During the late 1970's and 1980's, Glen A. Larson's lighthearted television dramas were incredibly popular: Knight Rider
. B.J. and the Bear
. The original Battlestar Galactica
. Quincy M.E. The Fall Guy
. Magnum, P.I. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Larson had hit after hit and it seemed he could do no wrong. But he did produce three flops in the 80's, (and another in the 90's that managed to last two seasons): Automan
, The Highwayman
and Night Man
. [more inside]
♪ "Believe it or not, I'm walkin on air.
I never thought I could feel so free....
Flying away on a wing and a prayer,
Who could it be?
Believe it or not, it's just me." ♫ [more inside]
What do you need to be an international CONTROL super spy fighting the forces of KAOS? A Shoe-Phone. A Cone of Silence. A Bulletproof Invisible Wall and a Laser Blazer. Then, and only then, can you Get Smart. [more inside]
Josh Clark from the Stuff You Should Know Podcast, has put together two amazing galleries of old Halloween costumes. Really old, homemade costumes
, and Seventies and Eighties costumes
Between 1986 and 1993, rather than showing a test pattern
, Global Television would, in the dead hours of the night, broadcast long videos of walking
. [more inside]
"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.)
On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers
, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd
, Amy Poehler
and Shawn Ryan
talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
does anyone remember this kid’s show
“I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ’71, not ’72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.”
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network
... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game.
As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert
-- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly
venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon
Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE
system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire.
Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat."
But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back
with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s
, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple
, and All That
To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
Over 100 full episodes of the Marlin Perkins-hosted television show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (previously)
are now available on YouTube
. That is all.
From 1980 - 1988, a science education series called 3-2-1 Contact
ran on PBS. Produced by Children's Television Workshop, the series
was geared toward an older audience than other popular CTW offerings Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and focused on teaching kids about science, math and the world around them. [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
While Adult Swim
is generally regarded as the pioneer of irreverent short-form animation
-- especially for 'toons
-- it wasn't always the king. In fact, the late-night programming block arguably found its birth in a series
of short toons
that ran in the heyday of its daytime alter ego, the venerable Cartoon Network. The brainchild of C.N. Creative Director Michael Ouweleen and Hanna-Barbera chief Fred Seibert, these cartoons reinterpreted the network's properties through stock footage, indie music, and original animation in a wide variety of styles, as well as introducing prototypes of characters that would become some of the most famous in the history of American animation. (warning: monster post inside) [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
), lyrics and chords
, and song facts
Fred and Ethel resurrected as corporate shills
"Through the magic of Hollywood, famously tightfisted Fred (William Frawley) and his irascible wife, Ethel (Vivian Vance), are brought back to life in a series of entertaining vignettes," California-based PacifiCare said in a release about its new television advertising campaign.
Using body doubles, voice impersonators and computer-generated imagery, the national TV ads that will premiere in mid October will enable the two long-dead actors to "speak" once more. And, oddly enough, they'll be talking about PacifiCare's new drug plan.
Remember when game shows had a soul?
All the bug-eating and voting off has left me wishing for the golden age of games. Reminisce with some well-designed classic bonus rounds here
Hinterland Who's Who
Back in the mid 1906s the Canadian government made what have now become the longest running public service annoucments ever. They're also possible the most boring, but that can't stop them from being amazingly popular. Don't forget to check out the spoofs.
"Giant Robot attack!"
as spoken by the kid every kid wanted to be, Johnny Sokko
. If you haven't already seen "'Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot" aka "Giant Robot", go now and buy it on VHS or DVD.
Saturday morning TV schedules from the 1950s to today. TV Guide
presents the saturday morning
schedules for the big three ABC
. Although looking through the listings is
a nice bit of nostalgia, what's really interesting is watching the rise and fall of
pop culture over the listings. From The Beatles
to I am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali
to Mr. T
to Ace Ventura
Also starting in the 1990s
you can see the networks moving away from saturday morning cartoons. There are several factors, the
main two being the Children's Television Act
(enacted in 1990), and cable television
. Which unfortunately has led to the births of such monsters as Saved by the Bell
Whatever Happened to all the Great Kids' Shows?
When my wife was growing up in central Connecticut, she was a big Sandy Becker
fan. (The original host of Wonderama
, also seen here
with a very young Linda Blair). She still remembers the characters he created for his show - Norton Nork
, the Big Professor
, and of course Hambone
. She was naturally pleased to discover Christopher Gross' excellent site
celebrating the popular kid's show host and his show. Even though so much early television has been lost to the ages, the site has accumulated several video clips
, including a few, um, off-color
clips. (Warning - both RealPlayer and a brief dirty word). Now if only someone would give the same treatment to the show I
had growing up - Foreman Scotty
, on channel 4. Sigh.
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."
Room-a-zoom-zoom! These cartoons were bad in a good way!
When I was a wee lad, I loved cartoons like Blue Falcon/Dynomutt
and Hong Kong Phooey
. My gotta-watch cartoon was The Superfriends
, which had some of the most unintentionally-hilarious dialogue ever. And can anyone for get The World of Sid and Marty Krofft
? Anyone else get nostalgic over shows like this?
Skeletor and Gang:
What is it about the combination of stop-motion animation, He-Man action figures, and sped-up heavy metal that makes me laugh until I hurt? "Skeletor, Mantenna and Grizzlor are having a party! Oh no! Moss-Man attacks! Defend us Squeeze!"
This has to be one of the coolest sites ever.
Can't remember of the details of the 1973 saturday morning schedule, the one that turned you into a media junkie. It's here! And now TV Party seems to have partnered with YesterdayLand
, "a new entertainment company that produces retro-themed entertainment and merchandise based on classic television, movies, music, toys, snack food, and fashion." What's up with that?