A Window Into 1960s Television: Scripts Open For Research

The finding aid for the Ivan Goff collection of television scripts is now available on the Online Archive of California!  The Online Archive of California (OAC) is part of the California Digital Library and is a great tool for starting a research project.  The OAC allows access to finding aids (detailed descriptions of collections of primary resource materials) from over 200 institutions in California, including museums, libraries, historical societies, the University of California system’s libraries and archives, and others.

Jessica Geiser, the graduate student assistant for the NHPRC project, processed the materials earlier in the year and the collection is now open and available for research.  Here is what Jessica had to say about the collection:

Ivan Goff was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who authored a number of successful movies from 1949 to 1960 with his writing partner, Ben Roberts.  Goff and Roberts also wrote and produced several popular series for television in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection contains scripts and production notes from three television series in which Goff was involved as a writer or producer: Mannix, Nero Wolfe, and The Rogues.

Mannix was a Golden Globe-winning detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS, and starred Mike Connors as the Los Angeles private investigator Joe Mannix. While Mannix was considered extremely violent for its time, it also is known as one of the most popular detective series of all time.

Nero Wolfe was another detective series, based on a Sherlock Holmes-type character created by American mystery writer Rex Stout.  The show ran for one season in 1981 on NBC, and starred William Conrad as the genius, but sedentary detective Nero Wolfe.

The Rogues was a television series about a trio of former con men who, while no longer in the business, could be persuaded to use their skills to take down an immoral mark.  The series, a Golden Globe-winner, ran for one season from 1964 to 1965 on NBC, and starred David Niven, Charles Boyer, and Gig Young.

The collection is a great resource not only for those interested in these particular series, but also for anyone interested in television production in general. Most of the scripts in the collection include various production notes, which shed light on many aspects of producing a network television show, including scheduling, casting, and network interference.

Another collection for those with similar research interests is the Stanley M. Kallis scripts, also recently processed and available on the OAC.  The collection has scripts from two television shows: The Dick Powell Show and Royal Bay.

These items are available to view by visiting Special Collections and University Archives in Payson Library, and anyone may browse more detailed inventories of available scripts in person.  For more information about the collection, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

A script page from the Mannix episode, “Harvest of Death,” which was the tenth episode of the sixth season, airing November 19, 1972.

Network Program Practices notes for “Harvest of Death,” detailing the changes that the network wanted made on this particular episode.  The last note on the page is actually for the scene depicted in the script page shown above!

A Window Into 1960s Television: Scripts Open For Research
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