Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Classic TV Seminars

The CTVPS offers Classic TV Seminars to schools, colleges, and business and community organizations. They are an integral part of our organization, and we are very proud and honored to offer them with such positive results.

Below please find an overview of our CLASSIC TV SEMINARS program.

Thank you.

Herbie J Pilato
Founder & Executive Director


presented by

The Classic TV Preservation Society


The Classic TV Preservation Society offers three basic seminars to schools, colleges, community, senior, media-arts and business organizations to enhance the self-esteem and positive socialization of each participant:

1] Self-Esteem Seminars are presented to each of the above mentioned sectors

2] Acting As Caregiver Seminars are geared toward helping caregivers of all ages cope with the everyday challenges of caring for an ailing relative or friend.

3] S.M.A.R.T. Seminars are designed specifically for senior communities with residents ages 55 and older.

Some of the programs presented with each Seminar include:

Classic TV History, which addresses the message, theme and meaning of classic shows including I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best, Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show, That Girl, Marcus Welby, MD, All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The seminars also address classic movies that air on TV, including Casablanca and The Ten Commandments, as well as actors like Jimmy Stewart and Barbara Stanwick.

Classic TV Acting For The Stage engages participants in understanding the craft, creation, and performance of their favorite shows on stage (which is more animated and verbose than acting so for the camera).

Classic TV Acting For The Camera helps participants to better understand the difference and similarities between performing on stage and for the camera.

How To Apply Classic TV Acting To Real Life assists participants with gathering information on theatrical performing, and how doing so may benefit the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of their everyday lives.

How To Write Your Life Story with The Assistance of Classic TV instructs participants to write the story of their life by organizing their thoughts to increase the strength and use of their cognitive thinking.

How To Dance To The Classic TV Music Of Your Life encourages participants to employ joyful sound, theatrical exercises and movement to meet various life challenges while listening to and exploring the fun aspects of classic TV show themes (such as from Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch and The Golden Girls).


The main message of each seminar, beginning with the Self-Esteem Seminars, is this:

Television, in general, and classic television, in particular, is an untapped resource for education. Many shows from the past including Perry Mason, Bewitched, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man, Medical Center, and Life Goes On, among many others, hold lessons for us all.

For example, Samantha the witch-with-a-twitch Stephens on Bewitched could have married the most successful, wealthiest and most handsome man with the best personality. Instead, she married Darrin - a regular man. Samantha fell in love with Darrin for who he was - and not for what he could do for her - or buy her. Because whatever he could buy her, she could twitch up something better. And although Samantha and Darrin were two very different people, they learned to ignore their differences and concentrate on what makes them the same. It was their humanity.

Therefore and ultimately Bewitched is about prejudice - and it helps its viewers to understand the importance of diversity. This theme of prejudice runs through shows like Kung Fu and Life Goes On. As Samantha was a witch in a mortal world, David Carradine's Kwai Chang Caine was an Asian in a Western world, and Chris Burke's Corky had Down syndrome (as does Burke in real life), and Chad Lowe's Jesse was stricken with AIDS. In each case, the characters felt the pangs of prejudice and isolation.

In this way, each seminar expands upon the mission of The Classic TV Preservation Society: to educate individuals, community, arts, media and business organizations, as well as academic institutions, on the social significance and positive influence of classic television - with specific regard to family values, diversity in the work place, and mutual respect for all people of every cultural background and heritage, ethnicity, race and creed.


The Classic TV Preservation Society was founded by Herbie J Pilato who, not only is author of many classic television literary companion books (including Life Story - The Book of Life Goes On: TV's First and Best Family Show of Challenge), he also was a caregiver to elderly relatives. For 15 years, Herbie cared for his father (who succumbed to lung cancer in 1995), his aunt (who died of congestive heart failure in 2003), and for his mother (who, in May of 2008, also died of from the complications of congestive heart failure – as well as from dementia). Consequently, Herbie very much understands the various issues that go along with caring for a loved one who is ill. Consequently, he makes certain to incorporate his caregiving experience into The Classic TV Preservation Society in the form of the Acting As Caregiver Seminars - which help participants to sustain a healthy and productive perspective while facing the daily challenges of caring for an ill and/or elderly loved one or friend.

For many, being a caregiver is a life filled with numerous challenges that call for a particular brand of stamina. Sometimes the caregiver does not always have access to the emotional and/or psychological tools to deal with those challenges. The caregiver may have the energy, but more times than not, it gets lost somewhere in the shuffle of overwhelming exhaustion that periodically proves detrimental in the life of both the caregiver and the patient. As a result, the caregiver may no longer understand or know how to cope objectively with the situation at hand.

The Classic TV Preservation Society understands that plight and how being a caregiver requires a particular brand of stamina. Sometimes the caregiver does not always have access to the emotional and/or psychological tools to deal with the situation at hand. The caregiver may have the energy, but more times than not, it gets lost somewhere in the shuffle of overwhelming exhaustion that periodically proves detrimental in the life of both the caregiver and the patient. As a result, the caregiver may no longer understand or know how to cope objectively with their position. The Acting As Caregiver Seminars help caregivers to focus and clarify their energy more productively. By employing the creative technique of Improvisation, and other theatrical crafts (such as Role Playing, Character and Scene Study), the Acting As Caregiver Seminars help the participants clarify their often overwhelming situation.


The S.M.A.R.T. in the S.M.A.R.T. Seminars stands for Senior Media Arts And Review Theatrical Program. This particular seminar encourages participants, 55 and over, to become involved with the theatrical crafts of Acting, Creative Writing, Music, Dance - with a concentration on enhancing self-esteem, self-worth, positive thinking, and personal communication skills – all the while employing messages from Classic TV shows – with which the senior population, in particular, is familiar (i.e. The Donna Reed Show, The Milton Berle Show, The Red Skelton Show).

The S.M.A.R.T. Seminars are recreational, educational, and motivational, and benefit the mind, body and spirit of each participant. They are for every senior who is seeking to begin or continue living their lives happily at a time when others may feel it is merely the twilight of their years. These particular seminars concentrate on theatrical performance techniques and knowledge that may easily be applied to everyday living. Those participating in these seminars are introduced to the general concepts of what it requires to act in, write, produce and direct a version of their favorite classic television show and have a great deal of fun and jolt of positive self-esteem in the process.

As such, The Classic TV Preservation Society employs each of its seminars to assist participants of every ethnicity, creed, spiritual belief and challenge (physical or otherwise) in applying, learning about and/or honing their many times latent theatrical, musical and literary talents in a supportive, confidence-building and encouraging atmosphere – to enhance and help preserve their quality of life and sustain their position as or how to become an active and joyful participant in society. Each seminar may be a singular event or a series of events scheduled over a particular period of time.


Thousands from every walk of life have attended any number of the Classic TV Seminars. Teachers, students, business executives, parents, seniors, and others have walked away with not only a better understanding of the media – but how the media may better serve their development and self-image as human beings. Here’s a sample of what people are saying:

'My senior residents were infused with a burst of energy and vitality that I had not seen before. These seminars are life-changing."

- Carol Zazzaro
Activities Director
Crimson Ridge
Greece, New York

"...supplies a kind of learning that is most valuable. The message of self-esteem crosses all subject areas…brings wisdom, humor and motivation."

- Dina D'Aiuto
Intercultural Studies, School 37
Coordinator, Education for Peace
Rochester, New York City School District

"...a positive inspiration to my class. They will never be the same."

- Nanette Bojak,
First Grade Teacher
School 34
Rochester City School District

"...offers encouragement to set positive goals…helps to develop a strong personal image."

- Elizabeth Lenhard
Fourth Grade Teacher
Mother of Sorrows School
Greece, New York

"This program is a must for all grade levels. It communicates respect, kindness, and friendship towards all people."

- Cindy Grange
Fyle School
Fairport, New York

"Thank you for the wonderful and insightful time you gave all of us. I was amazed at how open the individuals were to the experiment -- all the credit for that goes to your mastery of your subject and your ability to put people at ease. You are truly a craftsman. The evaluations were all extremely positive -- you reached deep spaces in these caregivers that needed healing. You found a new way to get an assertive message across -- it called into use a different part of our brains than all the presentations I've heard."

- Theo Munson
Bereavement Services
Lifetime Care
Henrietta, NY.

And from various participants:

"I liked the way the acting tied in with
expressing our feelings in providing care"

"It was a fun outlet for stress and emotions"

"I was nervous, but he put us at ease and made us
laugh and was able to safely allow us to share
life experiences through acting/role playing"

"The chance to learn new ways to channel my
emotions toward my family and my father was the best part of the day."


“We celebrate the integrity of classic television”


The purpose is to educate individuals, community, arts/media, business and academic organizations and institutions on the social significance and positive influence of classic television programming, with specific regard to family values, diversity in the work place, and mutual respect for all people of every cultural background and heritage, race and creed.


Nostalgic television programming as seen on TV Land, the Hallmark Channel, WE, WGN and other networks are a hit with the viewers. The generation that worships The Brady Bunch and lived The Wonder Years is fast increasing as the prevalent consumer. With productions of large screen adaptations of small screen classics (i.e. Gidget and Gilligan's Island) on the rise, and with television itself remaking its original shows (Hawaii Five-0), the big TV picture is expanding - as is our consciousness of its social ties.

The Bob Newhart Show and I Love Lucy continually find new generations of fans in prime-time through syndication and release on DVD. Time and again, archetypal comedies, dramas, action-adventures, mysteries - and even musical-variety shows (The Carol Burnett Show, The Dean Martin Show) - have become historic and learning canals for today's viewer. While the influence of classic TV programs can no longer be denied, questions abound:

Have programs from the past affected the way we live in the present? Have we learned "what love's got to do with it" from Samantha and Darrin on Bewitched? Are we more tolerant of those who happened to be different because Star Trek inspires to “make us so”? Channels switch and signals cross, but the focus is clear: We have indeed learned a great deal from watching classic television - and continue to do so.

Maybe yesterday's young television viewers have developed into today's hip parents because they screened the strong results of classic TV parentage, the kind played so entertainingly and effectively by Nancy Walker as Mrs. Morgenstern on Rhoda. The pressure was off because such performances outweighed the quirkiness of what could have become an unlikable character. The viewer was better prepared to acquire lessons on how not to be a mother from a funny, non-preaching fictional personality, and walk away with an inspirational thought and explicit positive reinforcement in the process. The contemporary Mom and Dad may view a troubled child reference or recall the compassion presented on Little House On The Prairie, The Donna Reed Show, Family Affair, or My Three Sons, and ask, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Classic shows like Father Knows Best, The Bionic Woman, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Perry Mason cater to the highest common denominator in each of us. Such programming encourages family values, scientific and medical education, strong work ethics, observational skills, spiritual support and true friendships. The Odd Couple, The Beverly Hillbillies and The Golden Girls have it down on how to entertain viewers, while presenting characters in a psychologically-nutritious manner for the viewer.

Classic television programs may not necessarily or directly create good behavior in the audience. But with programs like The Waltons and Life Goes On, a significant number of viewers may be affected in a positive way. How much of an effect past TV favorites have on society depends on the amount of power and suggestion that the audience is willing to grant such and which shows they choose to watch. Yet one fact remains: Today's central demographic patron is yesterday's child, long-hungry for a TV era gone-by.

Consequently, The Classic TV Preservation Society is here to celebrate, document and help spread the word that classic television is an untapped resource for education; an entertaining, informative, socially substantial, and sometimes, life-changing.


Herbie J Pilato graduated in 1983 with a B.A. Degree in Theatre Arts from Nazareth College of Rochester, moved to Los Angeles, where he studied Television and Film at UCLA, and served his Internship in Television at NBC-TV in Burbank. As the author of a number of classic TV literary companions (including The Bewitched Book, The Kung Fu Book of Caine, The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom, Bewitched Forever, The Bionic Book, NBC & ME: My Life As A Page In A Book, and Life Story – The Book of Life Goes On: TV’s First And Best Family Show of Challenge.), Herbie has worked as a producer/consultant for Bravo’s hit five-part series, The 100 Greatest TV Characters, TLC’s Behind the Fame specials (on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues), A&E’s Biography (for segments on classic TV stars Elizabeth Montgomery and Lee Majors), and the SyFy Channel’s Sciography series. Herbie has also served as a consultant and on-screen commentator for the classic TV DVD releases of Bewitched, Kung Fu and CHiPs - as well as the Classic TV Editor for numerous websites (including MediaVillage.com, TV-Now.com and the family-oriented PAXTV.com). Herbie has also written about classic television for several magazines, including Starlog, Sci-Fi Entertainment, Sci-Fi Universe, Retro Vision, Classic TV and CinemaRetro. As an actor, he’s appeared on classic television shows such as Highway to Heaven and The Golden Girls, as well as daytime serials like The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital. As the Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, Herbie J Pilato is dedicated to closing the gap between positive popular TV and education.

To schedule Classic TV Seminars for your school, college, community, senior or business organization, contact:

Herbie J Pilato
Founder & Executive Director
The Classic TV Preservation Society
17306 Stowers Avenue
Cerritos, CA 91703
(310) 480-0067

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