(Television History and Trivia)
Victor Edward Swanson,
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- - - T.H.A.T., Edition No. 217 - - -
As you can see, this document has no dust on it, which it had collected over the last three months and which I had wiped off last night. This is another special edition of Television History and Trivia that had to sit on the shelf for weeks, because the previous three documents had special focuses. This document focuses a lot of space on a television series called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, but it has some other stuff.
I do have to talk about acting first, before getting into the main focus of this document. Acting--like anything related to entertainment--is low on the scale of things related to life or necessary to living life for almost all people. For example, an actor is way less important than a plumber is or a doctor is or an account is or a taxi driver is. Really, actors are a dime a dozen. I have heard it said for decades that thousands of people who proclaim to be actors in the Hollywood area are almost always out of work, and I can see it is true by reviewing the several editions of Academy Players Directory (such as for 1962, 1969, and 1974) that I have, which show me how many actors never went on to do much in the acting world [Note: And I can see how, over the last fifty years, most people have not gone on to be big stars in the radio business, and, then, I could talk about the music business, such as between 1945 and 1980, and how many people never had hits or only became one-hit wonders and how most rock bands existed often for only short times (for so many reasons). By the way, the No. 10 edition of the Academy Players Directory covering from 1938 to 1939 has Anna May Wong tied to Paramount in representation]. In the United States of America, most actors never achieve fame and fortune, since, in relation to one particular person, so many people are seeking the same things as what the person is, such as acting jobs. There are only so many actually good-paying acting positions, since that is the marketplace--only so many productions can be made and used at a given time. Actors have short life spans for parts, because people grow old. Most child actors never go on to do well as adult actors, because their looks can evolve into what does not go well with being in, for example, star parts of movies or television shows. Acting is about looks, especially in relation to "star" parts, and only so many people are the beautiful ones (and that does not last forever or long for a particular person). The types of shows that exist or are made can affect what roles are available--today, for instance, the wish by producers and directors to do special effects in great numbers, such as by computer, can kill the roles for actors because it kills the types of movies that are made, resulting in star parts that have so-called good-looking athletic people playing super-hero people in action-packed stories involving big-deal special effects. Actors are affected by what writers and producers want to write or are able to write, which can be political pieces in this day and age and not entertainment pieces, and actors are affected by what skill writers have to write, and, in this day and age, I say that most writers do not have the skill--the mind set, being socialistic--to write fun or nice parts (as was done in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s). The entertainment business is most often controlled by those who are casting directors or producers or directors--actors have to gain (in some way often) clout with directors and producers and casting directors, which is hard to do, since directors and producers and casting directors live in their worlds (as everybody does, and a person can only become involved with so many people in a day or a week or a month or a lifetime), having so many other things to do, such as drive to work and sleep and whatever. Some actors--people who get clout--have the skill to determine what is made, and that affects what parts are available for other actors; the actors will clout can block the ability of other actors to have parts. Few actors have the gained the clout and have ability to drive what gets made. Generally speaking, actors perform the works--writings of others--so they need not be smart, and, in fact, actors are stupid as a rule. Actors are so busy being specialists in their profession that they are dumb about other things (such as business matters and what the marketplace is)--they are so focused on acting that other things go unlearned, such as politics (which is why main actors think socialism and communism are good political systems). I have a rule--Most actors simply play themselves, often based on their looks. Production people and audiences can get tired of the looks of actors or what the actors perform in, and so jobs disappear for the actors, and production people are always looking for something new. Actors can be type-cast to one particular part or type of part, and that results in audiences having a difficult time seeing the actors in other things, and that is especially true for actors tied to television series, such as those that run for a number of seasons. Actors can lose jobs by being already tied to other jobs. An actor have have a short career in movies and television because the actor is a pain in the ass on the set, and an actor can give up acting in movies and television because so much of an eighteen-hour-a-day time on the set in boring and tiring. And some actors do no like doing television and movies since they do not have a live audience, so they only do stage work. I could go on and on it seems, but that should do in my showing reasons why most actors have short careers and never become big stars
While you read this document, keep in mind how actors often search for or make up reasons why they do or did not get parts--they might blame it on racism or blame it on stupid producers who could not recognize their talents or blame it on the casting couch (that they did not get on) or blame it on the stars not being aligned in the universe or whatever--and they often will overlook the real reasons (lying to the self about what the self is and can do).
In August 1951, the Dumont Television Network was one of the main broadcast television networks in the country, and at the time, live programs could be seen on affiliates of that network in the East and the Midway at the same time, since the East Coast and the Midway had been connected up for live broadcasting January 1949, and in August 1951, the East Coast and the Midway were not yet tied up for live programming with the West Coast. The three regions were officially connected up on September 4, 1951, but true use of the system for commercial purposes did not happen till some days later. Generally speaking, programs made in the East or the Midway had to be put on film (such as Kinescope) to be seen in the West till the commercial use of the full connected system began. That information is important for you to keep in mind while I discuss a television program called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong.
On August 27, 1951, the Dumont Television Network began to broadcast the weekly half-hour series called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, and it was seen at 8:30 p.m. on Mondays. The program featured an actress called Anna May Wong. By the way, Anna May Wong was Chinese in nature, but she was an American, and she was an actress who had a heyday in the early 1900s (in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s), and, in Chinese, her name was "Wong Liu Tsong" (though it could be "Wong Liu-tsong"). The television series had Anna May Wong's character being the owner of at least one art-gallery company and being involved in international intrigue as a heroine. The first episode of the series was called "The Egyptian Idols". Having been involved in television-history research for about 50 years, I knew The Billboard (an entertainment trade magazine) and Variety (an entertainment trade magazine) probably had reviews of the first episode, so I went looking for the reviews, and I found them easily, knowing what issues to see. Based on the reviews, I learned the other performers in the first episode were Natalie Priest, Cliff Carpenter, Jean Pearson, John Stanley, Ralph Stantley, and Winifred Cushing. Unlike many reviews in the two publications, these reviews did not hint at who might have played "regulars" (characters that would regularly be in follow-up episodes). The writer was Ira Marion, with whom the reviewer of the article in The Billboard was familiar, and the director was William Marceau. The episode was a "sustainer," which meant it had no main sponsor. I have to note that, in 1951, The Billboard and Variety could help operators of television stations affiliated with the DuMont Television Network in the country decide whether or not to air the program, such as subsequent episodes. What was bad for all involved in the making of the first episode of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong was that The Billboard and Variety considered it a very bad production, and the acting was put down, and the writing was put down, and the direction was put down. In fact, the writer of the review for The Billboard suggested the show was the worst the reviewer had ever reviewed, and the story was called a "hapless story." The reviewer for Variety said that the episode had a "stilted quality" and was a "sorry entry", and final sentence was--"...But the saga of the 'Egyptian Idols" threw the whole thing for a loss.". Over the next 12 weeks, 12 more episodes were broadcast (live to the East and the Midwest), and so, in total, 13 episodes were broadcast. The last broadcast on a Monday was on Monday, October 1, 1951. On Wednesday, October 10, 1951, the series began to be seen on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on the DuMont Television Network. Incidentally, the episode for October 17, 1951, was called "Message from Beyond", and it was set around Mme. Liu-Tsong's store in Rome, Italy, and, there, she battled "Reds" (communists). The last episode, which was called "The Face of Evil", was aired on Wednesday, November 21, 1951. Based on television listings, it looks as if the title of the series was changed to only Madame Liu-Tsong on Wednesday, October 10, 1951. Oh, and I note this--The series was the television acting debut for Anna May Wong.
If you go looking on the Internet for information about The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong, you will find a lot of crap information, and you might not know it is crap information, so, here, I am going to show up and put down some of the crap information.
Let me show you some crap information from Wikipedia first. On February 2, 2022, I found a page called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong associated with Wikipedia. Here are two parts of the short article--"The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong is an American series which aired on the now defunct DuMont Television Network. It starred Chinese American silent film and talkie star Anna May Wong (birth name Wong Liu-tsong) who played a detective in a role written specifically for her. The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong was the first U.S. television series starring an Asian-American series lead...." and "...The ten half-hour episodes aired during prime time, on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Though there were plans for a second season, DuMont canceled the show in 1952. No copies of the show or its scripts are known to exist....". Well, you should already see a bunch of problems. There were 13 episodes, as I proved to myself by hunting down the series in television listings for 1951. Notice there is no mention of the Madame Liu-Tsong title. There is no mention of the series starting out on Mondays. I doubt a second season was planned, based on the reviews of the series that were published in The Billboard and Variety. And there is a bit more in the article to talk about, but I will delay that a bit so that I can go on to two other pieces of written of material.
On September 5, 2017, a girl called Ms. Nicole Chung had a piece of her writing published on the Internet in relation to Vulture (and New York magazine), and it was called "The Search for Madame Liu-Tsong". There is a bunch of stuff in the article to make the article rotten, but I only cover one piece of text for the moment. Look at this--"...The DuMont Television Network made and aired ten episodes in 1951, canceled the show in 1952, then shuttered for good by 1956....". To me, it looks as if Nicole Chung, whose article runs several pages and who considers herself a good writer and who is known (it seems) for giving advice about writing, simply went to Wikipedia to get information about the series. That is a sign of a bad writer, and there is more bad yet to talk about.
On February 3, 2022, I came across an article called "ANNA MAY WONG AND 'THE GALLERY OF MADAME LIU-TSONG'" on the Internet. The article was tied to a website called "THE TV PROFESSOR", and the writer of the article was not clearly listed. The person used the handle "Mr. TV Professor". I have not much to say about the history presented in the article right here, but I do note that the article does pass along the idea that there was 13 episodes of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong and that the series also had the name Madame Liu-Tsong.
So where does the story about Anna May Wong's series go now? Let me note that the article in Wikipedia had--"...Like most DuMont programs, no known episodes of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong exist today, the majority of the network's footage having been dumped into the Hudson River upon closure. Although a few kinescope episodes of various DuMont series survive at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications, New York's Paley Center for Media, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, there are no copies of Madame Liu-Tsong in these archives." In 1996, early television actress Edie Adams testified at a hearing in front of a panel of the Library of Congress on the preservation of American television and video. Adams stated that, by the 1970s, little value was given to the DuMont film archive, and that all the remaining kinescopes of DuMont were loaded into three trucks and dumped into Upper New York Bay.". The article by Nicole Chung had this material--"...According to the 1996 Library of Congress testimony of actor Edie Adams, most of the DuMont series kinescopes -- including, presumably, any remaining episodes of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong -- met a watery end following a legal dispute over the network's archives in the '70s: '[One of the DuMont lawyers] had three huge semis back up to the loading dock at ABC, filled them all with the stored kinescopes and two-inch videotape, drove them to a waiting barge in New Jersey, took them out on the water, made a right at the Statue of Liberty, and dumped them in Upper New York Bay! Very neat, no problem!'" The article by Mr. TV Professor links to a document called "LIBRARY ON CONGRESS MARCH 6, 1999 EDIE ADAMS' TESTIMONY RE:SAVING of TVsGOLDEN YEARS".
Okay, what can a person make of the material presented in the previous paragraph? There is a lot of nonsense in it. I contend there were never any Kinescopes of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong. The series was broadcast between August 27, 1951, and November 21, 1951. By the way, the series was never seen in the Detroit area, such as on WJBK-TV, which was one of the two affiliates of the DuMont Television Network for viewers of the Detroit area (Michigan)/the Windsor (Ontario, Canada) area while the Dumont Television Network was around (the final day of which as a network was on September 15, 1955, as I have noted in the past). While reading the reviews of the series in Variety and The Billboard, I found there was no indication that the series was done live or was on film or was put on film related to the Kinescope process. I went looking at newspapers (through a computer database of newspapers on the Internet), and I found that that series was seen on television stations in the East and in the Midwest. No television station in the West, such as any in Los Angeles, California, carried the series, such as by showing a real film product or a Kinescope product (which is like film). All the stations that carried the program in the East and the Midwest aired it on the right days--that is, it was only seen on Mondays (during the Monday run) and only on Wednesdays (during the Wednesday run). That hints to me that the program was never put to film before broadcast, such as by a company like Jerry Fairbanks Inc. (which was based in California) and that the program was never put to Kinescope film. If the program was on film of any type, the program would have showed up on a station in the West, such as on a delayed basis. In addition, I went looking in a number of broadcast trade magazines of the 1950s, such as Broadcasting, Sponsor, and Television, and I found no evidence that the series was produced on film before it was shown or was put to Kinescope film, and I found no indication that that series was advertised to be used by stations through syndication between, for example, 1951 and 1960. Even though reviews of the series, such as in Variety and The Billboard, did not report that the series was live, I state that The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong was broadcast live, and no kinescopes were ever made.
By the way, my research shows that DuMont Laboratories was good at technical things, such as making television transmitters (for television stations) and making television sets, and I know the DuMont Laboratories unit that can be called the DuMont Television Network was a little skimpy on entertainment things, such as television-show production values, and, in a way, the reviews of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong hint that the company did not spend money on Kinescope film to keep copies of the series, which could be seen in the years to come.
Hold it! I have to talk about something noted in the article by Nicole Chung, though what it is is something not written by Nicole Chung. A portion presented had information about two-inch video tape. DuMont Television Network did not have any video tape in 1951. Commercial video tape did not show up in the country till 1956, and the DuMont Television Network was gone on September 15, 1955.
I have these conclusions in relation to Kinescopes of The Gallery of Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong. All the talk about the series being on Kinescope and maybe being flushed down in to a bay is nonsense. All the talk about Ms. Edie Adams in the articles is nonsense, and, anyway, Edie Adams had no idea whether or not Kinescopes of The Gallery of Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong were sunk in to a bay. [Note: All that Edie Adams did was pass along some thoughts--as best she knew--about what happened to some Kinescopes and such related to the DuMont Television Network (and maybe videotape related to ABC-TV), and the portion of the testimony of 1999--three pages--that I got through a link at Mr. TV Professor's website does not mention The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong and Madame Liu-Tsong.]
I am done with the article from Wikipedia.
Now I yet have a little to say in relation to the article by Mr. TV Professor. Mr. TV Professor had a portion of his article showing reviews of the series in different newspapers, such as The Chicago Daily Tribune and The New York Times. In essence, these other articles beyond those of Variety and The Billboard suggest the series was bad in many ways. They showed more hints that there was no real reason give the series, which ended in 1951 (and not in 1952, as hinted at by Nicole Chung), a "second season."
I am done with the article by Mr. TV Professor now.
The article by Nicole Chung is bad in many ways and in many ways that go beyond the incorrect television history information--which is almost no television history information--presented. As I read the article for the first time, I understood the article was flap doodle and material that could be expected from a feminist and a socialist (at least) and even an Asian racist of sorts (who seems to feel suppressed by all the whites in the country). After reading the article, I did a little research on Nicole Chung so that I might know a little bit about her through her work. Nicole Chung grew up as an adoptee, and it seems she is still dealing with that psychologically. I say--So what, and get over it! Nicole Chung pushes the idea that she has written pieces for a number of news-type entities, such as The New York Times and Slate, both of which are hard-line socialistic entities at least. It is reported that she has been involved in writing advice columns-like, such as about parenting. It seems she is currently tied to The Atlantic, another socialistic entity. I found some titles of pieces that she has written, and two of them are "I'm Tired of Trying to Educate White People About Anti-Asian Racism (which was for Time) and "What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism" (which was for The Toast, which she was instrumental in running for a while). Actually, I wonder why the article about The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong was written by Nicole Chung, since most of the article is not about the series. To me, the article worked to try to sell the idea that there is racism against Asians in the United States of America, and racism is a part of the reason that people do not have copies of Anna May Wong's series today, and that shows the ugliness of the mind of Nicole Chung.
Let me examine some parts of Nicole Chung's article. The story begins with--"In 1951, Anna May Wong was TV's first Asian-American leading actor. And then her groundbreaking show disappeared....". Hold it! Right there from Nicole Chung, there are hints of nonsense, as if something nefarious went on years ago. It is commonplace for series of the 1940s and the 1950s to be gone today, since most were broadcast live and could not be or were not recorded. The next part of the article is--"...If you had to hazard a guess, when would you say the first television show starring an Asian-American aired? I doubt most people would come up with 1951, the year that Hollywood star Anna May Wong debuted as the title character in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong....". Stop! There have been thousands of series on television between, for example, 1946 and 2022, and most people can only name a few. Hey, Nicole Chung, how many entertainment-story-fiction half-hour film series were there on the air for viewers between 1946 and 1960? Can you name any? How do you expect people to have an answer to your question? Such stuff is not taught in school. By the way, there were a little over 350 such filmed television entertainment series between 1946 and 1960, covering the national broadcast networks and syndication. Oh, why is 1951 so bad? There was little commercial television broadcasting between 1941 and 1950 and event 1951, since there were few stations in the country, and, for example, Detroit only had one station between June 1947 and October 1948. There was very little time open in each day to broadcast anything, let alone a series specifically designed to put, as you [Nichle Chung] would have wanted to happen, an Asian in a starring role, given Asians were a small minority in the country and given what was going on with the Korean War. Of course, what was there in Hawaii? Maybe an Asian was on television in Hawaii in 1951. Here is a wandering piece of text, which is not really about Anna May Wong but is about Nicole Chung--"...At times, I wondered whether my curiosity would have morphed into temporary obsession if shows starring Asian-Americans abounded. Despite the sparse and historically problematic portrayals of Asian characters on television, I don't often feel invisible or powerless; I try to focus on finding and creating the space I never saw for myself or for people like me when I was growing up. But I found I couldn't stop thinking about The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. Was it truly lost to us?....". Why the heck is the crap about Nichole Chung in the story? We do not care about Nicole Chung, since we are looking for stuff about Anna May Wong's series and about Anna May Wong. Nicole Chung's stuff is useless filler stuff! It is selfishness. [Note: You should realize that I am jumping over some other nonsense stuff that I could talk about of the article.] Incidentally, it has been commonplace for "whites" to be in stereotypical roles on television and movies, from goof balls to lazy guys and from slobs to loud-mouthed fools. Now look at this part of the article--"...Perhaps that's why DuMont was willing to break the mold with some of its programming. 'NBC was excelling in live variety, CBS had sitcoms, so DuMont slipped in and tried to do weird things like the first TV game show, the first TV soap opera,' Thompson [Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University] told me. 'Even before The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, DuMont broadcast The Hazel Scott Show, the first network TV show hosted by an African-America'....". I report that The Hazel Scott Show showed up in 1950. In 1948, Amanda Randolph was one of the black performers who starred in the series called The Laytons, which was broadcast by the DuMont Television Network, and that was a first, and I could say that that was the first series to have a black female as host, and also in 1948, Amanda Randolph was in Amanda for the DuMont Television Network. In the middle of the article, Nicole Chung goes far afield and talks about other shows with Asian-Americans, such as Mr. T. and Tina, Shogun (a movie or mini-series really), The Mystery Files of Shelby Who, All-American Girl, and others, which have nothing to do with the title of the article. Here is yet another section of the Nicole Chung's article--"...When I tweeted about the show and my eagerness to learn more about The Gallery, I was swamped with replies from others equally shocked and dismayed that no scripts or episodes seem to have survived. 'A show like that could've helped 9-year-old me imagine myself in mystery books, instead of a white version of me,' Erin, a fellow Asian-American writer, told me. I soon found myself in a group chat, discussing ways we could revive the story. I couldn't help thinking of all the detective shows I'd watched and loved over the years, all the well-worn Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers novels lining the shelves of my childhood bedroom. Even if there was no way to see the show, I suppose I wanted to feel encouraged by the fact that it once existed...." In essence, that paragraph is about Nicole Chung's feelings and not about Anna May Wong. Here is yet more that is ultimately about Nicole Chung and not about Anna May Wong and her television show---"...It's highly unlikely that Madame Liu-Tsong -- an unsolved mystery whose clues are now lost to us -- was the show I wish it were. And in a way, it doesn't matter: It's increasingly clear that what we need isn't a single type of show at all; it's many. I want shows that allow Asian-American characters to be just as complex, important, and alive as their non-Asian counterparts. I want shows that turn previously unknown Asian-American artists into bona fide stars. I want shows that allow countless Asian-Americans of varying backgrounds and identities to see characters who look and sound like each and every one of us. I want as many shows, as many roles, as many heroes and villains as white people have. I have to believe the stories are there -- after all, they've always been there, for as long as we've been here.". And that is how the article ended, and it was not an ending with thoughts about Anna May Wong, who was supposed to be the star of the article. Really, the story was about selfish little-girl Nicole Chung--about what she wanted--and the story had poor research and notes about television. I have to admit this part was a funny part of the article (which was somewhere in the article)--"...Still, this did not stop me from spending weeks hunting for information....". Nicole Chung spent "...weeks hunting....", and she put together very little about Ann May Wong and The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong. [Note: And you--through her words--can hear Nicole Chung's contempt for America, not being more Asian diverse and inclusive it seems.]
Unfortunately for Anna May Wong and for many performers, a television show can in the end be crappy and get cancelled and forgotten, since many factors and people are involved, and I can name a bunch of dead issues. So goes show business! And so goes acting, which is not a high-thought job.
To make this document, I looked for old newspaper and magazine articles for information, and I looked for photographs related to the making of The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, and I only found one photograph (and I found it on the Internet on February 5, 2022), and the photograph is the guiding force of this paragraph, which will have facts and speculation. The photograph shows Anna May Wong sitting on the side of a simple wooden desk, which was made to have one thin drawer (it being about three-inches high), and the drawer is missing. Ann May Wong is facing a bit to her right (toward the left side of the photograph), and she is slightly looking down at a man, and the man is William Marceau, who is a television director and is sitting in an old wooden . In about the center of the scene are three Egyptian statues, which seem to be about eight-inches or nine-inches high. Anna May Wong is actually holding one statue in her right hand. In the background and against the back wall, which is close to William Marceau and Anna May Wong are at least two wooden folding chairs. By the way, the desk and the chairs look well worn, as if they had been around since at least the 1920 and had been bought at a used-furniture store. Anna May Wong is wearing a dark dress (and, in the digital image, it looks as if the dress could not be black since it does not match her hair). The caption of the photograph (which was taken by someone related to The Associate Press news service) is--"Anna May Wong, star of screen, stage, and radio, is now ready for her debut in television is shown on August 25, 1951 with director William Marceau discussing the first program. The Chinese-American star will have the title role of a new adventure series, 'The Gallery of Mme. Liu-Tsong,' which will begin August 27, 1951 over station WABD. The authentic bronze Egyptian idols she is holding are over 2,000 years old and will be used as props for the first show. (AP Photo)". [Note: The caption is as presented on the photograph.] The photograph proves some things. While doing research on the show, I found that some television listings in newspapers of 1951 had "The Egyptian Idol" and some had "The Egyptian Idols", and the photograph indicates that "Idols" is the correct word. I could say the well-worn furniture shows that there was probably little money for set props, and there was probably not a lot of money lying around that could be used to create Kinescope films of the episodes of the series.
The photograph shows William Marceau, the director for the first episode. I discovered through research that William Marceau was one of the regular directors on staff with the DuMont Television Network in at least 1951, 1952, 1953, and 1954, and he may have been with the network during the last year of operation (1955). Since William Marceau was a "television director" and not a "film director," a person can deduce the series was certainly not filmed directly (with film cameras).
I have a bit of information about the writer of the first episode. The man was Ira Marion. In the 1940s and early 1950s, Ira Marion was known for writing scripts for radio shows (fictional radio shows), especially network radio shows, like those aired on the ABC Radio Network. In around 1951, Ira Marion was the vice president or president of the Radio Writers' Guild (or the RWG). It looks as if Ira Marion's first try at writing for television was The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, or maybe the job working on "The Egyptian Idols" was one of his first jobs for television, and so the script for "The Egyptian Idols" was defective because he lacked experience working in television, which is different than working in radio.
Oh, a man named Bob Lanigan had a column called "Bob Lanigan's TV Review" in the Brooklyn Eagle for September 30, 1951 (page 24). Look at the beginning of the article--"It is possible that in the last couple of months this space may have acquired a few new readers. If you regulars will bare with me, I'd like to explain to these newcomers why I rarely review the premiere performance of a TV show. There was a time, not long ago, when the debut of show was big news to every television set owner, and its arrival on the home screen was eagerly awaited by all. However, old timers can well remember prop men blandly walking across sets and ruining dramatic scenes. Or a mike being lowered on camera five times or more on these programs, only two years ago. These mistakes, while somewhat amusing, detracted materially from the complete enjoyment of any show, and were ridiculed by the public. Very rarely have these, and other early TV errors, been repeated recently. Every new TV show today has its share of 'first night jitters' when it premieres. The causes for this are many. Props, and in some cases, entire sets are not delivered to the studios until the proverbial last minute. Sometimes the direction is indecisive, camera angles are bad, and lighting is poor--and the cast knows it. Yes, some of the more glaring mistakes of two or three years ago have been eliminated entirely, but there are still enough left to make the initial presentation of a show a walking, talking and living nightmare to all concerned with it. Therefore, I sort of lay off blasting the efforts of a lot of hard-working people. Wouldn't you? The debut of WABD's 'The gallery of Mme. Liu-Tsong,' a few weeks ago, is a good example of what I'm talking about. I didn't see it, but from what I've gathered from reliable sources, it must have been extremely horrible. In checking, I found that, among other things, no adequate rehearsal time was available to work out the intricate details of camera work and lighting. Anna May Wong, the star of these Monday night programs, arrived from Hollywood only a few days before the show was to go on the air. And this was to be her TV debut! Also, although the story looked good in script form, it was found wanting during rehearsals. By that time it was too late to start anew. Who was to blame for all this? No one in particular--these things just happen. I saw Monday's production of 'The Gallery of Mme. Liu-Tsong' (pronounced 'lute song') and there was a lot of things I liked about it. The scene was laid in Algiers, and the acts showed a good deal of imagination. Camera angles and lighting were uniformly good. The action was swift and the characterizations were above par. Especially may this be said of Billy Kay, who played the part of the expatriated, Cockney piano player. The plot was only so-so, but aren't they all in TV mellers? Frank Bunetta, the newly assigned director of these weekly programs, is directly responsible for raising the entertainment level of the last two shows. He also originated the concept of varying the players' usual procedure of taking 'curtain calls.' This idea is something new and interesting in TV presentations and should command your attention. I believe last Monday's offering was the fifth in producer Jerry Layton's 'The Gallery of Mme. Liu-Tsong' series. In the case of some shows, I think I had better wait even longer before attempting a review. Agreed?". And that gives a little more focus on what the show was like, without being able to see it.
And I have to present a little more information about the statues or statuettes in the photograph. I wanted to see if I could find them or find statues or statuettes like them. It was not hard to find what the three statues represented. The statuette that Anna May Wong is holding in the photograph depicts Isis sitting, and Isis is wearing a headdress-like thing with two horn-like things and a center shield that is circular. One of the horn-like things is broken--the tip is missing. The statuette that is in the foreground and on the table depicts Osiris, and Osiris is standing. The statuette that is partially covered up and in the background in a way is also standing on the table, and the statuette shows Isis sitting and holding Horus (as a child). On the Internet, I found a bunch of statuettes (in images) that are similar in style with two of the statuettes shown in the photograph--the statue of Osiris and the statue of Isis and Horus. I have not yet found where the three statuettes in the photograph are today. They could be in a museum or museums or in private hands. By the way, I discovered that a statue similar with the statuette of Isis and Horus, though much taller (being about 17 inches high), was sold in an auction held by Christie's on December 6, 2016, and the statue was sold for about one-million pounds, and the statue was a part of "The Resandro Collection." The people who today happen to have the three statuettes shown in the photograph are probably unaware the statuettes have a big place in television history.
In a way, communists helped kill off the career of Anna May Wong and the television series, though history shows the show was not great. On February 5, 2022, I went looking to see if the photograph that I have of William Marceau and Anna May Wong was used in any newspaper or newspapers around the country in about August 1951. Here is some newspaper information as an aside. In essence, the size of a particular newspaper edition each day depends on how much advertising was going to be in the paper that particular day, and that is one reason the size of a paper may vary from day to day. Also what gets in a newspaper depends on, generally speaking, what publishers and editors deem to be most important things to be put in an edition of a newspaper every day. Now, I can continue on with the main theme of this paragraph. Between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953, the world had the Korean War (as it is known in the United States of America), and that war for the good people in the United States of America was a war between communism (the North Koreans and China) and the United States of America (and associates). Communists and socialists and progressives and such have mind-sets set on violence and killing, as history shows, and that is something for them to do in life. [Keep in mind--Nicole Chung writes like a socialist (at least) and has worked or works for entities, such as The New York Times, that support communists and socialists and the like.] So far, using computer databases, I have yet to find the photograph of Anna May Wong and William Marceau in an old newspaper. That means some advertising (or public relations) to sell the series did not get seen by the much public, members of whom might have been persuaded to see the show based on the photograph. It seems very likely one reason the photograph of Anna May Wong and William Marceau did not get in newspapers is stories about the Korean War used up newspaper space--filled up white space. Yes, it is possible some people had a somewhat dislike for Anna May Wong (being Chinese, though being a U.S.-born citizen) because, really, the communist Chinese were at war with the United States of America, and that was leading to deaths of American service personal. So it goes in life! Yet, Anna May Wong, whom the public had come to adore as a rule over the previous thirty years or so, did get to be in a television series during the time of the Korean War, and that is good. But, in a way, I say that the Chinese communists (of China), who are like those of today, could have helped kill off Anna May Wong's acting career a bit.
I have already noted that Anna May Wong's heyday in the performing business or acting business was in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, and I say that that is not bad. Based on years of research about film and television and radio, I can say that a person's have done well for some thirty years in the acting field is good. Many actors never do much in acting, since actors are a dime a dozen, which is why so many are out of work and have jobs like bus boys and waitresses for a long time or only stay in Hollywood for a short time. Acting is no great profession--it is make believe and ancillary in relation to the life. I get tired of people like Sandra Oh (a somewhat current actress) helping to push along the racism against Asian thing. Such crap that is from people like her. If I were only to talk about Detroit-area television history, I can talk about many people who did a show or two and were gone. In the final episode of The Prisoner series of the 1960s, one of the main characters says--"Such is the price of fame....". An actor is hot one day and cold the next day, and, in essence, actors are at the whims of the audience and what the writers are writing and what the casting directors are casting and what the producers are making. And I am tired of the crap saying that Asians had to play stereotypical roles. It has been commonplace for whites to play stereotypical roles. Look at, for example, the performers in the "Blondie"-type movies of the 1940s and the "Our Gang" comedies of the early 1900s and the Bowery Boys movies and the Martin-and-Lewis movies and on and on and on and on.
A look of a person can dictate the types of roles that the person gets--so goes genetics--and I have a few notes about the look of Anna May Wong. Anna May Wong was not built for a lot of roles. For example, Anna May Wong did not have great shape for romantic roles or leads, a shape like that of Mae West or Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russell or Sophia Loren. In addition, her body lacked muscular highlights that might indicated she could play in rough-and-tumble roles, like those covered by Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Blondell. Anna May Wong had a soft look or a delicate look, especially early in her film career, which is not bad, but it helped set the tone for what she might be able to do and what she would be allowed to do.
So let us look at some more actors and actresses who got to perform on The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong or Madame Liu-Tsong, and most of the actors and actresses seemed not to have done much on television or whatever over the years, and that is not surprising to me, and the names that I list come from various sources. The known guest actors on the episode called "The Golden Crown" were--Louis Sorin, Raoul DeLeon, Phil Clarke, Kai Deei, Wiley Hancock [Note: This is the name that I found during the research process, but maybe it should be "Wyley Hancock".], and Franklin Fox. In "Shadow of the Sun God", there were these additional performers--Tony Rivers, Ray Julian, Ned Cary, Mary Lou Hennessy, and Sid Cassel. And the episode called "The Tinderbox" had--Neal O'Malley, Martin Brandt, Mike Wyler, Vincent Berg, and Marilyn Clark. For fun, you could look up the names of the people who are listed and learn what you can about them. [Note: Certainly, Nicole Chung knows none of them.]
By the way, I have learned that Sheldon Stark wrote the episode called "Boomerang" and that Hendrik ("Rik") Vollaerts wrote the episode entitled "The Face of Evil", and both men were involved in television-show production for a number of years (decades), and they worked on many big-name television series, such as in the 1960s, and, yet, "IMDb" does not list, for example, Madame Liu-Tsong on the list of credits for Hendrik Vollaerts. [Note: Sometimes, people like to forget things, such as television shows related to acting or writing, that did not go well.]
While doing research for this document, I came across some information that I thought I should pass along, and I note that I did not know the information till I found it--but it is not possible to know everything about every performer over some 100-years span. On Sunday, December 3, 1922, The Morning Telegraph had a review of a film entitled The Toll of the Sea, which was a color presentation during the time of the development of Technicolor. In that film, Anna May Wong did good work, and she played Lotus Flower, and other performers were Kenneth Harlan, Beatrice Bentley, and Baby Moran. The reviewer noted--"...Anna May Wong plays the heroine with charm, feeling and grace....". O.O. McIntrye had an article (of a regular column called "New York, Day by Day" it seems) in the Times Union on December 13, 1930, and one portion of the article was--"...Anna May Wong's eyes have the brightness of rain-washed berries....".
[Note: One of the episodes of Anna May Wong's series was called "Boomerang." See the next edition of Television History and Trivia to learn about a television show called "Boomerang". In 1937, people who went to the movie theaters saw Charles Farrell in a movie called Boomerang, and on April 4, 1956, that movie was seen on at least one television station in Canada, and keep that April date in mind when you read the next edition of Television History and Trivia.]
When I hear that Anna May Wong was relegated to playing racial stereotypical people, I think over all the history that I know about acting and television and movies, and I think about all the things that lead or do not lead to actors being able to be in, for example, movies and television shows. I think Anna May Wong was not slighted, or, for example, I would have to say that Walter Brennan was slighted, given he was almost always in roles of rough-faced old guys. Since the United States of America was not 100-percent Chinese between 1920 and 1961 or so, writers did not write a lot of Asian characters, and there is nothing wrong with that--that is life. I have to note that Anna May Wong had a very pleasant voice, based on movies that show her, and I could easily listen to her for hours and hours, and I report that bad voices bother me a lot (given my radio background), and I note that sometimes Anna May Wong came off as a bit stiff or a little flat in performances in movies (being too formal in nature in real life). It must be remembered Anna May Wong got started in "silent" pictures, where image was more important than speech was, and when "talkies" came in, a number of actors never made the transition from silent films to talkies, lacking good voices, and Anna May Wong did luck out and make the transition. So Anna May Wong was in the spotlight for many years--way beyond what most actors achieve--so I see no racial discrimination against her worth talking about [Note: It is not possible to say that no one in the country was racist against Anna May Wong, such as a casting director or a producer, as it cannot be said that Anna May Wong was not something against someone else in the country.]. I do see why Anna May Wong never was an A-list performer for A-list films, as with most performers, because her persona did not suggest her being an A-list performer for films--and it had nothing to do with her being Asian. I say that it is the socialists and communists and progressives of this country--who are bad people--who are working to sell the crap about racism against Anna May Wong, who now has her image on a U.S. quarter (2022).
[Note: A lot more about Anna May Wong exists in the next edition of Television History and Trivia, which can be reached through this T.H.A.T. #218 link.]
Announcement for the novice again (reworked in March 2019): To get useful television-delivered news or Internet-delivered news, try Breitbart News Network (the history of which goes back to 2007), WorldNetDaily.com, Newsmax TV (which was started up in 2014), CNS News (which is on the Internet and which was launched on June 16, 1998), and One America News Network (a.k.a. OAN), since the entities do not blindly support Barack Obama-type people (communists, socialists, progressives, liberals, and Shariaists), as do CNN, MSNBC, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and ABC-TV (Note: To learn about bad journalism, you might tune in to CNN, MSNBC, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and ABC-TV from time to time to see how they differ from the better places mentioned). I note that the Fox News Channel is evolving into a rotten channel, becoming like those that I have put down in this paragraph. If you are unclear of my intentions, I say in different words that you should boycott CNN, MSNBC, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and ABC-TV and even now much of what is on the Fox News Channel and hope they lose more ratings and advertising revenues, since they are expendable, and it is time for you to find the guts to be mean and heartless and cancel them--since they are hurting you. In 2019, "The Drudge Report" was sold, and it should be treated as suspect for now. [Note: Everyone in the Democratic Party in the country is rotten, and the Republican Party establishment has shown itself to be socialistic and communistic within the last few years, and only a few of the rotten people tied to the Republican Party are U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie.]
[Note: Here is an example of Chris Christie's rottenness. On Sunday, February 6, 2022, Chris Christie was a guest on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (of ABC-TV), which had Martha Raddatz as the host, and Christ Christie pushed out crap. For example, Chris Christie said--"...And let's face it. Let's call it what it is. January 6 was a riot that was incited by Donald Trump...an effort to intimidate Mike Pence and the Congress into doing exactly what he said in his own words last week--overturn the election. And he's trying to do a cleanup on aisle one here...." and "...He actually told the truth by accident. He wanted the election to be overturned....". That is bullshit!]
It can be said that Anna May Wong came off a elegant and pretty, and there are photographs all over the Internet to prove the case, and, today, there are other gals who are lucky enough to exhibit elegance and beauty. Recently, I got exposed to videos on YouTube tied to the theme "Emma Life". These videos mostly have an Asian gal, whose name I have not looked up, doing things around a garden and preparing meals. She gives no talk or does no talking. Emma walks around as a woman should and not like a fat male trucker or fat male plumber. Of course, I know not of her persona, but I will say that Emma comes off a pleasant and kind. Take a look. Guys, you may find yourself wishing you could be her protector and blocker.
Announcement: Recently, I have added some new documents to the collection of my documents at the website for The Hologlobe Press. One of the documents is entitled A Document that Dispels Myths and Nonsense of Science-Fiction Books, Movies, and Television Shows (A Logic Puzzle), which can be reached through this Myths link. Another document is And So You Think You're Going to the Moon, Mars, or the Stars..., which can be reached by using this Moon link. And yet another of the documents is entitled And the Stupid Women Shall Lead--and Lead Every Good Individual into Shit, Driven on by Communism, Feminism, and Defective Female Beliefs and Little-Girl Thinking, which can be reached through this Stupid Women link. And here are other documents--A Review of What Television Controlled by Socialists and Communists Worked to Sell as Truth in Relation to the U.S. President Donald J. Trump Impeachment (at Impeachment) and T.H.A.T. Special Edition--The First Helicopter-based Traffic Reporters on Radio for the Detroit area of Michigan (at Helicopter Traffic).
Would Anna May Wong do well in the television and film industry today? I think she might not, and that is because of the movies that are made. Very little in the way of niceness is presented on television, especially prime-time broadcast network television. What is the rule is violence and sex and angry people, such as angry Asian bitches (like Sandra Oh, who never looks pleasant). Incidentally, Nicole Chung wrote in her article--"...To date, Elementary, a CBS procedural co-starring the flawless Lucy Liu as Joan Watson, is the only pop-culture offering that's ever managed to combine my two deepest and most enduring television obsessions: badass Asian women, and detectives solving murders....". By the way, Lucy Liu is yet another angry Asian gal of the Hollywood. In the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, many movies were fun for the sake of having fun, and, in Detroit, such movies can be seen on the local subchannel network called "Television Drive-In" and on the nationally distributed subchannel network called Movies!. I have for this edition decided to present to you a movie with Anna May Wong, and it is another Looking at the Movies segment for Television History and Trivia documents, but the movie is not a "fun" movie per si, since it is a drama (a B-picture drama that was also a film that was designed to rally the American public against Imperial Japan, and it can called a "propaganda" film, though not a communistic and socialist propaganda film like that made by a communist government to teach crap to citizens). The movie is the first movie that I could find that was broadcast on Detroit-area television that had Anna May Wong, and it was broadcast on WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, on Tuesday, April 21, 1953, at 1:00 p.m. (Detroit time), and that date just makes it in to the Looking at the Movies time span for Channel 7. However, I may not have been clear. That is the first time television listings showed the movie was being broadcast (though I could not search The Detroit News, which is not yet part of a searchable database--using word search--and which might provide some useful information). The movie may have showed up on an earlier date. The movie presented today is called Lady from Chungking, and, fortunately for me and you, the movie is available for free on YouTube, and if the movie were not on YouTube, I could not promote it as something to see. The movie is set during the Japanese occupation of some of China during World War II (in the 1940s), which, you must keep in mind was a war officially started by a socialist--Adolph Hitler of German. Lady from Chungking was released in 1942, a little while before the communists of China would take over China and kill millions of Chinese citizens. In the film, Anna May Wong plays Kwan Mei, who is working to destroy the Japanese, such as an approaching force tied to a Japanese general (who is played by Harold Huber), and, in fact, Kwan Mei is the leader of a guerilla force of Chinese of a small town. Only a few of the other performers in the film are Rick Vallin, Paul Bryar, and Ted Hecht. To me, the movie was a little slow, and it reminded me of early 1950s filmed half-hour television shows (with low budgets), and, of course, the movie had at times cliché dialogue and stilted moments, and it looked as if the director did only one "take" per scene, and, today, the movie can be considered a little lifeless. The movie came from Producers Releasing Corporation, which was not a big-name film company, as were 20th Century Fox and Universal, and you now have the movie as a presentation of Looking at the Movies.
Oh, incidentally, I have seen photographs of Nicole Chung and Sandra Oh, and their eyes do not exhibit "...the brightness of rain-washed berries....," but my old rule is--What is in the mind of a person does show up on the face over time.
Remember: The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan was a television show that was produced across the pond and shown on CBS-TV in the late 1960s, and I urge you to find The Prisoner on DVD, maybe from a library, and watch it, and you should show it--all the episodes--to teenagers, or buy it as a present for teenagers.
P.S.: You are urged to see my document entitled One of "The Rules of Man"--A Rule About Health Care that No Politician May Supersede with Law, which can be reached through this Rule1 link. I have deduced that all the Democrats and most Republicans support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and have no intention of killing it, though it should be killed for violating, for one, "The Rules of Man." For example, Republicans Jeb Bush and Chris Christie support the rotten law, and that is one reason that I define them as stupid men and not men who are good enough--in this day and age--to be the U.S. President. I note that the "mandate"--which forces everyone to buy government-approved health-care insurance--violates one of "The Rules of Man," and it is a rule that is attacked in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Anyone who supports the "mandate" is not a good enough person or a smart enough person to be the U.S. president--the mandate is "enslavism," and the "mandate" allows government people--who are often usually bad people, as history shows--decide what health care a person can get, and that is bad.
copyright c. 2022
Date published: May 10, 2022
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