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Saturday, April 30, 2022

YouTube Spotlight: Mister Rogers Meets Aresnio Hall

One of the clips in this week's video playlist is just a little outside our usual timeframe, but we hope you forgive us for including a bit of Mister Rogers Meets Arsenio Hall, which was dramatized in the Tom hanks feature film a couple years ago:



This was an event almost on par with Abbott & Costello Meeting Captain Kidd, with The Bowery Boys Meeting the Monsters, dare I say even with Kiss Meeting the Phantom of the Park!

You might expect this to be played as a gag (as I sort of just did), but in fact Arsenio gives Fred Rogers all due respect. Hey, the Neighborhood featured all kinds of pairings that might be considered unusual and made everyone feel united without losing their uniqueness. After the initial joke, the two sit down and have a serious conversation, and Rogers doesn't seem out of place.

I think this is a really cool clip (originally airing in January 1993) that shows both men at their best. Maybe it's not so unusual when you consider that several years earlier, Rogers described himself as a cross between Albert Schweitzer and Arsenio Hall!

Friday, April 29, 2022

Power Rankings Friday: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood!

This week we celebrate our latest podcast episode by ranking the denizens of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood! Note that some of the show favorites like Chef Brockett, Mr. McFeely, and even ol' Freddie Ro himself are not eligible since this list focuses on the "fictional" part of the program and the characters who were only seen in that portion:

1) X the Owl: I said on the podcast that X was the most appealing character in the Make-Believe. I like the way he looks and his enigmatic nature. Is he a representative of the undefinable crossover between knowledge and imagination?

Or maybe he's just an owl. But he's cool. And I love that his name is just "X."

2) King Friday: Mike once described His Majesty's nature as "mercurial," and that says it best, though Friday is rather subdued in the episode we discuss on the podcast. Let's be honest here: Friday is sometimes, well, a bit of a jerk. Does the land of Make-Believe even need a king? What is his lineage, anyway?

I'm just asking questions here. As a character, King Friday shakes things up and makes good television, so I don't want to see him go anywhere.

3) Lady Aberlin: Her interactions with Daniel Tiger remind me of what they used to say about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: She gave him class, and he gave her broad philosophical questions that were impossible to resolve in a single 10-minute segment.

4) Handyman Negri: He's just so darned amiable that you got to love him. And besides, I could use someone to help with some grout repair.

Do they even have grout in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe?

5) Henrietta Pussycat: Her speech patters, meow, can be a little, meow, annoying, meow, yet also, meow, kind of fascinating. Meow.

Not ranked but also receiving consideration: Neighbor Aber (mainly just for the name, I admit), the controversial Lady Elaine, Queen Sarah, Henrietta, Prince Tuesday, Daniel Tiger

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Show Notes: Episode 10-2: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

*The video playlist for this episode is now live! See promos, clips, and Fred Rogers in action, plus SCTV,  Ben Franklin, and Wayland Flowers & Madam! All this and more when you click below:

Remember to hit our official YouTube page for past episodes of the podcast and episode-specific video playlists for each one!

*Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired for 31 seasons and over 900 episodes according to Wikipedia. It had various pre-incarnations before becoming a national daily broadcast on NET (later PBS) in 1968.

*New episodes lasted until 2001, most taped at PBS member station WQED in Pittsburgh. The series took a production break for several years in the mid Seventies.

*Episodes are streaming various places, including a rotating assortment each week at the series' official site at https://www.misterrogers.org/.

*Props to Johnny Costa, who Mike mentions on the podcast. Costa was the show's longtime musical director and performed much of the music in the episodes.

*Morgan Neville's documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor premiered in theaters in 2018, the 50th anniversary of the debut on PBS. That same year, PBS stations aired Mister Rogers: It's You I Like, an hourlong presentation hosted by Michael Keaton.

*According to this site, the episode we discuss, "What Is Love?" is numbered 1309 and premiered Thursday, April 26, 1973 on most PBS stations.

*Elsie Neal, the proprietor of the craft shop, should not be confused with actress Elise Neal.

*Warning to sensitive listeners/viewers: Here is the scary PBS logo indent, also contained (but just barely) in our playlist this week:

We feel that by sharing this clip and confronting it, we can all grow and get past our crippling fear of it.

*Mike and I think you're are special, and we love you just the way you are (and not just because you listen, but we appreciate that, too)/

Ep. 10-2: Mister Rogers' Neighorhood

This week, we once again cater to the 2-11-year-old demographic and discuss the venerable child "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Mister Rogers takes on Speedy Delivery duties for a vacationing Mr. McFeely and plays with elaborate masks. In the Neighborhood of Make Believe, Lady Aberlin wrestles with the eternal question "What is love?"

#podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #misterrogers #misterrogersneighborhood #fredrogers



Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

This Day (yesterday) in TV History: The end of two eras on ABC

On  April 25, 1992, 30 years ago tonight--er, last night--two memorable sitcoms ended their runs on ABC, proving that the network was committed to destroying the American family!


OK, not really. To be honest, if you want to know what we thought of these programs--well, let's just say in 1992 they weren't part of my regular rotation (You can listen to our Growing Pains episode here, and as for Boss, we haven't gotten to it yet). Millions of viewers did watch and enjoy them, though, so it was a big deal for the shows, even past their primes, to end on the same night. Each show got a two-episode finale, with Boss actually concluding a 3-parter that began the week before.

Growing Pains had 7 seasons and 166 episodes, while Who's Da Boss? ran 8 seasons and 196! That's a whole lot of television history ABC said goodbye to 30 years ago. Each series had been moved to Saturday night by now, and the big dogs in the family sitcom category on the network aired Tuesdays: Top 10 hits Full House, Home Improvement, Roseanne, and Coach. Hmm, maybe ABC was committed to destroying the American family.




Sunday, April 24, 2022

Top Ten #174: Special "Season 10 is here!" Edition

1) The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town: Our new season kicks off this week with the 1977 Rankin-Bass special. Hey, I don't know about you, but I haven't even taken down my Easter tree yet.


2) Fred Astaire: His lauded performance as Kruger in that special may have him in early contention for a Batty, making him a candidate for BEGOT status--Wait, Fred never won a competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, nor Tony? What wayward timeline be this?

3) Earth Day: It was Friday, and so I still haven't taken down my Earth Day tree. Let's take a look at a classic PSA:


Hey, it was either that or a Captain Planet clip.

4) Chopper One: The short-lived Dirk Benedict series is now on Crackle!


5) Apollo 16: 50 years ago, Apollo was in space. Uh, not Apollo from Apollo and Starbuck, but the NASA mission.


6) Kingston Confidential: We talked about this one yesterday, and now I want to see it! There just aren't enough TV shows about crusading investigative journalists turned media moguls turned crime solvers! (Thanks to the Classic Film and TV Archive for the pic)


7) J.D. Cannon: Today would have been the 100th birthday of the prolific actor who was in everything but also was Chief Clifford in McCloud.


8) The Mysterious Powers of Man: 40 years ago on this date, Richard Basehart narrated this ABC special on the paranormal. I would love to see a narrate-off between him and Leonard Nimoy!

9) Dr. Strange: The 1978 TV movie we discuss here is coming to a new Blu-Ray from Shout!, but get it quickly because it's a limited edition and is liable to vanish to the astral plane faster than you can say "Peter Hooten's mustache."


10) Robert Morse: R.I.P. In addition to a distinguished career on stage and screen, he was a big voice performer, starring in The First Easter Rabbit among many other productions. One of his more unusual credits is voicing Howler on Pound Puppies.



Saturday, April 23, 2022

YouTube Spotlight: More on Kingston Confidential

Yes, Kingston Confidential has but a tangential connection to this week's podcast subject--an episode of the Raymond Burr drama series happened to air the same night The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town premiered--but we're spotlighting it anyway because it is an interesting failed effort.


There is very little footage of this short-lived 1977 NBC series on YouTube. The two-hour pilot, Kingston: The Power Play, appeared in 1976 and led to the 13-episode program. Set in San Francicso, the show features Burr as an investigative journalist turned broadcast/publishing magnate R.B. Kingston, a man not content to be a media mogul. No, he solves crimes "in his spare time!"

We didn't mention it on the podcast, but also in the cast is BOTNS fave Art Hindle as young reporter Tony Marino! Pamela Hensley (another reporter) and Nancy Olson (the COO of the company) are other regulars. Harry and Wally's Favorite TV Shows gives it a mere *.5 out of **** and says producer David Victor was more successful with medical shows Marcus Welby and Dr. Kildare.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Power Rankings: Episode 10-1: The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town

This week, let's rank the top players in the 1977 Rankin-Bass special The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town, the subject of our season opener this week.  As much as I enjoy the program, it's not rich in vivid characters, in my opinion, so we will limit it to the top 5. Remember, this is based on if these characters competed on a grass field in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1) S.D. Kluger: We rave about Fred Astaire's performance in the podcast, and can you blame us? Kluger steals the show by not only narrating, but performing the best songs AND providing a baffling but fun conundrum by being the only one in Kidtown who (we know) ages.

2) Gadzooks: He starts as a cliched beast in the wild but reveals glimpses of his potential when he gets the classy Easter threads. The romantic subplot with him is discarded, and Gadzooks is underutilized, but I don't blame him for the creative decisions to focus on more Easter-y elements of the story.

3) Sunny: Despite my hang-up about his name, I do appreciate what the bunny himself brings to this special. Some of his quirks are a little bizarre, but his "how to eat an egg" scene tops anything in screen history outside Cool Hand Luke. And of course Over Easy.

4) Chugs: Talk about "can-do" spirit! His inspiring grit and determination makes a perfect combination with Kluger's smooth motivational singing. Chugs is a reminder that the special isn't all jellybeans and hard-boiled eggs. It's about ganas--desire!

5) Burl Ives: Yes, Burl Ives, who isn't a "character" in The Easter Bunny, nor even a performer in it. He still looms large over the whole special. There is his previous performance as Sam the Snowman that makes us yearn for a team-up with Kluger. Also, his underrated turn in The First Easter Rabbit is a key link from that Rankin-Bass effort to this more ambitious Animagic production. "There's That Rabbit" and Ives might have made this an all-time classic.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Show Notes: Episode 10-1: Holiday Special: The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town

*Happy Easter and all of its surrounding festivities and landmarks! Hope you had a good Easter Sunday whether you celebrate the holiday or not.

*Before we get into the Show Notes, know that the YouTube playlist for this episode is already live! Click below to enjoy clips, promos, and commercials. You will see glimpses of some of the other shows that were on the night this special premiered (Kingston Confidential, anyone?), vintage Easter ads, and you just might find the original Rankin-Bass special we discuss...while it lasts! All kinds of Easter cheer just by clicking below, or you can hit our official YouTube page for all of our past episodes and playlists for each one of them!


*Rankin-Bass' third Easter-themed special, The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town, premiered Wednesday, April 6, 1977 on the ABC broadcast network. 

*As of this writing, the special is streaming free with ads on Tubi.

*Here Comes Peter Cottontail premiered April 4, 1971 on ABC; and The First Easter Rabbit premiered April 9, 1976 on NBC. And we might as well include Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, too! That one premiered December 13, 1970 on ABC.

*Here are pics Mike found of the Paas toys he mentions on the podcast. He believes these are from 1979.



Don't read anything into the fact that I put the chicken before the egg!

*The 1977 CBS TV movie Something for Joey stars Marc Singer as Penn State running back John Cappelletti, winner of the 1973 Heisman Trophy in college football. He dedicated the award to his little brother Joey, who had leukemia. Geraldine Page, Jeffrey Lynas, Linda Kelsey, and a young Steve Guttenberg co-star, with Paul Picerni (The Untouchables) as Joe Paterno. This movie was the highest-rated program in prime time the week it (and The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town) aired!

*Barbara Walters never did land the Easter Bunny for an interview.

*Fritz the Cat hit theaters in 1972. Skip "Sunny" Hinnant returned for 1974's The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, which did not involve creator Robert Crumb nor original director Ralph Bakshi.

*The First Easter Rabbit is worth watching if only for Burl Ives' rendition of "Where's that Rabbit?"

*Kidville's economy still awaits a thorough academic analysis.

*Hallelujah H. Jones is voiced by Ron Marshall, who also plays Mr. Thistlewhite in Year Without a Santa Claus.

*"Big Rock Candy Mountain" is a folk song originally recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock, AKA Haywire Mac.

*Thanks for joining us this week, and stay with us for lots more to come here in our tenth season of the podcast!

Ep. 10-1: The Easter Bunny is Comin' To Town

In our Season 10 opener, Sunny The Easter Bunny braves a grouchy bear, a grouchy duchess, and more to spread joy to the dismal Town. Yet again, Rankin-Bass manage to consolidate and convolute holiday traditions into a single mythology, and yet again Rick and Mike do their best to make sense of it all.

#podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #easter #easterbunny #fredastaire #rankinbass #holidayspecial #seasonpremiere

 



Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

And now, a word from their sponsor: Magic in the air...and on the road!

Doug Henning was one of the big stars of the BOTNS era, but his untimely death may have contributed to the lack of awareness of him today. Of course he played a big part in the original Night of 100 Stars. Here he is for Plymouth Voyager:



Is it really a magic wagon? Can't we just pretend? And don't we need a little more magic and wonder in our lives?

Monday, April 18, 2022

This Day in TV History: A 7-year-old rerun on NBC

50 years ago tonight, NBC fortified its prime-time lineup with...a 7-year-old episode of a defunct anthology program? Yes, it led off that Tuesday night, April 18, at 7:30 with Double Jeopardy, which originally aired in 1965 as part of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. That hourlong anthology series ran from 1963-1967. Technically, this was the umbrella under which the Hope specials aired, but there were also dramatic stories with all-star casts.

Double Jeopardy, according to IMDB: "A jet-setting private eye is trying to find out what happened to a millionaire, a task made difficult by the millionaire's wife. For some reason, she doesn't want him to question her identical twin sister."

Why did NBC trot this out? Well, maybe it had a deal with Hope to give him some extra residuals. Maybe it was in the middle of a bit of instability in that time slot. The week before and after both featured specials to lead off the night before James Garner's Nichols, which itself wasn't setting the world on fire

Or maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe it's just because IT'S AWESOME!

I haven't seen this program, but the premise is interesting, and the cast is even more so. Lauren Bacall (in a rare dual role!) is the twins. Also included are Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jack Kelly, Tom Poston, Diane McBain, and Lee Meriwether.  Now, I'm not sure about this, but Ultimate70s TV lists BOTNS fave Hugh O'Brian, too!

It has to be worth a look, and it must not have seemed too dated to run in 1972. Hey, I'd like to see it!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Top Ten #173

1) Easter: Happy holiday, everyone! We haven't yet done an official Easter podcast episode.

On another note, did you catch this mysterious image posted here the other day?


2) She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown: Bet you didn't expect us to highlight this Peanuts special today! I just watched it this past week.

Now playing on Apple Plus, this 1980 half-hour is weird--intelligible adults, vaguely Eastern European Snoopy as a skating coach, and, oh, yeah, the whole thing is built around Peppermint Patty's obsessive training to be a champion figure skater. Worth a watch,

3) K-MART: Only 3 stores remain in the United States! It was huge in my toy-getting days, I tell you--huge!


4) Family Ties: A 12-hour marathon of the 1980s sitcom is on Antenna TV today, and for some reason they used an image of Andrew to promote it.

5) USFL: The new one premieres this weekend, but the original should never have gone away.




6) National Bookmobile Day: I can't help but think of this:


7) COZI CONDENSED BOLD: Yep, this fondly remembered classic, also known in some circles as Highway to Heaven, is still spotlighted at the bottom of the Cozi TV homepage.

8) Daffy Duck: The star of stage and screen debuted on this date in 1937 in Porky's Duck Hunt.


9) Dick Vitale: Dickie V is cancer free according to a statement he released this week.

10) R.I.P. Liz Sheridan:



Saturday, April 16, 2022

R.I.P. Gilbert Gottfried

I want to take some time today to express appreciation for the life and career of Gilbert Gottfried, whose death after a long illness shook us earlier this week. We remember him as a performer in the 1980s on shows like Night Court and Saturday Night Live as well as for standup appearances.

However, I think I can speak for Mike in saying that the podcast he did with Frank Santopadre, the Amazing Colossal Podcast, has been a source of inspiration for us--not so much in approach or theme or in Cesar Romero jokes, but in spirit. In each episode, Gil and Frank (and often their guests) share their love of show business and old entertainment--the good, the bad, and the what the heck did I just see?

We hope that a similar sense of fun comes through on our own humble but sincere podcast along with a true love of what we're talking about, yes, even if we don't love it.  It's a celebration of what we grew up watching. So today as we express condolences for thr friends and family of Gilbert Gottfried and also for Frank Santopadre, we thank the guys for their great podcast, which entertained us but also served as an example for celebrating pop culture with appropriate affection and sometimes irreverence while never taking ourselves too seriously.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Happy Birthday, Saundra Santiago!

We celebrated Olivia Brown's birthday on Sunday, so I think it's only fair we commemorate the 65th birthday of her Miami Vice co-star Saundra Santiago today! I love these Friday Night Videos clips. Here's "Gina" co-hosting with "Switek" from 1986:



Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Happy 75th, David Letterman!

One of our favorite late-night hosts (Hey, we haven't gotten around to Joe Franklin yet) turns 75 years old today. Happy birthday, David Letterman!

75 is a great number, but we can think of some other great numbers. Hey, 10 is a great number! Here with more, courtesy of the official Letterman YouTube channel, is Casey Kasem (Speaking of numbers, this is from 1993, but we think it's worth stepping outside our timeframe):



Monday, April 11, 2022

National 8-Track Tape Day!

I say, hey, enough of this vinyl resurgence. It's time to enjoy 8-track cassette tapes again!



I love that Party Rock in this case is basically just good oldies music. I mean, is "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" really as party friendly as "Summer in the City"?

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Top Ten #172

1) Major League Baseball returns!: Sure, the game has problems on and off the field. Sure, the entire offseason seemed designed to drive away the fan base. Sure--eh, hey, let's keep it positive and catch some BASEBALL FEVER!


2) Encourage a Young Writer Day: You can do it, John Boy! You can do it!


3) The 1972 Academy Awards: 50 years ago tonight, the annual ceremony showcased The French Connection and its principals as well as Supporting Actress winner Cloris Leachman:

4) Doris Day: To celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday last week, Turner Classic Movies showed a couple of episodes of the star's sitcom and a few television specials, then posted them on their app for a week or so. That alone means Watch TCM added more classic TV content in April than HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu...

5) Country Comes Home: 40 years ago tonight, CBS gave us an all-star look at the Grand Ole Opry with Johnny Cash, Crystal Gayle, and many more. My question is, when Country comes home, does it find its wife has left, took the dog, and left only a few empty whiskey bottles?


6) Olivia Brown: Happy birthday to the star best known as Trudy on Miami Vice!


7) Emergency!: Hey, here's a show that rarely if ever comes up on the podcast. Until we do get to it, The Retroist did a cool look at the series on his pod.


8) Discovery Channel: This is far from the version that sorta just bought Warners:


9) The Masters: I'm typing this very quietly so we can show proper respect to the tradition of the event.

10) R.I.P. Barrie Youngfellow and Nehemiah Persoff:







Saturday, April 9, 2022

Welcome back, Major League Baseball!

Ah, Opening Day--what a time for a Pirates fan. By the time I sat down to eat dinner and try to catch up, my team had lost 9-0 and seen its young star 3B leave the game in the first inning after an injury.

Major League baseball has a lot of problems, but I am happy to see it return. During the lockout, I said I was going to post an old commercial or clip each week or so until it was over, and soon after, bam, a labor agreement materialized. You're welcome!

In case you are in the mood to celebrate opening weekend with some baseball on, er, a non-baseball-themed podcast, here are some options:

Willie Stargell and Bob Uecker were featured on the episode of Greatest Sports Legends we talked about.

We wanted to see Ball Four, the short-lived sitcom based on Jim Bouton's iconic memoir...and Mike did!

Last season, we covered The Baseball Bunch with Johnny Bench and guest star Chet Lemon!

And when we talked about Voyagers!, the boys met babe Ruth!

And before we go, how about an old baseball promo:


So get ready to step up to the line, toss that ol' pigskin, and shoot a goal! Baseball is back!



Friday, April 8, 2022

This Day in TV History: Easter on NBC

40 years ago tonight, NBC gave America not one but two--count 'em, TWO--brand-new animated specials.

The Smurf Springtime Special was a typical Smurfy special centered on--stop us if you heard this one before--Gargamel trying to capture the wee blue ones. In this case, he goes after Mother Nature to prevent the arrival of Spring!

A Family Circus Easter is also self-explanatory. The kids have an Easter egg hunt, trying to help lovable lil' PJ find an egg. Oh, and Dizzy Gillespie appears as The Easter Bunny.





Thursday, April 7, 2022

Let It Be Lowenbrau (hoops edition) on National Beer Day

That's right, it's National Beer Day!

"Hey, you hosers, up here, that's called every day."
--Bob and Doug

To celebrate, as tempting as it would be to rejoin Dolan and the lads, we present a NEW (well, you know what we mean) Lowenbrau commercial, one appropriate to honor the just-ended March Madness of the NCAA tournaments.




In case you can't see the video embedded above, an older basketball coach congratulates his victorious protege after their game.  The winning coach is gracious, saying he had the best teacher, and the defeated one also shows class but asks if he was taught the tradition of the winner buying a Lowenbrau. They then share warm complimentary remarks at the bar over a couple bottles a' Lowenbrau.

The spot features all that I love about this old ad campaign: Idealized (but heartfelt) portrayals of male friendship, an overall ambience of camaraderie and good cheer, and Arthur Prysock singing that terrific jingle. Let It Be Lowenbrau, indeed!

I only have one question:  You have Lowenbrau and basketball. Why not use Jimmy Valvano?


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Happy birthday, Jason Hervey!

Happy birthday to Jason Hervey, who turns 50 today! He is best known as irritating older brother Wayne Arnold on The Wonder Years, but perhaps his most important role was as one of the ringside judges during the main event at Clash of the Champions I.



Tuesday, April 5, 2022

This Day in TV History: Aquacade at Acapulco

50 years ago tonight, CBS started its Wednesday night lineup with a 60-minute variety special taped on location: Aquacade at Acapulco! It was taped, of course, in Boise, Idaho.

No, it was in Mexico, and it featured cliff diving, swimming, and "regular" diving along with comedy and music. The impressive cast includes host Tony Randall, Stiller and Meara, Mel Brooks, and BOTNS favorite Ed McMahon. Hopefully Ed did this one in a business suit and not a bathing suit.

You know who is NOT featured? Aquaman! Even in 1972, Arthur Curry was getting snubbed if not outright mocked by the biz.

The Paley Center's listing says this aired at 7:00. If you want to see this, you might have to go to the Paley. Also in the listing is this detail of one of the sketches. a comedy sketch featuring McMahon interviewing Mel Brooks, playing an ex-Nazi pretending to be an Argentinian archaeologist

Imagine if they did it the other way around!

This site has the following photo for sale:





Monday, April 4, 2022

New on streaming in April 2022

April 2022 is a subpar month for new-to-streaming 1970s and 1980s TV show adds. It may be one of the weakest in recent memory. Let's focus on the positive, though, on what we have instead of what we don't have, and I think we are due for some surprises in May.

Before we get to the positive, actually, let's name the major services that, to my knowledge, are giving us practically nothing (that I am aware of) in April:

*Netflix
*Prime Video/IMDB TV
*Hulu (they really aren't trying anymore)
*Disney Plus
*HBO Max
*Peacock
*Paramount Plus

That's a lot of streaming to come up empty, not even mentioning services like Starz and Showtime, for whom any new old show addition is a big surprise. Apple Plus is celebrating a holiday at the end of the month by adding It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown on April 29.

Here is what I did find:

Roku Channel added Columbo, and we're big fans here, so thumbs up for that. I believe the series remains on Tubi and Peacock.

Crackle has been giving us a lot of hidden gems (and trash) lately, and the only really new thing I notice for April is the 1986 mini-series Shaka Zulu. Yet that was added in February, I have learned, so it doesn't count. I don't want to criticize Crackle too much, though, since it has done so much over the past year or so. It is concentrating on its BBC acquisitions like Sherlock this month.

Shout! Factory TV is promoting ALF, but it already added that, and as far as I know, it's the same syndication cuts that have circulated for years. So nothing exciting here for April.

Pluto TV has been fairly quiet lately, but The Facts of Life makes it triumphant return to streaming, though only seasons 3 and 4 for now. I guess they will rotate through that series again for a while.

Tubi has been killing it and licensing from all different kinds of places, but it's a lesser month for the free streamer. However, it did add The A-Team (Suddenly that one is all over the place) and T.J. Hooker. The latter has been bouncing around and on services like Roku Channel and Crackle, but I think only one or two seasons at a time, the way other Sony action series like Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels are being licensed. Tubi has the whole series, so to my knowledge, this is the first service to go full-on Hooker.

That may not sound like much, but in a sparse month, let's try to appreciate it. I do think May will be better, and Tubi has been adding series after  the beginning of the month without advance notice, so maybe they will have something else soon.


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Top Ten #171

1) Denzel Washington: He reportedly calmed Will Smith down by saying, "Son, don't let it linger. I saw the same thing happen on the set of Elsewhere when Begley went after Howie."

2) Wrestlemania: Anyone else kind of wish it were Starrcade? (Rest in peace, Rocky King, who never made it to Mania but gave me lots of entertainment Saturday nights at 6:05.)



3) Grammy Awards: This is probably a dumb question, but...[whispering] do they know we just had the Oscars last week? Here's a moment from 40 years ago:




4) The Love Boat: props to Brick Mantooth for featuring The Love Boat Mego toys (vintage, but we can dream about a revival) in this cool video. I want all of this, by the way, even the ghastly Vicki and Julie figures:



5) NCAA Basketball: As March Madness comes to an end, let's just appreciate that we got to see Coach K lose one more time. And, wow, a lot of stuff is going on this weekend.



6) Eddie Murphy: Happy 61st birthday to the icon. You know who loved him? Mister Rogers, that's who.



7) Fat Albert Easter Special: I don't remember this one at all, but it premiered 40 years ago tonight on CBS. Of course, the Filmation special features the voices of Jan Crawford, Eric Suter, Gerald Edwards, and no one else.



8) Perry Como's Easter in Guadalajara: This one also premiered April 3, 1982, closing out prime time on ABC with Ann Jillian and Charo. I had to double-check to make sure it's not an SCTV sketch.

9) Bruce Willis: Props to ol' Bruno and best wishes as he enters retirement.



10) National Find a Rainbow Day: Here's a place to find one: