Herbie J Pilato
 Author   *   Producer   *   Consultant

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Hello All -

I'm excited to update you on the latest regarding my new books, both of which will be published in the Fall of 2014:



RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION: AN IN-DEPTH HISTORY OF CLASSIC TV'S SOCIAL CIRCUITRY (Tantor Books, Fall/2014) - with a Foreword by Adam West ("Batman").






By Herbie J Pilato

Foreword by ADAM WEST (“Batman”)

(Tantor Books, Fall 2014)


Classic television shows, which were produced with quality, excellence and geared toward family values, have had a positive influence in the lives of viewers for decades; as have the classic TV characters and the classic TV stars that brought them to life.

Some viewers of classic TV became attorneys because of Perry Mason; more than a few doctors enrolled in medical school because of Marcus Welby, M.D. Modern science and artificial limb construction, along with visual and audio implants, were enhanced because of The Six Million Dollar Man.  That Girl, Maude, and Wonder Woman helped moved forward the Women’s Liberation Movement, as did The Mary Tyler Moore Show (the latter of which encouraged women to pursue careers in journalism, including Oprah Winfrey)!  Families learned how to better communicate within their households because of Father Knows Best, The Waltons and Life Goes On – the latter of which was about a family member with Down syndrome, who later befriended a young friend with AIDS.  In the process, the barriers of prejudice began to dissolved in real life, as they had after audiences observed the true love, affection and acceptance of the “mixed marriages” as portrayed by Lucy and Ricky on I Love Lucy or Samantha and Darrin on Bewitched.    

All of it will be chronicled in RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION: AN IN-DEPTH HISTORY OF CLASSIC TV’S SOCIAL CIRCUITRY by author, producer, and televisionary Herbie J Pilato (Twitch Upon A Star, The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom), the Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society (a nonprofit that helps to close the gap between popular culture and education).  In short, RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION will explore the many-layered and heroic aspects of classic TV programming.

What better person to have write the Foreword to such an innovative book than the best, and most human and humane classic TV hero of all time...as personified by none other than ADAM WEST - the original and most beloved  Batman of them all!

Go RETRO – and watch for its publication by Tantor Books in Fall of 2014!




By Herbie J Pilato

(Taylor Trade Publishing, Fall 2014)

“An object of uncritical devotion.”

That’s how Webster’s dictionary defines the word “icon.”

In application to television that may not hold much water.  But in combination with the additional utterance of “female,” it becomes an unbeatable super-phrase:  GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.

From there, the verbal gamut runs “romantic,” “aristocratic,” “wise,” “resourceful,” “majestic,” “mysterious,” “profound,” and beyond; still only partially defining the select individuals who are profiled in GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR: TELEVISION'S ICONIC WOMEN FROM THE 50s, 60s AND 70s.

In truth?  Such a unique gathering is, in effect, undefinable…which in and of itself ironically becomes their ultimate, ideal and best description.

How could any of part of it be nothing but complicated, ambiguous, exciting, overwhelming, and compelling?

The legendary Donna Douglas who with both gusto and grace played the hot and hollering Elly May Clampett, the diamond in the rough on The Beverly Hillbillies….The barrier-and race-breaking performance of the distinguished Diahann Carroll as Julia in the same-named, first-African-American-led sitcom in TV history…The smart, sassy and sly delivery designed upon us by Barbara Eden and her magical TV carpet ride via I Dream of Jeannie.  The erotic, svelte, slinky - and very feminine-swagger of Julie Newmar as Catwoman on the original Batman series.

Each of them and more are probed, prodded and paid tribute to in GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR: TELEVISION'S ICONIC WOMEN FROM THE 50s, 60s AND 70s, which is filled with insightful, provocative and revealing commentary culled from exclusive interviews conducted by renowned classic television historian and producer Herbie J Pilato (Twitch Upon A Star, The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom, The Bionic Book, among others).

Look and pine for it in the Fall of 2014 – when it will be released exclusively and exotically by Taylor Trade Publishing.  





(Taylor Trade, October 2013)

“Pilato has served up a gourmet reader's feast with new, never-before-published material as well as culled from his massive buffet of previous books. Exhaustively detailed and annotated with a plethora of film and TV appearances, this book is an ‘essential’ for classic TV fans and the millions who will forever be bewitched by Elizabeth Montgomery.” - Greg Ehrbar, writer and producer

“Herbie J Pilato has spent a lifetime researching and writing on media, as his backlist readily attests. Now, on the heels of his brilliant Twitch Upon A Star, comes the ultimate resource for Montgomery fans. The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery is a must-have for lovers of classic TV.” - Matthew Worley, journalist and syndicated broadcaster, By the Book radio

“Herbie J Pilato has created a loving, extensive, and incisive portrait of an actress who deserves the attention. An important addition to any pop culture collection.” - Lou Aronica, New York Times best-selling author

“Herbie rides again! Mr. Pilato always does his homework and this is proof of it. The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery is a wonderfully concise guide and narrative of one of television’s leading ladies. Although Elizabeth is missed, this book does have the magical ability to bring her wonderful energy and charm back to the reader.” -  Eric Scott, actor, The Waltons, and Bewitched guest star

“When I was a young pup, the Makeup Department of Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems was a paradise every morning. From ages 12 to 20 I made it my business to fetch coffee and doughnuts for everyone, especially the ladies. There is no better way for a boy to start his morning than with beautiful, talented women—you’d find Donna Reed, Inger Stevens, and in 1963, Elizabeth Montgomery getting ready to star in Bewitched. Getting to know a woman in the morning before the hair and make-up provides a young man with a certain insight as to what’s truly important: character and consistent good humor. Herbie J Pilato’s thoroughly researched The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery told me all about the young woman I fawned over back in the day, and, while I was smitten with her as a young man, I came away from Herbie’s effort with even more affection and respect for this green-eyed beauty.” - Paul Peterson, President & Founder, A Minor Consideration; actor, author, advocate

“Herbie J Pilato truly honors the amazing…Elizabeth Montgomery. With a passionate and comprehensive chronology, Pilato weaves the story of how both her life and career overlapped and demonstrates how her very essence aligned with each character she portrayed. The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery is an enlightening history of an enchanted human being that will surely make any of her fans smile.” -  Sandy Pedeflous, creator, Smile TV







(Taylor Trade Publishing, November 2012)

 "Heavily researched, expertly executed, and handled with reverence, Twitch Upon A Star is a magical revelation about one of the most popular and endearing performers of all time. It's clear that Herbie J Pilato not only knows what he's talking about, but that he also cares very deeply about his subject, from a personal, yet objective perspective...No two ways about it, this book is a class act about a classic actress."  -  Danny Gold, Film and Television Producer

"I encourage everyone to read Pilato's astounding, loving, riveting, eye-opening book." -  Lydia Cornell, star of classic TV's Too Close For Comfort, comedienne, and women and children's advocate

"The way Herbie J Pilato tells it, Elizabeth Montgomery just didn't have guts, she had balls. She was kind to those she felt deserved it but had no qualms about setting others straight. Who'd'a thunk that sweet little Samantha had such chutzpah?" -  Larry Brody, veteran TV writer and producer (Baretta, Diagnosis: Murder, The Fall Guy, and more)

"Not only has Bewitched's Samantha Stephens influenced hundreds of female TV characters and the actresses who portrayed them, but Elizabeth Montgomery's lasting influence on Hollywood and society has been far greater than the TV series that made her a legend. Herbie J Pilato, one of the great students of classic TV, spins a compelling narrative that brings to life a magical TV series and it’s even more magical star. It's a true Hollywood story, and more than any book I've read Twitch Upon a Star goes behind-the-scenes to capture a fascinating period in history when television was coming of age." -  Jack Myers, Media Ecologist, Author and Producer

"Intricately revealing, well written and hard to put down, Herbie J Pilato's Twitch Upon a Star captures the essence and life of Elizabeth Montgomery. He leads readers on an intriguing journey into the loves, politics and performances of this multi-talented actor - a very magical journey, yet based in the real emotion of love. I heartily recommend this well rounded read for fans, friends and all who value the life of a gifted, complex and bewitching woman."  -  Kathy Garver, film, TV, and stage star (Cissy on the classic Family Affair TV series); author, The Family Affair Cookbook and Surviving Cissy; speaker.

"Much more than just a celebrity biography Twitch Upon A Star relays a spiritual quest that can speak to anyone. Retelling the story and work of a life can activate an awareness of the beauty and purpose in our own unfoldment. Pilato accomplishes this masterfully and magically, uncovering such depth and absorbing reflection with authenticity and vigorous charm to reveal Elizabeth Montgomery's journey as a true cultural treasure. This book is magnificent!" - Thomas Warfield, performing artist and founder of PeaceArt International

"Elizabeth Montgomery's life is beautifully portrayed by author Herbie J Pilato in [this] loving new biography." -  FrontiersLA

"[A] comprehensive and touching biography of Montgomery's life. . . . Fans of classic television or of well-written biographies should seek this out . . . an insightful read about an amazing woman!" - Journeys in Classic Film

". . . [T]ells you all about Bewitched, the magical 1960s-and-'70s sitcom, and other triumphs enjoyed by the talented and beautiful Montgomery." -  The Village Voice

"Twitch Upon A Star is ASTOUNDING. Herbie J Pilato does a wonderful job of mixing hard info with his personal relationship with Elizabeth Montgomery. His approach makes the book very unique. This is one of the best biographies I've read in years. It is a real classic . . . a brilliant work!" -  Rick Lertzman, media historian and author of Codename: Dr. Feelgood

"Wonderful book and terrific author . . ."  -  Shannon Devereaux Sanford, Shannon's Corner, WTBQ radio

". . . Twitch Upon a Star is an engrossing look at a strong-willed actress whose career spanned five decades. It will satisfy Elizabeth Montgomery's fans, as well as Bewitched buffs interested in learning more about that series' leading lady-and even how the famous twitch was `invented.'" -  Classic Film and TV Café

"[A] blockbuster new book."  -  The National Enquirer

"Life's journey is never simple. Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery is a biography from Herbie J Pilato [in which] he tells the `Bewitched' star's story . . . forming friendships, romances, enemies, and everything in between. An advocate with her own problems, [Montgomery's] story is one of [an individual] who tried to make a difference with her stardom. Twitch Upon a Star is a strongly recommended addition to Hollywood and television history biography collections; highly recommended."  -  Midwest Book Review

". . . No matter how big your twitch itch, this book will scratch it." -  Ventura County Star

" . . . [I]t's like meeting [Elizabeth Montgomery] all over again for the very first time. . . . If you've ever enjoyed an episode of Bewitched, come meet her for yourself."  -  BookSteve's Library Blog

"This biography covers it all . . . Fans will love the three sections of photos and Pilato's respectful, yet truthful, portrait of the woman who will forever be remembered for as the beautiful witch Samantha Stephens."  -  SheKnows Book Lounge

"Twitch Upon a Star is as perfect a book could be . . . [it] shines bright at a rating of 5 Stars (out of five). I read it twice. Afterwards I watched re-runs of Bewitched-knowing what I learned from Twitch Upon a Star-and what stirred me most were the questions that came to mind which I feel Twitch Upon a Star answered. Twitch Upon a Star is as no other book. . . . For me, a person who thinks he's read the best of the best books, [this] put a twinkle in my eyes [from] Herbie J Pilato's mastery of the craft of writing."  -  Salvador SeBasco, Christian book critic; host of The Inside View Show

"Twitch Upon a Star is based on Pilato's exclusive interviews prior to Montgomery's 1995 death. . . . The book follows her career before, during and after Bewitched, and goes behind the scenes chronicling her political activism [and] reveals behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the show and Montgomery's life."  -  Long Beach Press-Telegram

"Pilato expertly captures the life of [this] wonderful actress."  -  Daytona News-Journal

"[Herbie J Pilato is] the master of all things Bewitched . . . [Twitch Upon a Star is an] amazing new book."  -  NewNowNext on Logo Online

"For anyone who only recalls Elizabeth Montgomery from her most memorable role, on the 1960s sitcom Bewitched, this thoroughly researched, extensively detailed, and wholly fascinating biography will load you up with everything you've been missing. It's a delicious, detailed look at her life and remarkable career before, during and after that magical, life-changing show; her crusading and often controversial activism for the causes close to her heart; her often turbulent relationship with her father, actor Robert Montgomery; her rocky marital history; and the many other facets of the woman who played Samantha Stephens, TV's witch with the twitch at the end of her nose."  -  American Profile

"Fans of Elizabeth Montgomery and Bewitched will love this book."  -  Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

"Herbie J Pilato, a long-time fan and later friend of the actress uses his extensive interviews with the actress, plus meticulous research to get to the bottom of what the real Elizabeth Montgomery was like." - 
Soap World Magazine



"Herbie J Pilato is a virtual professor of popular culture."

- Ed Spielman, creator of the Emmy Award-winning television series, Kung Fu

"Herbie J Pilato was invaluable as a Creative Consultant on The Six Million Dollar Man DVD collection which
Giant Interactive authored.  His passion and knowledge of great classic TV shows was a huge help in the development of
ideas for the additional VAM created for the collection.  Herbie J helped turn this project into a great success."

- Jeff Stabaneu, Owner, Giant Interactive


Message from Herbie J Pilato

            Whether you're a follower of my work, a present or future colleague, or a random surfer - welcome!  As a writer, producer, and consultant, I provide creative services to publishers, production companies, TV networks, film studios, and individuals.  I serve the printed page, the big-screen or small or the theatrical stage...with original ideas or reimaginings for books (nonfiction and fiction), television shows (scripted or reality), in feature films or with live performances.  In whichever creative venue required, I write and produce my own work, as well as help others to tell-their-vision with honesty, ingenuity and integrity.  I cordially invite you to click on the page links above or the icon images below, and peruse, navigate and explore.