Actress and director Ellen Geer will join us this week, plus we’ll welcome back Emmy Award winter Ron Bacon and game show historian Steve Beverly, on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Aug. 20-22 at the following times and venues:
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We’ll brush up our Shakespeare this week as we welcome Ellen Geer, daughter of legendary actor Will Geer, and an accomplished actress and director in her own right. Ellen Geer is also the artistic director of Theatricum Botanicum, the outdoor amphitheatre that Buzz magazine named one of the coolest places in Los Angeles. Founded by Will Geer in 1973, and located in the rustic woods of Topanga Canyon, Theatricum recently resumed outdoor performances after being shuttered last year because of COVID-19, offering a full schedule of theatre, music, and family entertainment every weekend through Sunday, Nov. 7, plus a special Friday night salon series every week in September.
We’ll ask Ellen about the origins of Theatricum Botanicum, and how she and her family have carried on the legacy of Will Geer every year since his death in 1978. We’ll also talk about some of Ellen’s many film and TV roles (which include appearances in Harold and Maude, Kotch, Petulia, NCIS, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Dallas), as well as why reading and watching the works of Shakespeare is the best love affair you’ll ever have. Ellen Geer joins us in our second hour.
The 2021 summer season of Theatricum Botanicum is under way right now and includes productions of two Shakespeare plays, Julius Caesar and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and a new play, The Last, Best Small Town by John Guerra, every weekend thru Sunday, Nov. 7. Under the Oaks, Theatricum’s annual Friday night salon series, runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 24 and includes Beau Bridges and his daughter, Emily Bridges, in a staged reading of their new play, Acting: The First Six Lessons; an evening of Beatles songs performed by the Theatricum players; and more. Seating for all performances will remain socially distanced, while masks will be required as recommended by the CDC and L.A. County on the day of each performance. See Theatricum.com for tickets and more information.
Our first hour will include a return appearance by Emmy Award winner Ron Bacon, one of the true pioneers of network television. Ron wore many hats in his thirty-five years in network TV production, including stage manager, associate director, writer, producer, and director on more than 12,500 broadcasts, covering just about every type of programming available, including the 1984 Summer Olympics (the event for which Ron won his Emmy) and many Academy Awards broadcasts. Ron will talk about how ABC came to acquire the rights to the Academy Awards in 1960 (and why that was such a coup for the network at the time). We’ll also talk about The Kite Song, a thirty-minute short film that Ron wrote, produced, filmed, and directed in 1967 that was avant-garde at the time he originally made it, and still holds up today. You can enjoy The Kite Song for free at RonBacon.net.
Also this week: In case you missed it, Sony Pictures Television announced last week that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards would officially succeed the late Alex Trebek as the new permanent host of the popular weekday show beginning in September. While Richards does have prior experience hosting game shows, the news left many people on social media scratching their heads. And while it’s not unusual for game show hosts to be executive producer of their own shows, there are also factors in Richards’ case that make this decision questionable. Our resident game show historian, Steve Beverly, will join us in our first hour to help us sort this out.
A professor emeritus of broadcast journalism at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, Steve was among the people who ran the popular Game Show Congress in Los Angeles every year throughout the 2000s. He also hosts Steve Beverly’s TV Classics, a weekly TCM-like festival of classic TV shows that streams every week at EPlusTV6.com.
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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