Thursday, December 30, 2021
Bowl season just ain't what it used to be
PSA: Mini-Munsters is leaving Tubi this weekend
If you are interested in watching The Mini-Munsters movie we talked about this past season, you may want to act now! Tubi's license of it expires this weekend, and it isn't renewing it, one can assume based on it including it on its "leaving soon" list.
It's not the best Munsters you can see, but it's a cool little piece of the franchise's history, and the full version wasn't available on YouTube when we did the podcast (the one we found was a truncated rerun version). So head to Tubi and see it for free before Saturday!
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Happy birthday, Ted Danson!
Today we honor one of our favorite on-screen performers, Batty-winning Ted Danson. Not only was he a star on Cheers, but he has somehow managed to have key roles (lead and otherwise) in multiple other series since then.
Happy birthday to Ted Danson, AKA Mayday Malone!
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Promo Theatre: Can KITT bust out Michael Knight?
Monday, December 27, 2021
This Day in TV History: Gunsmoke celebrates the great December 27 holiday
At what point are you "done" with Christmas? And by that I mean the annual viewing of the holiday specials. You might leave up the tree and the lights till after New Year's Day, but are you going to keep watching seasonal specials and episodes after the big day has passed? I find it a bit jarring when radio stations turn off the switch and just stop playing holiday music, especially this past weekend when the day after is a Sunday anyway and people are still in the mood. But what about Christmas television?
50 years ago tonight, CBS led off its Monday night lineup with Gunsmoke, as usual, but on this December 27, it was "P.S. Murry Christmas." The story involved a group of orphans including Willie Aames, Erin Moran, and Jodie Foster! It sounds very Christmas-like, but why run it on a night with no other holiday programming? The rest of the CBS lineup consisted of Here's Lucy, The Doris Day Show (regular episodes), and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.
What's odd to me is that CBS ran this one on December 27 instead of the week before the holiday. A week earlier, December 20, a rerun of the show from the previous season fit the same slot. I guess maybe everyone figured, hey, Gunsmoke can do whatever it want.
As for me, I am done with the Christmas viewing till next Thanksgiving, but not because I am done with the holiday. I just need to set a barrier for myself so I can move on and catch up on other programming...including some stuff I got for Christmas! So, sorry Gunsmoke "P.S. Murry Christmas," I won't be seeing you tonight.
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Top Ten #157
Saturday, December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas from Battle of the Network Shows!
Friday, December 24, 2021
Power Rankings: Networks/Channels by Christmasness
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Season 9 Batty Awards By the Numbers
Today I'm taking one last look (uh, for now) at the Season 9 Battys. I thought the list of Batty wins by show was interesting:
Rockford Files: 5
Fantasy Island: 2
SCTV: 2 (NOTE: Not counting non-competitive categories Genius Award and the all-SCTV Best SCTV Cast Member Award)
Rudolph and Frosty: 1
The Master: 1
The Munsters: 1
Killdozer, Soul Train, Baseball Bunch, Thundarr = 0
(The PSA episode earned 3 Battys for various spots we covered)
Also, I want to acknowledge the comments on Tuesday's post pointing out the biggest upset on the show may have been Battlestar winning for its theme song (the only category it won!) over iconic tunes like Rockford and Munsters. I think the one thing people are passionate about above all else is theme songs!
Finally, after the show, Mike thought of one other snub, a massive one that makes me question the sanity of the Blue Ribboners: C-3PO and R2-D2 could have been--many might think should have been--considered for Outstanding Non-Human for their work in the PSA episode. Our apologies to the two legendary performers.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Batty Chatter: SNUBS and SURPRISES
Monday, December 20, 2021
Season 9 Batty Awards: In Memoriam
Jim Crockett Jr.
Clarence Williams III
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Top Ten #156
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Season 9 Battys: Complete list of winners and nominees
OUTSTANDING DOPE: Robert Webber (Rockford Files), Robert Walden (Rockford Files), Mel (Alice), Lt. Chapman (Rockford Files), Zontar (SCTV), Sarott (Thundarr), Max/Timothy Van Patten (The Master)
OUTSTANDING VILLAIN: Winterbolt (Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July), Cylons (Battlestar Galactica), Murdock (Mini-Munsters), Satan (Fantasy Island), Killdozer (Killdozer), Voltak (Thundarr), Robert Pine (The Master)
OUTSTANDING NON-HUMAN: Rudolph (Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July), Frosty (Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July), Herman (Munsters), Grandpa (Munsters), Killdozer, The Chicken (Baseball Bunch), Timer (PSAs)
THEME SONG (LYRICS): Alice, Baseball Bunch, Soul Train
THEME SONG (INSTRUMENTAL): The Master, SCTV, Rockford Files, Battlestar Galactica, Thundarr, Munsters, Fantasy Island
OUTSTANDING SONG: "Who Broke My Window," (PSAs) "Work It Out," (PSAs); Emotions “Best of My Love,” Maze “While I'm Alone” (Soul Train); Don't Let the Parade Pass You By," "You're Everything I Ever Wanted," "No Bed of Roses" (Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July)
LISTENER AWARD #1: Outstanding SCTV cast member: John Candy, Rick Moranis, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, Bonar Bain
LISTENER AWARD #2: Outstanding catchphrase: Kiss my grits (Alice), He got blowed up real good (SCTV), De plane, boss (Fantasy Island), Stow it (Alice) I'm Don Cornelius wishing you love, peace, and soul (Soul Train), Lords of light and Demon dogs (Thundarr)
(Note: voting ended in a tie, so the RNG determined the winner)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE: Gretchen Corbett (Rockford Files), Polly Holliday (Alice) Beth Howland (Alice), Mabel King (The Master), Carol Lynley (Fantasy Island), Arlene Golonka (Fantasy Island),
OUTSTANDING FEMALE: Linda Lavin (Alice), Yvonne DeCarlo (Munsters), Princess Ariel (Thundarr), Andrea Martin (SCTV), Anne Lockhart (Battlestar Galactica), Laurette Spang (Battlestar Galactica)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE: Joe Santos (Rockford Files), Noah Beery (Rockford Files) Vic Tayback (Alice), Herve (Fantasy Island), Carl Betz (Killdozer), Adam West (Fantasy Island), Herb Jefferson (Battlestar Galactica), Al Lewis (Munsters) (Note: determined by RNG)
OUTSTANDING MALE: James Garner (Rockford Files), Lee Van Cleef (The Master), Fred Gwynne (Munsters), Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island), Client Walker (Killdozer), Lorne Greene (Battlestar Galactica), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica, Dirk Benedict (Battlestar Galactica),
BEST EPISODE: SCTV “Zontar” Alice "Mel's Recession." Baseball Bunch “Chet Lemon,” The Master “Fat Tuesday,” Soul Train "Frankie Beverly & Maze/The Emotions," The Munsters "The Treasure of Mockingbird Heights," Fantasy Island "The Devil and Mandy Breem/Instant Millionaire," Thundarr "City of Evil,” Battlestar Galactica "The Hand of God," Rockford Files "The Oracle Wore Cashmere"
BEST SHOW: Rockford Files, SCTV, Alice, Baseball Bunch, The Master, Soul Train, The Munsters, Fantasy Island, Thundarr, Battlestar Galactica
ROBERT PINE GENIUS AWARD: Joe
Friday, December 17, 2021
R.I.P. Merle Kitty
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Season 9 BATTY Awards
Live on tape from Jim Rockford's trailer in beautiful Malibu, California, the Season 9 BATTY Awards honor the best from season 9 in categories ranging from outstanding non-human and best facial hair to outstanding lead actor and actress and best show! Join us for the excitement as we determine the winners on air!
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
This Day in TV History: You're gonna have so much Christmas, it's gonna be coming out your chimney
Monday, December 13, 2021
Murder Monday: Eddie Albert is old in "The Body Politic"
That's the big takeaway for me from the fourth-season finale of Murder, She Wrote: Eddie Albert is old. He was old. You know what I mean. And what's wrong with that? MSW is a show for all the gray panthers out there, and they deserve a great performance like the one Eddie gives in "The Body Politic."
See, part of the appeal of the performance is Albert's age. He is a wealthy industrialist whose wife (Shirley Jones, not as young as she was on Partridge Family but not as old as Eddie) is running for the Senate. the highlight of the episode is when George Grizzard's sleazy newsman/talk show host baits him at a news conference (there are rumors swirling about Jones' fidelity) and Albert lunges after him, trying to kick his tail. It's great to see senior citizen rage every now and then on a show that can be pretty sedate about murder.
Just for the record, here are the approximate ages of everyone in the cast when this episode premiered in May 1988:
James Sloyan: 48
OK, Sloyan is a bit younger, but I include him because his turn as an oily campaign manager (There are some who are not) is another highlight. Sloyan wowed me as the law enforcement figure in Season 3's "Corned Beef and Carnage," so it was a treat to see him again.
Here's the other big highlight: the utter absurdity of the plot device that gets Jessica involved in a Senate campaign that leads to MURDER! Jessica happens to be visiting Jones' Kathleen Lane (all we hear is that they have known each other 17 years) right when the speechwriter has left. So naturally, Lane pleads with acclaimed mystery novelist Fletcher to take over...you know, just for a while for a few key speeches. Have I mentioned this is the week before the primary vote?
Not everything in this episode works. A lot of shots at the media fall flat, and the jabs at politics are rather tame. There are interesting hints that Lane may actually be a little more less faithful than we think, though, which adds some spice. And Albert, though looking all of his 82, delivers a fun and feisty performance and has some great lines.
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Top Ten #155
1) John Denver and Rowlf: One of the best things I saw this week was a simple yet heartfelt duet these two performed on 1978's John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together.
2) Lorne Michaels: The SNL grand poobah was honored at the Kennedy Center last week. I haven't seen any of it, but over/under on number of attempted imitations of him is 8.
3) Lisa Whelchel: Based on the buzz about her appearance on Live in Front of a Studio Audience, I believe she could get 3 or 4 Hallmark movies out of that spot. But some good things could happen to her, too!
4) National Ding-a-Ling Day: Not this:
5) 'Tis the Season to Be Ollie: Come for the opportunity to view a rare holiday special with original commercials. Stay for the crazy disco sequence:
6) Perry Como's French-Canadian Christmas: Now, that's a specific kind of Christmas! This special aired 40 years ago tonight on ABC:
7) Hess: Remember when those toy trucks were everywhere? I think they were all over the place when I was growing up, and we didn't have those stations in our area.
8) Bob Barker: 98 years old today!
9) COZI CONDENSED BOLD: It's still showcased on the network's home page! I wonder if it has a Christmas episode. I'm hoping they run a marathon soon.
10) Michael Nesmith: R.I.P. One of the coolest things of its time was the Monkees revival and how wide-ranging it was.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Happy National Brownie Day!
We could mark the occasion with a Duncan Hines commercial, or we could remind you of this:
Sunday, December 5, 2021
Top Ten #144
1) HBO: James Andrew Miller's new oral history has everyone buzzing about the network and asking the question, "How many pages does 1st and Ten get?"
2) International Ninja Day: Time for another marathon of The Master! Do you think max will get The Master a gift? Probably a tie. Yeah, I bet he got him a tie.
3) Live Before a Studio Audience airs Tuesday on ABC: forget Jennifer Aniston as Blair. I have my eye on how Ann Dowd is gonna play Edna.
4) Walt Disney: Walt turns 120 today (insert joke about cryogenics). I think we can all agree that the best way t honor his legacy is to put the 1978 Spider-Man series on Disney Plus.
5) The American West of John Ford: This special premiered on CBS 50 years ago tonight and featured John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Jimmy Stewart. I presume it went with the legend. By the way, how come John Wayne never had a sitcom?
6) Connie Needham: Happy birthday to the former Elizabeth from Eight Is Enough.
7) Kojak: One of the best videos I saw all week was Brick Mantooth's look at vintage Kojak toys! There's my Christmas list all sorted, then.
8) Miami Vice and Knight Rider: The two series both debut on Peacock this month, with the former joining Roku Channel's lineup as well and the latter also appearing on Netflix, of all places.
9) COZI CONDENSED BOLD: It's still featured at the bottom of the COZI homepage! This series is the runaway hit of the year!
10) R.I.P. Eddie Mekka: