Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Top 25 TV Themes


One of my Facebook friends posted his list of top 25 favorite TV themes earlier. I agreed with many but not all. As it kept popping up throughout the day, i decided to do my own. It wasn't easy! There are at least a dozen that I feel SHOULD be somewhere on this list but there's simply no room!
My Top 25 favorite TV themes...in order!







DOCTOR WHO
MANNIX
THE ROCKFORD FILES
HAWAII 5-0
WKRP IN CINCINNATI
CHEERS
SESAME STREET
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
GREEN ACRES
STAR TREK
M*A*S*H
MARY TYLER MOORE
LOST IN SPACE (2nd version)
WELCOME BACK KOTTER
THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW
BATMAN
HERE COME THE BRIDES
TRUE BLOOD
THE MUNSTERS
NANNY & THE PROFESSOR
THE PRISONER
RAWHIDE
MR. ED

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lost Girl Has Arrived!

Kathy Coleman starred as Holly on the mid-'70s Saturday morning live action series, LAND OF THE LOST. Today, I received the first ever printed copy of her autobiography! Even she doesn't have one yet! 

Over the past 13 1/2 months, I compiled the book from 40+ hours of pre-recorded interviews made since 2009 and about 50 pages of typed and handwritten sections. I wrote new portions including an introduction, edited the book, and designed the cover.

At my suggestion, last year Kathleen reconnected with actress Erica Hagen, who had played her character as an adult on one episode, and she was kind enough to write the Foreword to LOST GIRL.

There are still a few very minor tweaks that will be made this weekend and then I'll tell you how you can order a copy! This is NOT the story of LAND OF THE LOST. This is the true and sometimes terrible story of a girl who DID eventually get rescued!




Saturday, March 21, 2015

Laugh-In by Roy Doty





A few 1969 examples of the short-lived gag strip very, VERY loosely tied to TV's LAUGH-IN and drawn by children's book illustrator Roy Doty who passed away this past week. R.I.P. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

They Call It Murder


One of my favorite actors when I was growing up was Jim Hutton. He wasn't everywhere like some actors so it was always a treat to see him. He was quirky and funny and almost always seemed to be thinking. In 1969, someone got the bright idea that Jim should front his own TV series.



Erle Stanley Gardner's PERRY MASON had been popular for years in books, movies and a perpetually rerun classic TV series begun in the late 1950s. Along with his defense lawyer, though, Gardner also did a lesser-known series of novels about a District Attorney. It seemed like a good fit. 



THEY CALL IT MURDER was made in 1969 as an adaptation of Gardner's book, THE D.A. DRAWS A CIRCLE. It didn't sell and was burned off as a TV movie in 1971 during the height of the TV movie years.


The cast included numerous TV regulars of the time including future comedic superstar (which would have surprised him no end at this point) Leslie Nielsen, Jessica Walter (who would soon get her own mystery movie series, AMY PRENTISS), Jo Ann Pflug (who scored in M*A*S*H the year this was made) and Ed Asner (not long before MARY TYLER MOORE.)


Asner's role is minimal and could almost be described as comic relief if it were actually funny and yet he's played up in latter day releases, even at the expense of Hutton not being listed at all in one case! That one also misspells Jo Ann Pflug's name...and not, as expected, the "Pflug" part!


The problem with the whole thing is that the writing is confusing. I don't know how it compares to its source material but in the end, the D.A, has to explain everything in flashback, with some foreshadowing of Hutton's later (and much better) ELLERY QUEEN. He's the best part here, as the easygoing small town DA, but it's hardly his best work. Sadly, he would die far, far too young at only age 45 just a decade later.


Bottom line, if you liked the stars, it's a mildly enjoyable time filler but you really won't care whodunit (which was easy enough to guess anyway, using standard TV tropes).

Friday, February 13, 2015

R.I.P. Gary Owens



By all accounts a true prince of a guy, the image of Gary Owens, hand cupped to his ear, on mike in an old fashioned recording studio, is an indelible one from my childhood. Over time his facial hair and his ties grew hipper but Gary always maintained a "fish out of water" voice and style on LAUGH-IN. He was also a major cartoon voice actor, principally remembered as the voice of SPACE GHOST and ROGER RAMJET!

Rest in Peace, sir!
And thanks!