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Old 10-01-2004, 09:09 AM   #1
koz2883
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Default where was bilko filmed?

Hi all! Does anyone know where Bilko was filmed? I know it was initially shot b4 a live studio audience, I alos heard it sometimes went on location. This would be a big help for an article I'm writing. Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2004, 04:45 PM   #2
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Hi

In New York, if that's not stating the obvious. From The Sgt Bilko Episode Guide

"...the first season of shows were filmed at the Dumont Studios rather than in a CBS studio. We later built a film studio of our own on 26th street."
M. Clay Adams - Associate Producer of The Phil Silvers Show

"King of the Half Hour: Nat Hiken and the Golden Age of Comedy" (David Everitt, 2001) places the Dumont Studios on East 66th Street. Mickey Freeman, in his book "Bilko, Behind the Lines with Phil Silvers" (2000) says 67th street. The Everrit book is better researched.

Location sequences are collectors items, I would estimate there are maybe 6-10 in the whole series.

Thomas
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Old 10-04-2004, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, Thomas. I was told that Bilko was shot on location at a particular Army base in New Jersey from time to time, and I was digging for more information on that tip. The fact that location shots were so rare is a big help.
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:45 PM   #4
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Hi

To clarify and expand: I would say there are 6-10 location sequences in the entire series featuring the actors. However, there are numerous "linking" location shots, as they go from one scene to the next. Most of these look like stock footage, but some of them might have been shot especially, to fit in with the plot, for example, I vaguely remember one featuring a particular vehicle.
When they stopped filming the shows in front of a live audience, they took the films to a camp at "Governors Island" (the Freeman book), to record a laughter track.

Thomas
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:38 PM   #5
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The later Bilko Episodes were shot on film at a CBS studios at 221 W 26th street, NYC. Sometimes referred to as the Hi Brown Studios, CBS stopped using them in the late 1960's. Subsequently, Mel Brooks shot both "The Producers" and "The 12 Chairs" there. Three stages were in operation there: studio 51 and 54 (TV), and 65 (Film).

Incidently, when CBS leased the Dumont Studios (205 e 67th st., later home to Ch 5), the stages were numbered studio 63 and 64.

The way labor unions were set up in those days, television and film work couldn't easily be done on the same stage (you'd need to hire two crews). Dumont seemed to have worked out an exception to the work rules which CBS took advantage of when they rented the facility. (My guess is that the exception was made to accomodate Dumont's use of Electronicam, which could be used to broadcast a show live, and at the same time shoot a 16mm film record. Dumont's operation as a television network was highly dependent on them being able to supply filmed shows to affiliates.) Bilko was shot using regular film cameras, however.

BTW, the Hi Brown studios are still there, being run as rental stages.

If anyone can add any more information to this, please do.

Last edited by SMDanes; 03-01-2007 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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Default In Phil Silvers' own autobiography...

...he stated that the series was originally filmed at the DuMont studio facilities on East 67th Street. This is true: those facilities were built in 1954, at 205 E. 67th Street, for DuMont's live TV programs...and for those they hoped would be filmed there (by other producers) as well. Only "BILKO" was ever filmed at DuMont- and they eventually switched to CBS' own film studio, as previously mentioned, by the second season....until the show moved out West towards the end of 1958.

The DuMont facilities in New York eventually became known as "Metromedia Telecenter" by the end of the '50s {when Metromedia bought WABD-TV and it became WNEW-TV by 1958**, and continues to be used for Channel 5's live programming [primarily news and information programs], even though it's now known as "Fox Television Center" {since they bought WNEW-TV in 1986, now known as WNYW-TV**.

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Old 03-12-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMDanes
The later Bilko Episodes were shot on film at a CBS studios at 221 W 26th street, NYC. Sometimes referred to as the Hi Brown Studios, CBS stopped using them in the late 1960's. Subsequently, Mel Brooks shot both "The Producers" and "The 12 Chairs" there. Three stages were in operation there: studio 51 and 54 (TV), and 65 (Film).

Incidently, when CBS leased the Dumont Studios (205 e 67th st., later home to Ch 5), the stages were numbered studio 63 and 64.

The way labor unions were set up in those days, television and film work couldn't easily be done on the same stage (you'd need to hire two crews). Dumont seemed to have worked out an exception to the work rules which CBS took advantage of when they rented the facility. (My guess is that the exception was made to accomodate Dumont's use of Electronicam, which could be used to broadcast a show live, and at the same time shoot a 16mm film record. Dumont's operation as a television network was highly dependent on them being able to supply filmed shows to affiliates.) Bilko was shot using regular film cameras, however.

BTW, the Hi Brown studios are still there, being run as rental stages.

If anyone can add any more information to this, please do.
I assume that is Himan Brown of Inner Sanctum/CBS Radio Mystery Theatre fame?
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