August 1, 2015

This week in TV Guide: August 5, 1967

It's another "second-look" week; this issue was first perused here a couple of years ago.  But in case you're thinking of giving today a pass, don't: I promise it's all-new material, never before seen by the eyes of you dear readers.  Unless, that is, you've got the issue as well.


When I was flipping through the pages, looking for something of note, the first thing I noticed was the number of ads for local news programs.  Some of them are quite professional; others have a charming homemade quality about them.  Let's start there.

First, there's the vertical ad at the rightfrom KGLO for Tom Anthony's sports show.  Unlike the other stations in the area, KGLO's 10pm news runs 40 minutes, and Anthony's ten-minute wrap-up is the capper to the nighttime news.

One of the biggest changes in the social media area concerns sports, and for people who've been raised in this era, it may be hard to believe how much a part of the local news sports used to be.  It was the viewer's source for the latest in scores and highlights, not only from a local standpoint but nationally as well.  Some local sportscasters were very good, others - well, we'll leave it at that.  Don't think I've ever seen Tom Anthony, so I'm not going to comment on him.

Next there's an ad for the ABC affiliate in Duluth, WDIO.  This definitely falls under the "charming, homemade" category.  Local news takes itself so seriously, even when it's trying to be folksy, it's hard to imagine something like this today.

On the other end of the spectrum, Rochester's KIRO features their lead newscaster Bob Warren, looking very much like the young, very serious Peter Jennings, even though KROC is an NBC affiliate.  No nonsense here, though.

When I was growing up, the traditional local news times were noon, six and ten.*  I don't even know if most local stations continue to have noon news programs, but this series of three ads from KSTP in Minneapolis (one shown each day) shows how seriously they took their local news.  You'll notice viewers are reminded this news is in color.

*Not to be confused with Dr. Pepper's 10-2-4 slogan.

KMSP, the ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities, is one of the first to go with co-anchors on the local news.  Their ad is small but makes up for it in quantity, running several times in the pages.  They also emphasize the hard-news approach as well as the colorcast.

KAUS in Albert Lea gives you good cause (pun intended) to check out their news.  It's also cutting-edge -  I mean, they have their fingers on the pulse of the news, and it looks so high-tech!

My old home station, KCMT in Alexandria, offers this serious take on the weather.  Living in that part of Minnesota, weather is a very important quantity - from blizzards in the winter to tornadoes in the summer, it pays to have someone dedicated to bringing you the latest information.  And Bob Hines assures you the weather's no laughing matter!

Here's this week's obligatory ad for TV Guide; kids (no longer limited to boys) delivering TV Guide to your home are now called TV Guide Young Merchants!

And here's the ad that appeared in the center of TV Guide.  It was always on stiff paper, with a perforated reply coupon that you could send in for records, books, model rockets and the like.  I always ripped it out first thing so the pages would lay flat (still do that with magazines), but thankfully the original owner of this issue left it intact.  It's for one of those infamous Time-Life book sets.

No ad for WCCO, the news leader in the Twin Cities.  Possibly because they didn't need it, they were so far ahead in the ratings?  Or were they preparing a new ad campaign for The Scene Tonight, which would debut early the next year?


Bad news for ABC: they've just moved into a glossy new headquarters in anticipation of government approval for their proposed merger with ITT.  However, the Justice Department's just moved to block the merger, and eventually the whole thing falls apart.  One possible victim of the cost-cutting that's suddenly taken hold at ABC: gavel-to-gavel coverage of next year's Republican and Democratic conventions.  Instead, the network will go with a nightly highlights package.  This accomplished two things: first, it made possible the memorable series of debates between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal; two, it set the model for the condensed coverage that continues to this day.  Let us now hoist a glass in honor of ITT, which helped make this reduction possible.

There's an article about Sigrid Valdis, also known as Helga on Hogan's Heroes.  She's grateful for the work, but a little frustrated as well; her typical line consists of "Herr Kommandant, Colonel Hogan to see you."  She'd like something a little more challenging, and indirectly she'll find it in her often-stormy eight-year marriage to Hogan himself, Bob Crane.

Finally, there's a profile of Roger Moore, formerly of Maverick, currently in The Saint, and the future James Bond.  In a few weeks I'll be writing about The Saint as part of the Friday night viewing lineup, but what makes The Saint work is Roger Moore, and what makes Moore work is his unusually self-deprecating assessment of his own talent.  He's had a significant career, he allows, "if there is any significance to mediocrity."  Lest you think he might be talking about the shows he's starred in, he continues, "I'm probably not a very good actor."  Of his time in Hollywood, he says, "My luck held out, too, until the studios found out I couldn't act very well."  His humility about his talent extends even to being humble about being humble; while a friend says he truly lacks vanity, he says it's more a case of lacking confidence.

Whatever the reason, what marks Moore's time as The Saint, and later on James Bond, is his refusal to take it all so seriously, combined with the underlying sense of menace often demonstrated by his characters, one that tells you this is a man not to be fooled around with.  The twinkle in the eye along with the steel in the backbone mark Roger Moore as a truly remarkable actor, one who has parlayed his supposed lack of talent into a very long, very successful career, leaving in his wake a legion of very happy fans.  And that's not a bad career, is it? TV  

1 comment:

  1. When CBS entered its diversification phase in the mid 60's (which included the New York Yankees) they were seriously interested in buying ABC--the FCC communicated their nay-nay by telephone.


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