March 13, 2014

Sports, Westerns, Game Shows and More! Don't cry UNCLE - it's just Around the Dial!

We haven't done one of these for a while (my apologies to my partners in the classic TV blogosphere), so let's take a quick look around the dial to see what caught my eye:

Such is the dismal state of baseball today (or, possibly, my increasingly curmudgeonly outlook on it), that I get far more excited by classic games from the past than by the prospect of Opening Day.  So when Jeff at Classic TV Sports shares a list of upcoming offerings on ESPN Classic, I notice it.  In particular, that 1976 ALCS game between the Yankees and Royals is a gritty classic that would have fit in to any era.

As is usually the case, Cult TV Blog is playing to my weaknesses, this time with an episode from the third season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  I vaguely remember this series not capturing my interest during its original run, when I was but a wee lad, but a few years ago I picked up the complete series in one of those ridiculous deals from Deep Discount, and it's been a real kick watching it.  I know that not everyone is a fan of the middle two seasons, when the show takes a hard right turn towards camp, but it still makes for a fun hour of TV.  Only thing missing is Stefanie Powers*, but she's on the Girl From U.N.C.L.E. set that's ridiculously high-priced.

*Around these parts, we all know that Stefanie Powers' middle name is *sigh*.

When The Price is Right returned to television in the 70s (as, appropriately enough, The New Price is Right), I remembered that there had been an "old" TPIR, but only had a dim memory of it.  Fortunately, Dixon at TV When I Was Born tells us all about it, so that we can see just how it differed from the Bob Barker version.  And while I like Bob well enough, I've always thought Bill Cullen was one of the great game show hosts of all time - a host's host, according to many in the industry.  If you like game shows, or even if you don't, be sure to check this out and then watch some of the episodes on YouTube.  I can guarantee you'll wince in pain at the cost of a new car back then.

One show I don't remember from its original run is Maverick, though I'd certainly heard a lot about it in the years afterward, especially when James Garner returned to series TV with Nichols and then The Rockford Files.  Thanks to Cozi, Maverick is back making the rounds again, and Hal at The Horn Section brings us up to speed with his Maverick Mondays review of "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres," one of the classics of the series.  If you're asking yourself whether or not to try it out, go no further than Hal's piece to find out why the answer is "yes."

My friend Andrew Lee Fielding is far too generous in his appreciation for my review of his book The Lucky Strike Papers a couple of weeks ago.  As I said at the time, when you're writing about a book as entertaining and charming as his, you'd have to be a real hack to butcher the review!  But if you haven't gotten the book yet, get it.  And if you don't make his blog a regular part of your reading, do it.  And thanks for the kind words, Andrew!

I don't know why, but for all the classic series I don't remember (or only have the foggiest recolections of), one series that I do recall vividly is The Storefront Lawyers, which morphed into Men at Law.  It was one of those "relevant" shows of the era, but I actually have some fond memories of watching it while eating pizza with my mom, and I thought Robert Foxworth was actually pretty good.  Television Obscurities takes us back to that time with an indepth look at the series, and why it only lasted one season.  Ah, the memories of childhood.

I think I'll call it a wrap for now, but you should check out the sites on the sidebar to see what else is out there.  As for us, come on back Saturday for a look at yet another TV Guide!

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