Tuesday, November 30, 2021
This Day in TV History: Brian's Song premiers on ABC
Monday, November 29, 2021
Dream Theater: Arrested by Norman Fell
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Top Ten #143
1) Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: The new TCM documentary King of Cool does a fine job covering Dean's lengthy career, but it gives scant mention to the roasts. To compensate, you can listen to our podcast on the subject.
Jimmie Walker liked the show!
2) David Cassidy: Man Undercover: The latest short-lived TV series added to Crackle's roster of short-lived TV series!
3) Knight Rider: Check this out, on the way from Super 7. It's an action figure for those who know the real star of the show was not the car, but the Hoff.
4) Alan King's Thanksgiving Special: This premiered November 25, 1980, and was just uploaded by Fuzzy Memories. It's slow going for a while despite BOTNS fave DVP, but the last full segment, in which King mocks the Fall TV lineup, is great.
6) Earth II: The ABC TV movie premiered this night in 1971, confusing half the country who thought they had missed Earth I and the other half who thought it was about the Justice Society of America.
7) French Toast Day: It better include sticks!
8) Automan: I haven't yet heard the Retroist's new podcast devoted to the show, but I am betting he doesn't do a deep dive into the Laura Branigan show like we did!
9) Soul Train: The record for the longest Soul Train line was broken last week. Just when we think humanity has reached physical performance, courageous individuals like these come along and push our species beyond its assumed limitations.
10) Ahmad proposes to Phylicia: Today is the 35th anniversary of the most romantic moment in the history of...NBC's pro football coverage:
Saturday, November 27, 2021
This Day in TV History: Darkroom premieres on ABC
Friday, November 26, 2021
Things for which I am thankful
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving from Battle of the Network Shows!
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
This Day in TV History: Thanksgiving specials on CBS
Monday, November 22, 2021
Happy birthday, Rodney Dangerfield!
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Top Ten #142
1) Battlestar Galactica: With me getting the game and also reading a book about the series, could this show be gaining momentum heading into Batty season?
2) MASH: I read on Sitcoms Online that ME-TV is replacing Columbo on Sunday nights in part with MASH. It's great that a national outlet is willing to take a chance and give more exposure to such an underseen little gem.
3) Love Boat cruise: If this doesn't get people back to cruises, what will?
4) COZI CONDENSED BOLD: The hottest show in reruns stays in the Top Ten because it's still featured on the Cozi homepage.
5) Riptide: Decades is running a marathon this weekend. Man, I think this is shown even less than MASH.
6) Norma Rae: 40 years ago tonight, Cassie Yates took on Sally Field's title role in this unsold pilot based on the award-winning motion picture. They really didn't like it. They really didn't like it.
7) [SPOILER] shot J.R.: The nation learned the identity of J.R. Ewing's would-be killer on this date in 1980. The Dallas installment beat The Fugitive finale to become the highest-rated television episode of all time, lasting as such until the finale of that obscure, rare comedy MASH.
8) Tweety: A Tale of Two Kitties, released November 21, 1942, features the first appearance of Tweety Bird, so we can celebrate his 80th birthday today. I STILL want Sylvester to destroy him, though.
9) National Stuffing Day: Personally I think it's one of the most disgusting Thanksgiving foods, and I was bombarded with commercials for it all year round:
10) R.I.P. Gavan O'Herlihy: Farewell, Chuck Cunningham...again.
Dave Frishberg, writer of many memorable Schoolhouse Rock songs:
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Batty chatter: What I'm hearing
Friday, November 19, 2021
Happy birthday, Meg Ryan!
Thursday, November 18, 2021
It's the Great American Smokeout!
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
On the Road: Pasadena Toy Expo Part 3: The BSG game
One of my finds at that toy show I attended recently is this vintage Battlestar Galactica board game, in great condition and complete:
We have not been able to play this game yet, but here are my first impressions: This looks so generic that I can't help but think there was an existing structure that Parker Brothers altered to "fit" BSG. I doubt this is much fun to play (though I want to play it)!
Yet the box is cool. It is an officially licensed product. It's unfortunate that no images of the show's characters appear anywhere in the packaging, components, or game board, but at least there are Vipers and Cylon Raiders.
Next up: The continuation of my quest for an elusive Galactica 1980 game.
Monday, November 15, 2021
Murder Monday: Episode 4-21: Deadpan
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Top Ten #141
Saturday, November 13, 2021
This Day in TV History: Duel and Strike Force
Friday, November 12, 2021
On the Road: Pasadena Toy Expo part 2: What did I actually get?
On Monday, I talked about the Pasadena Toy Expo last weekend in Maryland and "the ones that got away," better described as "the ones that were too expensive for me to even consider if I wanted to go home with more than one thing." Today, let me show off some of the toys I did get. Note that members of our Facebook group saw some of these pics earlier this week!
First up, "Don't Call Me Robby" Robot from Lost in Space in talking ornament form along with an unnamed Dalek. The latter does not talk but does have the awesome plunger thing that is an essential feature for any Dalek.
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Happy Veterans Day!
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
This Day in TV History: The First All-American Ultra Quiz airs in 1981
You may be asking yourself, what the heck is The First All-American Ultra Quiz? Well, I can tell you this: There isn't a second.
NBC aired part one of this special 40 years ago tonight, with the follow-up coming a week later. It's an adaptation of a Japanese format. Look at what this preview clip promises: A THOUSAND people, locations all around the world, and DECAPITATION for the losers?
Dan Rowan and Dick Martin hosted this show, which started in Los Angeles, featured segments from multiple locations, and ended with a live segment in the second episode. A summary on IMDB indicates it's only 932 contestants, who are then whittled down to 84 at the game's beginning at Dodger Stadium. Hey, false advertising, NBC!
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Happy birthday, Lou Ferrigno!
Monday, November 8, 2021
On the Road: Pasadena Toy Expo in Maryland
Sunday, November 7, 2021
Top Ten #140
1) The Fonz: Henry Winkler is auctioning off one of the iconic jackets his Happy Days character wore. Wait, isn't there one at the Smithsonian, at least one other that was auctioned before...How many of these danged things are there?
2) Daylight Savings Time: We'd never be so trite as to suggest you spend the extra hour listening to one of our past episodes.
Why don't you go for the bonus episodes so you can listen to TWO of them?
3) Crazy Like a Fox: Crackle added a batch of the series for November, but although all are labeled "Season 1," it's a mix of episodes from both seasons in no apparent order whatsoever. How can new fans appreciate the show if they can't follow the intricate continuity from the beginning?
(For the record, I mocked this show when it was on and never watched it, but Adult Rick thinks, hey, Jack Warden? I should give this one a shot.)
4) ESPN Classic: ESPN is now finally pulling the plug in an official way after letting the once-great channel die for over a decade. Bring back Classic Sports Network!
5) Michael Sloan: He has a new book from Bear Manor Media about a revival of Kung Fu, so naturally we ask, where's the book on The Master?
6) Welcome Back Kotter: My wife and I went to a toy show yesterday, and somehow one of the most represented BOTNS-era programs was WBK. For example, someone had these:
7) Bob Hope: 50 years ago tonight, NBC aired the comedian's latest special, which co-starred Jack Benny, the Osmonds, and John Wayne. Wayne appeared in an All in the Family spoof!
8) 12 Angry Men: Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men by Phil Rosenzweig, a new book spotlighted on the TV Confidential podcast, talks about this seminal work. Mike, this is a clear sign we should continue our longtime bit of creating new juries with various themes!
9) George Wendt and John Ratzenberger: One of my favorite YouTube uploads of the week is this compilation of their segments cohosting a 1985 episode of Friday night Videos:
10) R.I.P. William Lucking: He has prominent roles in two episodes we talked about on the show: Voyagers (as Babe Ruth!) and The A-Team.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Rack Toys: My 5 favorites from the great new book by Brian Heiler
Yesterday I shared my praise of the reissue of Brian Heiler's great Rack Toys book. Today I list my favorite items shown inside its pages. If I had to narrow it down to 5 favorites from the book, I'd choose these ones.
Note that I am considering only toys featured in the "TV and Movie Superstars" chapter, and series like Space: 1999 and Josie and the Pussycats are spotlighted in other parts of the book. You have to check them out in the pages of Rack Toys to believe some of these (and please do get the book to see the pictures):
*Mr. Smith Money Set: This is the single most inexplicable thing in the chapter, and of course I love it. I assume someone thought the notorious flop might score with the kiddie set. In case you don't recall Mr. Smith, here you go:
Happy National Play Outside Day (Redux)
(Note: This was supposed to publish Saturday, November 6, but due to a technical error--I botched it--it ran Wednesday morning. Please accept my apologies and enjoy National Play Outside Day on its true milestone date, now with a bonus embedded commercial.)
Friday, November 5, 2021
Book review: Rack Toys by Brian Heiler
Thursday, November 4, 2021
This Day in TV History: The Fall Guy premieres on ABC
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
What's "new old" on streaming video in November?
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
This Day in TV History: Born to Be Sold (1981)
Monday, November 1, 2021
My Halloween TV watching last week