Turner Classic Movies has secured the rights to broadcast about 50 vintage interviews from The Tonight Show. Starting in the Summer of 2013, TCM will air the footage in a series of ten one-hour episodes, primarily prior to, or after, a feature starring the subject of the conversation. Recently, the cable network followed a similar format with enormous success in conjunction with television programming hosted by Dick Cavett.
The idea for Carson on TCM was the brainchild of Peter Jones, while producing Johnny Carson: King of Late Night for PBS, which went on to earn two Emmy nods for Best Documentary. With the original project, Carson Entertainment Group president Jeff Sotzing gave the filmmaker unrestricted access to the Carson archives, including all existing episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Jones obtained the rights to the material, and then he licensed the segments to TCM.
Among the highlights: Interviews with over a dozen Oscar winners, such as James Stewart, William Holden, Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Jack Lemmon, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlton Heston, George C. Scott, and Henry Fonda; and classic moments with Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire, Jack Benny, Truman Capote, Gene Kelly, Shelly Winters, George Burns, Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Ronald Reagan, Sean Connery, and Bob Hope.
Many of these particular interviews have not been seen since they first premiered. My pristine suggestion, for optimal effect… Tivo and watch them on any given weeknight at 11:30p.
Until next time> “never forget” JOHNNY CARSON