July 2, 2013

Around the Dial

It’s a special Tuesday edition of Around the Dial, which means you’ll be able to catch Part 2 of my look at the state of children’s television on Thursday (you can recall part one here). But in the meantime:

Check out Christmas in July on Joanna Wilson’s terrific Christmas TV History blog, which will include an essay from me on the classic animated Christmas special The Little Drummer Boy. I’ll provide the link when it’s up, but in the meantime don’t miss any of the great essays Joanna will be sharing throughout the month, and feel free to participate if you’re interested – I suspect some of my readers would have some great memories to share.

Everything’s relative. Classic television fans lament how so few people are familiar with shows from the 50s and 60s, but as Terry Teachout pointed out last week, there’s an entire generation who’s never even heard of The Sopranos and James Gandolfini. (I myself didn’t realize it had been that long since the show’s premiere. Now I really feel old.) Teachout writes about that, as well as the impact The Sopranos had on television, here.

Comfort TV recalls seven series that should have lasted more than the one season they did. I remember six of the seven series; one of them’s on my (forthcoming) top-ten list, while another was the basis for the name of a blog near and dear to my heart.

Television Obscurities celebrates the 72nd anniversary of commercial television with a look at the initial broadcast schedule for WNBT-TV in New York City on July 1, 1941. We tend to forget that there was actual broadcast television prior to 1950, even prior to this country’s involvement in World War II.

Catching up on something that escaped me the first time, The Onion’s AV Club features this excellent piece by Todd VanDerWerff on Route 66, which in turn introduced me to another blog that takes a then-and-now look at various places seen in the entirely shot-on-location series. It’s a terrific look at a world that, as VanDerWerff says, “isn’t so far from the one we still have today yet feels light-years away from it.”

Finally, yours truly will also be participating in the Classic TV Blog Association’s latest blogathon, dedicated to the Summer of Classic TV as seen through the lens of Me-TV. I’ll be writing about Gene Barry’s murder cum comedy series Burke’s Law (another series that ran for too short a time). Care to join in? If so, check out the rules of the road at the CTVA. TV  


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!