Hard to believe it has been 25 years that “Sidewalks Entertainment” made its first appearance on TV.
September 1, 2013 (San Francisco Bay Area) — September 1st marks the 25th anniversary of the first airing of the TV show called “Sidewalks” that is created, produced and edited by Richard R. Lee. The show began in 1988 on a local public access station in El Cerrito, CA, near Berkeley.
In the beginning, the program showcased over one hundred San Francisco Bay Area talents, ranging from singers and bands to artistic acts like acrobatic roller skating group and fashion designers. As time went on, the show’s format begin to change as the show lost its studio home. Now, “Sidewalks Entertainment,” which is produced independently by Lee, longtime co-host Cindy Rhodes, and a small team, is known for its spotlighting of national musical artists and celebrities, with a long list of famous Hollywood stars that could rival the big national talk shows, such as NBC’s “The Tonight Show” or CBS’ “Late Show,” and access shows like “ET” or “Extra.”
“Even though the series is made up of various variations and spin offs,” says Lee, who has single-handedly edited over 500 episodes of the entire series, “we have continued to call the show ‘Sidewalks.’ It’s our name and brand. We have been through many format changes. I never dreamed I would ever be doing in my life a Hollywood/New York-type of show out here in the Bay Area with big, big, big name celebrities.”
Producing “Sidewalks” has been a labor of love for the small team, who have been doing the project on their own time. Many crew members and on-air personalities got their first training on “Sidewalks.” Since 1993, Rhodes has been the longest host, and the chief person in charge of satellite tours where many of the celebrity interviews have originated. Rafael Siegel and Maaika Westen, who are currently not involved with the production at this time, also had a long tenures in front of the camera. Lee, who was heading toward a career as a studio director, is now one of the co-hosts, along with current faces Mika Abogado and the recently added Veronica Castro, a popular personality on the nationwide “Latin Eyes” TV show. Justin Langston has been the main videographer (and writer of the show’s movie reviews) for the last decade.
For the last several years, the once exclusive, local cable show has been expanding. In 2009, “Sidewalks” got its first appearance on broadcast television, with a special on KOFY-TV, a San Francisco Bay Area station. Presently, the series can be seen throughout Northern and Central California on the Comcast Hometown Network (CHN) and broadcast outlets KOTR (My Network TV affiliate in the Central Coast) and KQSL. “Sidewalks” also continues to air on regional cable stations in various parts of the United States.
What’s plan for the next 25 years? The team plans to expand the show on both TV stations and turn their production into a bigger operation for broadcast and online.
Lee adds, “It has been an amazing lifelong run with more to come.”