September 20, 2013

Around the dial

A day late, perhaps, but that just gave me a little extra time to find some worthwhile links for you to check out.

Fun post from Rick at Classic Film and TV Cafe, listing the five best classic television detectives. I might have found a place for the erstwhile British inspectors Morse, Lewis or Foyle, and I would agree with those who might have taken a pass on Jessica Fletcher, but a great piece nonetheless, and a very perceptive choice of Poirot as number one.

Speaking of lists, Amy at Embarrassing Treasures has her list of five favorite classic TV show openings. Regular readers know that from time to time I've enjoyed talking about my own favorites in this category - specifically, The FBI, The Fugitive and Perry Mason. Again, not only catchy, but recognizable to any TV fan. It's our loss that so many series have moved away from more substantial openings (and theme songs).

Anyone out there remember Josie and the Pussycats? I watched this cartoon Saturday mornings, although I'm not sure if it's because of the cartoon itself, or because at that age I'd watch any Saturday cartoon. (A few years later, and me a few years older, and I figure I would have been at the age where the Pussycats had a distinct appeal...) At Comfort TV, David takes us back to those neat, sweet, groovy days.

I've been putting the finishing touches of a couple of future "This Week in TV Guide" entries, in which a highlight of the week's broadcasting is the broadcast of afternoon World Series games. (One year starting at 10:45am CT, if you can believe it.) In a similar vein, Jeff at Classic Sports TV and Media gives us a rundown on weekday daytime major sports broadcasts. Great information for detail buffs like me, who also enjoy living in the past...

Todd VanDerWerff at The Onion A.V. Club tells us that the Golden Age of TV is dead, long live the Golden Age. Some very interesting thoughts here on everything from what makes a TV series a classic to what makes a TV era a golden one. I think he's particularly right in talking about how the scarcity today of 50s programming may make the era seem better than it is, and how the 60s (at least the early part) weren't as bad as we might remember. I won't dispute the labeling of the last few years as another Golden Age, even as I concede that I fail to appreciate its appeal.

And also from The Onion, as well as other sources, this note on NBC's proposed miniseries biopic on Johnny Carson. For as much as we revere Carson's memory and his impact on television, I wonder how relevant he is to the viewers of today, considering how long he's been off the air, and how invisible he became as soon as he left. Has Carson become one of those figures your grandparents watched? I don't know. But as an added bonus, Grantland's Ken Tucker has some ideas on his dream casting lineup for the miniseries.

Finally, at the Classic TV History Blog, Stephen has a terrific "true story" take on The Fugitive. The details are terrific, from the photo captions to the tone of the story. I won't tell you any more - read it for yourself!

Think that's enough for today? Let's call it a wrap, and meet back here tomorrow for another episode of TV Guide!

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