July 10, 2020

Around the dial

he week leads off at Eventually Supertrain, where Dan and I discuss the final episode of Bourbon Street Beat, the Warner Bros. detective series we've been following for the last couple of years. Listen also for discussions of Nero Wolfe and Shadow Chasers. And don't worry about me—I'm gone for now, but. . .

At Shadow & Substance, a great Twilight Zone/Rod Serling site, Paul talks about the availability (or lack thereof) of classic television programs on streaming servicesand makes an excellent point. Two, actually. When classic shows disappear from Prime or Netflix or Hulu, we can always get them on DVD if we know about them. What about people who discover them while they're surfing around Netflix?  As Paul says, "A lot of our cultural memory is fading bit by bit—memory-holed not by censorship, but an accidental victim of convenience." For old shows to survive, they need to be "discoverable by new fans" or they'll drift into obscurity. And that will happen anyway, unless studios open their vaults and either release their inventory on DVD themselves, or let someone else do it.

Rick provides a very good primer on the history of Perry Mason adaptations over at Classic Film & TV Cafe. I've seen several of the pre-Raymond Burr movies that Rick mentions (one each for Warren William, Ricardo Cortez and Donald Woods), which are fun if you forget that the character's name is Mason. I have no appetite for the new version, though.

At Inner Toob, it's a tribute to the late Hugh Downs, including not only his turns on The Jack Paar Show, Concentration, The Today Show and 20/20 but also the many times he played himself on other shows, always with good humor.

That Today reference is a good segue to the latest at Garroway at Large, as Jodie continues her look at Dave Garroway's brush with late night television in the form of Nightlife, ABC's failed Les Crane challenge to The Tonight Show. Garroway would have made a great late night host.

Television's New Frontier: The 1960s moves to the 1962 episodes of My Three Sons, at this point still airing on ABC, with Mike and Bub still part of the family. Always interesting to read about this era of the show; I never watched it that much, but it was always from the CBS/William Demarest era.

At Ed Robertson's TV Confidential podcast, it's an encore of the July 2014 conversation with Dwayne Epstein, author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank, and how Marvin became a household name partly because of television (and, particularly, the terrific nourish crime drama M Squad). TV  

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