(Television History and Trivia)




Victor Edward Swanson,


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- - - T.H.A.T., Edition No. 42 - - -

    Since the early 1970s, I have been collecting information about television as a hobby, and my work has mostly been done in relation to national television, but over the years, I have collected a tiny bit of information about Detroit-television history--that is, until recently.  Over the last year, I have been expanding my collection of information about Detroit-television history, but what information I have I can call really incomplete.  What I have been doing mostly in relation to Detroit-television history over the last year is looking at television-program listings to get information about the names of shows and to discover or rediscover shows; for example, if I were to go looking for information about Around Town, I would try to get information about it and, while doing that, I would makes notes on other shows that I happen to discover--on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, I was at Wayne State University (the Purdy-Kresge Library) to get more information about a television series called PM Magazine, and I came across a page in an edition of TV Guide (page A-33 for the day of September 8, 1974) with an advertisement (with a photograph) that reminded me of a truly wonderful-looking belly dancer who was one of the regulars on a locally produced show called Middle East Melodies some decades ago, and, for now, my files only note that the show existed on September 8, 1974 (but I remember there were more episodes than only one produced), and I only note in the files that Josephine Faddol and Amira Amir were the hosts, but, for now, I do not know who was the belly dancer.  Because I am only in the beginning stages of putting together my files about Detroit-television history and, in essence, making you a part of the building up of the files, be aware it is possible I may misinterpret a fact from time to time and err in passing along information to you (though the possibilities are high that I will not).

    My going to Wayne State University on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, was not only to get more information about PM Magazine but also to get information about fall promotional slogans used by NBC-TV in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and to get other information.  When I got to the library, I discovered changes had been made to the library since I had last been at it in the early summer or so--particarly with the microfiche material related to newspapers (such as The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press), and I discovered the microfiche files were moved to a new location, microfiche readers had been discarded, and other microfiche readers were set up, such as two computer-based systems, involving an S-T Imaging system (model ST200-DEV), which was made by Elmo Co., and a desktop computer (a Gateway brand).  In addition, right away, I discovered the best microfiche-reading machine that the library had had was now no longer around, and I was disappointed, and I became more disappointed when I began to use one of the new machines--one problem with the new machine is I could not get to the end of a microfiche reel as quickly as I had been able to do with the old machine that I liked a lot.  Well, I passed along my wishes to the management of the library--particularly Myson Hawthorne (Manager for Access Services of the library system of the university)--to bring back one older type machine, if possible the one that I liked or one that is close in style to a manually operated machine, which I feel I can operate faster and which will probably be less likely to break down than the new digital-based machines (I noted to Myson, who also allows people to call him Mike, that the two main microfiche readers at The Mardigian Library of the University of Michigan--Dearborn Campus have not been working for more than three weeks and that only a fully manual machine is working (which lacks "all the bells and whistles" of the new machines).  Yes, I can report the new "digital film viewers" allow a user to send wonderful images to paper, but I find them rather inefficient when a person has to look at materal in dozens of reels of microfiche during one sitting, as I have done many times at Wayne State University (in up to eight-hour sessions).  After I talked with Myson Hawthorne, I went to the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, which is, in essence, across the street from the Purdy-Kresge Library of Wayne State University, and I did research about newscasts and newscasters for WJBK-TV, WWJ-TV or WDIV-TV, and WXYZ-TV in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and I did research about PM Magazine.

    I did research on PM Magazine so that I could answer a simple trivia question asked me by a plumber, and the plumber (Gary) wondered what local television show Mattie Majors appeared on in the early 1980s.  My files noted to me on a simple search that Mattie Majors was a co-host for a while on PM Magazine, but I wanted to get more information to pass along.  I now pass along to you information about Mattie Majors and PM Magazine.

    PM Magazine was a format sold by a national distribution company to local stations, and the format of the show was the show was made up of nationally produced segments and locally produced segments, had locally based hosts, and was seen every weekday for a half hour in pre-prime-time periods (such at 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.), and it was Group W Productions that made the show available to stations.  The program appeared for the first time on WJBK-TV, Channel 2, on Monday, September 18, 1978 (at 7:30 p.m.), and the two local hosts were Ron Sanders and Lorrie Kapp, and the last show was seen on Friday, September 6, 1985.  The hosts changed over the years, and I cannot give exact dates about when changes were made with hosts, but I can note who were the hosts each fall.  Here were the hosts:

    For fall 1978: Ron Sanders and Lorrie Kapp
    For fall 1979: Ronnie Clemmer (a guy) and Lorrie Kapp
    For fall 1980: Ronnie Clemmer ad Lorrie Kapp
    For fall 1981: Ronnie Clemmer and Kay Richards
    For fall 1982: Gary Cubberly and Mattie Majors
    For fall 1983: Gary Cubberly and Mattie Majors
    For fall 1984: Gary Cubberly and Mattie Majors

    You should see Mattie Majors is listed in the list, and you should understand, PM Magazine was the show that Mattie Majors was on.  Besides working on PM Magazine, Mattie Majors worked as a reporter for the station, or I can report that Mattie Majors worked as a reporter from at least 1985 to about July 1988, when her contract with the station was not renewed.  That should answer the plumber's question (enough for now).

    Let me add more information about PM Magazine.  Bill Hillier, who died on March 18, 2002, is credited with creating the PM Magazine format.  Some people who worked nationally produced segments as on-air talent were Ken Hur, Chef Tell, Linda Harris, Maria Shriver (currently the wife of the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger), Linda Embrey, Dr. Jim Wasco, Marilyn Beck, Dale Harimoto, and Sandi Newton.  In the mid-1980s, the syndicator began to offer a national host, one of whom was Mike Jerrick and another of whom was Pam Thomas.  In March 1989, the show received a new title--This Evening--and the program was hosted by Nancy Glass, and some of the reporters were Sam Rubin, Steve Adelson, and Sarah Edwards.  The production company ceased producing the show on December 28, 1990.

    If you were to look in old television-program listings issued in the Detroit area, you would see PM Magazine--when it was being shown--was sometimes called PM Detroit (such as in The Detroit News around October 1983) and even PM Magazine Detroit, but, for now, I only list the show as PM Magazine in my files.

    Now, I come to a matter of names--"Amanda" and "Sarah" (or "Sara"), because they were a topic of the previous edition of T.H.A.T.--a topic that has to be completed.  I noted in T.H.A.T. #41 that "Amanda" and "Sarah" (or "Sara") are popular names used by people involved in television.  The previous edition of T.H.A.T. had trivia questions related to "Sarah" that you were to try to answer before I gave you this edition of T.H.A.T., and I have the answers in this edition of T.H.A.T., and I have something special to give you that focuses on "Amanda" and "Sarah" (or "Sara").

    Here are the answers to the trivia questions.  The "Sarah" movie of February 11, 1975, was Sarah -- Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, and Linda Blair played Sarah.  In the movie entitled The Seeding of Sarah Burns, Kay Lenz played Sarah.  It was Glenn Close who played Sarah in Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), Skylark (1993), and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (1999).  Ele Keats played Sarah in "Race Against Time: The Search for Sarah" (1996).  About Sarah was the movie shown on October 4, 1998, under the America's Night at the Movies umbrella title.  Kiim Raver, Audrey Dwyer, and Rick Roberts played in Haunting Sarah.  Jennifer Beals was in My Name is Sarah.

    In the first couple weeks of the new television season for prime-time related to the broadcast television networks, there were a number of "Amandas" and "Sarahs" (or "Saras") listed in the credits of shows or presented in the storylines of shows, and I have a list of some of those that I found (sampling credits of one episode of a number of series).

    For American Dad!, Amanda Bell was a "production manager."
    For America's Next Top Model, one of the final thirteen gals was: Sarah (20 years of age from Heath, MA).
    For The Bachelor, Sarah (23 years of age from O'Fallon, IL) was one of the original twenty-five gals that Brad Womack got to see, and she ended up as one of the final ten gals, and Sarah Jane Fuchs was a "production manager" for the first episode, and Amanda Johanson was a "junior story producer."
    For The Biggest Loser, Amanda Scott was a "supervising producer," and Amanda MacFadden was a "challenge producer," and Sarah Lavia did logging work, and Sarah Akkari was a member of the "production staff."
    For Boston Legal, Amanda Jones was a "writers' production assistant."
    For Brothers & Sisters, Sarah Jane Morris was a regular, and Sarah Caplan was a "co-executive producer."
    For Criminal Minds,  Amanda MacDonald played Helen, and an actress played a character listed as "Sarah" in the closing credits.
    For CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," Jorda Fox played Sara, and Sarah Goldfinger was a "consulting producer, and Sara Ingrassia was a "set decorator."
    For Chuck, Yvonne Strahovski played a featured character called Sarah, and Sarah Lancaster was a "regular" on the show (a "regular" is a person who appears regularly on a series, such as weekly, and, in essence, gets some type of star billing, as Yvonne Strahovski and Sarah Lancaster did on Chuck), and Sarah Yang was a "production coordinator."
    For Decision House, Amanda Barrett was an "associate producer."
    For Desperate Housewives, Amanda K. Roberts was a "production supervisor."
    For Don't Forget the Lyrics, Amanda Lewis was an "assistant to the executive producer," and Sarah Hurst was a member of the "production staff."
    For ER, Sarah Sheehe was a "music supervisor."
    For Ghost Whisperer, Sarah Jaye appeared
    For Grey's Anatomy, Sara Ramirez was a regular.
    For Heroes, Sara Soloman played Martha.
    For House, M.D., Sara Hess was an "executive story editor."
    For Journeyman, Amanda Ghost and the Rural wrote and performed the theme song.
    For Kid Nation, Sara Hall was a "casting assistant,' and Sarah Levy was a "camera operator."
    For King of the Hill, Sarah Cameron was a "post production assistant."
    For Kitchen Nightmares," Amanda Walker was an "assistant camera operator."
    For Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Amanda Green was a "co-executive producer."
    For Life, Sarah Shahi was a regular, and Amanda Musso was also in the cast.
    For Meet My Folks," Sara Allison was an "assistant to the executive producer."
    For My Name is Earl, Sarah Werner was a "production coordinator."
    For Nashville, Sarah Gunsolus was one of the featured individuals, and Amanda Bryant was a "production coordinator," and Amanda Harding was a "field logger."
    For NCIS, Sara Chaiken was a "production coordinator."
    For Shark, Sarah Carter was a regular.
    For Survivor: China, Amanda Hourn was a "location accountant."
    For Ugly Betty, Sarah Kucserka was a "story editor."
    For Without a Trace, Amanda Segel was an "executive story editor."

    So, based on the shows presented above, the court is: sixteen for Amanda and twenty-nine for Sarah (or Sara).

    Remember: What I have done through the talk about "Amanda" and "Sara" (or "Sara") is provide a non-scientific study, and my presentation was made before I could make a sampling of credits for all the series on the broadcast networks at the start of the 2007-2008 season, and given that information my note, you should expect there may be other "Amandas" or "Sarahs" (or "Saras") that I could have listed.

    By the way, would it not be crazy if "Sarah" were to win (win?) on this season of The Bachelor.  Remember: A gal named "Amanda" won (won ?) on the first season of The Bachelor.  When the first season of The Bachelor began, I predicted to a gal (an announcer) at a radio station in northern Lower Michigan that Amanda would probably be the winner (winner ?), but I cannot provide proof of that here.  I am not making a prediction, but I will say Sarah was one of three gals that I found interesting when the final twenty-five gals were introduced to Brad--I also liked Reginia (a black gal from San Diego, California) and Jade (a gal from Nashville, Tennessee), and I would not be surprised if Jade won (won ?) or was a near-winner (winner ?).  I add that I am surprised when the gals who get to be one of the finalists on The Bachelor series are disappointed by not receiving a rose at anytime in the series.  The gals by simply being on the series get wonderful publicity in the "mating game," and, for instance, a good guy in the audience surely should have seen Reginia on the screen, and it seems to me Reginia (seemingly a smart gal) did herself well by being on The Bachelor this season.  And I say, "So goes mating in America."

    As a part of mating in America, gals do like to wear bikinis so that they can show off (which is a honorable act), and now I return to a subject started in the previous edition of T.H.A.T.--"bikini gals."   I posed a question in the previous edition of T.H.A.T. that wondered if you knew in which one-shot syndicated show Kim O'Brien, Rita Wilson, and Ava Lazar appeared.  Remember: I said that show dealt with three gals who moved in to a beach house.  The thirty-minute live-action show was called The Beach Girls, and it was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, an entity that had gained over the last couple decades a good reputation as a producer of animated series, some of which had been The Flintstones and The Jetsons.  Lexington Broadcast Services syndicated The Beach Girls to stations around the country, such as WDHO-TV, Channel 24, in Toledo, Ohio, which played the show on January 10, 1978.

    My work at the Detroit Public Library on September 26, (2007) did not involve trying to find information about The Beach Girls, and during my work at the the Detroit Public Library, I came across more unexpected information beyond that about Middle East Melodies.  For example, I found what I will call two other series hosted by Bill Kennedy (who has been the subject of past editions of T.H.A.T.).  In future editions of T.H.A.T., I shall have more information about television shows that I uncovered on September 26, and it might even happen in the next edition of T.H.A.T., and, of course, I will have even more information beyond that which was found on September 26.

    I will return to the Purdy-Kresge Library and hope to see at least one microfiche reader that I can use to run through dozens and dozens of microfiche reels quickly in one sitting (such as a straight eight-hour shift)--even if the machine is a competely manually operated machine.

    Let me add extra information here.  In the summer (2007), I used the public library at Rogers City (Presque Isle County of the Lower Peninsula) to find information in microfiche on the sinking of The Fay in 1905 (you should see Michigan Travel Tips #37, which can be reached by hitting this link: Travel #37; and you might want to see Michigan Travel Tips #40, which can be reached by hitting this link: Travel #40).  When I was at the library, I urged two of the staffers of the library to not throw away the one not-so-high-tech microfiche reader that they had in the library when they get a newer and probably a computer-based system, since the currently held machine was worth keeping for a long time.

    To close this edition of T.H.A.T., I must say to all librarians, "Keep at least one of those old microfiche-reading machines around for years to come, even though it is not-so-high-tech," and as a question for you, I ask: "Who was the host of the television series called Information Please?

Stay well!


P.S.: For the edition of TV Guide for September 17-23, 2007, Grey's Anatomy had the featured spot on the cover--the cover had a photograph of Patrick Dempsey (who plays Derek).  In the past, I have talked about how Grey's Anatomy has been lucky enough to be the focus of the feature spot on the cover of a number of TV Guide editions since October 2005.  Since October 2005 and today, Grey's Anatomy has been in the feature spot on nine covers of TV Guide.

copyright c. 2007
Date published: October 10, 2007

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