(Television History and Trivia)




Victor Edward Swanson,


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- - - T.H.A.T., Edition No. 5 - - -

    This edition of T.H.A.T. has a publication date of August 10, 2004, and, on that date, I had about 103,100 four-inch-by-six-inch index cards with information about television.  From time to time, I randomly skim through the cards to see what I can find, or I open a drawer of one of the file-card cabinets and see what I stumble across.  Sometimes, I can come across something that I have not thought about in a long time.  I went through the "j" section, and I stumbled across a television series called Jennifer Slept Here, which was shown on the NBC-TV network during the 1983-1984 season.  It was a comedy, which featured such performers as Georgia Engle (who had appeared in The Mary Tyler Moore Show of the 1970s), John P. Navin, Jr., Brandon Maggart, and Mya Akerling.  Do you remember the series?  Do you remember who played Jennifer Farrell in the series?  If you do not remember the series and the woman who played Jennifer, you will have to do some research to come up with the answer to who played Jennifer, or you will have to wait for the next edition of T.H.A.T. to see the answer.  I also came across a series in which Louis Gossett, Jr., played Mac St. Clair.  The series had a very short run, starting off on ABC-TV on September 4, 1979.  What was the name of the series?  That is another question that I will answer in the next edition of T.H.A.T.
    The two questions that I have posed so far are easy to answer.  It seems that I should give you a hard question to answer.  Let me talk about a 1979 syndicated program.  I will not give you the date that the program was aired, or I will not state the date on which the program was aired in Detroit.  Where you lived at the time, if you were alive then and not living in the Detroit area, the program could have been aired on a different date, since syndicated programs are often offered to television stations by distributors on a window basis, which refers to a window of time during which stations are allowed to air programs, an example of which, for a particular program, could be between June 1 and July 1.  The program did have such performers as Sammy Davis, Jr., Gloria Gaynor, Adrienne Barbeau (who had become well known for playing a character on Maude, the television series), Peaches & Herb, Brooke Shields, Chuck Berry, Norm Crosby, Tony Orlando, and Herve Villechaize.  The host was Wolfman Jack.  Now, I ask--What was the name of the program?   Search the Web for the answer.  Search whatever!  Good luck!

    In the previous edition of T.H.A.T., I said that WAYN-AM 860 Radio of Wayne State University, one of the documents on the Web site for The Hologlobe Press, could give you a clue--if not the answer--to the question: Who was the host of The Country Express in 1983 and 1984 (at least)?  I hope you did not come up with "Doug Podell" as the answer.  In 1983, though, Doug Podell was hosting a television program on WTVS-TV, the PBS-affiliated station in Detroit.  He was hosting The Beat.  The Beat was a music-video program, but it was a program that focused on rock music.  A clue to the answer to my question is the word "country" in WAYN-AM 860 Radio of Wayne State University.  The answer to the question is: Chuck Santoni.  In the mid-1970s, by the way, when Mr. Podell and Mr. Santoni were attending Wayne State University, Mr. Podell was heavily into rock music, and Mr. Santoni was heavily into country music (and country rock).  And that is a bit of television history and even radio history.

    During the random search of the television files, I came across a syndicated television series that I have not thought about in some time.  The series had a three-season run in syndication, beginning with the 1987-88 season, and, generally speaking, the episodes dealt with a guy and a gal (cousins), operators of a unique toy store, who were trying to retrieve cursed objects, such as cursed boxing gloves and a cursed lantern.  The first episode was entitled "The Inheritance," and the evil object in the story was a demonic doll.  The cousins in the series were Ray and Micki.  What was the series and who played Ryan and Micki?  That will give you something different to hunt down.

    You may have heard or seen that the network Emmy nominations were announced last month.  I shall not report what actors and actresses received nominations, since, for instance, many print publications and television shows have already reported who was nominated for what.  Remember: In the previous edition of T.H.A.T., I talked about the Emmys and noted that Edward Herrmann did not receive an Emmy award for playing Herman Munster in the made-for-TV movie entitled Here Come the Munsters (of 1995).  I hope you have come up with the answer to who played Lily Munster in that movie, based on a question posed through the previous edition of T.H.A.T.  The answer to the question is Veronica Hamel.  Before appearing in the movie about the Munsters, Ms. Hamel played in Hill Street Blues, the police-drama series that was aired on NBC-TV (from roughly January 1981 to May 1987).
    I was at Kissimmee, Florida, on January 28, 1986; I had arrived the evening before.  On that January 28, a space shuttle exploded on liftoff.  A few days later, I happened to see Ms. Hamel at a hotel near where I was staying.  On February 25, 1990, ABC-TV aired a TV-movie about the space shuttle.  Some of the performers in the movie were Karen Allen, Barry Bostwick, Brian Kerwin, Peter Boyle, Joe Morton, Keone Young, and Angela Bassett.  Here is a question to answer, though hardly a tough question: What was the name of the TV-movie?  I shall have the answer in the next edition of T.H.A.T.

    Of course, the next edition of T.H.A.T. can be called "No. 6."

Stay well!


Date: August 10, 2004

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