In the days before widespread cable TV with electronic menus, people relied on print guides to know what to watch and when to watch it. The regional New York paper Newsday had its resident staff artist Gary Viskupic provide illustrations for the movies, specials, and day-to-day programs. Nostalgia blog don't parade on my rain has a collection of scans showing Viskupic's trippy, macabre line art, giving a certain amount of panache to the rather pedestrian world of TV Scheduling. Part 1 (including: Kubrick's 2001, NBC Reports: But is this Progress?, Hellstrom Chronicle) and Part 2 (including: Rosemary's Baby, The Marx Bro's Coconauts, Bunny of the Year Pageant). [more inside]
Some 70s television programming for your Halloween viewing pleasure:
Columboldies is a tumblr featuring furniture/clothing/etc. from the tv show Columbo.
Movin' On Up: A skewed history of New York City as depicted by the opening themes of 1970s TV shows
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman appeared in 1976... and it exists as a sort of island of experimentation, its ripples of influence not fully engaged with until several decades later... . Predictably rejected by the networks, this Norman Lear production ran in first-run syndication, five nights a week, usually after the late-night news. ... Louise Lasser (once Woody Allen’s muse) stars as a put-upon pre-feminist housewife who repeats the secular liturgy of American consumerism in an attempt to stave off a nervous breakdown.*
On November 28, 1976, ABC televised the premiere of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. Few who saw it would ever forget it. [more inside]
Artist Dusty Abell has created a massive poster featuring "at least one, sometimes more, character, entity, starship or structure from every episode of [Star Trek: The Original] series." Via io9, who ask: How many characters can you name? Stumped? Here's a key of all 123! [more inside]
The Bionic Wiki is a collaborative project to create the most comprehensive information database for the Bionic universe as presented in the 1970's science-fiction, action-adventure series, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. [more inside]
It ran for 8 seasons, from 1975 to 1982. Took home three Emmys out of 32 nominations. The Captain's badge (#233451) is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called it the most realistic cop show ever seen on television. But unlike other cop shows, there were no car chases or shootouts, and the show rarely left the precinct. Out of the 170 episodes of Barney Miller that were produced, 68 from the first four seasons can be seen in their entirety on Crackle's YouTube channel*. Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television. [more inside]
RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover. "RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost."
"Bob Shuter, suburban vigilante. Driven by rage to wage a one-man war on the underworld of Kent, Bob Shuter is... The Reprisalizer."
"You're going nowhere, son. Just you, me ad the walls. So wipe that bloody grin off before it's shot off, and don't slouch. You toe rag. You bin. Pay attention when I break you. And break you I will, boy. You're in my manor, now." Buck up! It's Terry Finch's THE REPRISALIZER! Follow Bob Shuter, whose mission of reprisal against his brother's killers, their families, associates, progeny and property takes him across the desolate wasteland of 70s Britain, primarily Kent AKA FINCHLAND. Finch, writer of The Reprisalizer and DRAW!, the cowboy whose name means death, is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture from Matthew Holness, creator of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" -- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status for their dogged fact-checking of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist" after he called out their record of falsehoods following a critical interview with Chris Wallace (previously).
Anyone who grew up in the pre-Internet age is bound to remember the 4 p.m. showings of After School Specials on ABC. The melodramatic teen cautionary tales always contained an awesomely literal title—"She Drinks a Little" (alcoholic mom), "My Other Mother" (foster parents), and "Schoolboy Father" (teen pregnancy)—and a Life Lesson by the 44-minute mark. [more inside]
Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
Growing up in 70s and 80s Britain you were exposed to some rather disturbing Public Information Films on the television. But that was nothing... [more inside]
If you were a North American kid (well, a kid stuck at home, younger than driving age) in the late 70s/early 80s, your Saturday nights were likely spent in front of the television watching The Love Boat. The show subsequently gained worldwide popularity. Did you know that the Pacific Princess is still ferrying the lovelorn across the blue abyss, and that she has a bridgecam? Did you know there were Love Boat action figures? For your nostalgic pleasure: complete episode guide, complete guest star list, theme song video (variations 1, 2, 3), lyrics and chords, and song facts.
Punk Guitar Heroes - Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd Television, and its guitar pas de deux between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, fit into the punk scene only because they are the ones basically responsible for CBGB becoming a punk rock club. Verlaine convinced Hilly Kristal to let them practice there and play shows, and the rest is history. [more inside]
Typing...on a screen! Text (and cover image) of a 1973 issue of Radio-Electronics mag, showing a new fangled way of typing with a TV screen. I like how the mag is billed as "for MEN with ideas in electronics." Heh...
As I'm sure you all know, today would've been the 74th birthday of actor Vic Tayback, best known as everybody's favorite hairy, sweaty, ill-tempered (yet almost cuddly) diner chef on that wacky piece of 70's tv Americana Alice (Remember when Mel called Vera "dingy"? Sitcom gold!). Kept busy for years as a character actor with constant tv guest spots on everything from "I Dream of Jeannie" to "Gunsmoke," Vic embraced job security when given an opportunity to expand one character in particular, Mel Sharples from Martin Scorcese's drama "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (starring Ellen Burstyn [she won an Oscar], Kris Kristofferson, Diane Ladd, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster). Thanks to Vic, the character of Mel smoothly adapted from his dramatic origins into his new home of sit-com hi-larity... one of the rare attempts of that kind to succeed.
RIP Vic. Oh, and kiss my grits.
RIP Vic. Oh, and kiss my grits.
Enter ... The Tickler! A page documenting all the villians that Spider-Man faced on that classic Tv Show The Electric Company. Among them "The Mouse: A happy-go-lucky man until an errant associate at McDonald's forgets to put cheese on a specially-ordered Big Mac.He dons a mouse costume and becomes a glutton for cheese."