The Times Record from Troy, New York on July 2, 1960 · Page 36
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The Times Record from Troy, New York · Page 36

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Troy, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 2, 1960
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Page 36
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T 1 TV Keynotes e a a New Cowboy Show For TV By STEVEN H. SCHEUER Ernie Ford's summer replacement beginning Thursday, will be a western, because the sponsor likes westerns. Thij if called "The Wrangler" and stars Jason Evers, an actor who. has been working for 20 years but who has been overlooked, perhaps because he is not a method actor. The series is an experiment in that it is the first network weekly taped series using the greatly improved Marconi cameras. The idea of tape" is to get the feeling of a live show, and to show the greater qualities of depth that do not com* over on film. In shooting "The Wrangler," actor E v e r s can do a scene, then watch it being rerun immediately. If he makes a mistake, the footage can be e r a s e d , and he repeals the scene. According to the crewmen on the series, the production costs should be cheaper, but since everyone is new at the game, costs will be up for a while. The Marconi cameras, ten of which are owned by CBS in New York and four by Los Angeles station KTLA, were made in England,' and are so constructed as to be able to handle light differences with more ease than other cameras. Actor Evers says on location the crew has been shooting night shots at 7:00 p.m. on the on-coming dark and it has been very effective. The experiment with the cameras, the tape and Mr. Evers, is being conducted by former director for The Untouchables series, Paul Harrison, and successful western writer, Gene Rodderiberry. Feel Of T*« West Roddenberry is a collector of western lore and he wants the Wrangler to be a man without a gun to get away from the "fastest gun in town 1 ' situation, which is used on most of the shows. Gene hopes to show the feel of the west and -he would like to do stories on road gangs, mining towns, the bear and bull-pit fights, the cattle trail. "The Wrangler" is only going to run nine weeks, but this is what Roddcnbcrry wants on tape. In New York, aclor Jason Evers was known as Herbert Evers. lie has been called "the last aclor out of New York," coming to the West Coast only a few months ago. He bumped into an actor at a parly who lotd him to go sec producer Pan! Harrison. Evers did and got Ihc job. "Just luck," he said, shaking his head. "Then my name was changed to Jason. No one approved of Herb Evers. Why 1 don'l even know \vlio that fellow is now. I'm Jason from now on." Answered An Ad Jason says he has had a rough Viewing TV with Hal Humphrey Year Of Comedy Needs Laughs, Not Gimmicks Hollywood--Television programmers feel safer when they find i cycle to latch on to. They want to know in advance what year it's to be. For example, we have just come through The Year of the Specials. Before that we had The Year of the Westerns, or wa« if The Year of the Looists? Anyway, next fall we are headed for The Year of Situation Comedies--a sort of return engagement--and a fellow in Hollywood who operates a tape laugh machine for producing laugh tracks is already increasing his income tax estimate. GUNLESS--Jason Evers, wb» has the lead role !· the new Western series, "The Wrangler," is shown practicing fencing with his wife, Shirley Ballard. 2O years ai an actor. He first began by answering an ad in tie paper written by Ethel Barrymore asking for apprentice actors. He answered UK ad, was accepted, and went on tour with H i s s Barrymor*. sweeping stages, putting up sets, and saying three or four lines a night. The tour lasted a summer and winter and Ewrs estimates they played in every college from New York to Washington via Texas. Since then Evers has appeared on Omnibus, Studio One, Circle Theatre and been in seven flop comedies on Broadway. He starred in the 1944 production of "Janie," which wasn't a flop, .but Evers says he was just a kid and it didn't mean much. "Frankly, I've bad trouble getting readings in New York, because I never went to a studio to learn acting. If I had been smart I would have gone to class and not tried to buck the trend. But I was stubborn. I felt I was an instinctive actor and I had studied hard and I wasn't going through the school routine. "Also my face ha* been against me," s a i d E v e r s . There's no character in your face,'. I've been told. I've had to wait for wrinkles." TV Key MaUbag Q--Can you tell me what became of Ruth fitting, who was on radio years ago? Is she living?--Edwin Klage, Calument City, 111. A--Miss Etting is currently living in retirement in Florida. Too bad you didn't cateh the 1955 film, "Love Me Or Leave Me," with Doris Day and James Cagncy. It was a pretty faithful biography of the singer. Q--Recently on television I saw the movie "Miracle of the Bells" in which Valli appeared. Do you have any information on her?--M.A.R., Washington, D.C. A--Italian actress Alida Valli was born in Pola, Italy, on May 31, 1920. She was educated in dramatics at the Motion Picture Academy in Rome, and entered Italian movies in Ihe early 40s. David O. Selinick brought her to Hollywood in 1947 and introduced her a "Valli" in his "The OGETHER-FUN TOGETHER FOR RESERVATIONS TICKETS MANCINI TRAVEL AGENCY 159 FOURTH ST., TROY, NEW YORK ASklcy 4-4350 ALBANY 624117 Paradine Case." Her beauty impressed everyone, but her next film, "Miracle of the Bells," was a colossal artistic and box office flop. Valli then returned to Europe, where she was and is a top star. She has made several English language movies filmed abroad, of which the best was the classic "Third Man." The actress is married to pianist-composer Oscar dc Mejo. Q--Isn't Robert Lansing, who played the title role in "The 4-D Man," the same actor who played Edward Stevens in "Burning Court" on thet "Dow Great Hour of Mysteries" recently?--L. S., Houston, Tex. A--Yes. Lansing, a veteran of Broadway and TV, played in the scci-fi epic and the Dow thriller. Incidentally, he created the role of the compassionate psychiatrist in the original off-Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer," a role played in the film by .Montgomery Clift. Q--How old is Lloyil Bridges? Is he married? \S'herc can 1 write to him?--J. L., Patcrson, N. J. A--Lloyd is 47, though you'd never guess il from his boyish looks, lie's bepn happily married lo his college sweetheart for almost 20 years. You can write him at Ziv Studios, 8324 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. {For an answer to your question about any TV program ·r actor write le TV KEY MAn.BAG, e/» The Tr»y Rewd.) There is no particular reason for choosing 1960-61 as Situation Comedy Year, except that comedies haven't glutted the market for a time. Ako, producers asked themselves what else they could turn into a cycle? It's too soon for a revival of quiz shows. Sponsors weren't too happy with most of the current season's "Specials." The ratings weren't high enough to justify the costs. As for Westerns, they're still soaking up about 21 per cent of nighttime network TV, so it's always The Year of the Westerns. Some "oaters" are dropping off the TV vine, but others are sprouting in their place. Loaded With Gimmicks Now, what kind of situation comedies are we going to have? From the look of it, they are going to be filled with gimmicks. In one of the new entries, Tom Ewell is the harassed father of three daughters. In another, Fred MacMurray is the harassed widowed father of three sons. Tab Hunter apparently is being groomed to take over the spot vacated by Bob Cummings. His new series has him playing the bon vivant bachelor with a Malibu Beach home and matching blondes. Mary Healy and Peter IJnd Hayes are a show business couple with a house in suburbia, and Joanne Dru nins a dude ranch in New Mexico. Maybe these new situation comedies all will turn out to be hilarious vignettes of life at its funniest and heartwarmest, but there always is the danger that the laughs will get lost in the maze of gimmicks and cliche situations. Robert Bassing, who has written some good things for TV the past four or five years, came up with an idea for a situation comedy based on a pair of young newlywcds and their struggles to establish a home while both work. No Takers He has been trying for a year to sell "The First Hundred Years," as he has titled his comedy, but despite the fact we're coming into The Year of Situation Comedies, Bassing is slill without a taker. "The strange thing about it is lhat everyone who reads my pilot script says it is great," Bassing reports. "At CBS, I was told that all it needed was a gimmick. I tried to explain that I considered a young married couple, both working, was gimmick enough, but I was voted down." Last fall Bassing got a call from Martin Manulis, who then headed up 20th Century-Fox's TV division. Manulis liked it, too, but thought it should "be 'more commercial." "These producers seem almost afraid to try selling something that they themselves like," Bassing says. "If an idea doesn't have what they call 'sales Bash,' or a big-name star or some iden- tifiable cliche, they say it can't be sold. And they always blame it on the guy who would have to buy it, IF they submitted it." Bassing says it would have been an easy matter for him to rewrite his comedy and have his couple punching but joke lines instead of having the humor spring from their situations. "I may have to come up with that kind of a comedy so that I can eat, but I'm not going to change this one. Someday I may find a producer who has the courage to back up his own conviction about it," says Bassing, hopefully. Big Vaudeville Tour Planned New York (AP)--Efforts are being pushed to bring bigtime vaudeville back to Broadway. Included in the plan is a vaudeville circuit which would lure the stars to New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Los Angd.es, San Francisco, and other cities. Joey Adams, president of the American Guild of Variety Artists, says he already has signed for such a tour stars like Donald O'Connor, Pearl Bailey arid the Ritz Brothers. Now he is trying to interest Sophie Tuck, Eddie Cantor, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Ted Lewis and Bobby Darin. Now you ran a«t VITAMIN PROTECTION 1 for your whole family on EASY MONTHLY PAYMENTS DEXAll t America's largest Seffifaa; Vitamin- Mineral Prothxt II VITAMINS pin 12 MINERALS Budget ihe cost of a FAMILYS SUPPLY into 12 small payments »t NO INCREASE IN PRICE IS!..*' TIMES REXAli DWJ6S Cor. of i'Way I Third St*. AS 6-7741

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