Technology On TV Interview With John Rennie, Editor-In-Chief Of Scientific American Magazine, Podcast On TV Time Machine.Com

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TV Time Machine, an Internet radio show about classic television heard on and hosted by Jim Benson, will podcast a one-hour interview on May 3, 2006, with John Rennie, editor-in-chief of Scientific American magazine, about the impact of technology on TV—covering topics ranging from the Internet to immortality.

With a vast knowledge of science and a background in improvisational comedy, John Rennie offers both amusing and insightful commentary while covering a wide variety of TV technology topics—including how shows such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The X-Files, Star Trek, and even Mr. Ed have introduced revolutionary technologies such as microwave ovens, nuclear energy, computer chips, and cell phones to millions of television viewers over the past five decades.

“I think the rise of the cell phone has been one of the most influential forces on TV plots to come along in a long, long time,” says Rennie. “In the past, characters in jeopardy could not easily call for help. These days, writers are faced with having to explain the reason why cell phones aren’t working—which is why you often find in TV so many cases of people’s cell phones running out of juice at the worst possible moment.”

Responding to questions from host Jim Benson and reacting to audio highlights from classic TV shows ranging from My Favorite Martian to Columbo, John Rennie demonstrates that within the context of mass entertainment, television technology has proven to be both accurate and prescient, reflecting our ever-changing present while guiding a light toward an exciting technological road to the future.

A Yale University graduate, John Rennie worked for several years at Harvard Medical School and as a science writer before joining the staff of Scientific American in 1989 and in 1994 became only the seventh editor-in-chief in the 161-year history of the magazine. As a young man, John Rennie worked as a successful sketch and improvisational comedian, performing in New York and Boston. An expert in karate, he currently holds the rank of Nidan, (second degree black belt).

TV Time Machine’s Technology on TV interview with John Rennie will be available via podcast in a one-hour full-length format, or nineteen individual category segments, each approximately two-to-three minutes in length.

TV Time Machine (aired on is a fast-paced and fun-filled look at classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) television moments spanning the past fifty years. TV Time Machine explores individual TV shows and topics designed to appeal to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers alike. Each week, a different classic TV show or subject is highlighted, as host Jim Benson interviews some of the greatest celebrities in television history, while integrating classic TV audio clips and caller questions.


Jim Benson, host, TV Time Machine



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