With Television: Out of the Box, Paley visitors will get an inside look at the creation and execution of some of the most memorable and successful programs in the history of the medium, from the founding of Warner Bros. Television in 1955 and its earliest beginnings with series such as ABC’s Cheyenne, Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip to iconic programs from the 1970s and ’80s, such as CBS’s Dallas and The Waltons, and ABC’s legendary Roots. The exhibit — which features an accessible layout and interactive displays throughout — continues on with NBC’s Emmy® winners ER, The West Wing and Friends, CBS’s Murphy Brown and through to the present day with current series including CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, TNT’s The Closer and The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, providing a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most memorable programming in the television industry. The exhibit will include props, sets from Friends and Seinfeld, clips, artifacts and interactive elements such as a walk-in animation cel where visitors can interact with their favorite animated characters.
This exhibit represents the first time a major studio has teamed with the Paley Center to provide an interactive experience for television viewers. The Paley Center for Media, founded in New York in 1975 and established in Beverly Hills in 1996, is home to one of the world’s foremost publically accessible media archives, housing over 150,000 programs spanning the history of television, radio and new media. Throughout the year, the center illuminates the holdings preserved within its archive by hosting exclusive panel conversations and Q&A sessions with the casts and creative teams behind both current and classic programs, including Glee and True Blood, and media icons ranging from Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart to Jimmy Fallon and George Lucas. These events continue the Paley Center’s mandate to lead the discussion about the cultural, creative and social significance of television, radio and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public.
Visitors have the chance to see the alien head from V up close, Tony Soprano’s robe, and even Daisy Duke’s actual “Daisy Dukes. With Television: Out of the Box, patrons can view these and other out-of-this-world costumes from series like Babylon 5 and Smallville, see classic Hanna-Barbera toys from the 1950s and ’60s, and read suggestions on the Roots script from author Alex Haley to producer Stan Margulies. Fans looking for a more interactive experience can have their photo taken in a “walk-in cel,” where they can be photographed with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, or in front of a replica of the Central Perk set from Friends or an iconic Monk’s Diner booth from Seinfeld.
“Television has played an important role in American popular culture over the last six decades and Warner Bros. is an important part of TV’s history,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros., who began his career at the Studio some 40 years ago in the television department. “I’m grateful to our partners at the Paley for providing the perfect environment for such an incredible exhibit. With all the memorable series represented here, everyone who loves television will be delighted, whether they’re already fans of these shows or discovering them for the first time.”
“Television: Out of the Box presents a major step for the Paley Center as it will bring a unique and unprecedented multimedia experience to the global community of media consumers,” said Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media. “The exhibit demonstrates our mission to celebrate and preserve television’s best while also illustrating the importance of media in all of our lives. Warner Bros., as one of television’s most successful and prolific studios, is an ideal partner for us to collaborate with in this exciting new venture.”
Highlights of Television: Out of the Box include:
- A major installation on three of the Studio’s longest-running hit series: the game-changing drama ER, which ran for 15 seasons and more than 300 episodes, finishing as the most-nominated primetime series in Emmy® history and winning for Outstanding Drama Series in 1996; the blockbuster comedy Friends, which ran for 10 seasons and won the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy® in 2002; and Smallville, which ran for 10 seasons and 218 episodes, concluding on The CW in May 2011 as the longest-running comic book–based series in TV history and the longest consecutive-running sci-fi show in TV history.
- A tribute to comedy hit maker Chuck Lorre, the first producer in nearly 20 years to have three live-action comedy series on the air at the same time. His current hit shows The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and Two and a Half Men dominate the primetime TV landscape and are all featured within a Lorre-wood section of Television: Out of the Box.
- A look back at the history-making drama The West Wing, winner of the Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series in each of its first four seasons and winner of 26 Emmys® overall, tied for the most wins of any primetime drama.
- The Theme Song Theater, where visitors can watch clips from and sing along to memorable opening tunes from iconic series, including Friends; The Dukes of Hazzard; Welcome Back, Kotter; Gilligan’s Island and more.
- A booth from the iconic Monk’s Diner set of the long-running hit sitcom Seinfeld, as well as a recreation of the Central Perk coffee shop set from Friends.
- An exhibit recognizing the indelible mark on the television landscape made by Warner Bros.’ Time Warner sister company HBO, with some of the most compelling and honored programming of the past 20 years: HBO titles featured in Television: Out of the Box include the landmark drama The Sopranos; the epic, award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers; hit comedy Entourage; current hit True Blood; and critically acclaimed dramas The Wire and Deadwood.
- Lorimar Television was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1989 and is represented in the exhibit by a number of iconic series ranging from the original Dallas to Full House, Knots Landing and The Waltons, among many others.
- David L. Wolper was one of the most prolific and respected producers in Hollywood history. His blockbuster Roots set a record for the most Emmy® nominations for a miniseries (37) and won nine Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Limited Series. Roots and the Wolper-produced miniseries The Thorn Birds is featured in Television: Out of the Box, as well as the comedy series Chico and the Man and Welcome Back, Kotter.
- An exhibit that will explore the company’s rich history in television animation — including series from the Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Entertainment collections — as well as a walk-in animation cel, in which visitors can interact with their favorite animated characters.
- A survey of the Studio’s standout crime dramas such as The Closer, Cold Case, The Mentalist and Southland, among others.
- A trip into the supernatural, with an installation focusing on sci-fi and otherworldly series such as Babylon 5, Fringe, Supernatural, V and The Vampire Diaries.
- A neighborhood installation focusing on series such as George Lopez, The Drew Carey Show, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, The O.C. and more.
- A look at Warner Bros. Television’s early years in an installation devoted to the company’s first forays into series production, with titles such as Maverick, Kung Fu, Cheyenne, Wonder Woman and 77 Sunset Strip, among many others.
ABOUT WARNER BROS. TELEVISION GROUP
Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) strategically manages all of Warner Bros.’ current and emerging television businesses, including worldwide and local production, traditional and digital distribution and broadcasting. As the industry’s leading supplier of television programming, WBTVG has longstanding relationships with the most respected names in television, including Chuck Lorre, John Wells, Jerry Bruckheimer, J.J. Abrams and others. For the 2011–12 season, WBTVG is producing more than 50 primetime, first-run, cable and animated series, including Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, The Middle, Fringe, Supernatural, The Closer, Southland, Pretty Little Liars, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Looney Tunes Show, among many more, totaling over 2,000 episodes.