September 1, 2023

Around the dial

Just the other week, we were looking yet again at the popularity of movies on television, and how the introduction of more recently-made movies was a real game changer; we see evidence of this in an ad from the Broadcasting Archives. Pal Joey, the movie being promoted in the ad, is a Sinatra movie from 1957; the implication is that because WBEN shows newer movies, they're the station to beat in Buffalo.

David's journey through 1970s TV continues at Comfort TV; in case you've forgotten, he's on a quest to see at least one episode from every series of the decade. This week, he turns to Friday nights in 1972, It's a fascinating schedule, including shows like Sanford and Son, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Sonny and Cher, and The Odd Couple. Not bad at all.

At Cult TV, John is watching the classic British comedy Ripping Yarns, with Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Unlike many of John's entries, I've actually seen and enjoyed this series on PBS, even though the "boy's own" genre isn't something native to me. This week, he's looking at "The Curse of the Claw," and if you're inclined to a Pythonesque type of humor, I think you'll get it.

At Those Were the Days, there's a series of posts on the two TV-movies Elizabeth Montgomery did in the mid-1990s that were based on the autobiography of the famed crime reporter Edna Buchanan. 1995's Deadline for Murder, the second in the series, was Montgomery's final performance before her death later that year; I wonder if there were more movies in the series planned?

We haven't had an Avengers review yet this week, so let's go to The View from the Junkyard, where Roger and Mike dissect "Honey for the Prince," a Steed-and-Peel episode at the end of the black-and-white era. Their views diverge on this one, and I'm not going to tell you which one I agree with; you'll have to guess that on your own.

And finally, since last we did this, Bob Barker died, 99 years old. It's probable that he was on television before most of us here were born, and it seemed he'd always be around: Truth or Consequences, The Price is Right, the Miss Universe Pageant, the Tournament of Roses Parade. He had what in sports I've called the "big-game voice," the idea that if you heard him on television, you could be pretty sure that whatever he was doing was credible, or at least not a complete waste of time. At A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence has more on the life and career of a television institution.

If you're going to be on the road for this holiday weekend, have a safe time, and I'll see you back here later. And remember, I'll be at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention next week; let me know if you'll be there too! TV  


  1. You know if you hadn't said you agreed with one of the views about Honey for the Prince I would have guessed that you would think an amalgam of them both: that it's fun but also frivolous. But I'm going to guess you agree with Mike that it is quite quite fantastic?

    1. More toward that, yes. However, now that you're giving me the option of choosing "fun but frivolous," there's a lot to that as well. Rewatching the first seasons with Cathy Gale, as well as Drs. Keel/King and Venus Smith, I have to admit a fondness for Steed's tougher, more ruthless persona, and I sometimes miss that in the later stories.

  2. Your "Shroud of Thoughts" link goes to the Edna Buchanan movie instead of the Bob Barker memorial. I remember Bob Barker on both PRICE IS RIGHT and TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, as well as a lot of his other tv work.

    1. Fixed. I was familiar with Bob Barker from T or C as well, long before The Price Is Right was revived.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!