Sunday, May 3, 2020

Top Ten #66

1) CBS Evening News: The long-running nightly newscast premiered this day in 1948. Of course, the show hits its peak in the 1960s and 1970s when legendary anchor Walter Cronkite landed on the

2) Alison Arngrim: The Little House star was on the TV Confidential podcast talking about her ongoing project of donning bonnets and reading from the original Laura Ingalls Wilder books, often joined by her costars. A pandemic would be about the sixth-worst thing that happened on Little House on the Prairie.

3) Stars in the House: Speaking of stars doing good things during quarantine, this ongoing YouTube show featured TV child stars this week, with Mindy Cohn, Mackenzie Phillips, Jill Whelan, and Glenn Scarpelli!

4) Bernie Kopell: I conclude that Bernie Kopell is one of the finest actors of his generation. A first-season Fantasy Island episode has Kopell portraying a nebbishy henpecked husband who gets no respect form his family.  We all know from Love Boat that he is actually an alpha super-desirable Lothario. Yet I was still able to buy him in his Island role. It just goes to show the power of a craftsman to totally immerse himself in a character.

5) Dallas: The megahit soap went out with a bang on this date in 1991. No, I mean this was the series finale, not the Who Shot J.R. thing--that was a decade earlier. It did have over 350 other episodes, you know.

6) George Gaynes: Happy birthday to the late actor.  I can hear my podcast partner in crime saying "Punky" right now.

7) Jim Bouton: The excellent Baseball by the Book podcast just featured author Mitchell Nathanson, whose new biography of the pitcher talks about the short-lived Ball Four sitcom that we wanted to see and one of us actually did. Nathanson says the series was hampered by the emphasis on joke-joke-joke and the fact that Bouton was spreading himself thin as star and producer while training for an MLB comeback.

8) Fruit Stripes gum: We discussed this on the Charo episode this season.  See, it's not ALL highfalutin scholarly theory on our podcast.

9) Murder, She Wrote: After being so rudely yanked from Prime Video a couple months ago, the hard-hitting, racy romp of a detective show is now on IMDB TV (the first 5 seasons).

10) Barnaby Jones: Decades is running a marathon this weekend of one of the only TV detectives who makes Jessica Fletcher look vigorous.

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