September 3, 2021

Around the dial

We'll start off the week at Comfort TV, where David takes a fond look back at some of the best work by Will Geer. People of our age remember him as Grandpa Walton, but as David shows, there was much more to Geer's portfolio than that.

I really enjoyed Fire-Breathing Dimetroden Time this week, because of Grant's pleasure at discovering a show that's long been one of my favorites: The Saint. (Which probably says more about my age than anything else.) The episode: the second-season "The Romantic Matron."

At Cult TV Blog, John has some thoughts on the 1979 series Dick Barton, chronicling the adventures of the post-WWII special agent. We know that John can be apprehensive when it comes to period dramas, but have no fear: this one is top-notch!

Carol has a treat at Bob Crane: Life & Legacy: family videos of Bob with his wife and children, including one from Father's Day, 1978—just ten days before his murder. The videos come courtesy of his son, Scott.

With the Emmy Awards just around the corner, Rick poses seven things to know about the Emmys, at Classic Film & TV Café. Whether or not you're a fan of the Emmys (or award shows in general), I think you'll find these fun facts quite interesting.

Perhaps the Emmys would have a bigger viewing audience if they followed the recommendation from The Horn Section, where Hal looks at the F Troop episode "Bring on the Dancing Girls" from 1966. Not one of the show's strongest episodes, but still entertaining. 

Finally, at Television's New Frontier: The 1960s, a review of the first half of the sole season of Stoney Burke, starring Jack Lord. Although I'm a bigger fan of the series than he is (I reviewed it here), it's a comprehensive look at the who and what of the series, with some valid observations. Maybe it would have been more successful if it had been called Stoney Burke's LawTV  


  1. I had to do some looking, but it paid off:

    Nobody remembers this, but in 1962-63, there were two rodeo series: Stoney Burke on ABC, and Wide Country with Earl Holliman and Andrew Prine, Thursday nights on NBC (produced by Revue, which later became Universal TV - but that's another story ...).
    Both of these series were what would today be called "bubble shows", rating in the lower-middle portion of what was an overall list of over 100 series each week.
    On Mondays, Stoney Burke was up against Danny Thomas and Andy Griffith on CBS, and ultimately NBC's second prime-time movie night.
    Thursday night was a bit more problematic: none of the nets had a real breakout show that year - everybody was running about even.
    Most of the pickups went to shows which were already long-running (Ozzie & Harriet, Donna Reed, Perry Mason); Wide Country just didn't have the heat ... (it was followed by Dr. Kildare, but those were the days when people actually got up out of their chairs to change channels).
    Since there's no Big Book Of Ratings to look things up in, that whole era of the amorphous middle of the Nielsen list is lost to us - and contemporary TV crickets are no help at all, rendering all of this guesswork at best.
    Best Guess (out of a bad lot): there just wasn't much interest in rodeos that year ...

  2. I just listened to an interesting podcast on the Hammer Films trio of Dick Barton films from the 1940s. It's in the podcast series called The House of Hammer.

  3. Thanks for the shout out Mitchell!

    Mike: Some WIDE COUNTRY trivia; Ralph Taeger was originally announced in the role that Andrew Prine ended up playing when the project was in the pilot stage.


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