Smithsonian Spotlights Daytime Television
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will add artifacts that reflect the contributions of daytime television programming to the national entertainment collection in a ceremony that continues an ongoing partnership with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). The donation from Days of Our Lives, which is marking 50 years on the air, will include show scripts, original art and other memorabilia, including sets of Horton family Christmas ornaments and a pledge of the iconic hourglass that opens each episode. Actresses Deidre Hall and Susan Seaforth Hayes and Executive Producer Greg Meng, who wrote a book about the show’s 50th anniversary, will present the objects.
The ceremony continues a collecting initiative established in 2013 between the National Museum of American History and NATAS to help the museum tell the story of daytime television.
“Since its advent in the 1940s, television has become integral to American culture,” said John Gray, director of the museum. “By adding the contributions of daytime television to our collections, we are recognizing television’s influence on everyday life and capacity to explore national values such as democracy, opportunity and innovation.”
“Everyone at NATAS is thrilled to continue our relationship with the Smithsonian and daytime television by bringing these iconic items and stars from Days of Our Lives to the museum,” said Chuck Dages, chairman of NATAS.
Actress Tippi Hedren will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Perhaps best known as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary blondes, Hedren is also an established daytime TV actress, having played Helen Maclaine in The Bold and the Beautiful. In addition, she is one of the “Legendary Ladies of Stage and Screen” who donated items from her career to the museum’s entertainment collections, contributing original scripts from The Birds and Marnie.
Among the Days of Our Lives artifacts are an original script with the episode number 7435 that depicts the Marlena Evans (played by Hall) possession storyline with director’s notes. The script includes notations of the tape dates as Nov. 19 and 21, 1994, and the air date as Dec. 23, 1994. Also included are the Horton family’s Christmas ornaments; hanging the ornaments is a Horton Christmas tradition that began in 1966.
The museum’s television collections contain costumes, scripts, props and set pieces, including Archie Bunker’s chair from All in the Family, marionettes from The Howdy Doody Show, the “puffy shirt” from Seinfeld and Denis Leary’s firefighter costume from Rescue Me. An exhibition exploring American culture is currently in development and will draw on the museum’s television, theater, music, sports and entertainment collections. The exhibition is scheduled to open in 2018.
About the National Museum of American History
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit https://americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
About the Daytime Emmy Awards
The first Daytime Emmy Awards show was broadcast in 1974 and hosted by Barbara Walters and Peter Marshall. The Daytime Emmys represent the best of television programming in eight categories—daytime dramas, talk shows, morning programs, game shows, children’s programming, legal/court shows, culinary shows and lifestyle and travel programs—as well as “new approaches” categories.
About the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
NATAS is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. NATAS recognizes excellence in television with the Emmy Award. For more information, visit www.emmyonline.tv.