[Commericals on the air]

Wednesday, November 11, 1953

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Discussion of commercial endorsements on television programs. He gives an example of the subtle ways sponsors names or products are incorporated into plot lines. These endorsements sometimes disrupt the plot or require the actor to come out of character in order to promote the item. He notes the imitation that occurs among ads.

Seldes talks about educational programming - can they find time and money to support experiments? They undergo attacks because of experimental.

He goes on to talk about crime shows, and those who argue that they are necessary because they inform children about real life.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71512
Municipal archives id: LT3078

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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