Friday, January 29, 2010

Your Mental Sorbet: Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin reunion

Here is another "Mental Sorbet" that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Now that the dust appears to be settling from our latest late night talk show war and in the interest of not being cynical he is a famous show-biz reconciliation.

Stat Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Thursday, January 28, 2010

TV Confidential Archives: Jan. 25, 2010

Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jack Klugman (The Odd Couple, Quincy, M.E., Tony and Me) joins Ed and Frankie in the first hour as they look back at Jack's longtime friendship with actor Tony Randall, their many collaborations on stage and television, and how Tony encouraged Jack to return to acting after losing his voice to cancer. Then in the second hour, Ed and Frankie welcome author Paul Green (Pete Duel: A Biography) as they remember Alias Smith and Jones, the popular TV Western from the early 1970s whose history has been overshadowed by the suicide of series star Pete Duel on Dec. 30, 1971. The hour also includes excerpts from Ed's 1996 interview with Roy Huggins in which Roy discusses Duel's final day on the set of Smith and Jones, as well as the decision to replace him with Roger Davis in the role of Hannibal Heyes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pernell Roberts

Pernell Roberts died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Malibu, California at the age of 81. Born Pernell Elvin Roberts on May 18, 1928 was best known for his roles as Ben Cartwright's eldest son, Adam Cartwright, on Bonanza from 1959 to 1965, and as chief surgeon, Dr. John MacIntyre, the title character on Trapper John, M.D. (1979-1986). He was also known for his activism, which included participation in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, and pressuring NBC to refrain from hiring whites to portray minority characters.

In 1958, Roberts guest-starred as Captain Jacques Chavez on the NBC adventure series Northwest Passage based on the life of Major Robert Rogers in the French and Indian War. He appeared with fellow guest star Fay Spain in the 1958 episode "Pick up the Gun" of Tombstone Territory. In 1958 he played the lead villain in the 31st episode of Have Gun - Will Travel, portraying a killer boss exploiter of Chinese Coolie laborers entitled "Hey Boy's Revenge." The episode drew critical acclaim for shedding some light on the contribution of indentured Chinese workers in building the U.S. west and for also carrying a socially conscious message "white man's laws can deliver justice for a minority" a "Paladin Parable" so typical of the series. In 1959, he co-starred in the film Ride Lonesome.

He came to prominence playing Ben Cartwright's urbane eldest son, Adam, in the Western television series Bonanza. Despite the show’s success, he left after the sixth season in 1965 due to disagreements with the writers and a desire to return to legitimate theatre. Among other complaints, Roberts argued that a 34-year-old, educated, Eastern-born man would not be calling his father "Pa". The writers tacitly agreed not to exceed three "Pa" references per episode.
I had six seasons of playing the eldest son on Bonanza. Six seasons of feeling like a damned idiot, going around -- me, like a middle-aged teenager, saying, "Yes, Pa," "No, Pa" on cue. It was downright disgusting -- such dialogue for a grown man. I felt I wasn't being taken seriously as an actor, and that's like death to one's talent...Stuck as Adam Cartwright, I was only able to use about one-tenth of my ability.
Pernell Roberts
Roberts continued to do guest shots on TV shows such as The Big Valley, Mission: Impossible, The Wild Wild West, Gunsmoke, Mannix, The Odd Couple, Hawaii Five-O, and The Hardy Boys. His rich baritone voice was displayed when he played Jigger in an ABC television presentation of Carousel and Rhett Butler in the Los Angeles stage production of Scarlett.

He regained star status in the early 1980s while starring in the television series Trapper John, M.D. (1979-86). Roberts played the character almost twice as long as Wayne Rogers did (1972–1975) on the CBS M*A*S*H series.

In 1988, Roberts co-starred with Milla Jovovich in the TV movie The Night Train to Kathmandu. A guest appearance as Hezekiah Horn in the Young Riders episode "Requiem for a Hero" won a Western Heritage Award for Roberts in 1991. In the 1980s/90s, playing off his Trapper John M.D. persona, Roberts was a TV spokesman for Ecotrin, a brand of analgesic tablets. He made his last TV appearance in 2001 on an episode of Diagnosis Murder, updating a Mannix character he had portrayed decades before.

Roberts married four times. His first marriage was in 1951 to Vera Mowry, a professor at Washington State University, with whom he had his only child (Jonathan Christopher Roberts); they later divorced. He married Judith Anna LeBreque on October 15, 1962; they divorced in 1971. His third marriage was to Kara Knack, whom he married in 1972; they divorced in 1996. He was married to Eleanor Criswell at the time of his death. Jonathan Roberts died in a motorcycle accident in 1989 at age 38.
Good Night Mr. Roberts

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

This week in Television History: January 2010 PART IV

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (10pm ET, 7pm PT) on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

January 25, 1949
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presents its first industry award at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles.
The Emmy for most popular program went to Pantomime Quiz Time, and puppeteer Shirley Dinsdale and her puppet Judy Splinters won an award for Outstanding TV Personality. Most of the awards were for programs produced by TV station KTLA. The station also won an award for Outstanding Overall Achievement.

January 27, 1976
The Happy Days spin-off Laverne and Shirley, featuring two Milwaukee women who work on a brewery assembly line preimers.

The show starred Penny Marshall, sister of producer Garry Marshall, and Cindy Williams. Fierce rivalry erupted between the two stars, and Williams left the show in 1982. The show lasted only one more season before its cancellation in 1983.

January 28, 1956
Young country-rock singer Elvis Presley makes his first-ever television appearance on the TV musical-variety program Stage Show.

Presley sang "Heartbreak Hotel," which quickly became a hit single. In total, Elvis appeared on six shows. The program was hosted by swing band leaders Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Elvis went on to appear on Ed Sullivan's immensely popular variety show, Toast of the Town, in the fall of 1956. The appearance made Elvis a household name.

January 28, 1978
Fantasy Island premieres
Fantasy Island is created in early 1978 as a follow-up to ABC's surprise hit The Love Boat.

Screen actor Ricardo Montalban played the mysterious Mr. Roarke, and his diminutive sidekick, Tattoo, was played by Herve Villechaize.

January 28, 1996
Jerry Seigel, creator of Superman, dies at age 81.

Writer Seigel created Superman with artist friend Joe Shuster when they were both teenagers in the 1930s. All the major newspaper syndicates rejected the character, who was born on the doomed planet Krypton and bundled off by his parents in a space capsule to Smallville USA, where he's raised by kindly earthlings. In 1938, however, Seigel and Shuster finally landed a comic book deal, and Superman's adventures as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent moonlighting as the Man of Steel became an instant hit. The comic book spawned a newspaper strip that ran for 28 years, as well as a radio series that ran from 1940 to 1951.
The character, along with his friends cub reporter Jimmy Olson and ace newswoman Lois Lane, who never seem to penetrate Superman's Clark Kent disguise, appeared in movie serials from 1948 to 1950, and in a feature film in 1951. A popular Superman TV series ran from 1951 to 1957. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the show's special effects were limited to Superman crashing through walls, flying around, and witnessing fiery explosions. The same flying sequences were used repeatedly. Actor George Reeves was so well-known as Superman that he couldn't find other work when the series ended.
The Man of Steel reappeared on the big screen in 1978, with Christopher Reeves in the role. The hit film launched three follow-ups. In 1993, Superman appeared again in the TV comedy Lois and Clark.

January 31, 1949
These Are My Children, the first daytime soap opera, debuts on NBC.
The show, Staring Irna Phillips was only 15 minutes long, aired weekdays at 5 p.m. in January and February 1949.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jack Klugman, Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry: Next on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Emmyand Golden Globe winner Jack Klugman will be our special guest on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte, premiering Monday, Jan. 25 at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with a rebroadcast Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 11pm ET, 8pm PT on Share-a-Vision Radio,
Whether you think of him as New York sportswriter Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, the crusading Los Angeles coroner in Quincy, M.E. or his stellar work in such classic series as The Twilight Zone, The Naked City and The Fugitive, Jack Klugman is hands down one of the best television actors ever to grace the medium. We’ll talk about his career as well as his book, Tony and Me, a poignant look at his 50-year friendship with actor Tony Randall. Jack Klugman will be joining us in our first hour.

Then in our second hour, we’ll shift gears as we remember Alias Smith and Jones,the popular Western series from the early 1970s starring Pete Duel and Ben Murphy. Though the history of the show is overshadowed by the suicide of Pete Duel in December 1971, Alias Smith and Jones brought a youthful spin to the Western genre that remains fresh and entertaining today. Joining us this hour will be author Paul Green,whose books include Pete Duel: A Biography and A History of Television’s The Virginian. TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie MontiforteMon-Sun 10pm ET, 7pm PT Shokus Internet Radio Every other Tuesday at 11pm ET, 8pm PTShare-a-Vision Radio, Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner

Friday, January 22, 2010

Your Mental Sorbet: More from the Late Night Talk Show War II

Here is another "Mental Sorbet" that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Because of my associations and affiliations I am connected and affected our new Late night talk show war so I outsourced the job of breaking down the situation to China.

Here is the English translation.

Back home in Hollywood my friends at POParitaville braved the raincovered to cover the Team Coco Rally last Monday.

It is a good thing that they didn't make the Conan rally a Tea Party. The L.A. River would be filled with Coco.

Conan: Good luck in your new location.
Jay: Good luck in your old location.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Monday, January 18, 2010

This week in Television History: January 2010 PART III

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (10pm ET, 7pm PT) on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

January 18, 1948
Original Amateur Hour debuts

One of TV's first talent shows was a spin-off of a popular radio show, Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, the program where Frank Sinatra was discovered in 1937.

The show, which aired for 12 years, was one of the few programs to be aired by all four early TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and the ill-fated DuMont network) at different times. Seven-year-old Gladys Knight and 18-year-old Pat Boone were both grand prize winners on the show.

January 18, 1974
The Six Million Dollar Man debuts.
The show was based on the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin, and during pre-production, that was the proposed title of the series. The popularity of The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors as Steve Austin, the world's first bionic man, inspires a superhero trend in the late 1970s, which spawns shows like Wonder Woman in 1976 and The Incredible Hulk in 1978.

In 1975 two-part episode entitled The Bionic Woman introduced the character of Jaime Sommers, a professional tennis player who rekindled an old romance with Austin, only to experience a parachuting accident that resulted in her being given bionic parts similar to Austin. Ultimately, however, her bionics failed and she died. The character was very popular, however, and the following season she was revived (having been cryogenically frozen) and was given her own spin-off series, The Bionic Woman, which lasted until 1978 when both it and The Six Million Dollar Man were simultaneously cancelled.

Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers returned in three subsequent made-for-television movies:
The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987), Bionic Showdown (1989) — which featured Sandra Bullock in an early role as a new bionic woman; and Bionic Ever After? (1994) in which Austin and Sommers finally marry. Majors reprised the role of Steve Austin in all three productions, which also featured Richard Anderson and Martin E. Brooks.

January 19, 1953
Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky
Episode #56, Lucy Goes to the Hospital, of hit 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy airs for the first time.

The episode, in which Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, gives birth to a son, was one of the most popular in television history. The ground-breaking episode was one of the first American television programs to deal with the issue of pregnancy, a taboo subject in conservative 1950s America, when even married couples were not shown on television sharing the same bed. Forty-four million viewers, a full 72 percent of all U.S. homes with a television, tuned in; only 29 million viewers had watched President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s televised inauguration the previous night.

January 19, 1955
Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first president to hold news conferences to be filmed by TV and newsreels.
On this day in 1955, Eisenhower gave a 33-minute conference in the treaty room at the State Department, recorded by NBC and shared with CBS, ABC, and the DuMont Network.

January 21, 1959
Carl Switzer, better known as Alfalfa from the Our Gang comedies, is shot and killed in a brawl.

Switzer, who became a hunting guide and bartender in Northern California after his acting career fizzled, was shot after an argument over a $50 debt. Authorities ruled the shooting "justifiable homicide."

January 22, 1947
The first television station west of the Mississippi River goes on the air.
The station was KTLA-TV in Hollywood. The station began broadcasting at 8:30 p.m. from a converted garage. When the first Emmy Awards were handed out two years later, KTLA swept the awards for its original programming.

January 22, 1972
Emergency, produced by Dragnet star and producer Jack Webb, premieres, featuring the same semidocumentary style popularized by Webb's earlier police drama.
Emergency was based on the paramedic program that started in Los Angeles, California in 1969. Senator Alan Cranston actually praised the show for informing the public about the value of funding such programs!The show focused on the adventures of paramedics Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage. The show, which ran from 1972 to 1977, foreshadowed later hits like E.R., with its interwoven comic and serious subplots.

Julie London was married to fellow Emergency cast member Bobby Troup. In an earlier marriage, London was married to Jack Webb. Bobby Troup was a bandleader before becoming an actor.

January 23, 1977
The miniseries Roots debuts on ABC.

The show traced four generations of an African-American family based on the family of author Alex Haley. Running for eight consecutive days, the miniseries became the single most watched program in American history, drawing about 100 million viewers.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Saturday, January 16, 2010

TV Confidential Archives: Jan. 11, 2010

Ed, Frankie and guest co-host Tony Figueroa welcome actress Susan Olsen The Brady Bunch and pop culture historian Ted Nichelson in the first hour as they discuss their book, Love to Love You Bradys, a behind-the-scenes history of the short-lived but long remembered Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

Then Emmy-winning writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething, Saving Grace) joins the guys in the second hour as they weigh in on the ongoing late night controversy involving Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien and its effect on NBC's 10pm lineup and local network affiliates.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This week in Television History: January 2010 PART II

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (10pm ET, 7pm PT) on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

January 11, 1949
NBC links its East and Midwest TV networks, celebrating with a special ceremonial telecast. Radio network NBC had started experimenting with television broadcasts as early as 1938 and began regular service in 1939, starting with the World's Fair in New York. NBC and CBS both received commercial licenses for stations in New York City on July 1, 1941. NBC launched its first TV network in 1946 by transmitting programs from its New York station to its Philadelphia and Schenectady stations. The company didn't open its Midwest network until September of 1948. The West Coast was added in September 1951, creating the country's first coast-to-coast network.

January 12, 1971
The controversial situtuaon comedy All in the Family debuts.

The show, which was one of TV's top hits for much of its run, starred Carroll O'Connor as bigoted Archie Bunker; Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith; and Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner as the couple's liberal daughter and son-in-law. The show changed the course of television by portraying the harsh realities of bigotry and racism and dealing with controversial subjects like birth control, rape, and politics. The show changed its name to Archie Bunker's Place in 1979, when the action shifted from the Bunkers' living room to the bar Archie owned.

January 13, 1928
Experimental Television sets are installed in three homes in Schenectady, New York. RCA and General Electric installed the sets, which displayed a 1.5-inch-square picture. However, televisions did not become common household appliances until the late 1940s.

January 14, 1952
Today premieres on NBC.

It was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Weaver was president of the company from 1953 to 1955, during which time Today's late-night companion The Tonight Show premiered. In pre-production, the show's proposed title was The Rise and Shine Revue. Today was the first show of its genre when it signed on with original host Dave Garroway. The show blended national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local station news updates. Today's female anchors were once called "Today girls." Other hosts over the years have included John Chancellor, Hugh Downs, Florence Henderson, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, and Katie Couric. Current cast includes Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, with weatherman Al Roker, news anchor Ann Curry, and correspondent Natalie Morales.

January 15, 1974
The first episode of Happy Days airs on this day in 1974, portraying the comic antics of 1950s Milwaukee high school student Richie Cunningham and his pal Potsie Webber.

A minor character, super-cool biker Arthur "the Fonz" Fonzarelli, soon came to be the show's central character. The immensely popular series was the most highly rated comedy in the 1976-77 TV season and stayed in the Top 20 most highly rated shows for seven of its 10 seasons. It launched several spin-offs, including Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.

January 15, 1981
Hill Street Blues premieres on NBC.

The show, which ran until 1987, won Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series in 1982, 1983, and 1984. The show revolved around police officers in an unidentified city.

January 16, 1973
Long-running western series Bonanza is cancelled after 14 seasons.

The episode The Hunter was written and directed by Michael Landon.
The show, which debuted in 1959, was the first western to be televised in color. Throughout the 1960s, the show, which featured the adventures of the Cartwright family on their ranch, the Ponderosa, was one of the most highly rated programs on television. Its trademark theme song rose to No. 19 on Billboard's Top Singles chart in 1961.

January 16, 1976
Donny and Marie premieres.

Music variety show Donny and Marie premieres, starring 18-year-old Donny Osmond and his 16-year-old sister, Marie. The show ran for only three years, but the brother and sister were reunited in 1998 with a daytime talk show.

January 17, 1949
The Goldbergs debuts as television's first situation comedy.

The show ran until 1954. The show, which evolved from a nearly 20-year-old popular radio program of the same name, followed the adventures of a middle-class Jewish family in the Bronx. Gertrude Berg played gossipy housewife Molly Goldberg, and Philip Loeb played her husband, Jake, who worked in the clothing business. They had two teenagers, Sammy and Rosalie.
In each episode, the family would face another typical middle-class problem--and Molly enjoyed trying to help the neighbors in her apartment complex solve their problems, too. Later, when the fictitious family moved from the Bronx to suburban Haverville, the cast was joined by philosophical Uncle David, Sammy's fiancee (who later became his wife), her mother, and new neighbors. In 1952, Loeb was blacklisted for alleged Communist sympathies.
The show's sponsor, General Foods, dropped the series, and the show moved to NBC-without Loeb, though Berg had fought to keep him aboard. Loeb declared under oath he had never been a member of the Communist Party, and the charges were never proved, but his career was destroyed. He died in 1955 after taking a fatal overdose of sleeping pills in a hotel room.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cindy Brady, thirtysomething and More: Next on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Join us as we look back on two iconic TV shows (one from the ’70s, the other from the ’80s) on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, premiering Monday, Jan. 11 at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with a rebroadcast Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 11pm ET, 8pm PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, Actress Susan Olsen (Cindy on The Brady Bunch) and author Ted Nichelson are scheduled to join us in our first hour. They’ll be talking about their new book, Love to Love You Bradys, an inside look at the making of the short-lived but long remembered Brady Bunch Variety Hour, which aired on ABC as an occasional series during the spring of 1977. Featuring interviews with nearly all of the original Brady cast members, as well as such behind-the-scenes personnel as Bruce Vilanch and Paul Shafer, the book is an insightful look at the television industry that also happens to chronicle the strangest chapter in Brady Bunch history. Susan and Ted will join us beginning at 10:05pm ET, 7:05pm PT.

Then in our second hour, we’ll welcome back Joseph Dougherty, the Emmy-winning writer, producer and director behind thirtysomething, Judging Amy, Saved, Saving Grace and other quality television series. We’ll talk about these shows and more when Joseph joins us beginning at 11:05pm ET, 8:05pm PT.
If you want to be part of our conversation, if you have questions or comments for any of our guests, we invite you to join us for our live broadcast Monday, Jan. 11 beginning at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio.
Phone number is (888) SHOKUS-5 / (888) 746-5875.
Email address is

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Art Clokey

Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby and Pokey, began his work with clay figures on his grandfather's farm 80 miles north of Detroit where he spent his summers in the 1930s. It was paradise to him as a boy. A neighboring farmer had a son about his age. They would play together in the barnyard or in the living room of the house. The son had a set of blocks and toy cannons. They built forts with toy soldiers. They would shoot pencils and marbles out of the cannons and destroy the fort. When they ran out of soldiers Art began to make them of clay. It was the first time he can remember working with clay.

Great artists are often inspired by mentors, and for Art Clokey this was Slavko Vorkapich, the head of the Cinema Department at the University of Southern California where Art was a student. Vorkapich was an immigrant from Yugoslavia. Art did some graduate work with Vorkapich, who, shortly thereafter, resigned from the university to work on his own films. Vorkapich continued to teach in private classes at his home in Benedict Canyon, California. Vorkapich considered Art his protégé, and introduced him to his kinesthetic film principles of animation. "He turned my head around at USC as far as motion pictures are concerned," Art said. He also introduced Art to his friends, who were some of greatest film makers in the world at the time, including the great Russian director Eisenstein.
Art experimented with film as he was developing as an artist, long before he created Gumby, Pokey, and all of their friends. But his work with clay in film really began in the advertising industry with commercials, and it was during a break in the filming of these commercials that he began to create an art form that in a very short time would be recognized throughout the world.

He is best known for his animated television character Gumby. Clokey and his wife Ruth invented Gumby in the early 1950s at their Covina home shortly after he had finished film school at USC. Since 1955, Gumby and his horse Pokey have been a familiar presence on television, appearing in several series—and even in a 1995 feature film, Gumby: The Movie. Clokey's second most famous production is the duo of Davey and Goliath, funded by the Lutheran Church in America.
By that time, Gumby toys were already ubiquitous. But Clokey had mixed feelings about commercialization.
“I didn’t allow merchandising for seven years after it was on the air,” Clokey told the Tribune, “because I was very idealistic, and I didn’t want parents to think we were trying to exploit their children.”

Good Night Mr. Clokey
Thank you for the gift of Gumby

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Friday, January 08, 2010

Your Mental Sorbet: All My Children 40th Year Anniversary

Here is another "Mental Sorbet" that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

All My Children (AMC) is an priemered January 5, 1970. Created by Agnes Nixon, the show is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. Since its inception, the show has featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most popular characters. The title of the show refers to the bonds of humanity. The poem, written by Nixon, that appears in the title credits' photo album reads:
“The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor,The Weak and the Strong,In Sickness and in Health,In Joy and Sorrow,In Tragedy and Triumph,You are ALL MY CHILDREN”

HappyAnniversary AMC
Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Monday, January 04, 2010

This week in Television History: January 2010 PART I

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (10pm ET, 7pm PT) on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

January 5, 1998
Sonny Bono, Congressman and former half of the singing duo Sonny and Cher, is killed in a skiing accident.

Born in 1935, Bono rose to fame in the early 1970s as the straight man to his wife in The Sonny and Cher Show. As a signer and songwriter he received ten gold records during his career but his biggest hit was undoubtedly 1965’s ”I Got You Babe.” He entered the political world in 1988 when he was elected mayor of Palm Springs. He was elected to Congress in 1994 as a Republican. He was 62.

January 6, 1936
Porky Pig makes his world debut in a Warner Brothers cartoon, Gold Diggers of '49.

When Mel Blanc joined Warner Brothers the following year, he became the famous voice behind Porky as well as the Warner Brothers characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, and Tweety.

January 6, 1973
The animated Saturday morning TV series of shorts called Schoolhouse Rock premieres on ABC with Multiplication Rock.

The short musical cartoons featured lessons in math, history, science, grammar, and more, with classics like "Conjunction Junction," "Interjections," and "The Preamble to the Constitution."

January 8, 1966
Rock and roll TV variety show Shindig on ABC airs its last episode.

The show had debuted in September 1964, featuring acts including the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and others. NBC launched a similar show, Hullabaloo, in January 1965, which ran until August 1966.

January 10, 1971
Masterpiece Theatre debuts.

Among the show's many presentations are Upstairs Downstairs (1974-1977), I, Claudius (1978), and A Tale of Two Cities (1989). Program hosts included Alistair Cooke and Russell Baker.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Saturday, January 02, 2010

TV Confidential Archives: Dec. 28, 2009

First hour
Second hour
Ed and Frankie play highlights from some of their favorite interviews from 2009 in both hours of this program. Also: Tony Figueroa remembers the births of Mary Tyler Moore and Tracey Ullman, the deaths of Rick Nelson and Alan Hale Jr. and the premiere of Dragnet on television, while David Krell remembers Arthur Haley's Hotel and the "Opie the Birdman" episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

Monday, Jan. 1110pm ET 7pm PT
with replays nightly at 10pm ET 7pm PT thru Jan. 24
Tuesday, Jan. 1211pm ET 8pm PT
Our scheduled guests include writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething) and author Ted Nichelson (Love to Love You Bradys). Subscribe to TV CONFIDENTIAL

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010

Dear Readers,I have been spending Christmas in Ohio and New Years at home in Hollywood.

Again, I was never one for New Year’s resolutions and here is why,

but since I've done it for the last couple of years I thought that I could make it a yearly feature on my blog.

Last year I resolved to do more reading (Especially reading more classics and more plays).
I did do a lot more reading in 2009, but not as many classics or plays as I wanted to. In my defense that since, I became a contributor to TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte I have been reading the books that our guests have written.
So this year again I plan to read more classics and more plays and take more advantage of my local library.

Last year I resolved to take a greater interest in current events outside the entertainment industry.
Well, I can say that I took a greater interest in current events and was disturbed at how much entertainment news passes for real news (TV Confidential Archives 063009.mp3). TMZ is trash, but they're not always wrong.

This year I again resolve to take a greater interest in current events outside the entertainment industry if that is even possible.Again this year it would be ridiculous for me to say that."I resolve to watch less television" but I said it last year and I did wind up watching less TV and it was not because of any self discipline on my part CHILD OF TELEVISION: Fall 2009.
This year I resolve to watch less television. Don't worry I should have enough to write and talk about.

Last year I resolved to do more blogging and podcasting.
This year I resolve to do more blogging, writing, interviews, story telling and stand-up.

Last year I resolved to patronise more "Mom & Pop" business' in my neighborhood.
I did patronise more "Mom & Pop" business' in my neighborhood.
And this year I resolve to patronise even more "Mom & Pop" business' in my neighborhood.

To quote Dave Garroway, the first host of the Today Show who closed each program with an upraised hand and the single word, "Peace".

Stay Tuned &

Happy New Year

Tony & Donna Figueroa