Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows

Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows

by Marianne Rittner-Holmes, Kent McCray
Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows

Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows

by Marianne Rittner-Holmes, Kent McCray


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Ask people who Kent McCray is and the question will draw a blank stare. Ask people if they remember Bonanza, The High Chaparral, Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven, and a smile will invariably come to their faces as they recognize the titles and share how these beloved shows influenced their lives. In fact, all four series are still being broadcast 30 to 55 years after their original debuts. They are more than historic; they are iconic because they continue to reach out to new generations of viewers on a global scale.

It all started in 1951. The world was no longer at war; peace-time technology focused on the new medium of television; and AT&T connected the East and West Coasts via coaxial cable creating an explosion in television programming and broadcasting. This was the stage Kent McCray entered in that same year. A live stage. One that put the young NBC production specialist among the likes of Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Ralph Edwards, Groucho Marx, and Bob Hope. He became part of the history of television as it evolved from live TV to videotape to film, from black & white to color.

Kent McCray shares stories that span 50 years of television including production obstacles and solutions, his extraordinary collaboration with Michael Landon, and his legacy of philanthropy, all against the backdrop of current events that helped shape the television industry.

Join Kent McCray as he revisits his incredible life and works that live on to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998296005
Publisher: AlphaDox
Publication date: 09/18/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 694,278
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Marianne Rittner-Holmes, a U.S. Army veteran, retired from the corporate world after 25 years. She now pursues a freelance writing career online and in print. She has a B.A. in English from St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Arizona.
Marianne is active in her church and volunteers in her rural community as an EMT-Intermediate. She and her husband Dave live in the desert south of Albuquerque, N.M., along with their three rescue dogs. (

Kent McCray is one of the most-recognized production managers/producers in the television industry. He has run production crews and produced shows for Bob Hope, Michael Landon, Ralph Edwards, Red Skelton, Groucho Marx and more. He and his wife Susan reside in the North Ranch area of Westlake Village, Calif.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Roots of the Tree Run Deep

Chapter 2: The Doctor from Yale

Chapter 3: “Never Say No to a Job,” or “If You See Me, You Don’t Know Me”

Chapter 4: “Everything Was Live!”

Chapter 5: My Life with Ralph Edwards

Chapter 6: The Production Supervisor Takes a Wife

Chapter 7: Big Brother

Chapter 8: Uncle Miltie’s Whistle

Chapter 9: Hope Springs Eternal in Alaska

Chapter 10: Bob Hope & the One-Star General Explore the Orient

Chapter 11: The Road to Europe

Chapter 12: Forging Friends with Outlaws

Chapter 13: Someone’s in Denmark with Dinah…

Chapter 14: Riding with Outlaws Again

Chapter 15: A Bonanza of Color

Chapter 16: A Production Manager Keeps It All Going

Chapter 17: Tales from the Ponderosa

Chapter 18: The High Chaparral

Chapter 19: Mr. Burris’ Homestead

Chapter 20: Chaparral Was My Baby

Chapter 21: Tales from the Sonoran Desert

Chapter 22: Consolidating Resources

Chapter 23: Introducing Susan Sukman

Chapter 24: Ending an Era: Cancellation of Chaparral & Bonanza

Chapter 25: Little House on the Prairie

Chapter 26: Walnut Grove Comes to Life

Chapter 27: Casting the Casting Director

Chapter 28: Prairie Companions

Chapter 29: Changes, New Productions & MGM

Chapter 30: Killing Stone & Father Murphy

Chapter 31: Little House With a New Perspective

Chapter 32: Tales from the Prairie

Chapter 33: Introducing Susan Sukman McCray

Chapter 34: Highway to Heaven

Chapter 35: Tales from the Highway

Chapter 36: Where Pigeons Go to Die

Chapter 37: Us

Chapter 38: Us Minus One

Chapter 39: With Laughter & Love

Chapter 40: Bonanza Movies This Ain’t No Music Video

Chapter 41: It’s Not Where You Start; It’s Where You Finish

Chapter 42: My Work

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