An Oral History of TV

(Above: Larry Wilmore)

The Interviews: An Oral History of Television includes a new talk with Larry Wilmore. We also remember Margot Kidder in Nichols.

The Archive of American Television, founded in 1997, didn’t actually archive TV programs during its 21-year-history. Perhaps that’s why the Archive has just changed its name to The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, more accurately reflecting its mission of chronicling TV history through interviews with the stars, showrunners and other players who made it happen.

Now housed at, the site — from the Television Academy Foundation — includes more than 4,000 hours of interviews with more than 800 people.

The latest is a talk with Larry Wilmore, who has been involved in the medium since the 1980s when he had a recurring role on NBC’s The Facts of Life. Since then, he’s created Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show, served as “senior black correspondent” on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, helmed The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, co-created HBO’s Insecure, and is currently an executive producer of ABC’s black-ish.

Here’s the first hour of the 3½-hour Wilmore interview:

The Television Academy Foundation, an arm of the group that gives out the Emmy Awards, said other footage to be added to the Oral History site this year will include interviews with director/producer Barry Levinson (Oz/The Wizard of Lies) and actors Jimmie Walker (Good Times), William Daniels (St. Elsewhere/Boy Meets World), John Astin (The Addams Family), Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) and Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat).

None of those seem to have been posted yet, so in honor of the late Margot Kidder who died this week at 69, here’s an Oral History talk with famed executive producer Meta Rosenberg which includes how she convinced a pre-Superman Kidder to co-star with James Garner in Nichols, a rarely shown 1971-1972 NBC western:

Ok, now that you’re curious, here’s a bonus clip from Nichols:


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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