2012 in Studio City, CA.

"It's a matter of manipulating the Nielsen meters and being smart enough and consistent enough to hold that second quarter hour, and that brings your ratings up. The teases before the breaks are so important. The minute you go to the break the audience leaves. Research tells us that. So we've just got to get them back."

Highlights
Linda Bell Blue on producing Hard Copy and covering Michael Jackson
01:51
Linda Bell Blue on the format of Entertainment Tonight and keeping the audience tuned in
04:01
Linda Bell Blue on the public's fascination with Michael Jackson and covering the Royal Family
06:50
Linda Bell Blue on covering the OJ Simpson trial for Entertainment Tonight
03:37
Linda Bell Blue on sexism in the television industry
03:44
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her early interest in television news; on her career in small market local news
15:07
On what she learned from producing local news; on her management style; on becoming a local news producer in Los Angeles
12:06
On interviewing Charles Manson for KCBS in Los Angeles; on covering the 1984 Summer Olympics and Democratic Convention; on moving from local news to Hard Copy
17:02
On covering stories on Michael Jackson and Princess Diana; on deciding which stories to pursue; on covering entertainment worldwide for Entertainment Tonight
14:51

Chapter 2

On covering the death of Michael Jackson; on becoming producer of Entertainment Tonight; on the history of Entertainment Tonight and traveling the world to cover stories
13:38
On the format of Entertainment Tonight; on covering "real news" on Entertainment Tonight; on dealing with celebrities and covering the OJ Simpson trial for the show
13:14
On how technological innovation has changed how Entertainment Tonight is produced; on producing The Insider; on covering Anna Nichole Smith for Entertainment Tonight
16:48
On advice to aspiring news producers; on sexism in the television industry; on her then-future (2012)
10:25
Shows

Entertainment Tonight

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Linda Bell Blue on the public's fascination with Michael Jackson and covering the Royal Family on Entertainment Tonight
06:50
Linda Bell Blue on star quality and covering entertainment worldwide on Entertainment Tonight
05:25
Linda Bell Blue on covering the death of Michael Jackson for Entertainment Tonight
04:04
Linda Bell Blue on making the transition from Hard Copy to Entertainment Tonight
02:50
Linda Bell Blue on her early years at Entertainment Tonight and changes she brought to the program
02:21
Linda Bell Blue on the history of Entertainment Tonight  and traveling the world to cover stories
04:23
Linda Bell Blue on the format of Entertainment Tonight and keeping the audience tuned in
04:01
Linda Bell Blue on making "real news" into entertainment on Entertainment Tonight
00:58
Linda Bell Blue on how ideas go from pitch to actual story on Entertainment Tonight
01:22
Linda Bell Blue on Entertainment Tonight being "celebrity friendly" and George Clooney's boycott
03:16
Linda Bell Blue on covering the OJ Simpson trial for Entertainment Tonight
03:37
Linda Bell Blue on technological advances in the production of Entertainment Tonight
05:05
Linda Bell Blue on producing The Insider as well as Entertainment Tonight
03:26
Linda Bell Blue on the biggest story of her career, covering Anna Nicole Smith for Entertainment Tonight
08:17
Topics

Diversity in Television

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Linda Bell Blue on sexism in the television industry
03:44

Fame & Celebrity

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Linda Bell Blue on the public's fascination with Michael Jackson and covering the Royal Family
06:50
Linda Bell Blue on interviewing Charles Manson for KCBS in Los Angeles
08:21
Linda Bell Blue on star quality and covering entertainment worldwide 
05:25
Linda Bell Blue on covering the death of Michael Jackson
04:04
Linda Bell Blue on the biggest story of her career, covering Anna Nicole Smith for Entertainment Tonight
08:17

Olympic Games

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Linda Bell Blue on covering the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles
01:38

Sports

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Linda Bell Blue on covering the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles
01:38

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Linda Bell Blue on technological advances in the production of Entertainment Tonight
04:45

Television Industry

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Linda Bell Blue on the public's fascination with Michael Jackson and covering the Royal Family
06:50
Linda Bell Blue on interviewing Charles Manson for KCBS in Los Angeles
08:22
Linda Bell Blue on star quality and covering entertainment worldwide 
05:25
Linda Bell Blue on covering the death of Michael Jackson
04:04
Linda Bell Blue on the biggest story of her career, covering Anna Nicole Smith for Entertainment Tonight
08:17

Women

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Linda Bell Blue on sexism in the television industry
03:44
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

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Linda Bell Blue on her management style as a producer
01:27
Linda Bell Blue on the format of  Entertainment Tonight and keeping the audience tuned in
04:01
Linda Bell Blue on how ideas go from pitch to actual story on Entertainment Tonight
01:22
Linda Bell Blue on advice to aspiring news producers
04:34

News Producer

View Profession
Linda Bell Blue on her management style as a producer
01:27
Linda Bell Blue on the format of  Entertainment Tonight and keeping the audience tuned in
04:01
Linda Bell Blue on how ideas go from pitch to actual story on Entertainment Tonight
01:22
Linda Bell Blue on advice to aspiring news producers
04:34
Genres

News and Documentary

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Linda Bell Blue on producing Hard Copy
19:57
Linda Bell Blue on producing Entertainment Tonight
51:48
People

George Clooney

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Linda Bell Blue on Entertainment Tonight being "celebrity friendly" and George Clooney's boycott
03:16

Farrah Fawcett

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Linda Bell Blue on star quality and covering entertainment worldwide 
05:25

Mary Hart

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Linda Bell Blue on making the transition from Hard Copy to Entertainment Tonight
02:50

Michael Jackson

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Linda Bell Blue on producing Hard Copy and covering Michael Jackson
01:51
Linda Bell Blue on the public's fascination with Michael Jackson and covering the Royal Family
06:50
Linda Bell Blue on star quality and covering entertainment worldwide 
05:25

O. J. Simpson

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Linda Bell Blue on covering the OJ Simpson trial for Entertainment Tonight
03:37

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