Steve Binder: Wikis

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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Steve Binder is an Emmy and Ace Award winner for his work as an American producer and director.[1] He found success behind the camera on influential TV shows showcasing music, like The T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo.[2] Binder is arguably best known as director of Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special[3], and the critically-panned Star Wars Holiday Special.

Contents

Petula Clark TV special

In 1968, Binder was working at NBC. Its executives invited Petula Clark—who had appeared on Hullabaloo—to host her own special. While singing a duet of "On the Path of Glory" with guest Harry Belafonte, she touched his arm, to the dismay of Chrysler, the show's sponsor. The car giant feared the brief moment would offend Southern viewers at a time when racial mixing was still a major issue of controversy in the US. Chrysler insisted "the touch" (as it became known) should be edited and substituted with a different take. However, director Binder, Clark and her husband/producer refused, destroyed all other takes of the song, and delivered the finished program to NBC with "the touch" intact. It aired on April 8, 1968 to high ratings and critical acclaim, and marked the first time a man and woman of different races exchanged physical contact on American television [4].

Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special

NBC executive Bob Finkel was keen to find a producer/director to work on Singer Presents Elvis. Finkel had heard about the controversy of the Clark special, and thought Binder's rebelliousness would suit Presley. Partner Bones Howe, who had engineered a Presley album, overheard Binder on the phone declining the offer to direct Presley. Howe urged him to change his mind and at least agree to meet the singer [5]

Subsequently, Binder impressed Presley with his honesty: Elvis asked him where he thought Presley's career was at, and Binder claims to have replied: "I think it's in the toilet." Both Binder and Presley had reservations about doing a TV show; Presley said the recording studio was his turf, so Binder said: "Then why don't you just make a record and I'll put pictures to it?"[6] Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, already had firm ideas for the show: "Thanks to the courage of a young producer named Steve Binder, Elvis did not appear in a tuxedo and croon 'Silent night' to a room of cameramen for his upcoming Christmas special." as Parker had planned. In a move slated to recapture the raw Elvis of the 1950s, Binder continued to stand up to Parker and reunited the star with Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana. Presley was filmed performing informal sessions in front of a live studio audience, where Presley could re-create his rebel image wearing a black leather outfit.[7]

Any harbouring doubts Elvis may have had about doing the special were put to rest by one piece of ingenuity by Binder. He took Presley into the street and showed him how virtually no-one recognized him.

According to Samuel Roy, Binder also "tried to warn Elvis of the danger of his environment and the people around him," but the singer was "rather naive and would not listen." Because Presley’s manager hated Binder for challenging him, Parker seems to have put an order out that Binder was no longer to get through the Graceland secretaries, who screened all calls.[8]

Star Wars Holiday Special

The Star Wars Holiday Special was a two-hour prime-time special on CBS, starring the original cast along with actors such as Art Carney and Bea Arthur. It combined the Star Wars universe with the traditional television variety show. Generally, The Star Wars Holiday Special has received a large amount of criticism, both from Star Wars fans and the general public[9]. David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, ranked the holiday special at number one, calling it "the worst two hours of television ever."

In popular culture

Binder is portrayed by Jack Noseworthy in the 2005 CBS TV miniseries Elvis.

Filmography

From IMDb

Director:

Hollywood Goes to the Bowl 2004 (2004) (V) The Nick at Nite Holiday Special (2003) (TV)

Michelle Kwan Skates to Disney's Greatest Hits (1999) (TV) Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Disney's 'Mulan' (1998) (TV) Melinda: First Lady of Magic (1997) (TV) ... aka Disney's Melinda: First Lady of Magic (USA: complete title) Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice (1996) (TV) ... aka Disney's Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice (USA: complete title) Aladdin on Ice (1995) (TV) ... aka Disney's Aladdin on Ice (USA: complete title) Melissa (1995) ... aka Secret Sins (USA: video title) "The Chevy Chase Show" (14 episodes, 1993) Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992) (TV) Montana Christmas Skies (1991) (TV) Victory & Valor: Special Olympics World Games (1991) (TV) Grand Ole Opry 65th Anniversary (1991) (TV) Christmas on Ice (1990) (TV) ... aka Disney's Christmas on Ice (USA: complete title)

"The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" (1989) TV series (unknown episodes) ... aka "Club Mario" (USA: new title) "Zoobilee Zoo" (1986) TV series (unknown episodes) The Patti LaBelle Show (1985) (TV) "The Motown Revue Starring Smokey Robinson" (1985) TV series (unknown episodes) ... aka "Motown Revue" (USA: short title) Father Guido Sarducci Goes to College (1985) Diana Ross Worldwide from New York: For One and All (1984) (TV) Elvis Presley's Graceland (1984) (V) That Was Rock (1984) (V) Elvis: One Night with You (1984) (TV) Blondes vs. Brunettes (1984) (TV) The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1981) (TV) Diana (1981) (TV) "The Big Show" (1980) TV series (unknown episodes)

Christmas at Walt Disney World (1978) (TV) The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (TV) ... aka The 'Star Wars' Christmas Special (USA: unauthorized video title) Olivia (1978) (TV) Rolling Stone Magazine: The 10th Anniversary (1977) (TV) The Barry Manilow Special (1977) (TV) "Shields and Yarnell" (1977) TV series The Mac Davis Special (1975) (TV) Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975) "The Mac Davis Show" (1974) TV series (unknown episodes) America (1970) (TV) Liza (1970) (TV) Elvis (1968) (TV) Petula (1968) (TV) ... aka Petula Clark Spectacular (USA: video title) "Gilligan's Island" (2 episodes, 1965-1967)

   - The Second Ginger Grant (1967) TV episode 
   - Don't Bug the Mosquitoes (1965) TV episode

Lucy in London (1966) (TV) "It's About Time" (1966) TV series (unknown episodes) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House (1966) (TV) "Hullabaloo" (1965) TV series (unknown episodes) The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) ... aka Teen Age Command Performance (UK) ... aka The Rock Revival of 1964 (USA: informal alternative title) "The New Steve Allen Show" (1 episode, 1964)

   - Episode dated 19 May 1964 (1964) TV episode 


Producer:

The Colonel (2011) (announced) (producer)

Michelle Kwan Skates to Disney's Greatest Hits (1999) (TV) (executive producer) Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Disney's 'Mulan' (1998) (TV) (executive producer) (producer) Melinda: First Lady of Magic (1997) (TV) (executive producer) ... aka Disney's Melinda: First Lady of Magic (USA: complete title) Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice (1996) (TV) (executive producer) ... aka Disney's Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice (USA: complete title) Aladdin on Ice (1995) (TV) (executive producer) ... aka Disney's Aladdin on Ice (USA: complete title) "The Chevy Chase Show" (executive producer) (14 episodes, 1993) Montana Christmas Skies (1991) (TV) (producer) Christmas on Ice (1990) (TV) (producer) ... aka Disney's Christmas on Ice (USA: complete title) World's Greatest Magicians... At the Magic Castle (1990) (TV) (executive producer) ... aka Magic at the Magic Castle (USA: short title) "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" (1989) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes) ... aka "Club Mario" (USA: new title) Christmas Special (1988) (TV) (producer) "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (producer) (1 episode, 1987)

   - Pajama Party (1987) TV episode (producer)

"Zoobilee Zoo" (executive producer) (5 episodes, 1986)

   - Blue Ribbon Zoobles (1986) TV episode (executive producer) 
   - Fox in Wolf's Clothing (1986) TV episode (executive producer) 
   - Is There a Doctor in the House? (1986) TV episode (executive producer) 
   - Lookout's Dog (1986) TV episode (executive producer) 
   - Vaudeville Star (1986) TV episode (executive producer)

Diana Ross Worldwide from New York: For One and All (1984) (TV) (producer) Elvis Presley's Graceland (1984) (V) (producer) Elvis: One Night with You (1984) (TV) (producer) "ABC Weekend Specials" (executive producer) (1 episode, 1982)

   - Stanley, the Ugly Duckling (1982) TV episode (executive producer)

An Innocent Love (1982) (TV) (executive producer) ... aka One Starry Night The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1981) (TV) (producer) Diana (1981) (TV) (producer)

Olivia (1978) (TV) (producer) The Mac Davis Christmas Special (1977) (TV) (producer) The Barry Manilow Special (1977) (TV) (producer) "Shields and Yarnell" (1977) TV series (executive producer) "The Mac Davis Show" (1974) TV series (producer) (unknown episodes) America (1970) (TV) (producer) Liza (1970) (TV) (producer) Elvis (1968) (TV) (producer) Petula (1968) (TV) (producer) ... aka Petula Clark Spectacular (USA: video title) Lucy in London (1966) (TV) (producer)


Writer:

The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1981) (TV) (writer) Diana (1981) (TV) (writer)

The Barry Manilow Special (1977) (TV) (writer)

The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) (writer)


Editor:

Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice (1996) (TV)


Thanks: Remembering Elvis (1998) (V) (special thanks) Canadian Bacon (1995) (special thanks) Elvis: The Great Performances - Center Stage, Volume One (1990) (V) (thanks) [10]]

References

  1. ^ The Caucus
  2. ^ "Elvis the comeback'". Record Collector, 357 (Christmas 2008), p.61
  3. ^ Elvis - 68 Comeback Special - Elvis Presley
  4. ^ "Harry Belafonte 'Speaking Freely' Transcript". First Amendment Center. http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/about.aspx?id=12025. Retrieved 2006-05-21.  
  5. ^ "Elvis the comeback'". Record Collector, 357 (Christmas 2008), p.61
  6. ^ "Elvis the comeback'". Record Collector, 357 (Christmas 2008), p.61
  7. ^ See Kirchberg, Connie and Marc Hendrickx, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, and the American Dream (1999), p.78.
  8. ^ See Roy, Samuel, ‘’Elvis: Prophet of Power’’ (1985), p.86.
  9. ^ http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/11/24/the-original-war-on-christmas-star-wars-holiday-special/
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004596/
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