Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Thanks to Derek T for pointing out that this 30 minute NBC preview of NET's SESAME STREET premiered 45 years ago tomorrow, introducing the world to Bert and Ernie and Big Bird! Right from the beginning, they were telling us how to get to Sesame Street.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FRANK'S PLACE was a late eighties comedy-drama series co-produced by and starring WKRP's Tim Reid that for some reason I just never watched. It wasn't around very long but got a number of awards and nominations while it was. Here's one "Very Special Episode." It and all the rest of the episodes are on YouTube and now that I've seen some , I highly recommend it.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Norman Lear was the TV hit king of the seventies and Don Kirshner had done quite well, also, with The Archies and then his TV Rock Concert series. Thus it was with great anticipation that the public awaited their announced collaboration, A YEAR AT THE TOP, due in early 1977. Only it was delayed almost a year and when it did air, it aired only 5 episodes.
The show starred Greg Evigan, later of BJ & THE BEAR and MY TWO DADS along with Paul Shaffer fresh off SNL and with three and a half decades of DAVID LETTERMAN still in his future.
Between january and August of 1977, there was a major cast shakeup, replacing Mickey Rooney with Gabe Dell. It didn't help.
In spite of the hype and the fact that the show's stars even put out an LP, nothing really helped.
The premise was basically that these two struggling nice guy musicians made a deal with the devil for one year of success, "a year at the top." To someone this apparently seemed an acceptable premise but even taken as black comedy it was just not workable. Add to that the fact that Paul, a brilliant musician and a funny man, simply couldn't act, and the show quickly died and was swept under the rug of TV history.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
It's almost here! This year's Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention is mere weeks away. Amongst this year's guests, one will be able to meet the Cartwrights! Well, not THOSE Cartwrights, but sisters Veronica and Angela Cartwright. Seen above in the mid-sixties when Angela was appearing on LOST IN SPACE, set in the future, whilst Veronica was a regular on THE ADVENTURES OF DANIEL BOONE, set in the past. Angela was a major child star on television and Veronica went on to be a major star in films such as ALIEN. In a fair world, she would have won an Oscar for her intense performance in INSERTS.
Find out more about the Cartwright sisters and the rest of the stars and familiar faces on his year's guest list for the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention here!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I never watched NICHOLS when it was on new. It was opposite the latter part of ABC's Tuesday MOVIE OF THE WEEK and that was a golden age for TV movies so we usually watched those, especially since it was also opposite the beginning of MARCUS WELBY, MD, one of my mother's favorite series. I liked James Garner though, from barely remembered MAVERICK episodes and a few movies. Over the years, I wished I had watched NICHOL, especially when he himself said it was probably his favorite of all his series.
With his recent passing, I've finally begun to watch episodes and while I'm enjoying it immensely, I can see why it failed. One week, it's a drama, the next a sitcom. One week, Nichols is a reluctant hero, the next he's attempting an elaborate robbery with a handpicked group of criminal experts. One week co-star John Beck is an antagonist, the next he's comic relief. The only consistent characterization is that of Neva Patterson as the woman who runs the town and her character is given much deeper characterization than she really needs (although so much fun to watch!)
NICHOLS was also the place where Garner put together the crew who would follow him into THE ROCKFORD FILES, his infinitely superior next series. But NICHOLS can't just be written off because, taken on their own, the episodes I've seen thus far have been wonderful fun!
R.I.P. James Garner
Thursday, July 24, 2014
So today, for the first time in several years, we get TV back. Haven't really missed it, mind you. Just that it's turned out to be cheaper to get 200 channels back than to have none. Go figure. No idea if we'll even turn the thing on any more than we have been. We're so used to NOT mindlessly flipping channels hoping to find something better on. We'll see. Not even sure what channels we'll be getting. Don't really care. We'll see how this goes.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Sometimes James Garner played just plain tough guys. He was good at it, but so were scores of other actors of his generation. What made James Garner something special was when they allowed him to be James Garner first and his character second. In that way, Garner brought a vulnerability, an amiability and an outright Oklahoma charm that no other actor could give a role. He brought it to the title role on MAVERICK in the late fifties and it was a huge success! Lightning struck twice when he also brought it to his second iconic role, Jim Rockford, a decade and a half later.
Not only was James Garner able to capture the lightning twice but he successfully revisited both those roles in later years before settling into a career as an always-reliable character actor and voiceover artist.
R.I.P. James Garner
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Count me among the fans who were very disappointed to see these early images of the new TV FLASH. Recently, though, I had a chance to catch the pilot for the new series and I have to say I've changed my opinion. In context, and especially when moving, it works. In fact, the whole pilot works. There's nothing majorly special about it but it's a good, entertaining origin story with some above average performances and the participation of former TV Flash John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen's father in what will be a running back story. I don't watch a lot of modern TV, even comics-related TV. I missed almost all of SMALLVILLE, I only caught a couple episodes of BIRDS OF PREY and ARROW and I have no intention of watching GOTHAM. I will, however, be on board for the 2014 version of THE FLASH!
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention guest list has finally been finalized for this year--or as much so as possible when dealing with real people and their schedules. And what a nostalgic guest list it is! If you haven't made plans for that weekend in September yet, consider attending one of the best run shows in the country! We'll be running articles about the various guests here as the date approaches.
Friday, June 27, 2014
DARK SHADOWS went on the air 48 years ago today. Barnabas Collins wouldn't show up for a while but when eh did the show took off to find a unique niche among television soap operas. It was covered in FAMOUS MONSTERS, merchandised in a long-running series of paperbacks but also covered monthly in SIXTEEN, SPEC, FAVE and TIGER BEAT, since tweens and teens--myself included-- became its primary audience! There were also toys, games, models and, of course, two feature films at the time!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I remember when I first heard that the voice of Filmation's Robin was the same guy that did the TOP 40 show on radio. And I remember when I realized that he was also HB's Shaggy. Thus, I particularly enjoyed the SCOOBY DOO episode where Robin (and Batman) met Shaggy (and Scooby!) Hearing Casey's voice was always comforting and the added nostalgia factor as time went by made it even more to be treasured. His passing comes on the heels of a very sad and public family crisis based around him and yet his voice is, in fact, STILL on the radio...and hopefully always will be.
Rest in Peace, Casey. And thanks!