David Susskind and the Sitcom Class Wars: Next on TVC

Stephen Battaglio, business editor for the Los Angeles Times, and cultural historian Ray Starman will join us this weekend on an encore edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing April 27-30 at the following times and venues:

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Sunday 4/29
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Monday 4/30
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Monday 4/30
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Stephen Battaglio, business editor for the Los Angeles Times, will join us this week as we replay our conversation from April 2011 about David Susskind, the television impresario who took risks, broke rules and, in many ways, shaped television programming as we currently know it today. After beginning his career as a publicist and agent, and establishing his own agency, Talent Associates, Susskind went from behind the desk to behind the scenes, establishing himself as a producer of such live television productions as Armstrong Circle Theatre, where he battled network practices of blacklisting, exposed TV audiences to provocative subject matter and introduced such actors as Sir Laurence Olivier to American television. But it was his groundbreaking weekly talk show, Open End, that made Susskind a household name. Open End ran for twenty-five years and featured movers and shakers could speak their minds about a wide range of topics literally without restrictions.

Steve’s excellent biography David Susskind: A Televised Life not only covers every aspect of Susskind’s life and career, but in many ways serves as a capsule history of the first four decades of television. We’ll replay our conversation with Steve Battaglio in our first hour.

With the sudden interest in ABC’s reboot of Roseanne, its political and social consequences and relevance, and the portrayal of class political differences on network television today, our second hour will include a replay of our conversation from November 2016 with author, film and TV noir expert, and cultural historian Ray Starman. Ray’s book Sitcom Class Wars: The 20th Century examines the portrayals of class and status in sixty popular sitcoms from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including The Honeymooners, The Goldbergs, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, All in the Family, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Addams Family, The Odd Couple, Seinfeld, The King of Queens, and Roseanne, with a particular focus on the various status anxieties reflected in each show—and how those portrayals changed as the medium of television changed.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 10am ET, 7am PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
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