We will welcome actress and filmmaker Alison Mills Newman and authors Mark Dawidziak and Chuck Harter, plus Geoff Littlefield will join us for Part 2 of our centennial tribute to Nelson Riddle. All this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing June 4-6 at the following times and venues:
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A professional actress since when she was a young girl, Alison Mills Newman performed on stage as a teenager with the American Theater of Being, one of the first prominent L.A.-based stage companies to showcase African-American actors. That paved the way for Alison’s network TV debut in 1965—a well received appearance, opposite James Franciscus and Lois Nettleton, on Mr. Novak that opened the door to other opportunities in television, including regular roles on the groundbreaking NBC series Julia starring Diahann Carroll and the CBS variety series The Leslie Uggams Show.
Always an independent spirit, with a desire to create and perform work that had substance and meaning, Alison left Hollywood for New York in the mid 1970s to continue her career on the stage. Along the way she wrote an autobiographical novel, Francisco, that was critically acclaimed and received endorsements from the likes of Toni Morrison, plus she appeared in many independent films produced by her husband, Francisco Newman.
Now an ordained minister, Alison also writes, produces, and directs faith-based films, including The Tree Widow, a series of films about a charismatic woman who helps young people (and, particularly, young women) make better choices in their lives. We’ll talk about the Tree Widow series, as well as her early career, when Alison Mills Newman joins us in our second hour. Chuck Harter, who arranged Alison’s appearance this week, will co-host.
Also this week: Geoff Littlefield will join us for Part 2 of our celebration of the centennial birthday of Nelson Riddle, the Oscar-winning and Grammy Award-winning arranger and composer who not only was one of the chef architects of the Great American Songbook, but contributed to the soundtrack of our film and TV lives, including the themes to such popular shows as Route 66 and The Untouchables. This week, we’ll focus on Riddle’s collaborations in the early 1980s with Linda Ronstadt—a platinum-selling trilogy of albums of American pop standing standards that, in many respects, was the coda of Riddle’s illustrious career. We’ll also talk about Riddle’s collaborations with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and more when Geoff Littlefield joins us in our second hour.
Geoff’s latest book, Nelson Riddle: Music with a Heartbeat, was written with the consent of the Nelson Riddle estate and includes first-hand accounts from three of Riddle’s children, including Christopher Riddle (current leader of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and the only Riddle offspring to become a professional musician), Rosemary Acerra, and Nelson Riddle III; a detailed discography; never before published photographs; and more.
Our first hour will include an expanded edition of This Week in TV History that will take a detailed look at the career of Norman Lloyd, the legendary actor, producer, and director whose career not only spanned the history of 20th century entertainment, but encompassed the world of movies, television, radio, stage, and streaming. Norman Lloyd passed away Tuesday, May 11 at age 106.
Joining Tony, Donna, and me for this segment will be Mark Dawidziak, longtime TV critic for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and author of many books on American pop culture, including Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from The Twilight Zone, The Shawshank Redemption Revealed, and The Columbo Phile. Mark interviewed Norman Lloyd on two occasions. We’ll not only discuss Lloyd’s collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and John Houseman (as well as his performance as Dr. Auschlander on St. Elsewhere), but show how, in many respects, the sum of Lloyd’s career is much greater than its parts.
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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