Home Television Television-related Interviews US Townhall RealStories presents: Television Producer KENNETH JOHNSON
US Townhall RealStories presents: Television Producer KENNETH JOHNSON
Written by Scott Katz   
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 08:20

Kenneth-Johnson-resizeOn Wednesday, January 19, 2011, we had a very special edition of our interview series, USTownhall RealStories.  We had the pleasure of having a one-on-one in-depth chat with legendary television producer/writer/director, Kenneth Johnson.  Fans of classic television, particularly in the scifi genre, will no doubt know his many influential works.  Mr. Johnson first made a splash on television after some years in Hollywood for his creation of Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman in a special two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man on ABC that shot the series to the top of the ratings where it remained for its next two seasons.  The fan reaction to Jaime and to the performance of actress Lindsay Wagner was so strong that, although the character was killed off at the end of the story, the network ordered that she be brought back for a return appearance.  Subsequently, the character was spun off into her own series that catapulted Lindsay Wagner to international superstardom.

Mr. Johnson was also responsible for bringing the long-running Marvel Comics superhero strip, The Incredible Hulk to the small screen for CBS.  This series ran for five successful seasons and remains probably the most widely-known and well-liked version of the Hulk.  Mr. Johnson's trademark in his writing is to incorporate the human element into his stories and put it front and center.  This certainly was true with Bill Bixby's melancholy performance as the tormented Dr. Banner that allowed the series to be taken seriously by adults rather than dismissed as a kids' show.

One of Mr. Johnson's biggest ratings successes was the television miniseries, V, which was broadcast on NBC in 1983.  This four hour event was followed the next season by another miniseries and, finally, a weekly series.  However, Johnson left the franchise during the production of the second miniseries, V: The Final Battle.  Imagery from the original V miniseries, which included gigantic spaceships hovering over major cities across the globe was paid homage to in the feature film, Independence Day.

Mr. Johnson has done numerous other television and feature film projects including Alien Nation, Short Circuit 2, and Steel.

Mr. Johnson spends an eventful hour with us to talk about all of that and more in this exclusive interview.  He relives the full behind-the-scenes stories of some of his more memorable television moments, and reveals some information that hasn't been as widely discussed and may just surprise you.

How did Mr. Johnson feel when Warner Bros. tried to take his "Created by" credit off the new V series currently airing on ABC?  Which other actresses were considered for the part of the Bionic Woman that eventually went to Lindsay Wagner?  Was Lee Majors' then-wife, Farrah Fawcett, ever a contender for Jaime Sommers?  Given Bill Bixby's background in comedy as the star of My Favorite Martian, what made Johnson decide that Bixby was the right person to play Dr. Banner in his adaptation of the Incredible Hulk?  What did Johnson say when he met Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the men behind the blockbuster film, Independence Day?

The answers to those and other questions await in what promises to be a most memorable interview that no fan of classic television or scifi would want to miss!


Get Adobe Flash player







the-apprentice-logo-thumb UslanMichael-resize-thumb 30-rock-thumb agnes-nixon-thumb BenSpierman-thumb big-brother-logo-thumb bobby-flay-thumb Bridgeboy-logo-thumb
cast of The Apprentice 10


Sherri Shepherd

Vanessa Minnillo

All My Children creator AGNES NIXON

Bronx Opera's BEN SPIERMAN

cast of Big Brother 12 BOBBY FLAY & STEVE ELLS of America's Next Great Restaurant Cast of the play Bridgeboy
bruce-canwell-thumb chuck-thumb crystal-chappell-thumb dan-kroll-thumb dan-parent-thumb david-lyons-thumb debbie-gibson-tiffany-thumb dede-emerson-thumb


part 1: Guiding Light

part 2: Days of Our Lives

soapcentral.com founder DAN KROLL DAN PARENT of Archie Comics DAVID LYONS of The Cape DEBBIE GIBSON & TIFFANY Author DEDE EMERSON of A Different Kind of Streetwalker
dowling_jpeg-thumb eliana-ujueta-thumb jamal-igle-thumb Jay-Mary-thumb jeremy-irons-thumb jerry-beck-thumb josh-groban-thumb kai-soremekun-thumb
BOB DOWLING of the 3D Entertainment Summit Indie filmmaker ELIANA UJUETA of Beneath the Rock comic book artist JAMAL IGLE Genesis Repertory's JAY MICHAELS, MARY MiCARI, & actors Oscar-winning actor JEREMY IRONS

Animation historian JERRY BECK

1st interview

2nd interview

singer-songwriter JOSH GROBAN

web series producer KAI SOREMEKUN of Chick

1st interview

2nd interview

kathy-bates-thumb kenneth-johnson-thumb kyle-bornheimer-thumb law-and-order-los-angeles-thumb logo-thumb luann-de-lesseps-thumb max-thumb mike-miz-thumb
Oscar-winning actress KATHY BATES of Harry's Law Television producer KENNETH JOHNSON of V, Bionic Woman, Incredible Hulk KYLE BORNHEIMER & HAYES MacARTHUR of Perfect Couples

Terrence Howard, René Balcer

Dick Wolf, Alfred Molina, Alana de la Garza

publisher DAN HERMAN of Hermes Press COUNTESS LuANN de LESSEPS of The Real Housewives of New York City author MAX ALLAN COLLINS of Road to Perdition WWE Champion Mike "The MIz" Mizanin
MillCreeklogo-thumb nick-lachey-thumb niki-taylor-thumb paul-reiser-thumb ricky-gervais-thumb rosie-odonnell-thumb steve-niles-thumb the-event-cast-logo-thumb

JEFF HAYNE of Mill Creek Entertainment

1st interview

2nd interview

singer-actor NICK LACHEY supermodel NIKI TAYLOR talks The Celebrity Apprentice actor PAUL REISER of The Paul Reiser Show actor-producer RICKY GERVAIS of The Office actress-television host ROSIE O'DONNELL comic book writer STEVE NILES

Ian Anthony Dale, Nick Wauters

Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Blair Underwood, Željko Ivanek

thore-jo-thumb tom-brokaw-thumb tom-pelphrey-thumb apothecary-theatre-thumb tori-spelling-thumb
THORE SCHÖLERMANN & JO WEIL of Verbotene Liebe Peabody & Emmy award winning journalist TOM BROKAW Emmy award winning actor TOM PELPHREY of Guiding Light actors from The Apothecary Theatre Company TORI SPELLING & DEAN McDERMOTT of sTORIbook Weddings





Reviews & Previews:

Summer 2011 Movie Preview

Fall 2010 Television season

Fra Diavolo

Die Drei Pintos

Romeo and Juliet in Brooklyn

MPI Home Video

Timless Media Group

Boris Karloff's Thriller

Hunter: The Complete Series

Polly and Her Pals

Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman

Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern

Spider-Man musical delayed again


Dead Space: Aftermath






New York Comic Con

Apprentice 10 kickoff

Farewell to Guiding Light

Farewell to As the World Turns

The Broadway Directory


Award Show winners:

Academy Awards

Emmy Awards

Grammy Awards

Tony Awards

American Music Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

American Country Awards



Television blogs:

American Idol 10

American Idol 9

American Idol 8

Big Brother 12

Big Brother 11

ABC Cancels Both All My Children and One Life to Live

Guiding Light: A Look Back


Editorials & Issues:

Scam Alert: Have You Received This E-Mail Job Offer?

Meet the 112th Congress

Brooklyn politicians Kevin Peter Carroll vs. Ralph Perfetto

Before Rosa Parks There Was Lizzie Jennings

Understanding New York State Government

USTownhall RoundTable podcast: The Worlds of Entertainment and Current Events