May 19, 2022

The Television Academy Foundation Launches New Portal For “The Interviews: An Oral History of Television”

From The TVA:

2018-05-19_11-29-05The Television Academy Foundation has launched its new website for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, featuring never-before-seen interviews with many of television’s most beloved stars, show creators and behind-the-scenes innovators.

It is the world’s largest such collection available online.

For more than 20 years the Foundation has been recording and preserving the first- person stories of television’s creation and its evolution, amassing the largest oral history archive on the medium, and since 2008, making it available online.

The Collection

That website has been redesigned, updated and expanded, housing a curated and fully searchable, cross-referenced online archive of over 4,000 hours of uncensored interviews with icons from television’s earliest days to current stars and visionaries. It’s an unmatched collection of in-depth conversations with industry professionals from many disciplines and in all genres in television, who speak candidly, at times comically, and always perceptively, about their careers and experiences.

Visitors to the site can screen thousands of clips from the personal stories of TV’s greatest luminaries: Walter Cronkite shares the emotional challenge of reporting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols reveals that Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged her to continue her role as one of television’s most prominent African-American characters; Late Show with David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer divulges he was the first star approached to play George Costanza in Seinfeld; Rita Moreno reflects on the stereotypical roles available for Hispanic actors in the 1950s; and, then-NBC journalist Linda Ellerbee notes that no dress code existed for female reporters on Capitol Hill in the 1970s since no one expected women to hold those positions.


The new site premieres with a number of newly-produced and catalogued interviews, including a conversation with Emmy Award winner Larry Wilmore (black-ish/The Bernie Mac Show).

Additional new 2018 interviews include: Saturday Night Live’s production design team and director Don Roy King, Bonnie Bartlett (St. Elsewhere/Home Improvement/Once and Again), director/producer Barry Levinson (OZ/The Wizard of Lies), Jimmie Walker (Good Times), William Daniels (St. Elsewhere/Boy Meets World), John Astin (The Addams Family), Louise Lasser (Girls/Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) and Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat/Get Smart).

Direct to The Interviews: An Oral History of Television

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.