July 30, 2018

What's on TV? Friday, August 2, 1968

This is an interesting TV day - not necessarily for the specific programs, but for the little things that you notice. For example, at 8:30 a.m. on KMSP, It's Happening features "Joe" Feliciano singing "Light My Fire." "Joe"? Either this is a typo,or it's a very weak attempt at Anglicizing his name. I've never heard him referred to that way before.

Then, there's KROC's Mike Douglas Show at 4:00 p.m., with Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser and Fred Rogers, host of the children's program Misterogers. The show just started earlier this year so not a lot of people know about him yet. They will. WCCO's version of the Douglas show has George Hamilton and Hank Williams Jr. - Hamilton, of course, played Hank Williams Sr. in Your Cheatin' Heart in 1964.

The College All-Star football game is on at 8:30 p.m., not only on the ABC affiliates, but on KCMT in Alexandria and, because of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, WKBT in LaCrosse, WI, and WEAU in Eau Claire, WI. In the days before the NFL became a year-round thing, people were ready for it by August, and the starters played a lot more than they do nowadays.

The listings come from the Minnesota State Edition.

July 28, 2018

This week in TV Guide: July 27, 1968

Dick Hobson leads off this week with an article that's very interesting, although I'm not sure exactly what it all means. It is a demographic study, done by A.C. Nielsen, on what Americans watched on TV during a six-week period from October 23 to December 3, 1967. The  study covers geographic region, income, age, education, and occupation, and the overall results allow us to draw some conclusions about our tastes in television.

We'll start first by looking at the top 10 shows in the United States as a whole; we'll then measure this against some more specific findings. (And by the way, do you see any surprises here, or are the results about what you would have expected?)

  1. The Lucy Show
  2. The Andy Griffith Show
  3. Bonanza
  4. The Red Skelton Hour
  5. Gunsmoke
  6. Family Affair
  7. The Jackie Gleason Show
  8. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
  9. NBC Saturday Night at the Movies
  10. (tie) The Beverly Hillbillies; CBS Friday Night Movie

Now, let's dig into this a little further. In the South, for example, the favorites are quite similar to the nation, sharing eight of the ten shows. (Gunsmoke is number one on this list.) The major difference: the absence of the movies, "originally made for a more sophisticated theater audience." Gleason, an urban taste, is also missing. In their place: The Virginian and Daniel Boone. By contrast, Gleason is number one in the Northeast; there are none of the "rural" shows, but Dean Martin, The Smothers Brothers, and more movie programs make the list.

Deano and the Smothers also make the list of favorites for those with incomes in excess of $10,000; again, there are four movie programs plus The FBI. For those with incomes under $5,000, Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan feature on the list, but no movies. As with the viewers in the South, notes Hobson, this list is closer to the nation as a whole with the exception of the movie programs.

If you've completed at least a year in college, Mission: Impossible is #2 on the list, and you also like NFL Football and Get Smart. A grade school education once again aligns you with the rest of the nation, with Lucy and Andy at #1 and #2, and the movies nowhere to be seen. Blue-collar workers are more fond of westerns than white-collars, children under 12 approve of The Flying Nun and The Second Hundred Years while teens go for The Guns of Will Sonnett, The Monkees, and Star Trek. If you're under 35, six of your top ten are movies; the top non-movie show is Mission: Impossible. On the other hand, if you're over 50, you like Lawrence Welk, Walt Disney, and - Walter Cronkite.

What do we learn from this? As Hobson says,* "there is a great deal of overlap in the Top 10's of the South, the Under-$5000 income group, the Grade School educated, and the Blue Collar workers." He considers them collectively as "Just Plain Folks." Concurrently, there's a group which could be considered "The Sophisticates" - the Northeast, Over $10,000 incomes, One-Plus Years of College, and White Collar workers, which have a great deal of overlap with each other, but less with the national ranks. Family Affair was popular with every group but young adults, Westerns are the favorites of men but not women and children, movies rank highly with young adults and housewives but not seniors and children, and Gomer Pyle was listed by both seniors and children.

*Would his recommendations be known as "Hobson's Choices?"

For as much as the United States has changed over the years, there are still some things that seem to ring true decades later, and there's a temptation to view these results through the lens of today's cultural divide. For example, one could equate "Just Plain Folks" with Red America, "The Sophisticates" with Blue America. I'd like to see a similar study today; unfortunately, things have become so fragmented that it's hard to draw a parallel since access itself is more by choice than design. Still, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find my suspicions validated.

◊ ◊ ◊

During the 60s, the Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace were the premiere variety shows on television. Whenever they appear in TV Guide together, we'll match them up and see who has the best lineup..

Ed Sullivan: On this rerun, Ed's guests are Charlton Heston, who gives a dramatic reading of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, and presents a scene from his movie Planet of the Apes; singers Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Frankie Laine, and the Young Americans; comedians Myron Cohen and Wayne and Shuster; dancer Peter Gennaro; and the Baraton Sisters, balancing act.

Hollywood Palace: Host George Burns presents the King Family, operatic tenor Enzo Stuarti, singer Lainie Kazan, English music-hall comics Desmond and Marks, and Baby Sabu, performing elephant.

I enjoy easy weeks like this when the call can be made early, and it doesn't get much earlier than Ed's first guest. Chuck Heston shows us why we love him; the sublime - his dignified reading of Lincoln's stirring call for the nation to move on, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right" - and, well, the less-sublime, his wonderfully over-the-top performance in the great Planet of the Apes. Apes deals in a very overt way with civil rights, and it would be interesting to see what scene was used in the show; I suspect it's something complimentary to the tenor of Lincoln's speech. With that, it would be less than patriotic to make any choice other than Sullivan all the way

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In case you hadn't notice, 1968 is an election year, and if you didn't already know that, the Sunday morning interview shows are here to remind you. On CBS's Face the Nation, the guest is New York Governor (and Republican presidential candidate) Nelson Rockefeller; Rocky never quite makes it to the White House, but he is appointed vice president in the administration of Gerald Ford, who just happens to be the guest on NBC's Meet the Press. Meanwhile, the nemesis of both men, future president Ronald Reagan, "dark-horse candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination," appears on ABC's Issues and Answers.

On Wednesday, David Frost hosts an hour-long syndicated special on "The Next President" (7:30 p.m., Channel 4), including an interview - recorded prior to his assassination - with Robert F. Kennedy. Other guests include Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Rockefeller, Harold Stassen, and independent candidate George Wallace. The issues examined are a grim litany of today's headlines: violence in the streets, dissident youth, the plight of the cities, racial problems. The Republican National Convention, by the way, begins on August 5.

◊ ◊ ◊

The summer of 1968 is also, according to the industry magazine Variety, "Video's Rush to Black," and this week alone we can see an extraordinary concentration of programs confronting the crisis; almost every day features a show dealing with one aspect of it or another, starting on Sunday morning with CBS's venerable religion program Lamp Unto My Feet (9:00 a.m.) concentrates on Negro-Jewish community relations and the tension between black anti-Semitism and the backlash from Jewish businessmen.

In June, ABC introduced a series of six documentaries dealing with the racial crisis, under the umbrella title Time for Americans. This week we see two of them; on Sunday afternoon, at 3:00 p.m., it's "White Racism and Black Education," a look at the rise of school segregation in the North, with a focus on Boston, one of the most racially charged cities outside of the South. That's followed on Monday night (6:30 p.m.) by "Can White Suburbia Think Black?" which suggests that suburban whites will never understand what it means to be white unless they can comprehend what it means to be black. There's this wincing quote that's pulled from the program, spoken by a white suburbanite to a black friend: "I don't consider you a Negro." I suspect that if this reminds you of the infamous "Some of my best friends are [black, Jewish, etc.]" quotes, it's purely intentional.

Tuesday morning, Merv Griffin's syndicated show (9:05 a.m., Channel 4) is dedicated to New York City's "Give Money...Give Jobs...Give a Damn" program to help ghetto youth. The show takes place in the streets of Harlem, with New York mayor John Lindsay, singer James Brown, former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a fashion show of African-style clothing. ABC pre-empts It Takes a Thief for a documentary at 7:30 p.m. on the "all-Negro" Grambling College and its outstanding reputation for producing pro football talent. That theme continues at 9:00 p.m. on episode four of CBS's own series on the civil rights movement, Of Black America, entitled "Body and Soul," which examines the role of blacks in sports and music, including threats of an Olympic boycott and the struggle of black musicians to express what they've experienced.

It really is something to see this kind of concentrated programming on one topic, and by all three networks: although it doesn't show in this week's issue, NBC has a multi-part series of its own, What's Happening to America?, with its own viewpoints. Indeed, this seems to be the overarching theme of all these programs, that there is something happening that we don't quite understand, something that we must get a handle on if we're to continue as a nation. And where are we, fifty years later? Still with this sense that something is happening that we don't understand, still struggling with the consequences. Some of the issues are the same, some are dramatically different, but still the feeling that things are out of control and we don't know how to stop the spiral.

◊ ◊ ◊

Richard K. Doan notes that ABC's looking at an American version of the British comedy series Till Death Us Do Part, with "a profanely offensive, ultra-right bigot, his 'silly moo' of a spouse, and their politically liberal daughter and son-in-law." ABC expects to tape each episode just a week before airtime in order to allow for more topical references. The network winds up passing on the show that eventually becomes All in the Family.

TV writer Pat McCormick will be head writer for Don Rickles' new sitcom, notes the TV Teletype, in addition to working on sketches for the upcoming (and soon-to-be notorious) Broadway revue, "Oh, Calcutta!" Also noted: Glen Campbell, finishing up as the summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers, is on his way to make a movie with John Wayne: True Grit.

Finally, Cher does a fashion spread this week, which would be pretty hard to miss.

This really brings the '60s home, doesn't it? TV  

July 27, 2018

Around the dial

At Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan reviews the DVD release of Laugh-In's fifth season. As he points out, the show is getting a little grey around the edges; now, more than ever, it's become a conventional variety show. According to Dick Martin, “We were called anti-establishment, and pretty soon we were the establishment.” I'm not a Laugh-In fan, but if you are, this is for you.

If you enjoy Jack's "Hitchcock Project" at bare-bones e-zine, you're sure to want to read him this week, as he presents his annual list (complete with links!) of all the Hitchcock episodes covered to date. This is such a fun feature; there are weeks when I'm not sure I'll have time to do "Around the Dial," but invariably that will be a week when Jack's on, and it convinces me I'd better do it!

Jonathan Sowers is the latest entrant in Joanna's "Christmas in July" at Christmas TV History. I link to this to get you to go over there and see the entire list; make sure to read them all. Mine should be up before the end of the month.

The Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland reminds us of two notable birthdays this week: Lucy's sidekick Vivian Vance, and George Burns' better half, Gracie Allen. Tell us what you think of Gracie's presidential campaign platform!

At Comfort TV, David remembers Michael Constantine, and although you might not recognize his name, you're sure to recognize his face - he's one of those actors who was in everything. Take a look at just some of the roles he's played over a career that, as David says, may not yet be over.

John is back looking at The Avengers at Classic TV Blog, with the fun sixth season episode "Legacy of Death." John speculates on how popular this episode might be with the hardcore, "Mrs. Peel" type of Avengers fan, but I certainly have no complaints about Tara King.

At The Lucky Strike Papers, Andrew spends a little time discussing the Splendid Splinter, the great Ted Williams. The second of his two posts looks at the PBS documentary on Williams which aired earlier this week.It reminds me that I used to really like baseball, before various things turned the national pastime into a slogfest.

Television's New Frontier: the 1960s moves to 1961 and one of the great adult westerns of the era, Have Gun - Will Travel, with Richard Boone as the iconic Paladin. Interesting sidenote is how the series plummeted in the ratings this season; perhaps, Beestguy speculates, it could be due to Richard Gehman's TV Guide article which said of Boone, "Few other stars are so earnestly, piously, and vehemently hated." Well!

Finally, as I come to the final revisions on The Electronic Mirror, I come across Jodie's article at Garroway at Large: "Where a book comes from." Now she tells me! TV  

July 25, 2018

The ABC Evening News, 1970

I think I might have shown this before, but I really like this clip. It's a promo for the ABC Evening News with Howard K. Smith and Harry Reasoner, and although it's from five or six years before this week's TV Guide, it ties in nicely with that issue's feature on Howard K.

Two things jump out at me when watching this clip. First, look at how many of the issues are the same today as they were then. There's still conflict in the Middle East, still a focus on taxes and the economy. Substitute "withdrawal from Iraq" for "Vietnamization," change "Ecology" to "the Environment," replace Nixon's face with Trump's, and you're all set. Abortion's still an issue, as is terrorism ("Militants") - in other words, not a hell of a lot has changed over the last 48 years.

Which brings me to my second point: while watching the British Open this weekend, I had to sit through innumerable commercials for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. There was virtually no content to these commercials - just Lester standing in knee-deep floodwaters empathizing with people who'd lost almost everything. Good for him, but I'd hardly call this news - it's meant to tug at the heartstrings, a soft-serve feature of the softest kind. And you ask yourself, is this what they're paying Lester Holt all that money for? You wouldn't have seen Howard K. Smith doing this: you'd have seen him throw it to Tom Jarrell, and he'd be the one standing knee-deep in the floodwaters. But instead of emoting, he'd be telling us the real cost of the damage, in dollars, property, lives. In other words, he'd be giving us news, not just telling us a story.

After watching Lester's commercial a half-dozen times or so, the normal viewer could only emerge with one conclusion: there is no news content in the NBC Nightly News. It's like Coke Zero, or Oakland; there's no there there. It is, I'd say conservatively, about 179 degrees opposite what ABC was selling in 1970. And don't forget - when this promo was made, Walter Cronkite was doing the news on CBS, and Chet and David were still on NBC.

Conclusion? The news hasn't changed much at all; it's just the way it's reported that's different. Or perhaps I should say, the way it isn't reported. Never mind fake news; I'd settle for any news at all. TV  

July 23, 2018

What's on TV: Tuesday, July 29, 1975

This Tuesday's listings give us a good look at some old friends, shows that we don't get much of a chance to see here. For example, just look at CBS's schedule: Good Times, M*A*S*H, Hawaii Five-O, and Barnaby Jones. That's a lineup that's at least the equal of any night of television we might see today. They're shows that are still on TV today, in syndication, on MeTV or Antenna or one of the other subchannels. They're all on DVD, as well. They won't be forgotten, at least not by the people who originally saw them, nor by the people who've learned to love them since. They created memories, affectionate ones, and keep on doing so for people who watch them today.  I'm never quite sure how well today's shows are able to do this. They're admired, yes, people may applaud their meaning, but how well do they connect with the viewer? I don't know; do you?

Today's listings are from the Twin Cities.

July 21, 2018

This week in TV Guide: July 26, 1975

I've mentioned in the past my preference for the ABC evening news when I watched the news back in the late 60s and early 70s.  After Peter Jennings left the anchor desk (for the first time), Frank Reynolds was teamed up with Howard K. Smith, but he was replaced by Harry Reasoner when Reasoner gave up on the idea that he'd ever succeed Walter Cronkite at CBS.

This feature on Smith, written by veteran TV Guide writer Neil Hickey, is a particularly interesting look back at the life and times of a venerable journalist who's seen it all, both in front of and behind the cameras. I've always tended to associate Smith with ABC; that's where he plied his trade for the most part during my lifetime. He started out, however, at CBS, and was one of their main correspondents before leaving in a dispute over continuing editorial interference in his commentaries.

Smith didn't find the going much easier at ABC, where he raised more hackles with a retrospective, which he presented as the end of Richard Nixon's political career, following Nixon's defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial election.  Among the guests on Smith's program was Alger Hiss, Nixon's old enemy from the Hiss-Chambers case in the late 40s.  Nixon's political allies were not happy about Hiss' participation in the program, most prominent among them being Dwight D. Eisenhower, who just happened to be the former president of the United States.  Ike complained to the network, with the result that Smith found himself assigned to less controversial activities for a while, before reemerging in 1969 as Reynolds' co-anchor on the evening news.

Smith is no less outspoken in this profile, in which he talks about ABC's recent decision to remove him as co-anchor with Reasoner and reassign him to giving regular commentaries.  It's clear from Smith's comments that television news was a bare-knuckled proposition in the 70s, not for the faint of heart.  "I'm not running a Sunday School platform," he tells Hickey in defense of his controversial viewpoints.  And yet, as was the case in a 1971 article about Reasoner, Smith is a complex man, not easy to pinpoint politically.  "I'm totally liberal," he tells Hickey.  "I'm the most liberal newsman on the air."

Liberal, perhaps, in the classic sense of the word.  Smith is an outspoken supporter of the Vietnam War, and an opponent of the spread of Communism.  ("I am a hawk...[to win in Vietnam w]e would have had to do some brutal things, but war is brutal.")  He voices support, despite criticism from his colleagues, for former Vice President Spiro Agnew's harsh attacks on the news media.  ("We are too negative.  Bad news is easier to cover, and that's what wins prizes.")  He disagrees with those who moan about American influence worldwide ("In general, the period of American domination in foreign affairs has been one of the most progressive in history."), as well as those who accuse America of inertia in civil rights.  ("Anybody watching television news might conclude that we have failed on the race question.  But there's a black man on the Supreme Court, and we've had two in the cabinet.  Progress has been outstanding, but we have given the wrong impression.")  During Vietnam, some listened to Smith's commentaries on the war and dubbed ABC the "Administration Broadcasting Company."  Smith cites his support for civil rights, congressional reform and government activism on the economy as his liberal bonafides, but it's clear that, although his colleague Reasoner says "he's not particularly conservative," he's not a liberal in the MSNBC sense either.  A man of dignity and professionalism, in the Huntley-Brinkley mold; would that we had men like him on the news today.

◊ ◊ ◊

Summer issues of TV Guide don't usually have much to offer but reruns, but there a a lot of items of interest to recommend this issue.  Perhaps the most interesting program - certainly one of the most interesting I've run across in in many a TV Guide - was on Friday night: CBS' Playhouse 90 (8:30 p.m. CT) presentation of Brian Moore's Catholics, starring Trevor Howard and Martin Sheen in a story of rebellion in the Catholic Church at a time of great change, something that could be ripped from today's headlines. Ah, but there's a twist: the rebels are "a monastic community [that] is defying Vatican policy by continuing to celebrate the Mass in Latin instead of English." And the priest from Rome "[is] sent to crush what may be the seeds of a counterrevolution." 

Trevor Howard as the renegade Abbott
To me, this is utterly fascinating.  On the one hand, this story "set in the future," with Sheen's "inquisitor" as "a young emissary of change" while Howard's dissident abbott "clings to the old ways as an affirmation of 'the real presence of God in the Mass,' is more or less the exact opposite of what's going on in the Church today, with the Latin Mass gaining popularity especially among the young.  And yet in many ways it's an eerie foreshadowing of what first happened in the post-Vatican II Church.  For Howard's Abbott, substitute Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), dedicated to the Latin Mass, harshly critical of the reforms allegedly introduced by Vatican II, eventually to lead his followers into what may or may not be a formal or informal schism from the Church.  In truth, traditional Catholics did feel lost with the changes in the Church in the 60s and 70s, as if everything they'd believed their entire lives had been cast aside in the name of "change."  And the SSPX did (and still does) represent a challenge to the authority of the Vatican.  But look at the reality back in 1972, which is when this movie was originally made: Latin all but gone forever from the Mass, the tabernacles (containing the consecrated Eucharist, the "real presence" to which the Abbott refers) moved from the altars and in many cases taken out of the main church altogether, and guitars and folk songs the principal form of music.

It seems to me as if we're living in the time of Catholics today, with a liberal Pontiff who appears to be an enemy of tradition, who wants to go back to the 70s and the days of watered-down Catholicism. (And you know where I stand on that.) As was the case in Catholics, he faces an opposition that has built his foundation around the timeless teachings of the Church. That opposition, however, is far larger and far more vocal than was the case back in 1975, with access to a social media that wasn't even the twinkle in someone's eye then. The battle lines have clearly been drawn, with no apparent prospect of compromise. How it ends (at least here on earth) is anyone's guess. It would be interesting to remake this movie today, though. A little updating, but it wouldn't need much.

◊ ◊ ◊

I'd watch that movie if it was on today, but I didn't watch it that Friday.  Instead, I was tuned to ABC for one of my favorite sporting events of the year: the College All-Star football game from Soldier Field in Chicago (8:30 p.m., ABC), featuring a team of college stars versus the NFL champions. The College All-Star Game began in 1934 as a benefit for Chicago-area charities, and continued until 1974, when it was cancelled forever over concern by NFL coaches that their prize rookies were missing too much traning camp and risking injuries by participating in the game. The collegians were usually overmatched, winning only nine times in the game's history (the Packers, for example, beat the All-Stars 38-0 in 1966), but many of the games were surprisingly competitive. Joe Namath's Jets, for example, had to hold on for a 26-24 win in 1969, and the undefeated Dolphins led the Stars only 7-3 in the fourth quarter before winning 14-3 in 1973. The 1975 game was no different, as the Stars, including Steve Bartkowski, Walter Payton and Randy White, led the Pittsburgh Steelers 14-7 in the fourth quarter before Joe Gilliam, coming off the bench to replace Terry Bradshaw, tossed a pair of touchdown passes as the Steelers pulled out a 21-14 victory.

I really miss this game; even if it wasn't very competitive, it was a very pleasant way to spend a Friday summer evening, especially when you were starting to get in the mood for some football. Since a lot of you probably never got to see the College All-Star Game, here's the living proof from this very game.

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Seems like we've started at the end of the week, doesn't it? We can rectify that by heading back to the beginning of the week, and we'll do so by looking at a program that spans both Saturday and Sunday. It's the fourth (and final) annual Democratic National Telethon, kicking off on ABC at 8:00 p.m. Saturday and running to 6:00 p.m. Sunday.  The cast of politicians runs the gamut of typical Democratic stars: Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, Scoop Jackson, and George Wallace. (A bit surprised about that last name.)

Among celebrities - well, these telethons started in the first place because the Democratic National Committee was perpetually on the verge of bankruptcy, and these shows were supposed to help them stay solvent. Back in the day, stars were perhaps a little more reluctant to become political, and so the talking point here was that everyone should give to the telethon, in order to maintain a healthy two-party system, which would be good for the country. This year's stars include Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Alan Alda, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, Lily Tomlin, Jack Palance, Lou Rawls, and Tony Orlando, and I'm willing to wager most of them were Democrats anyway.

Matt Dillon continues to patrol the old west Monday in Gunsmoke (7:00 p.m., CBS), up against the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox on NBC's Monday Night Baseball. At 9:00, CBS presents Andrew Rooney (he wasn't famous enough to be called Andy yet, I guess) in "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," a "mostly tongue-in-cheek look at the Federal bureaucracy. When Harry Reasoner was still with CBS, Rooney was the writer for most of his often-whimsical specials, but after Reasoner's departure to ABC (to anchor with Howard K. Smith!), Rooney moved in front of the camera himself.

On Tuesday, Yankee greats Don Larsen, Mickey Mantle, and Casey Stengel are among those joining Curt Gowdy on The Way It Was (7:00 p.m., PBS) for a look back at one of the greatest pitching performances in baseball history: Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. At 7:30, the Twin Cities' alternate PBS station, KTCI, airs a rerun of Sunday's Evening at Pops, with the elegant guitar god Chet Atkins. Wednesday it's a blast from the past, with Tony Orlando and Dawn welcoming Telly Savalas and Anne Meara to their show (7:00 p.m., CBS) while at 9:00 p.m. on ABC Jim Stafford kicks off his six-week summer replacement show

Thursday ABC premieres a summer series called Almost Anything Goes (7:00 p.m.), which predated modern shows such as Wipeout, with the novel twist that the teams, competing in events such as "You Bet Your Loaf" (in which players try to inch across greased poles while carrying loaves of bread, while at the same time trying to avoid opposing players swinging sacks at them) and "Grand Prix" (players drive dune buggys on a slalom course while carrying plates of jello),  are made up of participants from neighboring small towns.  In the opener, Burrillville (RI) takes on Webster (MA) and Putnam (CT).  Charlie Jones and Lynn Shackelford (above, right) call the action. Right after that, ABC preempts Harry O for a special Thursday night movie, "Smile, Jenny, You're Dead," which happened to be the pilot for - Harry O.

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And finally, this great TV Guide allows me to relive the wonderful summers of my youth, when I didn't have to go to school the next day and could stay up as late as I wanted, watching all the shows I couldn't see the rest of the year.  Channel 11, the Twin Cities' independent station, was my go-to station, with my favorite late-night lineup of all time. The FBI at 10:00 p.m., Perry Mason at 11:00 p.m., , and a double-dip of Alfred Hitchcock at midnight. I ask you, can you find a better three hours of television on the air today?

Well, actually, in our household you can, since among our DVD collection are complete season sets of The FBI, Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock.  I say again, back in 1975, could anyone have imagined that? TV  

July 20, 2018

Around the dial

At bare-bones e-zine, Jack starts a new cycle of "The Hitchcock Project" with the first of two Clark Howard stories that were adapted for Hitch. This week it's the third season drama "Enough Rope for Two," a tough crime drama with Steven Hill, Jean Hagen, and Steve Brody.

I hope you've been keeping up with this year's "Christmas in July" feature over at Christmas TV History. Joanna's now up to #19, Laura Rachel, who explains, among other things, why It's a Wonderful Life is the perfect Christmas movie to put in a time capsule. My offering should be up sometime next week.

One of the as-yet unwatched DVD sets in our collection is the 1967 cult hit Coronet Blue, starring Frank Converse as a man with a memory problem. I've no problem remembering it, just no time yet to watch it. Fortunately, at Classic Film and TV Cafe, Rick gives us the lowdown on the five best episodes. I don't think I'll read it yet; wait until I've seen them, sometime...

The Broadcast Archives at the University of Maryland commemorates the anniversary of John Chancellor assuming the Today Show host's chair in 1961. Chancellor is often the forgotten host of Today, coming as he did between original host Dave Garroway and the well-remembered Hugh Downs, but it's worth remembering his short run for the show's change in style.

Speaking of Garroway, who better than our friend Jodie at Garroway at Large to commemorate the 105th birthday, earlier this week, of the Master Communicator himself. It's also the first anniversary of the website, and we get some tantalizing hints about the progress of the upcoming Garroway biography.

It was "Maverick Monday" at The Horn Section this week, as Hal takes us back to the 1957 James Garner-helmed episode "War of the Silver Kings."  I love some of the character names the show's writers came up with, and this is no exception, with Leo Gordon playing a chap named Big Mike McComb.

I saw this over at Carol's Bob Crane: Life & Legacy site, and I'm still having a hard time believing it: last Friday would have been his 90th birthday.  Since we watch Hogan's Heroes every night, and since Bob died at a fairly young age, he's been kind of frozen in time for me; the idea of him as an older man, let alone 90, just doesn't computer.

When September comes around, I usually make mention of the Miss America pageant as seen in the pages of the old TV Guides. David at Comfort TV takes us back to those days when Miss America was a big deal, and one of the most watched shows of the year. Yes, times change, but even so the pageant just isn't what it used to be, and with Gretchen Carlson at the helm, I don't look for those glory days to return. TV  

July 18, 2018

The Bedtime Nooz

It's time again to take a closer look at one of the local programs spotlighted in this week's Twin Cities edition of TV Guide. It's The Bedtime Nooz (or Newz, as it sometimes appeared), WCCO's Saturday late-night program. I think I've mentioned it before, but probably not in a lot of detail.

The star of The Bedtime Nooz - it wouldn't be quite accurate to call him the anchor - was Dave Moore, who was in fact the anchor of WCCO's 6:00 and 10:00 weekday news. Moore was an institution in the Twin Cities, by far the region's best-known and most respected newscaster. Moore anchored the news on WCCO from 1957 until 1991; he also hosted a public affairs program, Moore on Sunday (or The Moore Report), winning a Peabody award for reporting from Vietnam during the war.

So Dave Moore definitely had the street cred when it came to reporting and news. He was, however, also an actor, something for which he never lost his taste. He made occasional appearances in community theater, his name always a guaranteed attraction, but his performances were more than credible enough to merit return engagements. And it was that acting ability that led to perhaps his most popular and most loved program, The Bedtime Nooz.

It's classified as a satirical program; there are those who consider it a forerunner to SNL's "Weekend Update" feature. I don't know that I'd entirely agree with that, though. Sure, it made fun of local news figures, but Dave also found time to poke his fellow journalists at the station. The stories Moore read were actual news stories, and if there was a serious one (such as a brief headline on the investigation into the causes of the city's 1968 riots), Dave would give it a straight read. Others had the Moore touch - an arched eyebrow, a throwaway comment, a ridiculous voiceover that had absolutely nothing to do with the film being shown.  Some bits were downright silly, others shredded the image of a television newsroom as a well-oiled hive of journalistic activity. The commercials for the show's longtime sponsor, the Sealy Mattress Company, were simply ridiculous.

Moore's presence on the show was the crowning touch. His sense of humor was always present on the evening news, whether in the way he interacted with his colleagues on the set or in his ability to see the occasional absurdity present in a news story. His motto could have been, "I take what I do seriously, but not always how I do it." Make no mistake; if there was breaking news happening - tornadoes, fires, the riots of the late '60s - there wasn't a more authoritative person to be found. His newscasts were always straightforward, without the fluff that came to characterize the "Happy News" of the '70s. There was always that twinkle, though, waiting to come out.

The Bedtime Nooz ran on Saturdays after the 10:30 p.m. movie, which meant it never aired before midnight, and that was the perfect hour for the show's wacky, bizarre humor. It was oneHere' of my fondest television memories growing up, being able to stay up late on Saturdays to watch it. It was probably more responsible than anything for honing my appreciation for comedy, news, and being a night owl.

Here's a clip from a Bedtime Nooz retrospective that perfectly captures the atmosphere of this show, from the voiceover introduction (done by weathercaster Bud Kraehling) to the cooperation of Sealy, highlighting Moore's penchant for playing multiple characters. (You can see a rare complete episode here.)

No wonder so many people remember it so fondly. Local television used to be able to create such memories - can you say that about your local station today?  TV  

July 16, 2018

What's on TV? Monday, July 13, 1970

This week's listings come from the Twin Cities, and while there isn't anything earth-shattering on tap, it's one of those days when you get a pretty good idea of what television was like in the day. It's a night with a mix of reruns and syndicated summer shows, and somewhere in there you'll hopefully find some of your favorites.

July 14, 2018

This week in TV Guide: July 11, 1970

This is one of those issues that is a pleasure to go through - not a lot of research required, just a chance to do some serious typing on some really cool things.

We'll start with a brief mention of Ray Ameijide cover depicting The Beverly Hillbillies. You might notice an addition to the familiar cast in the Clampetts' car - it's none other than their banker, Mr. Drysdale! That's because the cover story is on Raymond Bailey, who started out in hobo camps as a young man before becoming an actor and appearing in a lot of shows besides Hillbillies. He was a perfect foil, wasn't hie?

Richard K. Doan has the other half of the cover, with his story on the phenomenal success of Sesame Street, now a year old. What does he think? It's all summed up in the headline, "Kindergarten may never be the same again." While acknowledging the criticism the show has received in some quarters ("rote education," "spoiling them for actual schooling," and the one critique that has probably stuck with the show the longest, that it is "assaulting" the senses of its little viewers with its "frenetic pace" and "psyched-up music." All in all, though, Doan praises Joan Ganz Cooney's vision for a show that's going to force kindergarten and first grade teachers into offering a more challenging curriculum for students - her hope is that they will "start teaching reading right away." He also approves of the show's integrated cast, which helps foster an atmosphere of racial understanding. TV Guide's opinion of Sesame Street won't always be so positive (I don't think Edith Efron was a fan), but for now, all systems are go.

We even have some notables in the Teletype - a small bit on David Janssen's upcoming series Treasury Agent, which eventually comes to the screen as O'Hara, U.S. Treasury. David Wolper is working on a documentary about the Lincoln assassination called The 20 Days of Lincoln, which winds up being called They've Killed President Lincoln. I remember that show; around that time there was something of a mystique about the Lincoln assassination, which may have coincided with the reopening (after more than 100 years) of Ford's Theatre. And Leonard Bernstein will be leading the Vienna Philharmonic in a 90-minute CBS special marking the Beethoven Bicentennial. They're doing Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, in what must be an abridged version - trust me, even without commercials, you're not going to get that opera done in 90 minutes.

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Sports plays a bigger role than usual in this week's programming. On Saturday it's the final round of the Open Championship, or the British Open as we called it back then, from the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews in Scotland. This year's total purse is $96,000, so we know players aren't there for the money; in fact, many of the Americans will lose money on the proposition, between the costs of travel and lodging.* In those days, the Open concluded on Saturday, unless a tie forced an 18-hole playoff, which would come on Sunday. ABC's Wide World of Sports is there to cover the excitement at 4:30 p.m. CT, and what excitement there is!

*By contrast, the purse for this year's Open is $10.5 million, with the winner's share coming in at $1,890,000.

Doug Sanders, one of the most stylish, swingingist golfers on tour (alas, his talent never did quite come up to the level of his sartorial splendor) comes to the 18th hole on Saturday with a one-shot lead over Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus won the Open in 1966, but he's never come out on top at St. Andrews, and he knows a player has to win here in order to solidify his legacy in the sport. (Adopts golf voice) And now Sanders stands over the ball on the 18th green, needing only to make this short putt to win the world's most prestigious title.

Of course, the caption on the BBC video gives it away. It's one of the more heartbreaking misses in major golf history, and it's all to Sanders' credit that he hangs in there against Nicklaus in the Sunday playoff, cutting the Bear's lead down to one sinister stroke on 18 before Jack sinks the putt that gives him his second Open championship.

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Then, on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., NBC presents the 41st Major League Baseball All-Star Game, telecast from brand-spanking-new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati - in fact, the stadium is so new (the Reds just moved into it on June 30) that workers are still putting some of the finishing touches on it prior to game time.

I think we've gotten very jaundiced, not to say bored, with all-star games in general, and few of them have suffered as much as baseball's game. True, it's the only one of the four major sports where the game bears any resemblance to an actual baseball game (unlike the scoring feasts of basketball, the 3-on-3 of hockey, and the "don't touch me" of football), but back in 1970 this was a real game. There was no interleague play other than here and at the World Series; there was only one national telecast each week and most local teams only broadcast about 50 games; and both leagues looked at this as a test of superiority. The National League is in the midst of a long winning streak in the game, and nothing epitomizes the desire to win this game than Pete Rose's famous run for the plate in the 12th inning. Jim Simpson has the radio call for NBC.

This kind of play wouldn't be allowed today, and certainly one can argue as to whether or not it was necessary for Rose to plough into Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse. (Fosse himself was never quite the same after the play.) The point, though, is that Rose knew only one way to play - to win, whether in the World Series or an exhibition like the All-Star Game. Even if home plate collisions were allowed today, though, I doubt you'd ever see something like this again. Why endanger your earnings potential in a game that doesn't count?

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Isn't there anything on besides sports this week? Of course!

Some fun casting on Monday night begins with It Takes a Thief (6:30 p.m., ABC), as Robert Wagner is joined by his future Hart to Hart co-star Stefanie Powers and Broderick Crawford in a mystery involving Al Mundy (Wagner) trying to recover his memory. Both Wagner and Powers will be at this year's Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, as will be yours truly. At 7:30 p.m. on CBS, it's Here's Lucy - or should it be Here's Lucy and Viv? as Lucy's old sidekick Vivian Vance returns for some fun in a show with a healthy component of flashbacks to the antics of the two in I Love Lucy. And at 9:00 p.m., in the time slot usually occupied by Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman appears in a (more-or-less straight role as a "scheming foreign diplomat" on The Wild Wild West.

If you aren't in the mood for baseball on Tuesday, there's a reminder of what 1970 is like with CBS's soon-to-be acclaimed, Peabody-winning, documentary The World of Charlie Company. (9:00 p.m.) This show created such a sensation that it was run twice during the month (presumably for those who were watching the game the first time around.

On Wednesday, ABC has its pair of summer variety shows: The Everly Brothers star in the appropriately named Johnny Cash Presents The Everly Brothers at 8:00 p.m., keeping the country theme of their benefactor with a guest lineup including Arlo Guthrie, Marty Robbins, and Jackie DeShannon. That's followed at 9:00 p.m. by the resurrection of The Smothers Brothers Show, a somewhat toned-down version of their CBS series, as a summer replacement for Engelbert Humperdinck. Pat Paulsen is back with the Brothers, along with this week's guests Peter Lawford, Mac Davis, and Sunday's Child. Meanwhile, on KSTP (the NBC affiliate), Then Came Bronson is preempted for The Trini Lopez Hour (9:00 p.m.), with Georgia Brown and Frank Gorshin. And in the something-for-everyone category, David Frost's late-night show continues to have some of the most interesting lineups; tonight (midnight, KSTP) his guests are Noel Coward, Joseph E. Levine (producer of, among other movies, The Graduate), Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, and singer Ronnie Dyson.

Thursday's episode of Ironside (7:30 p.m., NBC) caught my eye if for no other reason than a great cast of guest stars better known for other roles: DeForest Kelley, Dabbs Greer, and Michael Conrad. At 9:00 p.m., "Those Girls Are Back" - those girls being the Golddiggers, in their third season as Dean Martin's summer replacement. It's almost a theater of the absurd cast of regulars: besides the Girls, we have Charles Nelson Reilly, Marty Feldman, and Tommy Tune. In the late-night wars, Enzo Stuarti manages to appear with both Frost and Merv Griffin. Nice job!

Bill Dana is not José Jiménez - instead, he's a scientiest trying to freeze the world in Friday's Get Smart (6:30 p.m., CBS). At 9:00 p.m. on ABC, Love, American Style has a segment that wouldn't be funny today, just ironic: it's about a computer dating error that pairs up Marion Feinstein (Herb Edeman) and Francis Adams (Broderick Crawford). I guess it's the names. And as for the late-night wars...

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Well, just one more sports note. Guess who's guest-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on Friday night? None other than golfing great Arnold Palmer! What a curious choice to host the show. I mean, Arnold's pretty smooth, but somehow I just don't see him sitting in that chair behind the desk, with Ed McMahon there off to the side. Joe Dey, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, is one of Arnie's guests, and I'm sure that's to help make things a little easier, but then there's also singer Vic Damone. Who knows, maybe he and Arnie were pretty tight; it wouldn't surprise me a bit. Although I had to go to IMDb to find out, his other guests included actress Suzanne Charny and tennis great Rod Laver, and this picture includes Vice President Spiro Agnew!

(That's a great look Ed has, by the way, with that red cardigan golf sweater!)

Very interesting, don't you think?  TV  

July 13, 2018

Around the dial

Politics is such a contentious thing today, and television has done more than its share to promote that; the Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland takes us back to a day when broadcasters offered a helpful pamphlet, rather than unhelpful arguments.

At Once Upon a Screen, Aurora takes us back for a look at The Golden Girls, from conception to execution. I'll admit I was never a fan of this series, but that doesn't prevent me from steering a story -your way, especially when it's as well-written and informative as this!

Over at Bob Crane: Life & Legacy, Carol has some great pictures from behind the scenes at a Hogan's Heroes photo shoot for the November 19, 1966, cover of TV Guide, in support of an inside story on Robert Clary. I happen to have that issue; a very good profile of Clary, who was a concentration camp survivor himself and understood well the difference between that and a POW camp.

Gotta hand it to Dan at Some Polish American Guy - he always knows how to highlight the best parts of BJ and the Bear, if you know what I mean. This week it's the season three episode "Beauties and the Beast." Oh, and by the way, I hope you're enjoying our review of Bourbon Street Beat over at the Eventually Supertrain podcast; Dan is such a gracious host!

Always glad to see The Classic TV History Blog come back to life, even if it's only occasionally; here, Stephen has a nice remembrance of Harlan Ellison, including an interview he did with him early in Stephen's career.

At Classic Television Showbiz, Kliph gives us some terrific video of the great Gene Krupa, performing on The Tonight Show in 1962 with guest host Donald O'Connor.

I'd be remiss if I didn't stop over at Television Obscurities, where Robert takes a moment out to remember Tab Hunter, who died this week aged 86, and who starred in the very obscure Tab Hunter Show back in 1961-62.

And you didn't think I'd leave out part three of Jodie's look at the life and times of Jack Lescoulie over at Garroway at Large, did you? TV  

July 9, 2018

What's on TV? Monday, July 11, 1960

This week's listings are dominated by the Democratic Convention, so I tried to find a day where the impact on programming was as minimal as possible. I think Monday is pretty good, but on the other hand you've got the first of the week's two All-Star baseball games; what can I say? You might be wondering why convention coverage on KGLO, Channel 3, starts an hour earlier than everyone else's. Simple: chalk it up to Daylight Saving Time. Here's a sample of the confusion surrounding the state's adoption of the time change:

By 1962, Iowa communities had 23 distinct combinations of dates for starting and ending DST, leading a September 6, 1964 Des Moines Register headline to state, “Daylight time spreads nightmare of chaos across Iowa.” In Springville (Linn County), for example, city government made the switch to Central Standard Time, while the schools and local merchants stayed with DST. 

And you think you've got it bad. Not as bad as Burgess Meredith's bookkeeper, though, at 11:30 p.m. on KDAL, Channel 3 in Duluth. It's the famous Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last." That's the way it is with everything, isn't it?

July 7, 2018

This week in TV Guide: July 9, 1960

Believe it or not, part one: there once was a time when it was your duty to watch the quadrennial political conventions on TV. At least that’s according to this week’s As We See It, in which Merrill Panitt reiterates the message that Americans owe it to both themselves and the nation to become well-informed in advance of the 1960 presidential campaign. "At the most important level, watching the conventions bears ultimately on our survival as a Nation. To turn the conventions off, or to spin the dial seeking to avoid them, is to play electronic Russian roulette." And brother, he means Russian.

We’re at an interesting point in both American history and the history of television. The medium has already made a significant impact in the way Americans respond to politics—witness the outpouring of support for then-vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon following the Checkers Speech in 1952. And it was their coverage of the conventions in 1956 that helped make Chet Huntley and David Brinkley household names. As John Kennedy points out in his 1959 TV Guide article that TV enables candidates to speak to, what? Twenty million people on TV in the same amount of time and effort it takes to give a speech to 2,000 people in person?

By 1960 television is fully maturing as a participant in the political process. Panitt says, "Watching the conventions and thus participating in our democratic process is one step along the road to a surer, stronger, more purposeful America." The changeover won’t be complete; Robert Drew’s fascinating documentary Primary gives us a look at the grass-roots politicking that Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey engaged in during the campaign for the Wisconsin primary that year, and glad-handing would remain an essential part of presidential campaigns for decades.

But I think that the people at TV Guide understand what the stakes are like, for both nation and citizens. We can look back at Erwin Canham's article urging television executives to use their incredible platform to educate Americans, to make them both better citizens and better-informed citizens for the cold war struggle that would continue throughout the decade. Television is doing its part, presenting vast amounts of coverage not only of the party conventions themselves, but also the platform debates and other behind-the-scenes maneuvering (guaranteed, no doubt, to obscure from site the even-more-behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

This week it’s the Democrats, meeting at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, and it’s anything but cut-and-dried. The usual suspects are there to provide coverage: Huntley and Brinkley for NBC, Walter Cronkite for CBS, and John Daly for ABC. The highlight is a debate between JFK, the frontrunner, and late challenger Lyndon Johnson, held on July 12 before the Massachusetts and Texas delegations, in which Kennedy easily disarms Johnson’s candidacy with a display of the witty and media-savvy style that will serve him so well in his more formal debates with Richard Nixon. On Wednesday, the nominating speech for 1952 and 1956 nominee Adlai Stevenson (who never explicitly announced his candidacy but was essentially running a no-campaign campaign) touches off a 20-minute demonstration (followed by an additional 15 minutes after Eleanor Roosevelt’s seconding speech), but in the end, it makes no difference. It isn’t until Wyoming that Kennedy is put over the top, but on Friday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum, he’s the one delivering the acceptance speech as the Democratic nominee, along with his surprise running mate, LBJ: a moment which, in the pantheon of history, will take years to play out, in ways that couldn’t have been foreseen at the time.

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Believe it or not, part two: there used to be two baseball All-Star Games, and this year NBC is carrying them both—Monday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. CT from Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, and Wednesday afternoon at 11:45 a.m. from Yankee Stadium in New York.

The two-game format started in 1959, in order to increase the money going to the players’ pension fund, and that year—as would be the case in 1961 and 62, the games were played about three weeks apart. Ah, but in 1960, those games took place in the same week. There were no red carpet shows, no home run hitting contests, none of the hype that surrounds today’s game: the sole attraction was the only instance of interleague play prior to the World Series. Because of the short timeframe involved, the rosters were expanded from 25 to 30 players (to allow for additional pitchers), but otherwise the squads and managers were the same. It was, many said, a dilution of the product—and the crowd of just over 38,000 that saw Wednesday’s game in 67,000-seat Yankee Stadium would seem to bear that out. After 1962, with an agreement in place to increase contributions to the pension fund, the Midsummer Classic returns to being a single-game affair. And the result of our two 1960 games? A sweep for the National League, winning the first game 5-3, the second 6-2.

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Let's see what else we've got this week; you're not going to find much other than politics during the week, but there's still the weekend. On Saturday at 10:30, WCCO has the Miss Universe 1960 pageant, live from Miami Beach.* George deWitt, host of Name that Tune, is the emcee on stage, while Arthur Godfrey is the television host, aided by Charles Collingwood (!) and Jayne Meadows. The more I read about this, the more interesting it gets; says here that the Miss U.S.A. selection was only two days before, with the winner (Miss Utah, Linda Bement) proceeding directly to compete the next night in the first of two nights at Miss Universe. Not quite like today, where Miss Universe would be an event in and of itself, but then, six states didn't even send representatives. Anyway, by the time midnight rolls around, we're ready to crown the new Miss Universe, and she's: Miss U.S.A., Linda Bement! She just died earlier this year, aged 76.

*Ordinarily I'd say that this would be 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time, but with Daylight Savings Time screwing everyone up, who knows what time it was? Nevertheless, even midnight seems to be a very late time for a beauty pageant to end. By the way, this is the first time the Miss Universe pageant is telecast nationally.

If you want to stay up late on Saturday, you could instead choose David Susskind's infamous Open End, which starts at 10:30 p.m. on KMSP and runs - well, runs until it's over. David's panel tonight is a roundtable of international newspapermen, with UPI correspondent Merriman Smith (later to win fame for his coverage of JFK in Dallas), Bob Considine from the Hearst newspapers, Max Freedman from The Guardian in Manchester, England, Indian reporter Krishna Balarman, and Count Adalbert de Segozac from France.

Convention previews and candidate profiles dominate Sunday's programming, but there is a program on at 3:30 p.m. on WCCO Reports regarding the controversy surrounding the Twin Cities' exchange of their two AAA minor league teams, the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers, in return for a major league team. The Twin Cities already failed in an effort to lure the New York Giants before they moved to San Francisco, but they're going to succeed at the end of the 1960 season in convincing the Washington Senators to become the Minnesota Twins. There were several franchise moves in baseball during the decade of the 1950s, and it's interesting to think that many people preferred their two long-time minor league teams (and the chance to see rising stars; Willie Mays and Ted Williams both played here before moving up) to a mediocre major league team. Which is what we have here today, two World Series championships notwithstanding.

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A couple of items from the TV Teletype: Danny Kaye's going to do his first TV special, preempting Ed Sullivan on CBS October 30. In three years, he'll make the move permanent, lasting four seasons on CBS. But not on Sunday; he wasn't foolish enough to go up against Bonanza. Let Judy Garland have that timeslot.

There's a report that Jack Webb is putting together a golf series of 39 half-hour episodes. I wonder what kind of program that would have been? Friday on the golf course, telling his caddy, "just the four-iron"?

Anthony George and Doug McClure will be co-stars of the new CBS detective series Checkmate, to be produced by Jack Benny's production company. Before the series starts, they'll be joined by Sebastian Cabot. I've seen a few episodes; harmless enough, but not enough Cabot.

Ernie Kovacs' game/comedy show, Take a Good Look, has been renewed by ABC. It's a funny show, but not really what you'd call a game show; Edie Adams, Kovacs' wife, says that he used the skits that comprised the "quiz" part of the show as a way to get ideas for his famous specials.

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Finally—and there's probably no better way to end this week's segment—a fashion show, which we haven't had for awhile. This week, actresses Lola Albright, Leslie Parrish, Peggy Connolly, and Joanne Dru model that split skirt known as the culotte.

Almost makes it worth coming back this week, doesn't it?  TV  

July 6, 2018

Around the dial

We begin the week at bare-bones e-zine, where Jack continues his Hitchcock Project look at John Cheever's stories with "O Youth and Beauty!", a sixth-season episode adapted by Halsted Welles and starring Gary Merrill. Successful? You decide...

At Comfort TV, David returns to his occasional feature, "Purchase or Pass." This week's entrant: the single-season detective series Honey West, with Anne Francis. So should we purchase, or pass? Considering David's comment that Honey West was the role Francis was born to play, I think you know the answer.

Ed Nelson and David Opatoshu, two actors I've always liked, star in the Twilight Zone episode "Valley of the Shadow," written by Charles Beaumont and the subject of The Twilight Zone Vortex. It doesn't really work, says Jordan, but it's worth a look anyway.

The Bob Crane: Life & Legacy website is active again, and Carol celebrates with some rare photos of Bob behind the mic at KNX radio in Los Angeles. Great as he was in Hogan's Heroes, he had a rare talent on radio; if you're not familiar with it, now's the chance to find out more.

It's Hondo time again at The Horn Section and I love the title of the episode in question: "Hondo and the Sudden Town," featuring Noah Beery Jr.; if you only know him as Rocky from The Rockford Files, you owe it to yourself to check out his many classic TV performances. Oh, and it also has Rod Cameron - what else do you need?

It's "Christmas in July" time at Christmas TV History, and you'll want to peruse the entries throughout the month, starting here. Joanna's come up with some very interesting questions on tap this year, and the answers should be fascinating to read. Hopefully I'll get my own responses over to her soon.

Good news from Television Obscurities, where the UCLA Film & Television archives have uploaded some of their vintage episodes of The United States Steel Hour to YouTube. Any time we get a chance to see some more examples of Golden Age anthologies, it's a treat - and if they're not all masterpieces, neither is everything on TV today.

Finally, if you enjoyed part one of Jodie's look at Today's Number Two man, Jack Lescoulie, you'll want to be sure and read part two at Garroway at Large, with more to come. TV