Oral Histories

Interview of Bianca Pino

Producer for Ralph Edwards Productions who was involved with the television series “This is Your Life.” Senior vice president of programming and development for KindWorld Productions.
Series:
Ralph Edwards Productions
Topic:
Film and Television
Interviewer:
Collings, Jane
Interviewee:
Pino, Bianca
Persons Present:
Pino and Collings.
Place Conducted:
The Ralph Edwards Productions offices in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Jane Collings, interviewer and senior editor, Center for Oral History Research. B.A., Communications, Antioch College; M.A., Communications, University of Iowa; Ph.D., Critical Studies, UCLA. Collings prepared for the interview by reviewing archival material on the history of the company.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Pino was then given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
Length:
3 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
The Ralph Edwards Productions series seeks to document the history of the Ralph Edwards Productions company by interviewing persons who had worked closely with Ralph Edwards in the early years of the company. Ralph Edwards Productions produced This is Your Life, as well as Truth or Consequences, a seminal program of the audience participation genre. Additional materials on Ralph Edwards Productions are held in Performing Arts Special Collections and the Film and Television Archive at UCLA.
Family background—Family's Italian cultural background—Enjoys radio drama as a youth—Parent's attitude toward TV—Enjoys European and particularly Italian film—Begins drama training—Becomes a drama major at college—Shifts toward studying television—Plans a career in TV production—Lands first jobs on basis of typing and shorthand skills—Women in the program—An engrossing first job at KPIX—The "right" look for women in the industry—The transition from the San Francisco flower children scene to a drug culture—Begins working on Pow, a variety show—Reporting on the counter culture—Viewer response mail on Pow—Moves from traffic department to production department at KPIX—Responsibilities in the production department—Pow—Hits glass ceiling at KPIX and in San Francisco TV world—Interviews at Ralph Edwards Productions on basis of typing and shorthand skills—A first assignment at Ralph Edwards—Staging This is Your Life—Name That Tune—Pino becomes co-producer of Name That Tune—Adheres to ethical standards in Name that Tune—Edwards launches Cross Wits—Exhausting production schedule on Cross Wits and Name That Tune—Game show production today—Edwards' insistence on showing respect for show's participants—Takes a job on Fantasy at Paramount—Takes on an executive role at Paramount—Discomfort with executive role—Sexism at Paramount—Returns to Ralph Edwards Productions—People's Court—How Edwards' personality informed the shows—Origins of This is Your Life—Edwards' work on radio in Berkeley—The first episode of This Is your Life in support of returning WWII vets—Edwards' management style—A snafu on an episode of This Is Your Life—Maintaining the ruse in This Is Your Life—A misstep on an episode featuring Angie Dickenson—Changing audience reactions to This Is Your Life in the seventies—Network insists on revealing surprise guest in ads before the show—Shift to an exclusive focus on NBC celebrities on This Is Your Life—Pacific Pioneer Broadcaster.
The side range of nominations for This Is Your Life—An effort to honor public service on This Is Your Life—The importance of maintaining the element of surprise regarding the subject of the week's show—Edwards' disinclination to appear as a subject on This Is Your Life—The This Is Your Life format—Memorable This Is Your Life episodes—Hannah and Walter Kohner—Lowell Thomas—Dr. Lawrence C. Jones—A show featuring Japanese women who received plastic surgery after the nuclear attacks—A crew member from the Enola Gay appears on the nuclear attack aftermath program—Audience response to the diversity in the tone of the programs—The dress codes for the programs—The positive work environment at Ralph Edwards Productions—Callous management at Paramount—The hiring process at Ralph Edwards Productions reflects the style of the company—The community of Ralph Edwards' friends and family—Edwards' publicist Sue Chadwick—Chadwick's work as a censor for Thicke of the Night—Edwards' and Chadwick's friendship—The mix of personalities at Ralph Edwards Productions—Rules of censorship—The hectic pace on Thicke of the Night—The addictive nature of industry production work—Professional roles of Pino's female colleagues—Pino's sense that women were recognized and appreciated at Ralph Edwards Productions—Barbara Edwards—Edwards' children—Gary Edwards—The innovation of The People's Court—Pino's ongoing work in development—Family Medical Center—Superior Court—A constant humanist thread in Edwards' shows—A strong tradition of cause marketing at Ralph Edwards Productions—Generational changes in Hollywood—Current iterations of the This Is Your Life franchise—Pino's advice for women getting into the industry—Future plans for Ralph Edwards Productions.