Independent Press-Telegram from Long Beach, California on July 16, 1961 · Page 98
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Independent Press-Telegram from Long Beach, California · Page 98

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 16, 1961
Page 98
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Taste and Taboos May Slow Start of International TV By DICK KLEINER NEW YORK (NEA)--Inter- ' national television is a hot item. Communications satellites and other technical developments have made it a distinct possibility for the near future; all networks are including it in their future plans. But one clear voice is raised in warning. It belongs to Stockton Helffrich, director of the New York Code Office of the National Association of Broadcasters. Helffrich was formerly director of continuity acceptance f o r NBC, the network's watchdog of good taste. And it is good taste which constitutes his concern now. Helfrich feels that inter- national TV. . although possible, will be difficult because of the varying national taboos and standards of good taste. "Our ideas are not universal," he says. "For example, when 'Bonanza' is sold overseas, English stations cut it severely. It is too violent for English taste. And "Bonanza 1 is not acceptable at all in Mexico for the same reasons." * * * * SIMILARLY, what's OK in some countries might not fall within our feelings of acceptable fare. Japan has a popular burlesque program, 'The Pink Mood Show," with strippers in action. Obviously, that's out here. Helffrich's interest in international taboos is occasioned by his being in charge of a panel discussion "Taste and Taboos" during the first international Asembly of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This first major worldwide gathering of TV executives will be held next November here. He says there are many areas where one country may find the TV programs of another country unacceptable. Sex -- especially the amount of female skin which may be shown--is one. Others are race relations, violence, divorce, birth control, politics. * * * * HELFFRICH doesn't feel CONTESTMANSHIP ON TV Quiz Shows Angle for Types By BERNARD GAVZER NF.VV YORK UP)--Critics may deplore and sociologists analyze TV's quiz and game shows, but most fans have only one question when they visit the TV capitals of New York and Hollywood: How do you get on a show? Here's the answer: The field is wide open. There are 20 game-quiz type shows. Some are strictly variations of games played in parlors in olden days before TV--and you can win prizes even if you haven't enough talent to tie your shoelaces ("video village"). Sofhe arc pseudo-cerebral, requiring a degree of brainwork ("concentration"). And others seem to be designed for hardluck characters who would break a tooth biting whipped cream ("Queen for a Day") or who have strange and bizarre occupations or claims to fame ("What's My Line?", 'The Groucho Show"). * * * * SINCE THE great scandal, o p e r a t o r s of games and quizzes have been extremely sensitive. In a way, this has worked to the advantage of dreamers who want to win their way to riches and glory. To show that everything is on the up-and-up. and that no amount of pull can get you on, most of the shows insist on picking contestants from the audience. This is true, for instance, of 'The Price Is Right," biggest quiz in popularity and prizes. NBC gets requests for 60,000 tickets each month fo r the daily daytime telecast and the night show, hosted by amiable Bill Cullen. Ticket holders are given cards to fill out when entering the studio. While the show is on staff members cull the cards for likely candidates. Home town, birthplace and occupation have some- WHILE GETTING a shine, student Joseph Lifshitz, po- tentinl quiz show contestant, is interviewed by Coralie Bernstein, member of the morning quiz show, "Camouflage," staff. Quiz show staff members roam city streets looking for types wanted. thing to do with choice since the producer likes to gel variety in background. The prizes on the nighttime show have total price tags ranging from $16,000 to $23,000, That's one reason why so many people try to get on it. * .* * * IN SHOWS like "What's My Line?" and 'To Tell the Truth," being in the audience has nothing to do with getting on. The non-panelists are ferreted out by staff p'eople. Publicity men get into the picture by trying to get clients on such shows, not for the prizes but for the pub- .licity. Staff workers on shows like "Camouflage" and "Play Your Hunch" do a lot of random searching beside selecting from the audience, figuring they can find suitable people in any crowd. The kind of people sought vary according to the general pattern of the show. You wouldn't be likely to see one of Jack Bailey's "Queen for a Day" potentials trying to exchange patter with Hugh Downs on "Concentration." "Queen" c o n t e s t a n t s are picked from the audience. They fill in cards staling their big wish and telling something a b o u t themselves. About 21 are selected for quick interviews, and then (Continued on Page 4) UNLIKELY IMPORT: Tokyo's Pink Mood TV Show these problems are insurmountable. He thinks that at first each nation will have to control televised imports to some extent, but that eventually free exchange of TV programs can have a healthy effect on the world. He draws a comparison between international television and national television in this country. "TV had a lot to do with breaking down racial barriers here," he says. "Arthur Godfrey's mixed quartet, T h e M a r i n e r s , showed some people for the first time that there were places where the two races mixed on equal footing. At NBC, we gradually slipped Negroes into dramatic shows --we had them working side by side with white people in newspaper offices, police stations and hospitals, for example. * T * "I'M SURE that, over a period of years, this had a great deal to do with breaking down some barriers. People who never thought of it before saw Negroes working as equals, and they couldn't help but be affected by what they saw. 'The sanie thing can be done on an international basis. Over a period of time, many of these differences in taste and taboos can be broken down by television. "I'm an optimist about it. I'm an optimist in general-if you're not an optimist, there's no point in going on." In the immediate future, however, international television has problems. The technical matters are almost licked. But the cultural differences will be around for a while. SUNIANO GA30944 ILIIllNIIIIIIIIIIIilKlllillllllllllllllllllillHEllillllllllllllllilllllllllllllllii i LOWEST I PRICE IN :«19" SCREEN : · POWER TRANSFORMER · · BUILT-IN ANTENNA : · HAND-WIRED CHASSIS We will not knowingly be undersold IF.M. THOMAS 1639 E. Artesla.'%'S^Vtt'GA 3-5421, NE 6-4728 STORE HOURS: I «.«.-· l.m. Hi*,, Tkin., III. 9 I.H.-S p.«. T I'M., til. CLOSED SUNDAY i

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