June 2, 2018

This week in TV Guide: June 1, 1974

The issue before the television house, in June 1974, is whether or not the impeachment of President Nixon, if it comes to that, should be televised.

Remember, we're still a long way from regular television coverage of the House and Senate. C-SPAN is just a gleam in Brian Lamb's eye; with the exception of the State of the Union and other major speeches, cameras have never been permitted in the hallowed halls of Congress. With an eye toward the ultimate in summer replacement series, TV Guide's Neil Hickey takes Congressional temperatures to see what the forecast is.

Hickey canvassed 135 members of the House; 78 favored full coverage, and another 10 leaned toward it, while the remainder opposed bringing in the cameras. Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be a partisan split on this issue - Illinois Democrat Dan Rostenkowski, who would wind up one of the most powerful men in the House, is strongly against it. "Every one of us in the House is 'political,' and that animal in all of us will surface if each is allowed an amount of time to make a televised speech." He fears that under these circumstances, members who didn't usually speak publicly would be forced into it, lest their constituents wonder why they were silent on the issue. On the other hand, future New York City mayor Ed Koch, then a member of the House, favors it: "We do - in democratic fashion - what the Russians and the Chinese, who have closed societies, do by revolution and killing." Republican representative Delbert Latta of Ohio, who also favors coverage, thinks the public will see through any attempt at grandstanding, but Pennsylvania Republican George Goodling thinks "no good" will come from televising the hearings. And Walter Fauntrov, a Democrat from the District of Columbia, worries that national television coverage might endanger the right to a fair trial later on; nevertheless, he feels the public's right to know supersedes these concerns, which he adds can be mitigated by safeguards. Future House Speaker Tip O'Neill opposes the cameras, but everyone knows the true answer lies with the current Speaker, Carl Albert of Oklahoma, and he's not talking.

It winds up a moot point, at least this time. Although the House Judiciary Committee votes to send the articles of impeachment to the full House, President Nixon resigns before things go any further. By the time of President Clinton's impeachment, cameras are already standard issue in Congress. It is fascinating, though, to see the representatives struggling with this question, caught up in the conflict between practical tradition and the march of technology. I can't imagine what a similar debate would be like today.

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Throughout the 60s and early 70s, TV Guide's reviews were written by the witty and acerbic Cleveland Amory. Whenever we get the chance, we'll look at Cleve's latest take on the series of the era. 

The television season comes to an end, and with it comes one of the industry's most coveted awards: The Amorys. In the midst of a humorous take on awards shows, Cleve dispenses his honors on the best of the television season.

Telly Savalas, star of Kojak, wins Best Actor in a Dramatic Show; Jean Marsh of Upstairs, Downstairs wins Best Actress in a Dramatic Show. The Supporting races each end in three-way ties: Supporting Actor is split between Gordon Jackson (Upstairs, Downstairs), John Alderton (Upstairs, Downstairs) and Ralph Waite (The Waltons), while Angela Badderly (Upstairs, Downstairs), Nicola Pagett (Upstairs, Downstairs) and Rachel Gurney (Upstairs, Downstairs) make the Supporting Actress race an intramural affair.

Caroll O'Connor of All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore of - what else? - The Mary Tyler Moore Show - take home Best Actor and Actress in a Comedy; Ed Asner and Ted Knight demonstrate the power of MTM's supporting cast by dividing Supporting Actor, while on the Supporting Actress side there are no losers! Valerie Harper (MTM), Suzanne Pleshette (The Bob Newhart Show), Adrienne Barbeau (Maude) and Susan St. James (McMillan & Wife) share the honors. Oh, and Karl Malden and Michael Douglas of The Streets of San Francisco win best Support of Each Other. Walter Cronkite is Best Newscaster, and William F. Buckley Jr. is both Best Interviewer and Best Interviewee. Finally, the shows: Kojak is Best New Drama, Good Times is Best New Comedy, and Calucci's Dept. is Best New Comedy to be Canceled.

An Editor's Note at the end tells us that "The Amory Awards to not necessarily reflect the views of TV Guide, but the editors will defend to the death, or thereabouts, Mr. Amory's right to bestow them." Freedom of the Press still lives! Well, sort of.

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Yes, this is a very special week. Not only do we have all three of the major rock music programs of the time - Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, The Midnight Special, and In Concert, but thanks to the multiple stations carrying Kirshner, we actually have two editions to compare to Special and Concert. Let's not waste any time - we'll get right to it!

Kirshner #1 (KRCR, Redding): The Mark-Almond band, Dave Mason and Jessie Colin Young are the guests. Also a taped segment featuring the late Jim Croce. Highlights: "The Neighborhood Man" (Mark-Almond), "Baby...Please" (Mason), "Song for Juli (Young).

Kirshner #2 (KOVR, Sacramento): The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne team up on "Take It Easy." Other highlights: "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" (Ronstadt), "James Dean" (Eagles, Browne).

Midnight Special: The Kinks are this week's hosts, with the Electric Light Orchestra, Buddy Miles, and rock artists Suzi Quatro and Alan Price. Highlights: "You Really Got Me" (Kinks), "Showdown" (ELO), "Life is What You Make It" (Miles), "Glycerine Queen" (Quatro).

In Concert: Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Black Oak Arkansas, from the California Jam. Highlights: "Lucky Man," "Karn Evil 9 Impressions 1 and 3" (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), "Hot 'n' Nasty," "Dixie" (Black Oak Arkansas).

What a feast of choices, hmm? I admit that I'm not a fan of anyone on Kirshner #2, but they're all big name, and if you like them, it's a spectacular show. In Concert would probably have been better if they'd had Emerson, Lake and Palmer for the whole 90 minutes. Midnight Special has a very strong cast, from the Kinks through to Suzi Quatro. But we'll give the edge this week to Kirshner #1, with hits from top to bottom, and you can't go wrong with Mark-Almond as your lead act. I wonder if we'll run across a matchup like this again?

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We're in the Bay Area this week, and one of the highlights has to be KQED, 20th annual Auction, which begins Saturday and runs throughout the week. Several PBS stations throughout the nation staged fundraisers like this in the 70s, including KTCA in the Twin Cities. These were tremendously fun affairs to watch - Action Auction, our local event, was once held in the Garden Court at Southdale, the nation's first indoor mall, and for several years after that was broadcast from the State Fairgrounds; representatives from all the local stations took part as guest auctioneers, selling routine items as well as vacations, cars, and popcorn wagons. KQED has a fine collection of prizes this year: a guest role as an extra on The Streets of San Francisco, cruises to Hawaii, South America and Alaska, and an antique Persian rug. This article relates the colorful history of KQED's auction which, like that of KTCA's, has long since faded into the ether of television history.

Care for a little sports? Baseball season is in full swing (I've probably used that phrase before, but what the hey?), although when you're on Pacific Time, you have to get used to different start times. For example, NBC's Game of the Week features the Dodgers and Cubs from Chicago, with the first pitch being thrown at 11:15 a.m. CBS's golf coverage this week is the Kemper Open, live from Charlotte, N.C., starting at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, with Bob Menne as the first-time winner. ABC's Wild World of Sports is on tape, so it can air at its regular time of 5:00 p.m. - this week it's the Mason-Dixon 500, from Dover, Delaware, held on May 19; Cale Yarborough takes the checkered flag. On Sunday, CBS Sports Spectacular carries the Kennedy Memorial Games track and field meet, taped yesterday in Berkeley.

An interesting course on Summer Semester, airing Saturday at 6:30 a.m. on CBS. It's on "The American Presidency," which is certainly a relevant topic about now. Political scientist Dr. Robert Remini is the lecturer; when I saw the topic I thought it might be someone I'd read in college, but no such luck. Later on Saturday morning, CBS goes from the sublime (relatively speaking) to the ridiculous (without question): the animated movie "The Ghost of the Red Baron," featuring an animated Three Stooges joining forces with Scooby Doo and the gang. Really? Really?

This week's movies: Judith Crist is rightfully impressed with the network prime-time premiere of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (Thursday, 9:00 p.m., CBS) with an Oscar-winning performance from Maggie Smith. She also likes "The World of Henry Orient" (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., NBC) with Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Paula Prentiss, Tom Bosley, and more.

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Finally, for those of us who are fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a real treat: Friday night's late-nite sci-fi schlock. At 11:00 p.m. on Channel 44, it's the classic American International movie "The Amazing Colossal Man," with Glenn Langan as the plutonium-transformed 70-foot tall madman. Meanwhile, at 11:30 p.m. on Channels 12 and 40, it's "Moon Zero Two," a Hammer Films flick with James Olson as a space ferry pilot and Catherine Schell as a woman looking for her missing brother. All that's missing now are the silhouettes, but you can't have everything. TV  


  1. Note, this is the very FIRST TV Guide issue to have its sticker price increased by 5¢ from its initial price of 15¢, to a whopping 20¢. For TV Guide's first 21 years as a national magazine, the price held at 15¢. The 20¢ price would not even last a calendar year as it would increase another nickel to 25¢ for the 1974-75 Fall Preview Edition. Come the end of the 1970's the price went up to 35¢ at the end of 1979. Starting in January 1980, the price hit at 40¢, and has been increasing ever since. :O

    1. I'm not sure when it went from 40 to 50, but I remember the 1984-85 Fall Preview as the issue when it went from 50 to 60 cents. The first issue of 1988 was the jump from 60 to 75 cents. The March 16-22, 1991 issue saw a tiny jump to 79 cents. It went to 89 cents nearly a year later with the March 7-13 1992 issue. The February 4-10, 1995 issue saw it jump to 99 cents. Finally, with the issue of August 24-30, 1996, it said goodbye to under a dollar with a whopping 20 cent price increase to $1.19.

  2. The 35 to 40 cent jump happened with the first issue of the 1980s, 1/5/80. The 40 to 50 cent jump happened with the 1981-82 Fall Preview on 9/12/81. I remember receiving mail from TV Guide sometime spring or summer 1981 encouraging me to extend my subscription at the current price since the price was going up soon. I had the lower rate for an additional year until 9/82.

  3. The auction for Boston's PBS station, WGBH, is an institution...

  4. KCPT's annual auction in Kansas City and KTWU's "Lights, Camera, Auction!" in Topeka are institutions, too. I'm really looking forward to your "What's on TV?" blog from this edition, but I deplore you, Mr. Hadley, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ANY STATIONS OUT. Otherwise, I'll have to depend on Henry Hanson, Mo Carney and Tony DiFlorio to unfix what you fix.
    There are two stations on channel 7 (KGO San Francisco, ABC and the aformentioned KRCR in Redding, which had ABC and NBC at this point), and two on channel 9, both PBS stations (KQED SF and KIXE Redding). Eventually, the Eureka stations would be added, giving us two stations on chs. 3, 6 and 13. But that's about two years away. For now, KIEM-TV and KVIQ are confined to the Oregon State edition of TVG-which also carries KRCR's listings.
    So please Mr. Hadley, do your blogging carefully. Oh, BTW, the Amorys were a BLAST!


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!