Eye Witness (1947-48)


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

Eye Witness is an American television documentary series that ran from November 6, 1947 to April 13, 1948 on NBC.  The series was a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of television itself.  Ben Grauer was the series' host.  The series was produced, written, and directed by Garry Simpson.

The only known extant episode features TV pioneer Vladimir Zworykin— "The Story of Television" (airdate: 2/26/48), located at both the Paley Center for Media and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The following is a listing of the series' episodes, from Garry Simpson's personal credits list, as provided to the Archive of American Television by Mr. Simpson:

1.) Nov. 6, 1947: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary. Television Transmitter operation.  On location atop Empire State Bldg.

2.) Nov. 13, 1947: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "How A Television Studio Works." Use of cameras, mikes, sceneery, control room, etc.

3.) Nov. 20, 1947: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "How A Television Mobile-Unit Operates."  On location at Rockefeller Center Skating Rink.

4.) Dec. 4, 1947: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on how television shows were produced. Design & construction of scenery, lighting, make-up and costumes.

5.) Dec. 11, 1947: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on television receivers.  RF reception and interference.

6.) Jan. 15, 1948 "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "How Television Receivers are Manufactured" on location at Philco Manufacturing plant in Philadelphia.

7.) Jan. 29, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "How Television Works." Cameras, Receivers, Line scanning, Image orthicons, iconoscopes, linescopes.

8.) Feb. 5, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary "Backstage Television"— performer's technique, camera techniques, video effects.

9.) Feb. 12, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary. "Backstage in a Television Studio" showing rehearsals and performance of a television show.

10.) Feb. 19, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "How Television Tubes are Manufactured" on-the-spot show from the RCA Harrison Tube plant.

11.) Feb. 26, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on the History of Television.  Dramatic scenes showing scientific discoveries leading to present daytelevision— including Dr. Vladimir Zworykin and his first iconoscope tube.

12.) Mar. 4, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on NBC's Washington station WNBW, showing plant and sample shows.

13.) April 13, 1948: "Eye Witness" Television Documentary on "Television Networks" on location at coaxial terminations of American Telephone and Telegraph Company's network, showing operation and proposed networks.

Who talked about this show

Garry Simpson

View Interview
Director Garry Simpson on the documentary series Eye Witness, and in particular an episode which featured TV pioneer Vladimir Zworykin
05:27

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