Monday, August 31, 2020

Batty Awards Season 7 In Memoriam: Video Playlist

In this week's Batty Awards episode, we delivered our traditional tribute to those we've lost since the last time (roughly November 2019-early August 2020).  Remember, this is not comprehensive, and we intend no slight to anyone not on the list.

Here is a video playlist celebrating the work of the names we read on the podcast (and included below). You will see commercials, music, clips, and more! Rest in peace!

D.C. Fontana

Ron Liebman

Rene Auberjonois

Carroll Spinney

Phillip Mckeon

Lee Mendelson

Jack Sheldon

Edd Byrnes

Buck henry

John Karlen

Jim Lehrer

Fred Silverman

Gene Reynolds

Orson Bean

Robert Conrad

Ja'Net DuBois

Earl Pomerantz

Stuart Whitman

Lyle Waggoner

Kenny Rogers

James Drury

Saul Turtletaub

Brian Dennehy

Howard Finkel

Phyllis George

Fred Willard

 Richard Herd

Carl Reiner

Regis Philbin

John Saxon

Wilfred Brimley

Summer Redstone

Raymond Allen

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Top Ten #83: Battys Season 7 edition!

This week's list draws heavily on the Season 7 Batty Awards show we premiered this week! Spoilers ahead!

1) Miami Vice: Though not as dominant as Cheers was at the Season 6 awards (but then, what is?), Vice was arguably (see #2) the top dog at this year's show, garnering 3 Battys including Outstanding Series.

2) Doctor Who: Actually won more Battys than Vice (4) and was in contention for the Outstanding Series prize. Elizabeth Sladen won Outstanding Supporting Actress, Tom Baker bested a loaded field to win Lead Actor, and the series won the prestigious Outstanding Episode prize. Not too shabby, and one final thanks to listener Thomas for suggesting that storyline!

3) Jeffrey Scott: The newest member of the Genius Club is the grandson of Moe Howard, a cool fact we did not mention during the ceremony.  His latest project is Monta in the Odd Galaxy, a Vietnamese animated series that is apparently not currently available outside of that country

4) Andy Griffith: His indelible portrayal of Sam Farragut in Pray for the Wildcats left a big mark on our souls.  Yes, that's right--our SOULS!

5) Angela Lansbury: The fates atoned for 12 straight years of Emmy losses by giving her Outstanding Lead Actress in the Battys, yet Jessica Fletcher lost to Jessica Drew in the listener-voted Outstanding Jessica category.

6) Pray for the Wildcats: On one hand, we pretty much said the movie wasn't very good.  On the other, we gave it several awards and talked a whole lot about it, and, yes, I do want to get the Blu-Ray.

7) Robert Guillaume: He salvaged a disappointing night for Soap with his Outstanding Supporting Actor win.

8) Giant Clam: This monstrosity and would-be Harry killer from Doctor Who captured the imagination like no other "non-human" in BOTNS annals since...well, since season 6's Rerun's tape recorder. The non-humans are usually pretty awesome each year.

9) George Murdock: His listener-voted win for Outstanding Senior Citizen (aided by the Random Number Generator) is one of the bigger upsets in Batty history.  Murdock's character from What a Country, Lazlo, beat two people who later won awards--Griffith and Lansbury--after starring in a short-lived syndicated series.

10) PMT: Philip Michael Thomas didn't take home a Batty, but he got plenty of respect and love from us during the ceremony, and he got another nod for creating the EGOT (now BEGOT) concept.

Thanks again for listening, and keep an eye out for Season 8 coming soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Batty Awards Season 7 Show Notes

 *We hope you enjoyed our Season 7 Batty Awards--the biggest night in retro TV podcasting--and stick around for season 8!

*For the first time ever, we are pulling back the curtain to reveal the actual random number generation that determined two of the awards we could not decide ourselves:

*"The kid from Charo" does have a name if no other screen credits: Phillip Mancini

*Our crack research team investigated to find a Head of the Class episode featuring breakdancing but only found one episode in which Billy and Bernadette took dance lessons.  Not only is it season 5, but it's not even breakdancing, so it certainly does not count.

*There is no apparent evidence of the weight nor street value of "the haul" in the "Smuggler's Blues" episode of Miami Vice.

*BEGOT talk: Here is the awards status (wins, not mere nominations) of some of the people we discussed during the ceremony.


Henry Mancini BGO
Jan Hammer BG
Angela Lansbury BGOT  It's painful to think she has received 18 Emmy nominations, including 12 in a row for Murder, She Wrote, without a win.  The Battys rectified that oversight.  We should point out that though she was nominated for 3 Oscars, including for The Manchurian Candidate, she "only" won an honorary one in 2013/

*This Mental Floss article lists the EGOT winners and explains the PMT-related origins of the term (a medallion Philip Michael Thomas wore).

Looking at that list and discounting honorary prize winners, the best shot at a BEGOT may be Rita Moreno or Mel Brooks, though Mel may have missed his best shot when we talked about When Things Were Rotten in our fifth season. Moreno was a regular on several series we haven't yet covered and a guest star on many others.

*The CableACE Awards were presented from 1978 to 1997.

*Lord Chumley, not tabbed in Outstanding Facial Hair, looms as perhaps the single biggest snub by the Blue Ribbon Panel that selects the nominees. We don't want to demean any individual nominee--they are all deserving--but some wags have speculated that Mike Connors' mustache "stole" a slot from Chumley.

*The Batty Committees may have a debate on its hands next season if pressure builds to establish Outstanding Eyebrows as its own permanent category and not eligible for crossover with the Outstanding Facial Hair category. Keep an eye(brow) on this in the months ahead. There is similar chatter in the Outstanding Hair category--does it have to be natural? What IS natural?

*Congratulations again to Robert Pine Genius Award Jeffrey Scott!

*The titular Shelldon is a clam--but not an evil giant one! The series was indeed on Qubo.

*BOTNS, let's all be there! Anybody? Anyone? No, you're right. It's not ours.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Batty Winners: Season 7

The Biggest Night in Retro TV Podcasting (TM) is over, and the afterparties are (sure to be notorious) history. Let's recap in one location the winners of the Season 7 Batty Awards as announced and determined on this week's podcast:

(All nominees are listed; winners are in bold)

Laszlo (What a Country)*
Cyrus Leffingwell (Murder, She Wrote)
The General (Soap)
Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote)
Sam Farragut (Pray for the Wildcats)
*Chosen by random number generator after a split listener vote

Raul (Transformers)
Trini (Ginny Ortiz) (321 Contact)
Charo’s “kid”: (Charo)
Simone (Head of the Class)
Eric (Head of the Class)
Billy (Soap)
Judy Jones (Yogi's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper)

The hatchet (Pray for the Wildcats)
The Daleks (Doctor Who)
Davros (Doctor Who)
Optimus Prime (Transformers)
Yogi Bear (Yogi's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper)
Doggie Daddy (Yogi's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper)
Giant Clam (Doctor Who)

Charo (Charo)
Mike Connors (Charo)
Nell Carter (NBC promo)
Henry Winkler (ABC Still the One)
Gene Schultz (321 Contact)

Chester Tate (Soap)
Jeff (Spider-Woman)
“The haul” (Miami Vice)
Ronson (Doctor Who)
Professor Radford (Murder, She Wrote)

Davros (Doctor Who)
Starscream (Transformers)
Megatron (Transformers)
Sam Farragut (Pray for the Wildcats)
Ben Gibbons (Murder, She Wrote)
Relic (Beachcombers)
*Grocero or Lt. Jones (Miami Vice)

Mike Connors (Charo)
Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice)
Hector Ramirez (Transformers)
Henry Winkler (ABC Still the One)
Tom Baker (Doctor Who)
Richard Mulligan (Soap)
Yakov Smirnoff (What a Country)
Nick Adonidas (Beachcombers)

Marjoe (Pray for the Wildcats)
William Shatner (Pray for the Wildcats)
Eric (Brian Robbins) (Head of the Class)
Simone (Khrystyne Haje) (Head of the Class)
Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman)

Jingle Bells (Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper)
Love Will Keep Us Together (Charo)
Smuggler’s Blues (Miami Vice)
The rap song in the bar by Prince Robert (What a Country)
Let’s All Be There (NBC)
Still the One (ABC)
We’ve Got the Touch (CBS)
Black Diamond (Kiss in 321 Contact)

Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote)
Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman)
Jessica Tate (Soap)

Miami Vice; Spider-Woman; Murder, She Wrote; Soap; Doctor Who; Head of the Class; The Beachcombers

What a Country; The Transformers, 3-2-1 Contact

Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote)
Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman)
Jessica Tate (Soap)

Angie Dickinson (Pray for the Wildcats)
Rue McClanahan (Murder, She Wrote)
Elisabeth Sladen (Doctor Who)
Olivia Brown (Miami Vice)

Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice)
Glenn Frey (Miami Vice)
Robert Guillaume (Soap)
Jackson Davies (Beachcombers)
The Bos (Murder, She Wrote)
Robert Reed (Pray for the Wildcats)
Marjoe (Pray for the Wildcats)

Angela Lansbury (Murder, Whe Wrote)
Katherine Helmond (Soap)
Charo (Charo)
Joan Van Ark (Spider-Woman)
Cathryn Damon (Soap)

William Shatner (Pray for the Wildcats)
Andy Griffith (Pray for the Wildcats)
Tom Baker (Doctor Who)
Don Johnson (Miami Vice)
Philip Michael Thomas (Miami Vice)
Richard Mulligan (Soap)
Bruno Gerussi (Beachcombers)
Howard Hesseman (Head of the Class)

OUTSTANDING EPISODE: Pray for the Wildcats; Charo; Yogi’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper; Miami Vice, “Smuggler’s Blues;” Spider-Woman, Pyramids of Terror; Soap “Pilot;” The Transformers, Auto-Bop and Prime Target; Head of the Class, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!; What a Country, The Soul Man; The Beachcombers ‘Relic’s Rule;” Murder, She Wrote, “Murder Takes the Bus;” 321 Contact, Light/Dark; Doctor Who “Genesis of the Daleks.”

OUTSTANDING SERIES: Miami Vice, 3-2-1 Contact, Head of the Class, What a Country, The Beachcombers, Murder, She Wrote, Doctor Who, Spider-Woman, Soap, Transformers.

ROBERT PINE GENIUS AWARD: Jeffrey Scott (Spider-Woman)

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Season 7 BATTY Awards


Check out this episode!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Top Ten #82

1) Three's Company: Pluto TV added a 24/7 channel that streams nothing but Three's Company.  OK, OK, now I get why everyone says this streaming video thing is a big deal.

2) Shelley Long: Happy birthday to season 6's Outstanding Female Lead batty winner! Who will win season 7's award? You may find out sooner than you think!

3) Thundercats: Hulu added the original cartoon series this weekend. Is it just me, or does the addition of a 1980s show generate a heck of a lot more excitement than [insert Hulu original here]? You know what, if it is just me, don't tell me. Let me have it for a while.

4) SWAT: Crackle added both seasons of the original series.  It has a great theme song, doesn't it? And as a television has a great theme song, doesn't it?

5) John Moschitta: The Zack to the Future podcast taught me two things: 1) Moschitta was "a sweetheart" when he guested on Saved by the Bell and 2) Moschitta formally disputed being surpassed as the world's fastest talker. Both are items in his favor.

6) The Jeffersons: Got a whole lotta George this weekend on Decades as the long-running CBS sitcom gets a marathon.

7) Barbara Eden: Happy birthday to the esteemed star of this small-screen classic:

8) Buck Rogers: Kino-Lorber announced the entire NBC series is coming to Blu-Ray this Thanksgiving. On one hand, I'm sure it'll cost a lot of credits. On the other, Erin Gray in HD.

9) Spider-Woman: With reports circulating that Olivia Wilde is going to direct a Spider-Woman movie for Sony, we can only hope she uses the definitive version as source material.

10) National Ride the Wind Day: This supposedly commemorates the first competition for the Kremer prize in 1977, but I think we all know better.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Promo Theatre goes to 1994 (bear with us)

 Yes, 1994 is well outside our time frame, but watch this batch of 1994 NBC promos, will you? 

It's such an odd assortment of stuff.  Empty Nest was still on in 1994 (check out that hair on David Leisure)?  Remember that Gene Wilder sitcom? I remember it but wouldn't have associated it with Seinfeld-era Must See TV.  

Dabney Coleman's Madman of the People in the same context as ER

A Saved by the Bell wedding movie in which everyone looks 10 years older than they did when the series premiered 5 years earlier!

I can't be the only one who thinks this JoBeth Williams/Corbin Bernsen movie seems more 1980s than 1990s.

It's an interesting mix of material. On one hand, you think of NBC riding high in the Nineties, yet the network was still trying to fill out its sitcom lineups post-Cheers and still touting the likes of "the network television premiere" of Shattered with Tom Berenger (and, hey, Corbin Bernsen again).

Friday, August 21, 2020

This Day in TV History: Unsold pilots galore!

 40 years ago today, CBS and NBC used unsold pilots to fill out the primetime schedule! At 8:00. CBS unveiled Joshua's World, which starred Richard Crenna as a liberal doctor in small-town Arkansas in the 1930s.  Crenna had a long and distinguished career, but this one didn't make a mark.  He would return to series TV with Susan Harris' It Takes Two, which at least got a season on ABC.

NBC also dumped some material on the masses this Thursday, August 21, 1980. it burned off 3 straight sitcom pilots starting at 9:30. Going by the descriptions, my favorite is Dribble, which kicked off the parade of filler. Yes, it IS about basketball! According to Lee Goldberg's Unsold Television Pilots, the Columbia-produced show was from Linda Bloodworth. "The misadventures of a misfit team of professional basketball players. In the pilot, they have a hard time adjusting when a star player is added to the roster."  In the case: Dee Wallace, Dan Frazer, and Lewis Arquette.

Next up is The Further Adventures of Wally Brown from Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz, who were huge at Paramount at the time after working with Garry Marshall's comedies. . Goldberg's book says this show is based on the Coasters' song "Charlie Brown!" The titular character (Clinton Carroll) is a black teenager on the high school track team, and his white best friend is played by Peter Scolari (who showed up in a few months on Bosom Buddies). Intriguing names in the cast: Arlene Golonka, Ron Masak, and Gilbert Gottfried as "Bernstein."

Finally, veteran sitcom writer Bill Persky directed The Single Life with Barrie Youngfellow as a love advice columnist for fictional Manhattanite magazine who falls for a younger man.  Celia Weston vo-stars. This one didn't make it, but Youngfellow would turn up on ABC when the season began after getting the role of Jan in It's a Living.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Brady Bunch at King's Island

Because the episode was filmed this week in 1973, because National Roller Coaster Day was Sunday, and...just because, here are some more screencaps of The Brady Bunch at the Kings Island amusement park in Cincinnati from its season 5 episode Cincinnati Kids:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Promo Theatre: Dick Clark gets casual...and fun!

Check out this promo for Dick Clark's ill-fated Nitetime.  I love how he let us know that he's letting it all hang out by leaving the top few buttons go undone.

Rick Dees and Dick Clark is an unstoppable combination, right? Well, maybe not. The show, a sort of late-night American Bandstand, premiered in Fall 1985 and ended in early 1986 after a 26-episode run.  Below is an ad available on eBay. Note that it has the tagline Clark uses in the spot: "Weekend television has never been so much fun!"


Monday, August 17, 2020

This Day in TV History: Joe Namath's All-American Pie on ABC

40 years ago today on ABC, August 17, 1980 Joe Namath hosted a variety special called All-American Pie.  This description is from Vincent Terrace's Encyclopedia of Television Pilots:

Joe Namath hosts this variety magazine, looking at unusual occupations and lifestyles against a variety of colorful American backdrops. Highlights include a visit with a driving instructor in San Francisco; a New York coach-lawyer and his juvenile basketball team; a look at a phone answering service in Chicago; kids in Phoenix discuss ways in which they make life rough for grown-ups; and the patrons of a Youngstown, Ohio cafe talk about "perfect 10s" while the women in a local beauty salon explain what they like about men.

What can be more all-American than womanizing, hard-drinking, playboy-ing ex-jock Joe Namath!

Michael McKenna talks about the show in his book Real People and the Rise of Reality Television. He says the result seems like the producers wanted to combine Real People with That's Incredible and that it was burned off in August with little attention.

Namath would go on to join the Monday Night Football booth for ABC later in the decade, an experiment that did not end happily for either side.  Let's enjoy Joe in a more successful venture:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Top Ten #81

1) Untitled Iconic TV Personality: Hey, did you catch our Fame game bonus episode this week? How did you do?  If you haven't, no outright spoilers, but here is a clue:

2) Sam "Mayday" Malone: Guess what batty winner and BOTNS favorite is now part of the collection?

3) Motown Revue: On this day in 1985, NBC aired an episode of this short-lived summer series, and I don't remember it, but it sounds great. Smokey Robinson, other Motown greats...'nuff said?

4) Lorraine Gary: Happy birthday to one of the stars of Pray for the Wildcats, which we talked about earlier this year. Being married to Shatner, off screen or on, can't be an easy task.

5) National Roller Coaster Day: One thing comes to mind today:

6) Raymond Allen: R.I.P. to the man once called "the Foster Brooks of the ghetto" for his indelible portrayals of characters like Uncle Woody on Sanford and Son and Ned the Wino on Good Times.  By the way, that was me. I called him that the other day.

7) The Carol Burnett Show: Decades offers a weekend-long marathon. Chances you will see something like this are good:

8) Jonathan Prince: Happy birthday to the producer who formerly starred in the first-run syndie sitcom Throb. Anyone else remember this one?

9) Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken:  This story by Me-TV makes me hungry for some fried chicken.  Well, that's not difficult.  I could always go for some fried chicken.  To find out that there is a Yogi Bear's fried chicken joint, though...

10) Summer Redstone: R.I.P. to Redstone, who at one point in the late nineties, apparently owned everything.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Happy birthday, Mike Connors!

BOTNS salutes the late Mike "Touch" Connors, who starred as Mannix for  but who distinguished himself most recently in our universe by appearing in Charo:

Could Connors make a return to Battle of the Network Shows?  Hmm, maybe sooner than you think!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Fame Game #6 Video Playlist is now live!

 After listening to this week's installment of our Fame Game series of bonus episodes, click below to enjoy our official video playlist on YouTube.  You'll see game shows, dancing, glamour, and Larry Wilcox for Turtle Wax! See Jerry Seinfeld doing standup! Betty Buckley singing Memories! And Ah-nuld! All this and more when you click below:

And remember, you can see curated playlists like this one, as well as the podcast episodes themselves, right here at our official YouTube channel!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Fame Game Six

It's time for another round of everybody's favorite TV-related game The Fame Game. This time, Mike tries to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Also, as a PSA, we plea for proper treatment of produce.

Check out this episode!

Show Notes: Fame Game #6

 *Remember to listen to our latest Fame Game bonus episode before reading this if you want to play along and not be spoiled!

*Previous Fame Games can be found in the archives.


*Our Fame Game subject this week, Merv Griffin (1925-2007) was born in San Mateo, California, and lived most his life in the Golden State.

*Before we get a stream of letters, we do not actually have a surplus of Turtle Wax to give away.

*Play Your Hunch lasted 1958-1963, with Gene Rayburn and Robert Q.Lewis succeeding Griffin after he started his daytime talk show. The game show was on all 3 broadcast networks.

*Merv hosted a daytime chat show on NBC (1962-63) before starting his famous syndicated show, which aired in various time slots around the country.

*Griffin took a shot at opposing Johnny Carson with a late-night show in 1969, but he left that unsuccessful program to launch another syndicated show in 1972, and that version lasted till he retired in 1986.

*Joan Rivers was actually 8 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and was thus ineligible for military service during World War II.

*Arnold Schwarzenegger's first appearance on Griffin's show was in 1974. The actor attended Merv's funeral in 2007.

*Dance Fever aired weekly in first-run syndication from 1979 to 1987.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

National Presidential Joke Day: Johnny Carson was the man

 Let's leave politics out of this National Presidential Joke Day and go back to a time when politics didn't have all that politics.  At least, it sure seems that way compared to now.

There's a joke about the president in here somewhere, isn't there? Remember federal guidelines, ketchup being a vegetable--eh, never mind.

Monday, August 10, 2020

inside the Guide: More from June 22-28, 1975-- Popular in reruns then, not so much now

One thing I enjoy looking at in old TV Guides is the reruns. It's no surprise that the likes of Star Trek, I Love Lucy, Bonanza, and Hogan's Heroes show up a lot in the Boston-area listings in the June 22-28, 1975 edition. After all, those shows are still syndication mainstays 45 years later.

But what about the series that were popular then but are harder to find now?  Keep in mind this is just one week and one area, but it still interests me to see some of the series rerunning at the time.

The one that stands out most is The F.B.I., which was on weekdays late afternoon/early evenings on two different channels (each showing a different episode). The Quinn Martin drama aired a whopping seasons and well over 200 episodes, yet F.B.I. is mostly M.I.A. in 2020.  Warner Archive Instant was showing it, and the whole show is on DVD, but how many places have run it this century other than the departed American Life Network?

Ironside is often shown on COZI, and Shout! has released much of it on DVD, but I think it's highest-profile stint in recent years is Kill Bill appropriating its theme song. I think the 2013 Blair Underwood remake actually lowered the profile of the original. In 1975, though, again, it was on twice a day.

it should go without saying that The Jack Benny Show, no matter how many times it may be showing around the country (JLTV still has it), isn't on as much as it should be. It's no shock that so many of the black-and-white classics like Ozzie and Harriet are in the 1975 listings but not around as much now. 

It's cool to see some more "recent" shows like Room 222 and Secret Agent (AKA Danger Man) in reruns in this Guide. While it's no shock that we can see Batman, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie, I think the biggest surprise to me is an oldie that aired each day at 5:30 P.M.: Robin Hood. Has anyone seen that show in the 21st century outside of dollar DVDs and super-low-budget stations that need cheap vintage programming? This isn't meant as a critique; on the contrary, I think it's great that in '75 the Richard Greene British show had a regular spot on the dial.

In another 45 years, what shows from the 50s and 60s will still be in the public eye?

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Top Ten #80

1) Tim Conway: Shout! Factory TV added several of Conway's series this month: The Tim Conway Hour, The Tim Conway Show, and The Tim Conway Minute.  No, just kidding about that last one, but it did add Ace Crawford, Private Eye.  In tribute to the late comic, I broke up 4 times while writing this entry.

2) Rhoda: Decades celebrates the 1970s sitcom with a marathon this weekend.

3) Tenspeed and Brownshoe: Shout! also added this short-lived Stephen Cannell series, presumably as part of its streaming deal with the producer's library. Can Toma be up at some point in the future?

4) That's My Line: On this day 40 years ago, CBS premiered this Bob Barker-hosted summer program focusing on people's occupations. It became more like That's Incredible in its second season, but not nearly as successful and was canceled.

5) Wilford Brimley: R.I.P. to the gruff but gruff actor.

6) David Steinberg: Happy birthday (1942) to the Canadian comic, director, writer, and all-around wit.

7) National Hobo Week: Ok, wrong nation, maybe wrong kind of hobo but still:

8) National Book Lovers Day: One of the book-smartiest men I know must be loving today:

9) Amanda Bearse: Happy birthday (1958) to the former Marcy D'Arcy on Married with Children. Talk about a thankless role!

10) Pete Hamill: R.I.P. to the iconic New York newspaperman. Remember when "newspapermen" were a thing?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Happy birthday, Don Most!

Don Most was born on this day in 1953, so let's celebrate with a supercut of Ralph Malph saying, "I still got it!" on Happy Days:

Friday, August 7, 2020

Inside the Guide #5: The Nutty Squirrels Present (June 22-28 1975)

Welcome to a new feature here on the site, "Inside the Guide," in which we explore a vintage edition of TV Guide from the BOTNS archives.  Let's look at a cartoon that aired on WSBK 38 (Boston) according to the June 22-28 1975 edition of the mag:

As you may have guessed from all the religious programming, this listing is actually from Sunday morning, not Saturday.  It still has cartoons, though!

(Any interest in an episode about Nature World of Captain Bob?)

I confess I had no idea about Nutty Squirrels, and I have watched a lot of TV and a lot of cartoons.  Turns out they are a Chipmunks ripoff, only jazzier, using the sped-up-vocals gimmick to create music.

What's interesting to me is they actually beat Alvin and the Chipmunks to television, debuting in 1960 in first-run syndication with The Nutty Squirrels Present. The characters served as hosts for an anthology of European-made (intended for theaters) cartoons that distributor Transfilm bought and redubbed, then added bumpers for:

Unfortunately, that intro is almost all I can find from the Squirrels TV program.  This cartoon from the series is the only one I can see on YT:

The Alvin Show, apparently inspired by this show, premiered on CBS in Fall 1961.

Anyone remember The Nutty Squirrels Present?  I don't think reruns of the program made it to my area when I was growing up.

For more on this rarity, check out this excellent article by Tralfaz, which is my primary source for this post!  The author writes: Someone still had ownership of the squirrels cartoons in 1975 because they aired on WSBK-TV in Boston in a half hour slot between Popeye and Wally Gator. When the squirrels were last seen on the small screen is your guess.

(NOTE: We are retconning a few recent posts that looked at this same issue, so this is technically not #1, but #3 in this ongoing series!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Great Moments in 70s and 80s TV History: Deacon Jones meets Peter Brady

In season 2 of The Brady Bunch, music consumes the family as Bobby hammered away at the drums while Peter tried out for the glee club. The problem in The Drummer Boy (original airdate ###) is that Pete's football teammates mock him for his pursuit of singing.

Peter is not alone, though.  His coach has brought in L.A. Rams great Deacon Jones to help teach the kids, and he takes exception to the wise-ass kid's comments.

you think this guy can't play football because he sings?"

the kids says singing is for sissies--canary stuff.

Deacon stares at him and says, "I sing. Am I a sissy?" and things get really quiet for a second.

This is one of the great moments in the show's run.  In tone, it's not all that different from Bobby DeNiro's, "I have nipples, Greg. Can you milk ME?" in meet the Parents. For a split-second, though, this brady Bunch moment is even more tense.

Oh, let me tell you, I really wanted ol' Deac to give that kid a patented head slap, but instead he talks about how guys can sing and be real sportsmen.  He and Coach mention guys like Rosey Grier, Joe Namath, and Joe Frazier as examples.

The real lesson here is not that Deacon Jones can sing and still be a tough guy. No, the real lesson is that Deacon Jones can wear these pants and still be a tough guy.

Monday, August 3, 2020

This Day in TV History: Christmas in August on NBC

Where do you stand on Christmas episodes running out of season? Personally, I like everything shown in order in syndication, yet I might skip over a Yuletide installment if I'm watching a series on video or in streaming.

NBC didn't mind having "Christmas in August" 40 years ago today, and I bet they even ran a promo touting it with a Casey Kasem voice-over hyping "Christmas Watch," a rerun of CHIPS.

Then again, that episode stood out as the only such rerun on that night. Bookending it were part 1 of "The Omega Connection" on The Wonderful World of Disney and another encore presentation of part something of the miniseries From Here to Eternity.

Perhaps NBC thought people would enjoy revisiting the CHIPS and getting some Christmas cheer.  Perhaps they had another holiday episode of the series in the works and figured they might as well rerun this one now.  

Or maybe they just didn't care. After all, 1980 was a pretty rough year for NBC.  Anyway, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Top Ten #79

1) Ted Danson: What a week for the TV Icon and Batty winner: He scored an Emmy nomination and then was the subject of our YouTube Spotlight yesterday!

2) The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World: This 1977 Wonderful World of Disney episode may not be the highest-profile addition on Disney Plus this summer, but it should be. You get a great look at the theme park in its youth, plus a wacky (and sometimes, let's face it, appalling) variety special featuring the then-Mousekeeters, headed by Lisa Whelchel.  Al this plus Jo Anne Worley and Ronnie Schell AND original commercials? And let's not even talk about the Pooh Polka. Seriously, let's not.

You can't tell me this didn't drive more subs than did Hamilton. OK, you can tell me, but I won't listen.

3) The Odd Couple: Decades celebrates the sitcom this weekend with a marathon. It started in 1970, it is one of my favorites, it is on DVD...Hey, we oughta talk about it on the podcast sometime!

4) NBC's free app:  I give props to NBC for not pulling all of its programming off this and moving it to Peacock...yet.  Buck Rogers, Punky Brewster, The Equalizer...all are still free (with ads, natch) on here.  Unlike Peacock, it's on Roku and Amazon, too.

5) Coloring Book Day: Celebrate by getting Horseshack's scarf just so:

6) Mark-Paul Go--Uh, the guy who played Zack Morris: His new podcast, Zack to the Future, finds the star watching the original series one episode at a time--and I did not write rewatch because he never saw an episode until now! The first episode indicates a fun spirit about the whole thing.  Finally, here's your excuse to do that Saved by the Bell rewatch you have been delaying!

7) Carroll O'Connor: The late actor's birthday is today, and, yeah, he had a rich career with many roles, but I am still fighting the urge to call someone a meathead.

8) Sisters Day: Who should we celebrate on this special day? How about Pinky and Leather Tuscadero? Whoa! (picture from The Retroist)

9) 25,000 Pyramid: On TV Confidential with Ed Robertson, Ilene Graff mentioned that you really had to work to get on Pyramid.  If you passed that test (yes, a test!), other shows would line up to get you because they knew you were good.

10) Michael Douglas: Congratulations to the star of The Streets of San Francisco for his Emmy nomination.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

YouTube Spotlight: Sam Malone now pitching...Cheers the TV show

Yesterday we unveiled the video playlist for our new bonus episode, and one of the standout clips is this promo for Cheers on WGN in the 1980s:

I love that it's a promo for a show featuring a character from the show telling us about the show. And what a job he does, too! Someone told Sam Malone to emphasize that "5 times a week" talking point, so he sure gets the message across.