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tv   Q A  CSPAN  November 25, 2013 6:00am-7:01am EST

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system and political culture? >> a big impact in many ways. a lot of people get their news from tv. a lot of people get their point of view and opinions and analysis from tv. and tv has many stories on the dramatic front the have some connection to politics. so, i think it has a pretty big impact. >> of all the programs you produced over the years, which had the most impact on politics, on the pop-culture scene? >> i will answer with a movie we distributed. we distributed a movie several years ago called "in the loop." it was done by a guy named armando and it was a british take on politics.
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armando went on to do a wonderful show on hbo called "veep." it was the lighter side of politics. i don't know if you've seen it. i'm not sure it is the most profound effect but it has caught some attention. not our show. a wonderful show done by hbo. jeff daniels just won a big award for his work. >> for those that don't watch everything that you do, what do you do? >> i work at amc networks. >> you run it. >> yes. i will name some of our shows. i don't want to bore you or anyone watching this. on amc, we have "mad men" and "breaking bad" and "walking dead." we have a show call "killing," "hell on wheels."
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on wetv, which is a channel for women, we have a lot of shows, including a whole bunch specifically targeted for african-american women that are quite popular, including something called "braxton family values." and ifc, a channel devoted to independent film. we have taken a left turn and make a lot of comedies. one of them is called "portlandia." and a couple of other new ones coming up, in addition to "comedy bang bang" and "stars of -- spoils of babylon." and a couple of wonderful dramatic series and miniseries. >> so the sundance channel, the
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we channel, amc, ifc. ok, here is a piece of video from 1993, 20 years ago. >> oh oh. >> i want nothing that i say to mitigate the fact that there is too much violence in television and films. i think it comes from the news organizations, from the news collectors on any local station in my town. the first five or seven stories every evening are of her rape, ape,re of rate, -- are of r murder, a mass murder, child abuse -- never the national or international stories of significance, but the violent stories. a great deal of harm is done that way. but i hasten to say that i think the greatest piece of violence done to the american people has
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been done by omission by the congress of the united states, by the fact that they have not managed over these years to find a gun control law that will prevent children will years of -- children, 12 years of age from finding guns. >> norman lear, 20 years ago, people for the american way, former television producer and you're on that board of able for -- of people for the american way. fit it all together. he is talking about some of the violence on the shows you have . i haven't seen some of them. i saw one episode of "breaking bad." where does that fit in? that was 20 years ago. have things changed? >> that was 20 years ago. people for the american way is, among many things, meant to protect freedom of speech and i am a proud, long-time 20-year- plus board member.
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and i admire the work that norman set up and that people for the american way carries on because they are vigilant. they do not take the first amendment or the freedom of speech for granted. they do wonderful work. the question of television violence, it is interesting that -- the clip -- it will be a complicated answer on my part. we do have some shows that, in a narrative sense portray violence. and i don't know what impact they have on people's behavior. there may be experts to understand it better than i do. i have a personal opinion and a question about it that is actually -- happens to be
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somewhat similar to that which was expressed by norman lear in that clip 25 years ago. which is -- his reference was not to the portrayal in narrative of violent acts and i'm not enough of an authority to know what impact that may or may not have, but he talked about news, in particular local news, and what leads local news so frequently. i must say that i have share the same perception and the same concern about its influence on behavior in the name of news and i am not enough of an expert of it either to definitively say what its impact is, but i watch it and wonder and worry and i share the view that he expressed. about the availability of guns.
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so your question is a rich one and my opinion is i hope a reasonably humble one and a personal one, not necessarily an authoritative one. but it is -- and i have much more concern about the availability of guns and what is portrayed in and on news than what is portrayed in fiction. there could presumably be a rich discussion on what violent fiction has implications on the american people. >> people for the american way -- how did you get involved with that?
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>> it appealed to me personally because i think america is a wonderful country and freedom of speech is, in my view, central to what is wonderful about america along with a bunch of other things. people for the american way was born to protect freedom of speech and to watch out for where freedom of speech is being compromised. and i thought working in the tv business that was central to what makes tv, media communications great so i could lend a hand. and people for the american way does a whole lot more than that in terms of their overall agenda, which is more broadly civil rights, first amendment rights and protection and they have a whole bunch of activist programs. so they go on beyond the scope of my original interest, so that
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is why i joined. >> there is something on your website, people for the american way, called white winged watch. >> yes. >> it looks like the people for the american way track right wingers and you actually call it right wing watch. does that make you a left- winger? >> i do not think so. the intention was to be a monitor. my own view is that it is good if we all monitor one another and it's good if we all express views about what we are all up to and i really mean that. and you can like it or not like it. and i think it's good to say it, whether you like it or not and some people won't like my views. i probably won't want to hear them not liking my views but i would like to hear them express their views. so to monitor people of import
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to have influence, who are saying things that should be heard and conveyed and expressed and questioned. i think it is a worthwhile and virtuous effort. >> who are some of the people besides norman lear and alec baldwin -- and trying to think of others on the board. >> mary frances berry, a longtime and well-known civil rights leader. >> michael keegan. >> he's the president for the people for the american way. there are also members of the clergy, happily and proudly from the baptist church, rabbi david saperstein from the jewish religion.
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there is a catholic priest and congressman. >> kathleen turner the actress. >> some people from the arts. people from politics. people from the clergy. a pretty wide range and wonderful group of people. >> how effective do you think you have been? >> i would say them, not me. they do the work. i am on the board. i wish i were a little bit more active. i would like to take it for -- i would like to take credit for their work. i think at times they have been terrific and at times not so much so. i think the directive at the people for the american way is important and maybe even profound. i think very important, not
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necessarily effective every day, but certainly over the long run, very important. >> there are people watching that say -- we hear it on the air all the time -- that the media is controlled by left- wingers who have an agenda, who are dumbing down the society by bringing more and more violence to television, more language to television, more sex to television. what do you say to them? if your worst critic were in front of you and then you add to that we have this thing called the first amendment. >> i have a different view. i think the media world is largely in the interest of the free market today, which i think is terrific. and the free market in the u.s. probably operates better than perhaps anywhere in the world. and that free market brings to the american television screen
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on cable television literally, as you know, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of channels of immensely diverse views and they are probably best seen in the news spectrum because they are the most on the nose and you can watch cnn or you can watch msnbc or you can watch fox news and now you can watch al jazeera or you can watch business news or two forms of business news. but on this channels alone, you will get news that is argued on -- arguably on the left, on the right, somewhere in the center, from somewhere else and what a phenomenally rich dialogue and it is all operating in a commercial world in which the market is guiding a lot of what happens. and i think that is fantastic. >> let's go back to amc and a program that you have been given
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many awards for called "mad men." i want to run a clip of it. >> advertising is based on one thing -- happiness. >> you are better off with a little sex appeal. >> so your mother and father are responsible for all of this? >> you are ok. >> damn it, don, i know you are having an affair. >> what do women want, who cares? >> nostalgia, it is ok but potent. >> look forward. >> we are starting a new agency. >> what is this program about and when did it start? >> it started about six years ago. it takes place over a six-year period and it takes place in new york city on madison avenue and
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it takes place in what some consider to be the golden age. it is really a character study. >> 1960's. >> yeah. it is a social study but more of a character study than brilliantly by matt weiner who created it and created all the characters. it has struck a responsive chord. >> you watch it? >> yeah, i watch it. >> what impact has this had on your company? >> yeah. it has been a great help to our company. we operated in something that we called it the american movie classics before it was called amc and we made the determination to go into original programing. and we had done a couple of shows before that, but "mad men" represented the new era amc. so it sent us on our way to the chapter we are in. >> so were the people back in
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the 1960's as bad as the film portrays? -- as the program portrays? drank at the time, office, lots of affairs. i could go on. father, in>> my 1962, he would've been 42 years old. he was a born in college. he squeezed his way through high school but he was well dressed. so to protect the legacy of the family, i will refrain from answering more specifically and say that it seems to have created a portrait that rings true. >> why did it catch on? >> i think it really caught on because what matt weiner did in
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constructing it and the way it was cast and directed and the incredible work of everybody who is involved was a great study of character and a great study of relationships. >> when did you know it was having an impact? besides just numbers. >> it was two or three seasons in when it was first parodied i think on "saturday night live." when you are parodied on "saturday night live," you know you have made it. >> there is more than this to just a television show. you have talked about it. talking of all the blogs i have have been devoted in breaking down the plots and all that stuff, you mentioned the importance of the on demand and people catching up with it later, explain that. weiner is connected to "the sopranos," which some people
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think is one of the great things that has ever been made. think, my opinion, brian, is that great stories and great characters affect people. and they affect them sometimes deeply. and not to be too highfalutin he -- highfalutin about it, but if and you thinkel the novel is rated 300 years later and people are still reading it, it has staying power and the characters have staying power and they have something that means beyond the little story that they were first written in. they become permanent. and i think "madmen," in the television framework, has some of that. as for the technology question, which is interesting to me working in the business, we benefited and the show benefited at least to a degree through the emergence of cable on demand and
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the ability for people to go to their server and say i am going to watch that later. and then internet services on demand or you can catch up -- where you can catch up afterwards. and then be current and you don't need to be limited to a linear schedule of sunday night at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. you can find it in your own schedule and immerse yourself and pay great attention. from a purely commercial point of view, get hooked and watch live with us. i think that was a great benefit. >> what role does twitter play in it and facebook and dvds and all the technologies? when you started at the university, it didn't exist. memo -- >> the most profound one is the most profound of all the technical changes sterilized tv
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is being able to find the show that you want in sequence for stories that are ongoing. they require more attention. some of our shows do and some of the shows on hbo and showtime and fx really do require more attention. that is what is great about them. people can go to them when they are ready. and when they are with partner, spouse, friend and watch when they are not distracted. i think that helps. all of those social media opportunities act as accelerants because they allow you to play with it to engage, to discuss it they are sort of like a permanent book group on a tv show that is going on concurrently and digitally which has supersized consumer attention. >> the next clip is from "the walking dead." this blew the ratings right off the charts a couple of weeks ago
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in the opening episode was 16 million viewers? >> 16 million viewers. >> has that ever happened? >> i want to be careful about identifying records. but i think it was a record for i think it won the season if i am not mistaken. there is a question about the football game that was on that night. on a delayed three-day basis, it won the highest-rated show of the season. >> and this is violent. >> yes. >> there are people walking and they are supposed to be the walking dead and they get their heads bashed in. let's watch. then i will ask you about it. >> sure. [video clip] >> doctor. doctor.
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>> "the walking dead," all new episode sunday night at 9:00 only on amc. >> i have only watched one episode, i will admit. i have watched people bash other people's heads in. what is the point? [laughter] why do we like? -- why do we like this? >> i will give you my opinion. it will sound like a pretty answer. i don't mean it to sound like a pretty answer. but i think it begins with it is a great character study set against a backdrop of a post apocalyptic world. in this case, a zombie apocalypse.
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but i think the post apocalyptic worlds are pretty interesting. they are interesting because of the world we live in and because of all the things that a lot of us are occasionally afraid of. all of which could have the effect of making the world not quite as we know it. and i think it is also phenomenal so-called theater. it is a great backdrop for what happens when people are together and alone in a world that they no longer know, separated from their loved ones, reconstituting relationships with one another with this lingering threat of what caused by the apocalypse. what a wonderful set up. and it is executed beautifully and the characters are great and surprising and actually pretty subtle, notwithstanding the
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violence. the makeup is spookily good. so you believe it and you immerse yourself in it and you are invited in and your captured and your heart throbs. and i think it throbs occasionally with fear and a little bit with sympathy and a little bit with love and a little bit hoping for someone to have a good life. so i think it is a great story. >> how did you get that many people to watch it? in numbers today, that is a huge number for anybody to watch any television show except a sports program or just a couple of
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other shows. 16 million people. >> yes. we are in season three. it has been building. the technology, things i mentioned earlier, people can find their way to it not only when it is on our schedule on amc. so they are inviting and suggesting their friends view it. >> go back to the violence thing. if this is so successful with this heavy violence, does that mean that the american people love violence? this is an old subject. you look in the movies. it is constant boom, boom, boom, what hollywood puts out. >> one can judge for themselves. i don't think it is the violence. i really don't think it is the violence that makes the show attractive. it is obviously caricature. there has been a zombie apocalypse. so far, there has not been a zombie apocalypse. so it is fanciful and extreme and that there is a fundamental conceit in it. i think it creates drama and it is a great construct. it is fundamentally about survival and fundamentally about how people organize with one another and actually how they fall in love and have babies and
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all the good stuff of life that is set against a very dramatic backdrop. >> let's talk about josh sapan for a moment. where does the pronunciation come from? >> i will take anything. anyone who says my name in any vague way, like a dog, i will just respond if it is close. >> where does the name come from? sapanisky. at ellis island, we lost the isky. >> where did you grow up?
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>> i grew up in brooklyn and went to college in the midwest. >> why did you find your way from queens, brooklyn area to the midwest to the university of wisconsin? >> i went to visit it and i thought it was the most beautiful and unlike anything i had ever seen. i had never actually been to the midwest in my whole life. i was attracted to all of it including the university. >> what year did you graduate? >> 1970 -- i took a little time to graduate so i think it was 1976 or 1978 by the time i graduated. >> one of the things that i saw when looking at your background, you started out reading ralph lee smith's, "wired nation." >> yes. >> tell us who that was and why did that matter to you? >> yeah. i don't know how i got the book. i was interested in tv and studied it in college and came upon "the wired nation" in which he offered a view. at the time, there were few tvs wired to cable television.
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and he offered a view of every tv set in america hooked up to a hardwire where, if you recall, not only a diversity of national channels, but he was really focused on local and thought that there would be this robust local editorial television opportunity that was sort of -- if one can analogize -- something like an electronic newspaper. it seemed actually that his vision was grand and i thought perhaps exaggerated who knew -- and i thought perhaps exaggerated. who knew that he would be right on the money? then the entire nation would be absolutely wide and along the -- wired and along the way there would be satellite alternatives and a second wired alternative. the unthinkable at the time is that, alongside all of it, there
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would be a worldwide internet. question one of the stories often told about you leaving college, getting two 16 milliliter projectors, having put them in your automobile and going from campus to campus showing your films. how did that happen and expand -- and explain more about that. >> the university wisconsin, we had a film society and showed movies. we showed them for profit. it was fun to do. it was a fun experience. my friend and i hatched a plot that we would not have a movie theater but a mobile movie theater. so we had a rambler station wagon and we had two 16mm projectors. we began to tour the midwest, setting up in college towns. we began in ohio and showing movies that we thought would be of appeal to university communities.
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and it worked ok. >> you charged money? >> oh, yeah, it was a for-profit venture. >> wherewith they watch these movies? would they watch these movies? >> in each town, we would find a location. it was an odd notion. it was an itinerant alternative movie theater on 16mm in towns before there was the diversity on television when there was only broadcast television and when most of these college towns theaters.e art so we should french films and french films and "the bicycle thief" and "duck soup." and we showed alternative cinema, if you can pardon the word. >> what did you charge? >> i can't remember. it was $2.00 probably. >> did you make money? >> yeah. >> what year did you start? >> i am bad with chronology. i think it was 1976 because i graduated shortly thereafter.
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1975. a little earlier. we did it for, not all that long. maybe getting toward a year. but it worked economically. we figured out how to do it. we remitted some of the money to the companies that owned the films. we split the gate with them. it was a fun business. >> were you political back then? the university of wisconsin is known as a fairly liberal school. >> yes. that is, in part, some of the reason i went there. i was interested in the politics. >> how active were you? >> i was active periodically. i was in and out of political activism. >> what does that mean? >> i was active for a while and then i was engaged in theater. so i was in and out of politics.
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there were many more people committed and consistent with their political activities. >> you were how many years with the dolan/amc company? >> i worked at a local cable system in the early days of cable television called what was then teleprompter. >> why were you attracted to cable tv? it was a very dominant and -- it was not very dominant and prominent then. >> i had read "the wired future" and i found my way to teleprompter manhattan.
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memo here is a program that you hereesponsible for -- >> is a program that you are responsible for. let's run this and see what they you can tell us about it. [video clip] ♪ >> tonight's guest has received an academy award, golden globe and broadcast film critics , andbuster entertainment
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screen actors guild awards for her performance "girl interrupted." >> the new school where that was done is a school where you had been on the board. are you still on the board? >> yes. >> again, a very liberal school. there seems to be a theme here. [laughter] >> i got to the new school because of "inside the actors studio," which is the show that we just saw. it is a show that was on bravo. it still is on bravo. we sold bravo to nbc, but the new school operated that as their theater program. >> you haven't done much politics. in other words, you have gone to the creative side and why? have you missed of that? -- have you missed that, or is that where people for the american way comes in?
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>> yeah, i vote all the time. >> have you had any urge to do political programs? >> i have a lot of interest in it, brian. i watch a lot and i listen a lot, but i don't think i have found my way to it. >> we have an unusual looking book. size theunusually -- sized book. your name is on it and so is another gentleman. >> luke sant. >> tell us about it. >> i had been collecting for 30 plus years these big photographs. when people see them, they are often of sports teams or a church group. i couldn't resist him. i would put them on my wall, somewhat to my wife's chagrin because they don't necessarily always portray a happy picture. but i felt that they were intriguing because they told a little bit of a sort of random story about american history and
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about moments in america and about style and culture and belief and community and war. i always wanted to put together a book so i finally found a publisher. it came out a couple of weeks ago. >> this is a world war i transport, a location and date unknown. what got your attention here? >> you know, the people look -- in that photograph -- they look so hopeful, happy. i don't know exactly where they are going or what they are doing. but it looks like people on their way to something they thought would be better. it was dramatic. >> here is a picture called "mohawk peace conference, lake
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mohawk, new york, 1915." you have some liner notes here written by mark halperin and you had several others write notes for you. >> right. when i was discussing the book with the publisher, we together hatched the notion that, in order to make these photographs that were historic in little -- historic and a little more accessible, it would be nice to have captions from people whose lives or work connected to the subject in the photograph. so we were fortunate enough to get 20 people. and it is a great list of people. i cannot come up with them all norman lear wrote a turner wasd kathleen kind enough to write a caption and congressman john lewis was
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kind enough to write a caption. >> here's one. ariana huffington wrote this one. location unknown. 1908. she -- there are some tidbits in there. she goes on to mention the electronic media and the change in cable television and all of that. did you tell them what to write? >> no, they wrote themselves. i gave them a selection of photographs to write about and they made their own choices. >> this is one written by the clothes designer, joe abboud. it is a photograph from new york city on february 23, 1906. it has something to do with the tuxedo. what is this photo about?
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>> i just thought it was sort of exquisite in its own way and celebratory and a little bit about men's fashion. joe was kind enough to write about it and talk about tuxedos. >> what did you hope to accomplish with this book? >> well, just to finish it. [laughter] i actually wanted to -- i thought it was fun to have a little view of history, of a time in america that wasn't instructional first and foremost. it was a little bit more anecdotal and a little bit more archaeological, meaning random. so you sort of take a look at them and you see bunches of weird photos and then the captions explain them. i had an image of high school students flipping through it and
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loving it if they flipped through it. >> maryland, date unknown, infantry division. the liner notes say that there's something like 25,000 people in this photograph. >> yes. >> where did you find that? >> the source of that i don't recollect. i drew from my own collection of the library of congress and from the collection of a guy named bill hunt, who lent me a bunch of his photographs and he has a vast collection. >> here's one of the liberty bell that also has thousands of soldiers in it. why did they do that? do you have any idea? >> i think it was a thing. i think people would gather. my wife's relatives are hanging
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in, what was her parents house, a picture in a flag. it was a big, giant flag formation. it was to create an impression. >> this is from 1931, brooklyn, new york, the wallace circus annex. what you have done with this is that you have a broad picture that you can see everybody. then in the next slide right next to it, you show, i assume, the fat lady and the door for the midget and all that. would we allow this in our society today? >> that is a good question. i think yes, under certain circumstances, because i am familiar with the circumstances under which it is allowed. but i hope that it would be treated sympathetically and it would be treated just as an
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expression of differences. and i mean it. >> what circumstances? >> we did a tv show called "freak show," which was about a guy in venice beach who has a have extreme who characteristics. i am making it sound really kind, but it is. he sort of celebrates their differences with wonder and not with any derision or judgment. really with wonder. >> in your experience, looking at americana and your private collection, what is that about? [laughter] please tell us. and how many lightning rods do you own? >> i think that if you have over 100, you have the world's largest collection. you can call it a private
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collection but you can have one, too, because they are so affordable. i became intrigued by their shape. they are like weathervanes. they are decorative. they have animals on them. they have arrows on them. they have these beautiful globes on them. so there is a little bit of a marriage of industrial art and folk art and function. i was intrigued by them so i started to collect them. >> you are married. >> yes. >> kids? >> yes. >> how old? >> 19 and 17. >> women or men? >> older boy, younger girl. >> what are their interests? >> the boy, not surprisingly, nate is interested in all things story, machine, device and
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virtual. and the girl, claire, has a wide range. she is a high school senior and she has a wide range of interests. she likes to write. she likes history. she likes her friends. she likes tv shows. >> i want to bring you back to >> i want to bring you back to the family, but first show another clip on another successful program that ended its run, "breaking bad." tell us what it was. a it is the unlikely story of high school teacher who gets terminal cancer and turns to meth dealing. >> when did you decide to do this and how successful was it? >> we decided to do it six years ago. it began modestly and became extraordinarily successful.
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if anyone is a television genius, it is vince gilligan. he created a complete world and series of characters that -- ured so many people's >> let's watch a little clip of this. [video clip] -- meth.s not math >> are you nuts? >> want to find out? >> you call this slowburn tv. what does that mean? >> it generally refers to tv
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shows the take a longer time to move people through the story. longer time to carry on the story and for characters to develop. >> could you do that on network television? >> historically and pretty much to date, there has been very little of it on network television. >> why? >> i think it is largely an economic consideration. at least historically, network television is or has more urgency to get ratings quickly. it doesn't have, from a pure business structure point of
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view, patience or does not allow as much patience to develop and build. it needs to perform more quickly and shows that are a slowburn are slower. so it has historically not been on the schedule. >> your wife came out of showtime. >> yes. >> you paint a picture of the sapan family. you take measure of your own kids. their reactions to something like "breaking bad." >> i do. i cannot avoid it. it is fun to do. >> what was their reaction to "breaking bad?" >> i showed a somewhat random episode to my then, probably 12- year-old daughter and it was a questionable parental judgment. >> why? >> it scared the hell out of
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her. it was an exquisite episode that featured an atm. it was out of context and it was really dramatic. and it did leave a little bit of a mark. i think ultimately a good mark because she talks about it to this day and she talks about actually the venal nature of drug addiction and i think it actually impressed her at the time. that was not my consideration. i was probably being a lazy indulgent parent and wanted to see the tv show with her. >> where did you get -- not your interest so much, but your creativity? >> i am not so sure, compared to real created people, i am creative. >> what you mean? you have 100 lightning rods. >> i am not sure that is creative.
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that is just a bad little construction of dna that makes you buy stuff and keep it. >> the book has creativity. where does that come from? >> my father was a copywriter and he liked to write. >> do you have brothers and sisters? >> yeah, brother no longer living. he liked to write music. my mother was a writer and actress, broadway actress. so it is probably in the gene pool. it's in the water. >> who owns amc? >> so the dolan family are the controlling shareholders, but amc is a public company. it was started by chuck dolan who, by the way, founded b ravo, before it was sold to nbc. i should say -- founded before it was sold to nbc. he was the godfather regional sports. he created regional news. he created all of this niche stuff, which is why i went to
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work with the company, to work with an arts channel, bravo, and movie channel, amc. >> why did it take so long to change everything? >> i don't think it took all that long. where i landed for a moment, the first chuck dolan -- he started the first regional channel. i think i have the year right, it was 1986. and i must say i thought, even though i read his book and thought it was wonderful, i thought this is not going to work. it is in the shadow of these broadcast network-owned and influenced new shows. -- news shows. but it florida shtick.
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it did well. from the time i read the book to 1986 is not too long. >> back to politics. this is a clip from a national press club appearance by the former vice president of the united states. let's watch. [video clip] >> it doesn't help matters when prime time tv has "murphy brown," a character that supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid , professional woman mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice. and i went on and i said i know it is not fashionable to talk about moral values, but we need to do it. even though our cultural leaders in hollywood, network tv, the national newspapers routinely jeer at them, i think that most of us in this room know
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that some things are good and other things are wrong. >> that was not in the national press club. that was the kansas city chamber of commerce. as you know, the right wing thinks the left wing hollywood types are using their platform for politics and i ask you if that's true. and if that's good or bad you it -- and if that is good or bad. it may sound obvious. >> no, i can given a chemical -- i can give you an answer. i think people feel very strongly about what they believe. they really believe it from their hearts. they don't do leave it for bad -- they don't believe it for bad reasons. they believe it for the best reasons. it is true for them.
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and they have deep conviction about it. the great thing about the first amendment in america is that people can really vigorously disagree and you can call each other names. >> should the government have anything to say about the content of television? >> the government has something to say about it. >> should it? >> oh, should it? i think that my personal opinion is that, yes, regulation in a number of different forms is very good and is helpful, particularly if it is setting up guidelines and indexes or indices for what to expect and what the calibrations are, imperfect as they may be. i think that is a really helpful thing. >> what would your reaction be if the fcc calls you in and says i don't like violence on amc? >> i think it would be a good -- i mean this -- i think it would be a very good conversation half
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havegood conversation to and i would welcome it. >> why? >> why? because i think it is worth understanding ultimately, if we can really understand what has impact on people's lives, what creates behavior, what behavior is emulated or imitated, if that can be understood, you make more responsible decisions. i'm not suggesting that i would want to be told what to do. i would like to have the dialogue. i think it is helpful. --is the first amendment >> i haven't thought of a better way to protect with seems to be -- what seems to be the best thing about living here than the first amendment. it sometimes feels like there is a fair amount of friction in it because we'll have to listen to people whose opinions we really don't like, who we think are
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amoral or immoral or dangerous or venal and there is a bit of a price to pay for tolerating what some might consider abhorrent, if not hateful. it seems worth it to me. work for amc?ople >> roughly a thousand. >> what is your annual gross revenues? >> about a billion and a half dollars. >> when you look at your own career, what is the most important decision you have made, besides having two 16mm cameras in a rambler? what is the most important decision you made to become ceo of amc? personal decisions -- to have the ratings success you have, but your own personalization on where you went in your own life? >> i guess my answer would be that i just wanted to do what interested me most.
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it happily led to a series of failures. probably failure trying out acting, not much success, trying out writing, not too much success, trying out being a producer in a small way, and i failed up to being an executive. >> but was there a decision along the way that took you to the dolan family, that took you to showtime, that made a big difference in your life? >> yeah. so probably the decision that was the most important one for me, careerwise, was going to what was then going to rainbow cablevision, and the dolan family. companythey ran that with the invitation to be adventurous and entrepreneurial,
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take risks and do new things, and their interest in what was new and next and risky , relatively, was probably it. >> what would you like to do before you quit? >> probably do more of the same but bigger, better, more varied, a little riskier, on the globe and on the internet. around the globe and on the internet. >> what is your favorite program that you have done? that you like the most your self? >> it is a hard thing to say. >> take a chance.
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>> it is hard for me to get over "breaking bad" and "madmen." we have a new show called "rectify" that is quite exquisite. >> josh sapan, thank you very much. the book is called "the big picture: america in panorama." how much is this, by the way? >> check with your local retailer. [laughter] >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> for free transcript or to give us your comments about this us at
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>> next, washington journal. live with your phone calls and able -- and the day's latest news. more live coverage this president obama's marks in san francisco on immigration policy. tonight, live at 9:00 p.m. eastern, c-span's original series, first ladies. >> coming up next, a look at what is ahead for the agreement on iran plus nuclear program -- iran's nuclear program. then the improvements on
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he look at the pentagon's bookkeeping. plus, your calls, e-mails, and tweets. "washington journal" is next. >> good morning. it is monday, november 25, 2013. president obama begins the week on the west coast at an event on california -- in the california. -- in california. the nuclear deal that the president announced was the subject of intense debate. we will wrap that up for you this morning. first, we will take up the topic of public service. 50 years ago today, america buried resident john f.


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