Catching Up with Doug Wilson of 'ABC's Wide World of Sports'

The producer and director of the sports anthology series discuss his memoir "The World Was Our Stage."
10:48 | 04/15/14

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Transcript for Catching Up with Doug Wilson of 'ABC's Wide World of Sports'
The wonderful Doug Wilson aides -- -- and I think -- isn't totally recognizable I want he is seen as this is really means and where this is is an honor. And I'm sorry Denise you need something. But he's still asking for food yes -- -- -- Denise and control -- but I like I read at least they got -- they really get on that but I just really needs you celebrate Doug Wilson Doug Wilson. Content -- look at the -- I wrote a beautiful in trouble continuing. That be okay. So. Exciting day here on CNN -- EST yeah. There wasn't quite wide world of sports agencies like good sports the first -- television program all of its. Making history watching thousands of -- Doug Wilson Youman was part of at all as compliment -- from the thanks to producers and directors here at ABC for. Isn't really coming years. Well I was I was with ABC for fifty years unbelievable and then -- with the sports for 45. And fifty years of incredible stories. Are -- right here he has written -- new memoir is called the world was our stage everybody. Please welcome a very dear and special friend of mine and my family is mr. Doug loves and who knows. Every. Yeah got talent -- collect analyze and I can say to you gave me my first break in the TV business we'll I won't be -- hello Carolyn. I just Muslims in my mom I'm -- -- -- watching can you believe that city units. I can't believe nothing here nothing and -- wanted to honor it is for me. I I asked you for college advice -- advice at a college. And the reason is because of your experience and Robin just was the was doing were not wordy when she saw you as well I -- to get some of that. I don't know the iconic moment that we all remember in sports such as Jeffries the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that forced -- -- jumper. Who didn't have a great day. I I'm I -- -- became the signature. -- -- as. All I can remember watching that every single time -- ABC -- forces on. How about that well first of all there's a little TV trivia I can -- -- you do you know who produced the original telecasts in 1970 of that of that I hope he'll. And think he'll be given that friends I think it was a -- go Bogota his Yugoslavia's and Slovakia guy and he. He was. Iconic but didn't know he was famous in the united said he had no idea that he at the funeral IV symptoms kids twentieth anniversary show libel sports we invited Dennis moved Michael producer there. We invited him to come in the states -- stay in the -- He was he was a forklift operator -- fireworks. And came and he was sitting in Oscars the famous coffee shop and improve the Waldorf. And he was speaking to his interpreter several Croatian and the waiters came by and -- more several boys and they heard the language. They stopped of course they'll hear very often and the -- and when they found out who he who clues -- -- little with the restaurants that he's at the -- he's the agony of defeat these. Negative I don't know -- I don't know what it is such an idea on -- and. And and even Muhammad Ali you're right about now him for his autograph we went upstairs after that moment to the ballroom this chaos going on we're setting up for the big event that night you know. And -- forties as planned and I said tonight. Vehicle and its many of the greatest athletes of this century -- -- to -- in this historic world. When they find out you're here they're gonna rise as one and give you the -- Me he said that -- -- -- -- -- -- -- They did they did it for about a minute and a half the people were on their feet he just said this -- -- in -- black tie event in the ski jumper and a black tie. And and ended before the evening was out. Mohammed Ali came over to his table and Mohamad as they go from -- photograph. You know I look at that -- who is enough. As. -- leader's dream. Because this because it's something people saw millions hundreds of hundred times into people. But they did they'd never really so on because if they did they -- seen. That it could have did make a horrible accident he would have been inappropriate than to fill I kept the weakest yet. -- I think Brian has a freeze frame of it up there. -- -- -- -- -- -- Excuse me on someone wants what a kid. It's about a -- visit visit busy. An official that ducked in this he was coming across. Yeah yeah had a dog -- would have been horrible. I want to talk about some of the stories that you talent in the book you are -- -- -- and I remember you for your beautiful. Worked with ice skating I mean it was like a symphony to watch the shows that you directed and we're talking the -- Dorothy Hamill Peggy Fleming. You name the events. And you were there and probably the one making it. Happened well it's this very nice to -- you know our our approach toward world was not that we were going -- to just just to report who won and lost the contest. Our job was to take the people to the -- have them feel like they've experienced what it was like. To be in Moscow to be in Beijing to be in Duluth -- Oakland Seattle. And then we felt that these. Our approach was a human drama. We felt that it. The only difference between what was going on her Broadway stage of what was going on. In chicken giant stadium -- Michael Vick was that a giants' did on stage the -- already been written for the drama. It was our job in the stadium to follow the plot lines -- -- direction -- went. He really wasn't a Broadway Show and so we were in the sports theater business we have. And sold and what is only the mentioning now others -- now it's too late Alex and -- do you live ABC no ABC well will this force really was. Did the first and thanks to your boss for 25 years the one and only -- knowledge -- Right of course I never had the pleasure of meeting handlers but he's legendary. He don't know he ran. AB CH I am sitting here with you yeah -- in your patent ten eye or my drew I think George Newman to. Atlanta -- and Iran and constantly lobby they do obscure his he was in the news as well. But -- -- stories about him and what a character he well room oh yeah we'll just give you one little -- sort of silly things at cocktail parties. He always carry two glasses. Why did he carried two blesses you might this be carried two glasses because if someone stopped and that he didn't want to talk do. He could then say -- so I can't talk you know I have to someone's waiting for their. -- -- -- -- actually -- they're -- what that is just one of the great stories in the book it is called. The world was our stage and Arthur -- not a -- -- -- You mean it. You talk about -- Howard Cosell if -- -- sports -- Can you do need to read this book I just want to. Indulge me if you -- up in the control room what I said earlier that you were a family friend we'll -- and my bad my dear dad. Went to high school together and my mom is well. Ownership and continues through can they have it on this is -- a year values seen this picture but you've never seen what -- sign next to. Middle laughed is not my father -- I can I tell the eyes and and then there's an inscription from my daddy has to do there's record can't really grew over I think he says. I've never hit a senator from. -- your dad was into her dad was ugly. -- really great guy great guy -- -- and that he signed yesterday on good morning my talent you know what that's what I dream is for this moment because I want to tell people the first however mention. Go for a okay. You know because of because you know about this lady. You'll also know because I think last September you didn't you did a little peace on my diet that you were a great athlete -- And any woman who now can Wear the same -- that she wore. Few decades ago years ago via tears -- is extraordinary right to begin with -- but anyway now I was covering the national diving championships. And I came out of the truck and down the hill came my old friend Caroline. My mom put her mom and this nice young lady next to her and she introduces her daughter lives -- Lara indicates that she'd like to go in the till they can -- come and talk to you of course. About two months later after you graduated. Folks on monetary. Through the door of my office comes this. You'll -- gorgeous beautiful recent graduate with the blond hair combing over her shoulders. And I'll never forget it a sort of a powder blues stunning. Dress. She sits down in my desk and she says. Do you think I can -- chilled fish business. Perhaps we'll now Iowa says -- you don't know this but I had always discouraged people of today. And and because it and it's tough with -- tough business and and but I -- what three things I thought first of all. The camera is going to love her. Secondly any young woman. Who has that she didn't she didn't dive off a little one meter little. Board or the even the three -- she was going to the platform. Which is like jumping off a three story building. Into what looks like a postage stamp things on down below the almighty God's name now and always picking camera positions I couldn't even get to the -- to look down that was -- and now I can't think so I thought if she has the guts to do that she has the guts to go in this business. And then in into on top of that if she is the dedication and to be in the top ten in the country. Then you have what it takes to do it. Thanks -- here at this moment like it if she -- asked -- what do I have to do and I simply plugged into the local station cannot easily be kind and then he added yes -- this is I want to say and I was well I can't you don't know I was like what and then around about two weeks later. The phone rings I pick up the phone and she's calling me from the page locker room -- -- tell me. That she started in the business the same way. He. Not -- opinion I'm so -- America. The parade route and backstage the one and only -- Carlson. And give the web site. Other web -- is Doug Wilson ABC sports dot com Honda Accord CA BC sports dot none.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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