March 28, 2013

Around the dial

Another week, another great series of posts in classic TV land.

Classic Film and TV Cafe has a nice piece on one of those actors whose name doesn't necessarily sound familiar, but his face will ring a bell: Harvey Lembeck, who I remember as Corporal Barbello in the classic Phil Silvers Show.  And by the way, Rick's celebrating Spring Break over at the blog - be sure to check it out!

Remember the movie Special Bulletin? Over at TVParty! (disclosure: I write occasionally for this site) Jim Longworth has an article on how the movie's message on TV news is as relevant as ever.  I remember watching this movie back in 1983, and was fascinated with the intricacies of TV news coverage - pro and con.  It was a pretty good movie, and a reasonably plausible story - better, I thought, than 1994's Without Warning.  Or maybe it was just that the ending, downbeat though it might have been, was better.

Noir and Chick Flicks comes up with another noir classic: After Tonight, starring Gilbert Roland and Constance Bennett.  But can it really be noir with a happy ending?  And Michael's TV Tray reminds us again that nothing's new, with a look at the 80s Showtime series Brothers, one of the first series to feature a major character who was gay.

Classic Sports TV and Media comes back with another clip from my childhood memory bank: with a twist. the 1973 NCAA basketball championship game, between UCLA and Memphis State, was the first to be played (and broadcast) in prime time, and also the first to be played on Monday night after a tradition of Saturday finals.  The twist is that I was only able to see the conclusion of this game, thanks to KCMT, Channel 7 in Alexandra.  The explanation: back in 1971, Minnesota had abandoned the single-class high school tournament in favor of a two-class system.  For those first few years, however, the tournament concluded with an overall championship game between the winners of the two classes.  The Class A and Class AA championship games were played on Saturday, with the overall title game played - you guessed it - on Monday night.  At the same time as the NCAA finals.  And was broadcast on the only TV channel in the area, which happened to be an NBC affiliate.  Hence, for several years I had to suffer through the Final Four being preempted in favor of the high school tournament on Saturday, and the championship game being joined in progress on Monday.  I still nurture the bitterness.

Have a great Easter weekend, everyone - see you on Saturday for a trip back to 1961. TV  


  1. Wow! I cannot imagine how frustrating it would been to encounter Final Four and championship games preempted or joined in progress. I grew up in the NYC market so I never encountered such issues. Situations like that illustrate how relatively lightly regarded the NCAA tournament was at the time. Thanks for detailing your experience.

    On the flip side, for numerous years, the NBA has avoided scheduling any games at all on NCAA championship Monday night.

    1. It was horrible. Two high-school teams I didn't give a damn about keeping me from watching, oh, the NC State-UCLA semifinal showdown in 1974, for example. I understand it was an all-time classic, and I'm still bitter about it.

      Oh, and KCMT didn't show Saturday Night Live back then either, which means they also didn't show anything else that might air in that timeslot, such as the Indiana-UCLA game in 1975.

      I'll tell you, it's a wonder I wasn't scarred for life... ;)

    2. IIRC though 1973 was the 1st time the MSHSL playoff game was on a Monday night. The 1st two years it was played a week later(1971) and then in 1972 it was played on a Tuesday night. I also think it was part of the contract the MSHSL had with WTCN that they were required to feed other stations around the state (and out of state stations that served MN like Fargo and Sioux Falls) so the entire tourney could be seen by the state of MN


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!