January 29, 2004

The Museum of Television & Radio Announces the Twenty-first Annual William S. Paley Television Festival March 3-16, 2004

Los Angeles, CA—The Museum of Television & Radio will present the twenty-first annual William S. Paley Television Festival from March 3 through March 16, 2004. The Paley Festival, named for William S. Paley, founder of both the Museum and CBS, salutes television's rich and diverse programming, offering the public an appreciation of the medium's commitment to quality. Kicking off this year's Festival, Jennifer Garner and Keri Russell will join J. J. Abrams in a discussion exploring the teamwork between creators and actors in the shaping of memorable characters. The Paley Festival will also feature four of this television season's newest shows: Arrested Development, Carnivàle, Joan of Arcadia, and The O.C. In addition, the Festival will examine the diversity of television drama with Smallville and The Wire, and look into the do-it-yourself homemaking phenomenon with the popular home decorating show Trading Spaces. The Festival will also present special evenings with three beloved members of the television community: Angela Lansbury, William Shatner, and Sherwood Schwartz. All Paley Festival events will be held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. 

During these evenings, the audience views episodes or highlights of the featured work and has the opportunity to ask questions of the cast and creative teams or the individual involved in its production.  Since the first Festival in 1984, the Museum has honored more than 200 programs, including 24, Alias, Cheers, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Friends, Gunsmoke, The Honeymooners, Laugh-In, Marty, M*A*S*H, Roots, Route 66, Sábado Gigante, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Six Feet Under, South Park, thirtysomething, The Untouchables, The West Wing, and The X-Files, along with such personalities as Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jim Henson, Bob Hope, Jane Fonda, John Frankenheimer, Jack Lemmon, Mary Martin, Carl Reiner, Gene Roddenberry, Garry Shandling, Flip Wilson, Jonathan Winters, and many more.  Most of these panels have been recorded and are available for viewing at the Museum.                      

The 2004 William S. Paley Television Festival schedule is as follows: 

CREATING CHARACTERS: J. J. Abrams and "Sydney Bristow" & "Felicity Porter"

Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. 

What do a neurotic New York coed and a sizzling CIA spook have in common? Aside from being young women who came of age under different circumstances, both sprang from the mind of writer/producer J. J. Abrams, who joins the stars of Felicity and Alias for a discussion of how he created—and they enacted—these memorable characters. In Person:

J. J. Abrams (Creator/Executive Producer of Alias and Felicity), Jennifer Garner ("Sydney Bristow"), Keri Russell ("Felicity Porter").  


Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m.

By blending the how-to genre (neighbors have forty-eight hours to redecorate a room in each other's home) with inspired casting (ordinary folks teamed with artistically minded designers) and doses of nail-biting drama (will they still be neighbors when it's all over?), this series has become a home-improvement phenomenon. In Person: Susan Cohen-Dickler (Executive Producer and Chairman, Banyan Productions), Kathy Davidov (Executive Producer, TLC), Paige Davis (Host), Ray Murray (Executive Producer and President, Banyan Productions), Carter Oosterhouse (Carpenter), Doug Wilson (Designer).  


Friday, March 5, at 7:00 p.m.

As the astute heroine of the long-running whodunit Murder, She Wrote, Angela Lansbury drew upon an impressive and much-lauded body of work in motion pictures (The Manchurian Candidate), theater (Sweeney Todd), and of course television (Climax!, Playhouse 90) to create a role that not only challenged but redefined Hollywood's perception of mature leading ladies. In Person: Angela Lansbury.  


Saturday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Sprung from the old adage that "God works in mysterious ways," this family drama about self-actualization and the ambiguity of faith follows an ordinary, not particularly religious teenage girl whose coming-of-age becomes a lot more complicated when she begins receiving divine directives—delivered in the form of cute classmates and sassy cafeteria workers—from God. In Person: Barbara Hall (Creator/Executive Producer), Joe Mantegna ("Will Girardi"), Jason Ritter ("Kevin Girardi"), Mary Steenburgen ("Helen Girardi"), Amber Tamblyn ("Joan Girardi"), Michael Welch ("Luke Girardi").  


Tuesday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m.

This nighttime soap has emerged as the season's most addictive guilty pleasure by transporting us to the McMansion-laden environs of Orange County—then transcending its genre roots with a nuanced narrative in which the secret lives of kids born to the manor mirror the secret and often more salacious lives of their boomer parents. In Person: Mischa Barton ("Marissa Cooper"), Rachel Bilson ("Summer"), Adam Brody ("Seth Cohen"), Chris Carmack ("Luke"), Melinda Clarke ("Julie Cooper"), Bob DeLaurentis (Executive Producer), Tate Donovan, ("Jimmy Cooper"), Peter Gallagher ("Sandy Cohen"), Allan Heinberg (CoExecutive Producer), McG (Executive Producer), Benjamin McKenzie ("Ryan Atwood"), Kelly Rowan ("Kirsten Cooper"), Stephanie Savage (Supervising Producer), Josh Schwartz (Creator/Executive Producer).  


Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. 

In a fifty-year journey—from character actor (Studio One, Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone) to leading man (Star Trek, T.J. Hooker) to sci-fi auteur (TekWar) to pop cultural icon (3rd Rock From the Sun, those wacky ads)—that neatly parallels the history of the medium, William Shatner has proven himself to be one of the most popular and endearing forces in television. In Person: William Shatner.  


Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. 

Deftly merging the grammar of reality television with Soap-like shenanigans and a biting critique of the lifestyles of the rich and demented, this droll and daring verité-comedy stars Jason Bateman as the newly anointed anchor of a wacky clan whose sudden loss of fortune exposes them to the real world. In Person: Will Arnett ("Gob Bluth"), Jason Bateman ("Michael Bluth"), Michael Cera ("George Michael Bluth"), Portia de Rossi ("Lindsey Bluth"), Tony Hale ("Buster Bluth"), Mitchell Hurwitz (Creator/Executive Producer), David Nevins (Executive Producer), Alia Shawkat ("Maeby Funke"), Jeffrey Tambor ("George Bluth, Sr."), Jessica Walter ("Lucille Bluth").  


Friday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. 

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale of how Sherwood Schwartz not only created two of Gen-X's most beloved and, in some circles, socially insightful sitcoms in television history but also penned their snappy, exposition-outlining theme songs. In Person: Ann B. Davis ("Alice Nelson"), Christopher Knight ("Peter Brady"), Les Martinson (Director), John Rich (Director), Lloyd Schwartz (Producer/Director/Writer), Sherwood Schwartz (Creator/Executive Producer/Writer), Mel Shavelson, (Director/Producer), Dawn Wells ("Mary Ann Summers").  


Saturday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. 

With novelistic sweep and a topsy-turvy approach to the conventions of hero and villain, this noir serial about Baltimore police, the criminals they target, and the establishment they battle celebrates the ability of the human spirit to triumph in a corrupt and unyielding universe. In Person: Ed Burns (Writer/Story Editor), Robert Colesbury (Executive Producer), Wood Harris ("Avon Barksdale"), Wendell Pierce ("Homicide Detective William ‘Buck' Moreland"), Lance Reddick ("Lieutenant Cedric Daniels"), David Simon (Creator/Executive Producer/Writer), Sonja Sohn ("Narcotics Detective Shakima Greggs").


Monday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. 

Sprung forth from the Superman mythos of comic book yore, this cult fave from the WB imagines Clark Kent as a deeply conflicted teenager grappling with high school, heartache, and a destiny that will one day involve leaping tall buildings in a single bound. In Person: Mat Beck (Visual Effects Producer), Greg Beeman (Executive Producer), Ken Biller (Coexecutive Producer), Joe Davola (Executive Producer), Al Gough (Executive Producer), Ken Horton (Executive Producer), Jeph Loeb (Consulting Producer), Miles Millar (Executive Producer), Mark Snow (Composer), Mark Verheiden (Coexecutive Producer), Tom Welling ("Clark Kent"). Additional cast members to be announced. 


Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. 

Part John Steinbeck, part David Lynch, Carnivàle is a moody, metaphysical journey through Dust Bowl America during the 1930s. Amid the swirling sandstorms and sideshow intrigue, creator Daniel Knauf envisions an apocalyptic struggle between the forces of good and evil. In Person: Michael J. Anderson ("Samson"), Adrienne Barbeau ("Ruthie"), Clancy Brown ("Brother Justin Crowe"), Tim DeKay ("Clayton Jones"), Clea DuVall ("Sofie"), Howard Klein (Executive Producer), Daniel Knauf (Creator/Executive Producer), Amy Madigan ("Iris Crowe"), Nick Stahl ("Ben Hawkins"), Carolyn Strauss (Executive Vice President, Original Programming, Series Specials, Late-Night Programming, Miniseries, HBO).  


Tickets will go on sale to Museum Members on Saturday, February 7, 2004. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning Friday, February 13, 2004. Ticket prices are $17 per event for individual Museum Members and $20 per event for the general public ($17 for senior citizens and students with valid ID). Museum Membership may be purchased with Paley Festival tickets at the Museum or by calling TicketWeb toll-free at (866) 468-3399. 

Tickets can be purchased as follows: 

  • At The Museum of Television & Radio, 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills (corner of North Beverly Drive and Little Santa Monica)
  •             •February 7 to February 12: Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (For Museum Members only)

            •From February 13 to February 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.           

 ·By Telephone or Internet (subject to service charges)

  • Call TicketWeb toll-free at (866) 468-3399 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on February 7 for Members and at 9:00 a.m. February 13 for the general public, Mondays through Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or visit             
  • At the Directors Guild of America, DGA Theatre Complex at 7920 Sunset Boulevard (one block west of Fairfax)
  • Tickets for all events are available at the DGA, only on Festival evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  

Please note: There is a four-ticket limit per person, per event. All seating is general admission; seats cannot be reserved.  For sold-out evenings, tickets may become available at the Directors Guild ticket table five minutes prior to starting time.  There are no refunds or exchanges.  Events and participants are subject to change.  


Information about the Paley Festival is available through the recorded Festival hotline: (310) 786-1010. 


The Museum thanks American Airlines, Budget Rent a Car, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, and Panasonic for their generous support of this year's Paley Festival.   

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. In 2001 the Museum initiated a process to acquire Internet programming for the collection. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.

The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m., until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is free in Los Angeles. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000 or in New York at (212) 621-6800. Visit the Museum's website at


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Terry Lynn Ebright in Los Angeles