David M. Davis memo, 1958: ‘This will not be just another television program’

David M. Davis, an early TV production executive at Boston’s WGBH, pushes his producers to excel in a 1958 memo. He later became a major grantmaker for the Ford Foundation and chief exec of PBS’s longrunning drama showcase, American Playhouse. Memorandum July 23, 1958

To: Tv producer-directors
From: David M. Davis
Subject: Creativity

I have a great concern that we are not all utilizing the creative imagination that we have to make our programs interesting, stimulating, and even exciting. It seems to me that many of us are in a rather deep rut on stock format types of programs, and that real attempt at creation is not taking place. I think that the lifestyle series which will be assigned to each producer on a rotating basis during the coming season will be very helpful in this regard since each producer will have an opportunity to develop his own program in the direction in which he wishes to go.