The Novel

PBS (ended 1988)


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The Novel

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For Children's Television International (CTI), the production of The Novel spanned ten years and reflected the changing climate Reaganomics introduced. In 1980, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) agreed to provide funds for a sixteen-part CTI series called The Novel. The premise was similar to an earlier production called The Short Story. Legendary school television producers Paul Lally and John Robbins were among those named to stage adaptations of scenes from various novels. Three shows (The Time Machine, The Awakening, and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets) were filmed in 1980. The next year, though, with Ronald Reagan in office, the U.S. economy was changed dramatically. NEH withdrew its funding of further CTI productions. Ray Gladfelter, CTI president and executive producer of all CTI series, needed an alternative. Gladfelter finally found it in 1984, by extracting public-domain films for The Novel and future CTI productions. Thus CTI became the American Movie Classics of ITV. All of the "Story" credits in the Episode Guide are identified in the credits either for "Screenplay" (for the three aforementioned dramatizations) or "Adaptation" (for all other programs).moreless