May 31, 2019

Around the dial

Let's go a bit off-topic this week, since there isn't a lot to report in the classic TV universe.

Alison Herman's article at The Ringer about the Deadwood movie-finale brings up a number of things about television: the ensemble drama, the tension between "prestige" television and ratings, and the philosophy behind offering said series a final, wrap-up-all-the-loose-ends episode. I suppose that as television becomes more and more novelistic, people are going to want the closure that they get at the conclusion of a novel: a good ending.

Embedded in Herman's story is a link to Mark Singer's New Yorker profile of David Milch, creator/showrunner of Deadwood and co-creator of NYPD Blue, among others. Milch, one of television's most prolific writers, is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's, and Singer's poignant story covers, among other things, the writing process, the discipline required to find the proper voice in the written word, how to do all this while at the same time battling dementia.

Ready for a quiz? Try the three-word TV series game at Classic Film and TV Café.

At Inner Toob, a look at the many faces (and voices) of Gilligan's Island's Ginger Grant.

As I suggest every week, go to Television Obscurities for the latest in A Year in TV Guide: 1989, but stay for this old conversation (that keeps getting refreshed via a fascinating comments section) on whether or not there was supposed to be a third season of F Troop. You won't be surprised to find our own Hal from The Horn Section with several comments.

Exciting news from my good friend Carol: she and her co-authors of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography are about to embark on a new podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane. Their Bob bio is a terrific read, and based on Carol's previous podcast you're going to want to listen to this!

Remember RC Cola? As Terence reminds us in a pair of posts at A Shroud of Thoughts, RC used to be a big deal. Movie stars used to endorse it, and it was the sponsor of a Nancy Sinatra special, in which Nancy did two of the commercialsTV  


  1. If Carol's podcast is anything like the book she wrote, expect to hear a love-fest about Bob Crane with no discussion of Crane's sordid life and death. Her work lacks balance and objectivity.

  2. Thanks for the shoutout Mitchell! That 2010 article led to my detailed 2013 article on F Troop's cancellation at the Section, and to me going back and updating old comments. Would have loved to have had Richard Orr's input at the time of my article, though he pretty much confirms the same things his father Wm. T Orr said in THE BOX.

    What I found interesting in researching that article was just how few new shows hit in the 1966-67 season. THAT GIRL, THE MONKEES and STAR TREK were probably the most enduring shows to debut (though the biggest hit initially was THE RAT PATROL) and not one made the top 40, or outrated F TROOP in 1966-67 for that matter.

    I agree, Carol's Bob Crane book is the best book on him to date by far.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!