(Television History and Trivia)
Victor Edward Swanson,
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- - - T.H.A.T., Edition No. 32 - - -
A few days ago, I spent a short while thumbing through my fabulous files of index cards with information about television shows, and when I found one particular card in the cable-television section of my files, I went looking for a few cards for shows that I could talk about in the opening of this edition of T.H.A.T. One show that I came across was Harry Anderson's Hello Sucker!, which was originally shown by Showtime to viewers on September 25, 1985; Harry Anderson played the lead character in a television series entitled Night Court, and another performer from Night Court appeared in the program, and that performer was John Larroquette. The Nashville Network, which no longer exists (at least as the Nashville Network), showed Loretta Lynn's Follow the Flag for the first time on April 18, 1987, and within the show, Loretta Lynn, who was a well-known country-music artist, performed for U.S. troops in the South Pacific. I found the card for A Moon Man from Massachusetts: The Robert Goddard Story, which was shown by the Disney Channel for the first time on July 12, 1994, and here I tell you that the show focused on the man--Robert Goddard--who was instrumental in creating the first liquid-fuel rocket.
I have to admit that I never saw any of the three shows listed in the previous paragraph, but I do not profess I see every show that I talk about within editions of T.H.A.T.
Within the edition of T.H.A.T. posted on May 10, 2006, I talked about PBS and the American Soundtrack and My Music series, each series of which is, so far, made up of a group of concert programs, and this past November 2006, I saw Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion, which was originally shown on PBS-associated television stations in late 2004 and is one of the programs of the My Music series, and I feel I must pass along something about the series to "guys." Understand this well: Since I consider myself a television historian, I do not purposely do anything to promote PBS or to promote any network, and if a network dies or does not is of no concern to me (networks come and go, and so it goes in the television business). Now that you have seen the previous sentence, I can say to guys, "Guys, you should see Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion to see two "cuties" who took part in the program, doing, for one, a song they helped make famous in the country in 1978. And if you see the program, you will each of the cuties is playing an electric guitar, though one guitar is really a long-necked electric bass guitar. Yes, although the cuties had a good time with their song in 1978, you should see them today. You will not be disappointed." I could say that even the operators at PBS know "sex sells" (or I should say that T.J. Lubinski, who is credited with creating the My Music idea, knows "sex sells"). Here is a television-trivia question for you to answer: The two cuties to whom I refer make up the lead performers in what musical group?
Incidentally, Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion is one of those special programs used by PBS and PBS-associated stations to draw in viewers during the pledge times (or the fund-raisers).
This past pledge season (November/December 2006), I saw one new American Soundtrack program, which was really a new program containing material related to Doo Wop 50, Doo Wop 51, and Rock, Rhythm & Doo Wop, and I saw one new My Music program. For the record, I note that the new My Music program, which was entitled Legends of Country: Classic Hits of the '50s, '60s & '70s, had new performances by Patti Page, Glenn Campbell, Hank Locklin, The Browns, Bill Anderson, Ferlin Husky, Crystal Gayle (that gal with the really, really long hair), B.J. Thomas, Billy Swan, and the Bellamy Brothers and had clips of past performances by Gene Autry, Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Porter Wagoner with Minnie Pearl, and Buck Owens, and some of the production staffers listed on the show are: TJ Lubinsky ( creator, executive producer, and director), Henry J. DeLuca (executive producer), Richard Foos (co-executive producer), Garson Foos (co-executive producer), Neil Mahrer (co-executive producer), Jim Pierson (series producer), Tom Moulton (supervising producer), Ed Salomon (associated producer), and the members of the "My Music Orchestra" that are listed are: Ralph Guzzi, Nick Gimiliano, Tony Impavido, Don Garvin, Eric DeFade, Kevin McManus, John Hughey, Terry Harr, Greg Shearer, Paul Franklin, Paul Evans, Jennifer Gehard, and Ellen-Maria Willis, and the background vocalists who are listed are: Kelly Krepin-DeFade, Betsy Lawrence, Joyce Garvin, Susan DeLuca, and Donna Groom. For now, I will not note who the host of the program was, since I now ask: "Who was the host?" I will give you the answer in the next edition of T.H.A.T. By the way, the new American Soundtrack program was Doo Wop's Best on PBS.
And here I go again, returning to a familiar topic, used in a number of editions of T.H.A.T. since October 2005, and it is the topic focusing on TV Guide and Grey's Anatomy. On the cover of the edition of TV Guide for November 20-26, 2006, Grey's Anatomy (the prime-time series being shown regularly on Thursdays and Fridays on ABC-TV) had the feature spot, and, this time, the focus was romance, Actors Eric Dane and Kate Walsh, and the characters played by the actors. Now I can say that Grey's Anatomy has had the feature spot on eight covers of TV Guide since October 2005. (Publishers of magazines like to put hot topics on the covers of their magazines so that shoppers will pay attention to their magazines and buy the magazines, but, it seems to me, the operators of TV Guide have surely gone overboard by focusing on Grey's Anatomy so much during the last year or so, but, maybe, TV Guide sells more magazines by focusing on--or, maybe, promoting--Grey's Anatomy a lot.
In the previous edition of T.H.A.T., I put in a paragraph that had the names of fifty-three individuals who are or have been involved in some phase of putting together product for the prime-time schedules of the broadcast networks this season, and associated with the names was a television-trivia question. The answer to the question is "re-recording mixers" or something like "re-recording mixing by" (often a credit for "re-recording mixing" will be one of the last credits shown during the end-credits phase of a show). I hope you had fun trying to get the answer to the question.
In the past, I have talked about made-for-TV movies that have the same titles, doing that to show, sort of, people who make television movies seem to be running out of ideas for the titles of television movies and are resorting to using titles that have already been used, and, in this issue to that, I have more examples of recent television movies that have the same titles as television movies of the past. Tim Thomerson, Deborah Harry (who has been the lead singer for the musical group called Blondie), James Russo, and Grace Zabriskie were some of the performers seen in the movie shown by Showtime on Friday, November 15, 1991, and that movie was called Intimate Stranger, and on October 16, 2006, Lifetime showed a movie called Intimate Stranger, which featured such performers as Kari Matchett and Peter Outerbridge, and the two movies are two different movies (the movies have different plots). On October 22, 2006, Lifetime aired a movie entitled Deceit, which featured such performers as Emmanuelle Chriqui, Matt Long, and Joe Pantoliano, and that was done only about two years after Lifetime had aired a movie entitled Deceit that featured such performers as Marlo Thomas, William Devane, Vondie Curtis Hall, Brett Cullen, Emily Barclay, and Louis Corbett (this movie entitled Deceit had been shown on Sunday, March 15, 2004). Because a number of events, I did not talk about another set of movies with the same title as soon as I could have, and it is only now that I talk about the movies. There have been three made-for-TV movies that have been entitled Stranded. The newest movie with the title was shown by Lifetime on June 5, 2006, and two of the performers in the movie were Erica Durance and Carlos Ponce. The two older movies did not cover the same subject, but they both dealt with people being stranded on a deserted island. The Robinson family was the focus of Stranded, which was really a two-part movie (or a "mini-series") that was shown by the Hallmark Channel on June 15, 2006, and June 16, 2006. The third movie in my files that had the title Stranded was filmed in Tahiti, and some of the performers were William Hickey, Elaine Stritch, Joel Brooks, Edward Winter, and Ja'net DuBois. Who were the two main performers in the movie, the performers playing the two characters who were stranded on an uninhabited island?
The movies noted within the previous paragraph are all different movies and none of the movies was a remake of any of the other movies, as was a movie that the ABC Family channel showed viewers for the first time on October 22, 2006. The movie that I refer to was entitled The Initiation of Sarah, and one of the performers in the movie was Morgan Fairchild, who had been a performer in the original movie entitled The Initiation of Sarah, which had been originally shown by ABC-TV--under The ABC Monday Night Movie umbrella title--on February 6, 1978. In the newer movie, some of the performers were Ben Ziff, Summer Glau, Joanna Garcia, and Jennifer Tilly, and Mika Boorem, who played a character called "Sarah." In the original movie, what actress played Sarah?
Incidentally, Lifetime aired a remake of an old TV-movie on November 20, 2006, and, officially, the 2006 movie was a remake of a movie that was originally shown by ABC-TV on February 27, 1976. Although the two movies had the same plot, they did not have the exact same title. The 1976 movie, which featured such performers as Peter Falk and Jill Clayburgh, was entitled Griffin and Phoenix: A Love Story, and the 2006 movie, which featured such performers as Dermot Mulroney and Amanda Peet, was entitled Griffin and Phoenix
I told you at the beginning of this edition of T.H.A.T. that I would have another television show to tell you about. My running across the card for a particular show in my files was the reason I decided to talk about a couple old shows at either the open or the close of this edition of T.H.A.T. The show was called The Burger and the King: The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley. I never saw the show. Maybe, you saw the show. The show was shown for the first time by Cinemax (a cable channel) on Friday, August 16, 1996.
Well, I have given you a few questions to find the answers to before the next edition of T.H.A.T. is published, and I may have inspired to you try to find a copy on an old show that is talked about in this edition of T.H.A.T. so that you can see it, and, maybe, your choice is The Burger and the King: The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley.
copyright c. 2006
Date published: December 10, 2006
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