The Open Mind (TV series)

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The Open Mind
The Open Mind Logo
The Open Mind Logo
Genre Interview
Created by Richard Heffner
Presented by Alexander Heffner
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original release May 1956 – Present

The Open Mind is a nationally broadcast public affairs interview program, the longest-running in the history of American public television. First broadcast in May 1956, this "thoughtful excursion into the world ideas" currently originates from CUNY TV Studios and airs on PBS stations. Creator Richard Heffner was host until his death on December 17, 2013.[1] In 2014, Alexander Heffner, Richard Heffner's grandson, took over as the program's host renewing its commitment to civil discourse for the new generation. [2]

History[edit]

The Open Mind was conceived to elicit meaningful insights into the challenges that society faces in contemporary areas of public concern. The program's title is attributed to a quote of Barnard College dean Virginia Gildersleeve, "Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."[3] The theme music chosen by Heffner, "World Without Time," is by the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra from their LP Adventures in Time. Recent guests have included Bill Frist, Bernie Sanders, Gary B. Pruitt, John I. Jenkins, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Mitchell Baker, Biz Stone, Sue Gardner, Aloe Blacc and Aasif Mandvi. The fall 2015 line-up features James Patterson, Alberto Ibargüen, Mitch Daniels, Salman Rushdie, Maria Freire, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Maya Soetoro-Ng, J. B. Smoove, Jill Soloway and Austin Beutner.[4] In 2016, the program will celebrate its 60th anniversary. [5]

Guests[edit]

Hundreds of guests have appeared on the program, including many prominent civil rights leaders (Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James L. Farmer, Jr.), politicians (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Richard Lugar, Diane Feinstein), jurists (Thurgood Marshall, Stephen Breyer, Judith Kaye), educators (Derek Bok, Michael S. Roth, John Palfrey), authors (Elie Wiesel, Erich Fromm, Norman Mailer), economists (Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Paul Krugman), entertainers (Robert Redford, Eli Wallach, Steve Allen), intellectuals (William F. Buckley, James MacGregor Burns, Neil Postman), physicians (Jonas Salk, Paul Nurse, Ruth Westheimer). [6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Heffner, Historian, Teacher, Pioneer of Public Television, is Dead at 88, Rutgers University
  2. ^ 'Open Mind' Host Continues Grandfather’s Vision for New Generation, The New York Times
  3. ^ The Closing of the American Mind
  4. ^ Open Mind's verified Facebook page
  5. ^ The Open Mind of Richard Heffner, Columbia College Today
  6. ^ Official Website, Archive

External links[edit]