Mr. Novak, plus Harlem School 1970: Next on TVC

We’ll welcome back author Chuck Harter on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Feb. 9-12 at the following times and venues:

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Chuck Harter will join us for Part 2 of our conversation about Mr. Novak, the landmark NBC series from the Golden Age of Television. Created and produced by E. Jack Neuman, and starring James Franciscus and Dean Jagger, Mr. Novak not only won acclaim for its realistic portrayal of high school life and the work of high school teachers, but was the first network TV drama to explore such topical issues as sex education, alcoholism, racial prejudice, computers in the classroom, and venereal disease. Chuck’s book Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series provides a detailed back story of the award-winning series, plus recollections from many actors who appeared on Novak, including Ed Asner, Martin Landau, Sherry Jackson, Beau Bridges, Tony Dow, Frankie Avalon and Walter Koenig.

Despite winning praise and awards from TV critics and educational groups throughout its first season on NBC, Mr. Novak underwent several changes heading into its second season, including two significant cast changes and a new producer. Many believe that these alterations hurt the series and ultimately led to its demise in 1965. We’ll talk about this, and more, when Chuck Harter joins us in our second hour.

Chuck Harter is asking for your help on his latest project. Chuck is collaborating with Martin Grams Jr. on a book about Way Out, the half-hour horror anthology series hosted by Roald Dahl that aired for fourteen weeks on CBS in 1961. If you remember watching Way Out, Chuck and Martin would love to hear from you, as it is their intention to interview viewers about their memories of the show for inclusion in their book. For more information, you can email Chuck at

Phil Gries will join us in our first hour to discuss the upcoming premiere of Harlem School 1970, an original documentary that is also the only known feature-length documentary that was filmed inside an actual inner city public elementary school in the U.S. during the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s. Filmed during the spring of 1970, and recently restored digitally, Harlem School 1970 provides an inside look at a typical day at Community School No. 30M in Harlem, New York where Phil taught for three years before embarking on his forty-seven-year career as an award-winning cinematographer for fil.... Filmed, produced and directed by Phil Gries, Harlem School 1970 is also an early example of “direct cinema,” in that it allows viewers to watch the narrative unfold and shape their own meaning without narration or outside interviews.

Harlem School 1970 will be shown at The Paley Center for Media both in New York City and Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 24 and Sunday, Feb. 25 as part of Black History Month. For more information, go to

If you happened to be a teacher or student at Community School No. 30M in Harlem, New York during the 1969-1970 school year (or know someone who is), Phil Gries would love to hear from you. You can contact Phil directly at (516) 656-3456 or email him at

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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