J Talks: Journeys Through Television and Film History


J Talks: Journeys Through Television and Film History

Starts February 14, 2024 - Ends February 28, 2024
2:00 PM

Purchase Tickets

Wednesdays in February | Virtual via Zoom | 2:00 PM | $10/lecture

Attend all 4 sessions for only $36!

Join us for this virtual lecture series led by Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America. His zoom lectures on film and television history have been presented at the Smithsonian, the 92nd St Y., and at JCCs and libraries throughout the country.


  • February 7, 2024, 2:00PM – “And That’s the Way It Is”: A Look Back at 70 Years of TV News
    Television news has undergone remarkable transformations in the last seven decades. Beginning with the Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze in 1948, evening newscasts drew tens of millions of viewers nightly, and expanded from 15-minutes to 30-minutes when Walter Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News in 1963. With the launch of CNN in 1980, TV news expanded to 24 hours a day, seven days a week–and a new era in television journalism was born. Americans no longer had to wait until 6:30 p.m. to get their news but could tune in any time to find out what was happening, all over the world. In 1996, TV news would change once again with the launch of two new 24/7 cable channels: MSNBC and six months later the Fox News Channel, which introduced a more partisan approach to news coverage that would have enormous implications on American political life. This presentation will look at these sweeping changes and examine the impact–both good and bad–of television journalism over the last six decades.


  • February 14, 2024, 2:00PM – From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show
    From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Pioneering programs like Today, Person-to-Person, and Tonight established the basic features that have guided the format ever since, particularly the importance of the host in guiding the proceedings. Whether it was the sophisticated wit of Dick Cavett, the magnetic empathy of Oprah Winfrey, the innovative comedy of David Letterman, or the sharp political satire of Jon Stewart, the talk show has continued to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation. This presentation will look at the fascinating history of the television talk show, and examine its changing appeal from decade to decade.


  • February 21, 2024, 2:00PM – Over the Rainbow: The Hollywood Career of Judy Garland
    Next to Fred Astaire, Judy Garland may be the most talented person to ever work in Hollywood musicals. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do, from breaking an audience’s heart with a song, to effortlessly dancing up a storm, to delivering comic and dramatic performances that still enthrall today. While she was among the greatest live entertainers in show biz history, and one of the top recording artists of her time, it’s her appearances in front of the camera that remain her lasting legacy. This talk will examine her remarkable Hollywood career, which began in her young teens at MGM and continued with such timeless classics as The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, and her stirring comeback in 1954’s A Star is Born.


  • February 28, 2024, 2:00PM – Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks: The Grandmasters of American Comedy
    For more than seven decades, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks made America laugh—either through their remarkable solo careers or their legendary partnership. Whether together or apart, they were giants of American comedy, who basically conquered every field they entered, whether television, movies, Broadway, or records. This presentation will examine their extraordinary achievements, beginning with their work together on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and their creation of the 2000 Year Old Man, to their individual accomplishments as writers, directors, and performers.