John T. Binkley

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John T. Binkley (born 1943) is an American writer-director-producer of theatre and television.

Biography Plays and Television Reviews References External links

Biography[edit]

Binkley was born in Evanston, Illinois. He studied philosophy at Stanford University (B.A. 1968) and worked on a retrospective of his pro bono work in the healing arts at Lesley University (MEd 1994). He is a 1965 graduate of Exeter.

Binkley’s first play, No Man’s Child, premiered in 1966 at The Nitery Theater, Stanford University, and was produced for television by K.Q.E.D./ San Francisco and televised on P.B.S. stations in the major U.S. cities in 1966. In 1970 Binkley became the director of the Foothill Free Clinic in Pasadena, CA. Although an Episcopalian he was also director of education for the American Friends Service Committee. Managed by Nelson Rising, the executive producer of the Academy Award winning political drama 'The Candidate,' John ran unsuccessfully for congress in the Pasadena, CA. area in November 1972. However, he did better than any other Democrat had ever done in that district.

In 1984, Binkley produced No Adults Allowed for TV-AM in London. The show was reviewed in the London press and aired nationally on ITV. Press reviews included the comments: “Adventurous concept,” The Sunday Times; “Viewing grownups through youngsters’ eyes…The first children’s soap opera to line up alongside big boys like Coronation Street,” Daily Express; “Compulsive viewing,” The Sunday Express. The show was syndicated in Europe, Africa and Asia. In the early development of "No Adults Allowed," veteran television producer Norman Lear ("All In The Family") worked with Binkley in an attempt to bring the show to American television, and made the observation, "It gives me an opportunity to see how children view me and my society."

Binkley created and produced The Perkins Family in 1985. The critically acclaimed U.S. version of No Adults Allowed was produced with WGBH Boston for broadcast nationally on P.B.S. 1987. It attracted the largest teen audience of any program on P.B.S. in the February, 1987, sweeps (source: A.C. Nielsen February 1987).

In 1990, Binkley produced the first season of Fifteen for Nickelodeon (an earlier version was produced for The Disney Channel and was selected Best New Drama in Canada). A total of 65 episodes were produced between 1990 and 1992, securing awards and record ratings for Nickelodeon between 1991 and 1993(source: A.C. Nielsen).

In 2002, author Xinran and her husband, London literary agent, Toby Eady, asked Binkley to create a pilot for a Chinese version of No Adults Allowed. The pilot was produced in Nanjing.

Recently, Binkley returned to the theatre, writing and directing three plays (2003–2008) including: Seize The Day, work shopped, then toured in Scotland with Pace Theatre Company 2005-2006; and most recently, Gang of Four, showcased by Presentation House (Vancouver) in 2008.

Plays written and directed by John Binkley

  • No Man’s Child (1966)
  • We Went There Tomorrow (1970)
  • Marilyn (2003)
  • Seize The Day (2005)
  • Gang of Four (2007)

Television programs produced by John Binkley (1)

  • No Man’s Child (1967 PBS/U.S.)
  • Secret's Out (1981 U.S.)
  • No Adults Allowed (1984 ITV/U.K)
  • The Perkins Family (1986, WGBH/PBS/U.S.)
  • Fifteen (1986, The Disney Channel/U.S.;Canada)
  • Fifteen (1990-1992 Nickelodeon/U.S.)
  • Children of War (documentary) (1997)
  • No Adults Allowed (2002 China)

(1) with the exception of No Man's Child which Binkley directed

Reviews[edit]

A kid's-eye view of family life The Christian Science Monitor, January 2, 1987. Alan Bunce wrote, “'The Perkins Family' has two remarkable features: a cast of seven to 16-year-olds who play all the parts-- including those of adults; and dialogue that is entirely improvised...'Improvisation is a natural form of drama for children,' said producer John Binkley...'It's almost an extension of play.' This rewarding experiment in television theater brings young talent and insight to bear on family issues and everyday living." [1]

“Of, By & For The Children,” Los Angeles Times, TV Times 1/27/91-2/2/91. Lauren Lipton wrote regarding "Fifteen", "While the show -- Nickelodeon's first continuing drama-- might tackle some pretty serious situations, it does so with a light touch, to make viewers laugh even if they felt like crying."

"Children develop story ideas for younger set's soap opera," the Free Lance-Star, Maryann Mrowca, 2 January 1987.

References[edit]

  • The Boston Globe review, TV Week, January 11–17, 1987 by Robert A. McLean
  • People magazine, Picks & Pans, January 19, 1987
  • New York Daily News review, January 5, 1987 (used the Associated Press article)
  • Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1987
  • [www.justadventure.com/Interviews/LeeSheldon/LeeSheldon.shtm]
  • The Times-Picayune, TV Focus, August 4–10, 1991
  • The Detroit News review, April 10, 1992
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer, TV Week, May 10, 1992
  • TV Guide, October 24–30, 1992
  • Montgomery Advertiser, February 12, 2001 "250 Cheer Pupils' Project"
  • [2]