(Television History and Trivia)




Victor Edward Swanson,


    The material provided on this page is a service of Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press.  The material may be used freely by a person, if the person does not use the material for commercial purposes.  The material may be used by persons employed in the media, such as staffers of radio stations, but persons employed in the media must announce that the material has been taken from the Web site of The Hologlobe Press, the main Internet address to which is www.hologlobepress.com.  Of course, the material is provided for fun.

- - - T.H.A.T. , Edition No. 4 - - -

    Once again you have before you an edition of T.H.A.T., which covers highbrow television and lowbrow television.  Consider this: Herman Munster was a main character in the 1960s television series entitled The Munsters.  Certainly, Herman Munster, played by Fred Gwynne, in the 1960s television series had a high brow, based on the high brow of Frankenstein's monster of the 1931 movie entitled Frankenstein, which had had Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster.  Fred Gwynne also played Herman Munster in a made-for-TV movie, The Munsters' Revenge, which was shown on NBC on February 17, 1981.  (By the way, mostly the editions of T.H.A.T. focus on the prime-time hours of television, and when I talk about programs that were not shown in prime time, I will note what day part the programs were shown.)  Sam McMurray played Herman Munster in one TV-movie, The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas, which was aired by Fox TV on December 17, 1996.  I could argue well that Sam McMurray did not give a highbrow performance as Herman Munster, but, of course, he had to follow up on what Mr. Gwynne had set as a standard some thirty years before, but Mr. McMurray's performance as Herman was better than John Schuck's version of Herman Munster in the syndicated television series entitled The Munsters Today, which had started to air in syndication in the fall of 1988.  However, I do note that The Munsters Today had a three-season run, which is not a bad run for a syndicated television series.  Over the years, since the 1970s, Edward Herrmann has performed in a number of productions that critics might define as highbrow works; since October 2, 2000, he has played Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, a weekly series on The WB.  Many people get lauded for performances, such as by receiving Emmy nominations or Emmy awards; by the way, July has become the Emmy-nomination month for the television networks and cable networks.  On Tuesday, October 31, 1995, Fox TV aired a made-for-TV movie entitled Here Come the Munsters, and, in that movie, Edward Herrmann portrayed Herman Munster.  Mr. Herrmann received no Emmy nomination for playing the role and received no Emmy award for playing the role.  I will say that Mr. Herrmann's performance as Herman Munster is probably the best he has ever done.  Mr. Herrmann was able to bring Mr. Gwynne's Herman back to life.  Truly, the performance is one of the likable performances in television history.  And I will say that it might be one of the best performances ever given on television.

    In the previous edition of T.H.A.T., which was the third edition, I talked about Andre Rieu, a violinist, and I noted that, in my files, I have these programs with Andre Rieu's name in the title: Andre Rieu: The Christmas I Love, Andre Rieu: Dreaming, Andre Rieu From Holland With Love, Andre Rieu in Concert: The North America I Love, Andre Rieu: La Vie est Belle, Andre Rieu: Live in Dublin, Andre Rieu: 100 Years of Strauss, Andre Rieu: Romantic Moments, Andre Rieu: Royal Albert Hall, Andre Rieu: The Vienna I Love, and Andre Rieu: The Waltz That Changed My Life.  In the previous edition, I wondered whether or not you knew which program was the first to be shown on PBS stations and in what year the program was shown.  One answer is the year was 1996.  And the first programs was Andre Rieu from Holland With Love, which is one way it is listed in my files; maybe you have seen it listed in television listings as Andre Rieu with the Strauss Orchestra: From Holland With Love.

    It can be hard to note when a program that was shown on PBS-affiliated stations was officially shown on the PBS-affiliated station near you or the PBS-affiliated stations near you.  For example, I could say that the fist episode of Cosmos (a program hosted by Dr. Carl Sagan)aired in the Detroit area on September 28, 1980, but I could not be sure when the program aired on a PBS station in another city or town, since, sometimes, a program may be fed by PBS on a certain date but not be shown on a particular PBS station for several days or several weeks later.   If at least two PBS-affiliate stations are near you, one of the stations can have a higher stature than the other has, and what can happen is the station with lower stature will pay less for PBS-type programs and play programs on dates that are later than the dates on which the programs were fed by PBS.  By the way, Andre Rieu: Live in Dublin was shown in the Detroit area on WTVS-TV Channel 56 on August 10, 2003, and that gives you one specific air date for the program.

    Oh, I was looking in my files for questions to give you, and I came across the information that is related to WAYN-AM 860 Radio of Wayne State University, a Web-page document associated with the Web-site of The Hologlobe Press.  On September 25, 1983, WTVS-TV, Detroit, began airing a program entitled The County Express, and that program would be distributed to about thirty other PBS stations in the country.  Who was the host of that program in 1983 and 1984 (at least)?  You will find a clue in  WAYN-AM 860 Radio of Wayne State University.  The program featured country-music videos, during the heyday of music-video programs on television.

    Let me return to the opening theme of this edition of T.H.A.T., which is highbrow stuff.   Yvonne DeCarlo played Lily Munster in The Munsters.  Who played Lily Munster in the TV-movie in which Edward Herrmann played Herman.  (Have you noticed the two different spellings, Herman and Herrmann?)  I shall have the answer in the next edition of T.H.A.T.

    And for the record, I must report more information about made-for-TV movies that have the same titles.  CBS-TV showed Salem's Lot, a two-part mini-series, on November 17, 1979, and November 24, 1979, and TNT showed another two-part TV-movie called Salem's Lot on June 20, 2004, and June 21, 2004.   CBS-TV showed a TV-movie entitled Stranger at My Door on September 27, 1991, and Lifetime aired a made-for-TV movie entitled Stranger at My Door on June 21, 2004.  It seems network executives are not using highbrow thought so that they can come up with new titles.

Stay well!


Date: July 10, 2004

The Hologlobe Press
Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan  48128
The United States of America

To see the fifth edition of T.H.A.T.,
    click on: T.H.A.T. #5
To see the previous edition of T.H.A.T.,
    click on : T.H.A.T. #3
To see the Catalog for T.H.A.T. editions,
    click on: T.H.A.T.
To go to the main page of The Hologlobe Press,
    click on: www.hologlobepress.com