We’ll play Part 2 of our conversation with actress and filmmaker Alison Mills Newman, plus we’ll welcome television writer, producer, and director Joseph Wallenstein on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing June 11-13 at the following times and venues:
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Just about every police drama on television over the past five decades has included a scene in which the police make an arrest and read the suspect their Miranda rights: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time.
If you’ve ever wondered who Miranda was—or, for that matter, how the historic Supreme Court case that led to the Miranda rights came to shape the U.S. Criminal Code today—you’ll definitely want to tune in this week as we welcome producer, director, and author Joseph Wallenstein. Joe has worked behind the scenes in many production capacities on such films as The Godfather, The Paper Chase, Paper Lion, and American Hot Wax, plus he has produced such popular TV series as Hotel, Seventh Heaven, and Knots Landing. He is also director of production at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he also oversees and administers all aspects of filming by the more than 700 students who make films there every year.
Joe’s latest book, Flynn and Miranda: Your Right to Remain Silent, is a historical novel that not only tells the back story of the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Miranda v. Arizona from June 1966, but puts a human race on the people involved—particularly, John Flynn, the real-life defense lawyer from Phoenix, Arizona whom American Heritage once recognized as one of the ten most significant agents of change since 1954 that few, if any, people have ever even heard of. Flynn not only argued the Miranda case before the U.S. Supreme Court at great personal cost, but in so doing created a legal precedent—the right to fairness—that changed the lives of all Americans. Flynn and Miranda also includes the original petition to the U.S. Supreme Court filed by Flynn in July 1965, plus the transcript of a detailed interview that John Flynn gave to Joe in September 1979 (just a few months before Flynn died). June 13, 2021 marks the 55th anniversary of the Miranda decision.
We’ll ask Joe what first drove his interest in the Miranda case, plus he’ll share a few stories about his career in television (including working with Julie Harris and Michael Filerman on Knots Landing). Joseph Wallenstein will join us in our second hour.
This week’s show will also include Part 2 of a conversation that began last week with actress, author, songwriter, composer, filmmaker, and reverend Alison Mills Newman. After performing on stage as a teenager with the American Theater of Being, one of the first L.A.-based showcases for African-American actors, Alison made her network television debut in 1965 on an episode of Mr. Novak. That opened the door to other opportunities on TV, including regular roles on the groundbreaking NBC series Julia starring Diahann Carroll and the CBS variety series The Leslie Uggams Show, before she sojourned east in the early 1970s to continue her career on the stage and develop her craft as a musician. That led Alison to perform with legendary jazz saxophonist of Ornette Coleman and, eventually, a record deal with Herb Alpert and A&M Records.
We’ll talk to Alison about her journey in music and television (including the eight-minute short Spirit Song, which features some of her original music), as well as the spiritual awakening that changed her life. We’ll also ask about the latest developments with The Tree Widow, a series of faith-based films that Alison wrote, produced and directed about a charismatic woman who helps young women make better choices in their lives. Alison Mills Newman will join us in our first hour.
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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