Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bob Iger's plan to revitalize Disney...probably won't include adding library shows to Disney Plus

When I read that Bob Iger was back in at CEO after a short "retirement," I joked that he was unhappy with the lack of progress at getting the 1982 Incredible Hulk cartoon on Disney Plus. While I don't think he is all that concerned with the appalling lack of progress in getting library content on the company's streamer, I do think there could be a possible opportunity here if the cards fall right and if certain conditions are met. OK, now I sound like Leonard Nimoy.

3 years ago, I speculated on what kinds of cool BOTNS-era shows could appear on Disney Plus. The only one available is The Muppet Show, and yay, Disney, for that. 

I think it's about time to give up on most of my "What's missing" list (I still think Vic's Vacant Lot would be a blast), but here's a pared-down version of semi-realistic possibilities for 2023. Iger has called for a profitable Disney Plus, and that means less spending. Last I checked, it's still cheaper to restore an old show for HD than it is to create [Insert name of Disney Plus Original you don't care about].

*Marvel cartoons: Ok, I WAS joking about the 1982 Hulk, but really, what's the deal here? This and the 1960s Marvel cartoons, the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon, even the 1970s Fantastic Four...Get it all up here. No more excuses. 

*Wonderful World of Disney: It's amazing that the company that used to project so much concern for and care of its legacy is ignoring so much of it in the streaming age. There is so much TV footage featuring Walt, and while much of it is intros to movies and material already available, there are still plenty of themed episodes they could post. And what would be the problem with just posting an intro to a classic Disney movie?

*Vault Disney: Call it Bob Iger's Wonderful World of Disney. Call it Disney Plus' Wonderful World of Iger. The new returning CEO is said to be a booster of the Disney "brand" and history. There are a lot of cool Disney specials, like those relating to the theme parks, that are on YouTube but not on the flagship streaming video service. Put some of this together and let Iger record some new wraparounds for context. The nostalgic Disney lovers would eat it up.

*Disney Channel shows: Speaking of nostalgia, a lot of kids who grew up watching Disney Channel in the Eighties are now streaming video consumers, and I see many of them lamenting the fact that they can't watch the stuff they did then. In that aforementioned post in 2019, I mentioned Mousterpiece Theatre as a popular program the then-premium channel ran that is no longer available anywhere. There are plenty of others: anthology shows showcasing the classic animation shorts (And oh, yeah, a ton of those are still missing on D+), exercise shows, etc.  In fact, you know what would be cool? A quality documentary about the origin and early years of Disney Channel.

*The Star Wars Holiday Special: I have been saying for years that Disney oughta unveil this as a Christmas treat for the fans. Drop it on the service Christmas Eve as a surprise and let people discover it and make a big deal out of it. If they do it this year, I'll give Bob Iger all the credit for it.

So I have given up on non-Disney TV movies, Fox library shows, 1980s sitcoms that aren't already on Hulu, and plenty of other cool stuff. I think it's reasonable to hope for a few bones from this list. Make it happen, Bob Iger, and blame the delay on Chapek if you must!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Two BOTNS favorites together at last: Ethel Merman and FENCES!

Here's an interesting clip recently posted on YouTube: From The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson welcomes Ethel (Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July) Merman AND Madlyn Rhue (Poor Devil), AKA "Fences."

Merman sings, of course, and then joins Johnny at the desk; while Rhue has all kinds of things to say in her panel segment. My only regret is that this is just before Ethel's disco era!

Wait, the classic clip has been restricted by the uploader! I can't embed it anymore, but you can still click here to see Ethel Merman peforming disco numbers before a befuddled kids' audience.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Top Ten #205: Special "Between two big holidays now" Edition!

1) Ed McMahon: Yes, we posted this video again on Thursday, but we aren't gonna miss another chance to salute the King of Thanksgiving singing his timeless Thanksgiving carol:

2) Shadow Chasers: RetroFan's article on the series this month has me interested in seeing more of this 1984 series! But as you can see below, so is Ricardo Montalban!

3) Matt Houston: Decades is running a marathon this weekend, and I can't help but wonder if someone asked for Magnum P.I. but they hoped they could slip this one in and no one would notice.

4) Black Friday: Just ain't the same without the riots and 2:00 A.M. sales.

You know, I don't think this is the kind of store that had riots and 2:00 A.M. sales.

5) Games Mother Never Taught You: This TV movie premiered 40 years ago tonight on CBS. It stars Loretta Swit and is based on a best-selling book about the corporate world by Betty Lehan Harragan:

6) Robin Givens: Happy birthday!

7) Miami Dolphins: The team went to 11-0, en route to an undefeated season, with a decisive win over the St. Louis Cardinals 50 years ago tonight on Monday Night Football.

8) Cyber Monday: I am gonna skip the hassle and see if I can get this guy to do my shopping for me this year:

9) Disgusting Thanksgiving foods and side dishes:

10) Jaleel White: Did you do that? Well, Mr. White, if you are asking about entertaining millions of us, yes. Yes, you did.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

RetroFan brings it with a great article on "Shadow Chasers"

I was way behind on my magazines and didn't get to RetroFan for a while this time around, but the current issue, #23, is one of the best ones of the year. It also has more 1970s and 1980s TV material than the previous edition.

The most remarkable feature is the story on the short-lived ABC TV series Shadow Chasers. Editor in Chief Michael Eury's opening column mentions that this show was a new one even to him, a confessed TV junkie. Author Jeffrey S. Miller  talks to creator Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V) and gets the scoop on the interesting blend of paranormal thrills and comedy.

Andy Mangels' extensive piece on Flash Gordon covers the Filmation cartoons (and also mentions The Man Who Hated Laughter!), and the production thereof is an interesting story. Eury's history of Colorforms is another standout piece, loaded with illustrations and culminating in a glorious two-page spread that features a ton of licensed sets the company put out over the years, from The A-Team to Wonder Woman.

All this, plus the history of M&Ms, Yellow Submarine, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Will Murray's look at The Prisoner (which does not spoil the finale). This issue connected with me big time, and I give it a stronger recommendation than even my usual strong recommendation!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving from BOTNS!

From all of us at Battle of the Network Shows to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

But allow us to let the King of Thanksgiving set the tone for this holiday:

As a reminder, here are a few Thanksgiving-themed episodes of the podcast if you are in the mood today:

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Top Ten #204

1) 8 Billion: The world's population has topped 8 bil!

This says to me we have some room to grow the podcast.

2) Michael J. Fox: The beloved Family Ties star received an honorary Oscar from the Academy this weekend. There is no truth to the rumor that Tom Hanks came onstage and slapped him, thinking it was his bottle of vanilla extract.

3) Rudolph cereal: I couldn't resist getting a box of this last week. It delivers!

4) Drew Barrymore: The then-7-year-old hosted Saturday Night Live 40 years ago tonight. Half the cast and staff said, "OK, we give up, we can't keep up with the host this week," and went to bed early each night.

5) National Toy Hall of Fame: The Hall welcomed three new entrants: The top, Masters of the Universe, and Lite-Brite.

6) Soap: Get ready for Antenna TV's upcoming Wednesday-Friday Thanksgiving marathon of Soap (Hey, why not?) by listening to our episode from Season 7.

7) Hear No Evil: This CBS movie premiered 40 years ago tonight and starred Gil Gerard as a cop who has gone deaf and must track down an evil motorcycle gang (who set up the explosion that cost him his hearing) with his partner Bernie Casey. Gerard's character's name? BILL DRAGON!

8) National Absurdity Day: I was trying to think of a wacky BOTNS-era TV personality that most captured the feeling of absurdity, and of course I came up with it: Economist Jerome Smith on Tomorrow with Tom Snyder.

9) Neighbours: FreeVee is resurrecting the long-running Australian soap opera.

10) R.I.P. John Aniston and Robert Clary:

Friday, November 18, 2022

Trade Week #7: One more (for now?) BONUS streaming video trade

OK, here's a trade we saved as a bonus one because it's a little sketchy. For one thing, it goes into the nether worlds of professional wrestling! Then it involves a program that premiered this year. For yet another, I propose a streamer acquiring a show it already has!

ESPN Plus trades AWA Championship Wrestling to Peacock for Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure.

Joe Montana was one of my favorite athletes when I was a kid, and I still have a soft spot for the legendary quarterback. Several times in this space, I have mentioned my enjoyment of the 6-episode docuseries that aired as a Peacock original in 2022.

Yet I don't think it got much traction, and it deserves more attention. Therefore, I propose a run on ESPN to go along with all the sports documentaries--30 for 30 and otherwise--that reside there. I'm sure the network would promote it. Heck, you could get Chris Berman to do a 24/7 stream hyping it.

In return, Peacock gets more content for its WWE Network section. Now, this is a litlte tricky because I have never seen official confirmation of this, but I think WWE owns the old AWA wrestling programming that appeared on ESPN in the 1980s. It has a few of the episodes available on demand. Note that I wrote, "a few." WWE has shown little interest in adding to its AWA section, but I have interest in it, so that's why I am suggesting this!

Adding to the intrigue is that ESPN also owns the footage, or at least I assume so based on the fact that ESPN Classic used to run reruns of it in heavy rotation. Well, there is no ESPN Classic linear channel now, and ESPN Plus has exactly zero of the old pro wrestling programming the network used to carry, so no harm in making it official and giving all of it to Peacock.

Who knows, WWE might even get a thrill out of adding a ton of stuff that was originally branded ESPN. You know, mainstream and all that. Peacock gets hours of new on-demand material for the wrestling fans, and ESPN Plus gets a quality docuseries about an all-time great,

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Trade Week #6: Another streaming video "trade" proposal

 It's BONUS Trade Week as we unveil a few others that didn't make the cut last week. Look for the Trade Week label to see what we proposed last week in our series of exchanges among streaming video services. Today we have one that is sort of outside our time frame:

HBO Max trades South Park to Paramount Plus for Perry Mason.

There are two shows that are the poster children for "Why isn't _ on _" streaming confusion, and both are not on Paramount Plus. Or I should say, neither is on Paramount Plus, but people think they should be. One of those series is Yellowstone, and the other is long-long-running Comedy Central (Remember that?) staple South Park. Deals made years ago ensured that the shows' back catalogs would reside on Peacock and HBO Max respectively.

Well, maybe Paramount Plus could bring it home alongside key & Peele--Wait, that's on Netflix. Alongside Broad City--No, that's Hulu. Well, anyway, I am sure it wouldn't mind having it!

Would HBO swap it for a "Silver Age" show? No, no way. it paid a lot for South Park! But it's fun to think about, and Perry Mason would be a nice prize for HBO subscribers who like classic TV (Of course, we brought Perry into the world of BOTNS this past season).

For some unknown reason, Paramount Plus doesn't even have all seasons of the show, so maybe it wouldn't mind giving them up. It also is on Pluto and FreeVee, so it's not a big exclusive. HBO Max could offer the complete run, uncut and with no ads (for those on its ad-free tier) and use the deal to promote its new Perry Mason series, which returns in February.

It's a one-sided deal on paper, but it makes sense in a way!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Top Ten #203

1) Trade Week: We hope you enjoyed our trade Week series of posts featuring fanciful "trades" between streaming video outlets. Stay tuned for a few bonus trades later this week!

(Not to be confused with this kind of trading):

2) Byron Allen: The former Real People star was said to be in the running to buy the NFL's Washington Commanders. Meanwhile, Skip Stephenson made a pretty cool trade to shore up the backup RB spot on his fantasy team.

3) McRib: I don't know about the "Farewell Tour," but I ain't too proud to say I had one just this week!

4) Matthew Perry: He has been out promoting his new book. Anyone turn right to the index and look for the scoop on:

5) Joe Mantegna: Happy 75th birthday!

6) Wonder Woman: Decades has your weekend viewing covered with a marathon of the 1970s series. Satin tights optional. 

7) World Kindness Day: May we just refer you to Season 10 Batty Award winner Fred "Mister" Rogers:

8) Jack Narz: The prolific game show host would have turned 100 today.

9) Veterans Day: Happy belated Vets Day to everyone, especially those who served!

10) R.I.P.:  David Davis, Gallagher, Fred Hickman, Budd Friedman

Friday, November 11, 2022

Trade Week #5: Yes, another big streaming video trade!

Trade Week rolls on as we suggest trades streaming video outlets could make involving the vintage shows that they currently control and/or have available on demand. We have a big swap today that steps outside our time frame a bit.

First, though, remember my Seinfeld trade the other day, when I wrote that I didn't see the show popping up on any most-watched Netflix shows list? Well, this morning I saw this in my podcast feed, an episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood.

On this week’s episode, I’m rejoined by Julia Alexander of Parrot Analytics and Puck to talk about what’s working, and what’s flopping, in the wild world of streaming. Seinfeld is a huge hit for Netflix, particularly with younger audiences.

Well, I still think it was a cool trade!

Today: HBO Max trades The Nanny and Head of the Class to Tubi for BatmanThe New Adventures of Batman, and Superman (1988).

Did you know that the famed 1966 Batman had been streaming free for quite some time? It's on Tubi and FreeVee (formerly IMDB TV), but I bet many people who would be interested in watching it have no idea. Now, I have the neato Blu-Ray set and haven't been watching the show on streaming, so I can't vouch for the versions that are available, but they are there, and they are FREE!

But why? There was a complicated partnership between Fox and Warner Brothers that brought the show to DVD after years of demand. Maybe Fox-owned Tubi's streaming rights are somehow related to that. Yet it's also on FreeVee, and at one point it was on FilmRise, of all places! My point here is that the series belongs elsewhere.

Yes, it's time to bring the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder home, and this trade brings the seminal series to HBO MAX, where it can stream alongside Wonder Woman, Super Friends, and tons of other DC-related movies and television episodes. I think in the spirit of good bat-digital citizenship, WarnerDiscoveryWhatever could get the series without giving up the whole bat, uh, back catalog. 

Head of the Class seems to be available for no burning reason now that the reboot tanked. It would be a good fit on Tubi. The Nanny has less reason for being on MAX. It's a Sony show, so it's something they license, and it boosts their old sitcoms,'s expendable. Tubi seems to love the show, as it's been there for a while, yet it doesn't love it enough to license more than a few seasons at once. HBO MAX takes a less thrifty approach. This trade gives Tubi the whole series!

Tubi "throws in" two series that it isn't even streaming right now but did last year: Filmation's iThe New Adventures of Batman cartoon and the 1988 Ruby-Spears Superman cartoon. Warners has a habit of licensing series out for very short runs, and this is yet another example. Tubi had these at one point, without much fanfare, and then they were gone soon afterwards. This stuff belongs on HBO alongside the other DC material. What are you waiting for, WB?

So this trade puts pieces where they should be; most importantly a huge show in television history and an essential part of DC Comics history goes to HBO MAX. Tubi gets scores of nice, easy sitcom episodes. Toss in some superhero cartoons that are in limbo, and you have a deal!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Trade Week #4: Yet another streaming video trade!

It's the fourth day of Trade Week, in which I propose trades of popular shows between streaming video on demand services! We have another big one today.

Crackle trades The Dick Van Dyke Show to Paramount Plus for Happy Days

Crackle is great. It's free, it has tons of rarities not shown on TV in years, let alone streamed or on video, and it is only taken down by its poor interface and excessive ad load (OK, those are big things that remind me why I haven't used it much lately). It licenses material from Sony but also from other sources, and recently it got all 5 seasons of  The Dick Van Dyke Show--a great add that classes up the classic TV section.

So how can I say this politely? TDVDS is almost TOO classy for Crackle.

Crackle doesn't really need it. That's a better way to say it. Or better still, it's a better fit elsewhere.

Let me introduce you to Paramount Plus, an oddity of a giant service that has added very little to its "Classics" section in several years while its parent company pumps hundreds of episodes of shows like The Fugitive and The Andy Griffith Show to its lower-rent (Heck, it's FREE!) corporate cousin, Pluto.

P-Plus has let Happy Days, one of the biggest TV shows of its era, languish since the CBS All Access days. For some reason, it only has an assortment of episodes from the second season. Maybe there is some kind of explanation--music rights or whatever--but the series has been streaming on Pluto's live channels. Much of it is on DVD. And really, I don't even care what the explanation is. It's worse to have a handful of episodes than it is to have none at all.

So I can only conclude that P-Plus has forgotten about Happy Days and isn't particularly interested in it anyway. Send the Garry Marshall smash to Crackle, which may not promote it, but at least will house multiple seasons. Days will fit in well with other family-oriented classic shows there.

Paramount gets one of the all-timers in return, something it can be proud about if it wants to be proud about its TV heritage. The show was on CBS during its initial run, and it makes sense to be on a service alongside contemporaries like The Twilight Zone (and others once P-Plus gets its act together). It will be ad free there (for those who pay for that tier, that is) and will get some of the prestige it deserves.

Or maybe it is buried and forgotten about like Happy Days was, but let's be optimistic and see this move as the beginning of a re-emphasis on the classics, with Paramount using the relatively lower cost of its library holdings to bolster its streaming content. Crackle gets a popular show that has not been streaming on demand in a meaningful way. Another win-win!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Trade Week #3: Another streaming video swap!

Trade Week continues as I suggest swaps of older shows on streaming video services. Today we go to the fringe of the BOTNS era:

Netflix trades Seinfeld to Peacock for thousands of Law and Order shows and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Yeah, this is not gonna happen. Netflix paid umpteen dollars for the exclusive streaming rights to Seinfeld, and I don't see it giving those rights up. Hear me out, though.

I remember the buildup to Netflix adding the iconic sitcom. It was announced as heading there after leaving Hulu, but there wasn't a date. then it left Hulu, and fans still waited. Finally, just over a year ago, it premiered on Netflix, and it got attention for the wrong reasons: Debate over the aspect ratio being 16x9 and not the original 4x3.

And since then...well, I haven't heard much about the show. Have you? I don't see it topping the lists of the most popular/most watched series on Netflix. What I DO see on such lists: Procedurals like Criminal Minds (now gone) and NCIS.

So in return for Seinfeld, Peacock surrenders tons of episodes of Law and Order. Which series? Which seasons? It doesn't matter! Plus the beauty of it is Peacock can still show thousands of others; NBC has that many!

To sweeten the deal, Peacock adds Everybody Loves Raymond, which just feels more like a Netflix show than a Peacock one. In fact, it was on there for years. Now Netflix can pair it with that foodie show starring ELR co-creator Phil Rosenthal. It gets a big rerun for its library plus all those sweet, sweet bingeable procedurals episodes.

For its part, Peacock gets the show everyone associates with NBC anyway (if not TBS by now!), a true flagship of the company. The announcement would make headlines, and by spending a little money (OK, a lot of it), it could do new 4K remasters specifically for widescreen and make the hardcore fans really happy. Peacock could promote the heck out of the "return" of the series. 

Win-win, right? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Trade Week #2: Another streaming trade I would make

We began Trade Week yesterday with the first of several trades I propose for streamers involving classic TV shows. I suggested Peacock deal a few shows (including one that, for some reason, it doesn't stream right now) to get a big show, and today I have another idea for the Comcast/Universal/NBC service:

Pluto TV trades One Day at a Time to Amazon Prime Video for Diff'rent Strokes.

I have to admit I don't really know what is going on at Amazon and if it has any kind of strategy for catalog material, but a while back (Summer 2021) it made a big announcement that it was licensing Norman Lear shows. Big news, right? Well, it's Fall 2022, and much of it is already gone. The Jeffersons is on Prime, All in the Family is on FreeVee, but Maude and One Day at a Time are gone.

ODAT has been biding time on Pluto, but there are usually only a couple seasons at a time. Enough messing around! Put the whole series on Prime to bolster the Learverse. In exchange, Pluto gets Diff'rent Strokes

Wait! Isn't Strokes a Lear show?

Why, yes, it is! They even did it live on ABC!

However, the episodes on Prime are syndicated versions missing several minutes per episodes. I don't know why this is; the show was uncut on Starz just a few years ago. Someone reached into the wrong box for the Strokes tapes, and now those versions are all on Prime and on Tubi.

Prime Video deserves better. People PAY for this stuff. Pluto is--I will try to be polite--not that particular about what it airs. It has hacked-up Three's Company, for one thing, and I am worried that all those Paramount/CBS shows it is adding are also edited.

The point is, Pluto can make this swap and get ALL of Diff'rent Strokes while everyone sorts this business of edited episodes. In the meantime, Amazon Prime freshens its lineup with a long-running sitcom (It was on Freevee earlier) and boosts its Learverse offerings.

I will return tomorrow with another one!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Streaming Video TRADES I would make! (Trade Week #1)

Halloween last week made me think about trading extra or unwanted candy after a night of trick-or-treating. Combine that with the excitement about the NFL trade deadline last week, plus my ongoing obsession with catalog selections on the various streaming video services, and it all made me think: What if these SVODs made some trades with each other? Are there some win-win moves that could help each side (and the viewer, natch!)? I think there are!

I cheated a little bit, organizing some services by their parent company and including some series that should be streaming right now but for some reason are not. I also threw in some shows outside the time frame. Let's dive in and have some fun with the concept this week!

Today's trade is a blockbuster!

NBC and Peacock trade Little House on the Prairie and The Incredible Hulk to Disney and Hulu for The Golden Girls.

Right off the bat, I have to cheat a bit for the simple reason that, for reasons no one knows, the Bixby Hulk series is not streaming anywhere despite being owned by a company that has several different streaming services. In fact, recently did have the whole series. 

Since it's not being used right now, I figure it's not a huge property for Comcast/Universal/NBC, which means it can be thrown it with family-friendly show Little House. We joked on the podcast about the amount of calamity on the series, but it does seem like a good fit for the Disney brand. Disney Plus is lacking in vintage family drama shows--vintage drama shows, period, in fact--and LHOP would be a big catalog boost.

The 1977 Incredible Hulk is an obvious fit alongside the other Marvel shows, even though it is literally of a different universe. Well, the fact that it is so different than the modern stuff makes it a refreshing change of pace. Why not start building a Vintage Marvel collection?

Losing The Golden Girls would hurt. It's Hulu's 14th-most-popular series among females 13-27 years old, at least according to research I made up. That's why NBC has to give up two big shows to get it. Disney can afford to lose it for a while, though.

The Girls come home to NBC in this scenario and become one of the biggest catalog titles on Peacock, a streamer that already seems to be targeting similar demographics with its new alliance with Hallmark Channel. Peacock is the constant target of speculation about merger/folding, and it needs a splash or two. Golden Girls would give it some juice for the price of a series it's not using right now (Hulk) and one that is non exclusive and already available on FreeVee (LHOP).

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Top Ten #202: Special week after Halloween edition!

1) Candy: How many of you still have leftover candy after the holiday? Well, can you send some my way? I didn't go for "tricks or treats," as Sally Brown would say, and we don't get trick-or-treaters here, so there was really no excuse to buy a bunch of candy. I will have to settle for the ads:

2) Mr. Wizard's World: A selection of episodes is now on Crackle. The show, of course featured popular scientist Don Wizard.

3) Gimme a Break: 40 years ago tonight, NBC aired an episode with this description as per

The head of the PORKO weight loss group is mocked for gaining back the weight he lost, and he decides to kill himself by jumping from his hotel room window.

Hey, THAT sounds like a great half-hour of fun for the whole family!

4) World Series: Hard to cheer for these Astros, but these Astros are still aces:

5) Sally Field: Happy 75th birthday to the former star of The Girl with Something Extra!

6) Pluto TV: This FAST  (free ad-supported TV) service is--say it with me--having a moment, having broken into Nielsen's ratings (and outdoing a lot of better-known services) and also getting a huge influx of programming from the CBS TV library, including shows that haven't been streaming on demand lately like Mork and Mindy and Laverne and Shirley

My question is, why isn't all this material also on Paramount Plus, a service people are paying money to watch?

7) National Saxophone Day: Yeah, man!

8) Magic Carpet (1972): This TV movie premiered 50 years ago tonight on NBC. According to IMDB:

A young student living in Rome gets a job as a tour guide, and falls in love with a young stowaway who is being sought by the police.

Check out this cast: Susan St. James, Robert Pratt, Cliff Potts...wait for it...Jim Backus, Wally Cox, Abby Dalton, Selma Diamond, John Larch, Nanette Fabray, and Michael Lerner (Yes, I confirm it is not Michael Learned)!

9) HBO: It celebrates its 50th anniversary Tuesday. Never forget that this network was built on the backs of shows like:

10) R.I.P. Andrew Prine:

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Remind magazine's '70s Super Heroes edition

Remind magazine is a breezy read devoted to nostalgia. celebrities, and puzzles--lots and lots of puzzles. It's a fun mag that my mom often sends me after she finishes it. A couple weeks ago at a Dollar Tree, I spotted a special edition, and let me tell you, for a dollar--ooh, wait, no, now it's $1.25--this is well worth it.

The Lynda Carter Wonder Woman cover alone deserves a look-see, and inside you get short profiles on a lot of expected subjects like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Incredible Hulk. Yet there are are also short pieces on short-lived programs like Gemini Man and Street Hawk

There's a section on cartoons like Dynomutt, and the mag also goes back a little bit longer to talk about the George Reeves Superman show and the 1950s Sheena program.

It's all pretty lightweight, and the sparse text is supplemented by tons of trivia features and puzzles--oh, yeah, there be puzzles--crosswords, sudokus, word searches, and more! There are also "Time Capsule" pages that offer snapshots of a given year like 1978. Add vintage cartoon strips and panels and print advertisements, and you get a pretty cool little package of nostalgia well worth the cover price. This is apparently a unique version the magazine produced for Dollar Tree, and I'd get other editions if they popped up.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

What We Saw: Vincent Price's Dracula (1982)

As part of our Halloween-watching festivities this holiday season, Laurie and I enjoyed this TV special, which I believe was produced in Canada and aired in first-run syndication in the 1980s:

This and other uploads of the program list the airdate as 1982, which matches the info in the show's credits, but for some reason IMDB says it's from 1986. The special feels like mid 1970s to early 1980s; the documentary feel with the type of recreation footage puts you in the mind of watching a film in school during that era--albeit a really cool one!

Narrated and hosted by Price, the hour looks at the historic background of one of the models for Bram Stoker's Dracula, Vlad the Impaler. It also looks at portrayals of vampires in culture through the years, including various film clips. Of note is that there are no clips from Dracula (1931) nor any other Universal movies. Some of the footage appears to be repurposed from a fictional film project.

Price does exactly what you want him to do, and the special strikes just the right tone in balancing his playful presentation with archival material and recreations. Yes, I am posting this "a day late," in a sense, but shouldn't every day be a good time to see a Vincent Price special?