Monday, November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen

Leslie William Nielsen, was born on February 11, 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career beginning with dramatic roles on television appearing in almost 50 live programs in 1950 alone during what is now known as "The Golden Age".


Nielsen first appeared in films in 1956 when he made his feature film debut in the Michael Curtiz-directed musical film The Vagabond King. His lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972) received positive reviews as a serious actor.
Although Nielsen's acting career crossed a variety of genres in both television and films, his deadpan delivery as a doctor in Airplane! (1980) marked a turning point in his career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs." Nielsen enjoyed further success with The Naked Gun film series, based on his short-lived television series Police Squad!.


His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gave him a reputation as a comedian. He was recognized with a variety of awards throughout his career and was inducted into both the Canada and Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nielsen married four times and had two daughters from his second marriage. Nielsen died in his sleep in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital of complications from pneumonia.

Shirley this can't be Good Night Mr. Nielsen.


To Quote Leslie Nielsen, as Lieutenant Frank Drebin on Police Squad when asked 'Who are you and how did you get in here?' he answered, "'I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith."

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

This week in Television History: Novenber 2010 PART V

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 9pm ET, 6pm PT (immediately following STU'S SHOW) on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (9pm ET, 6pm PT)on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at TVConfidential.net. We are also on Share-a-Vision Radio (KSAV.org) Friday at 7pm PT and ET, either before or after the DUSTY RECORDS show, depending on where you live.

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.

November 29, 1948
Children's show Kukla, Fran and Ollie premieres on prime time network TV.


The show featured beloved puppets Kukla, Ollie (a dragon), and others, with live actress Fran Allison as host. The show began as a local Chicago program before debuting on NBC. It was one of the two most important series made in Chicago, along with Garroway at Large, during the city's brief period as an important production center for network programs in the late 1940s. After its network cancellation in 1957, PBS revived the series from 1969 to 1971

December 1, 1940
Richard Pryor is born in Peoria, Illinois.
According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Pryor was “the first African-American stand-up comedian to speak candidly and successfully to integrated audiences using the language and jokes blacks previously only shared among themselves when they were most critical of America….His comic style emancipated African-American humor.”

After being expelled from school in the eighth grade, Pryor worked a series of jobs and served in the U.S. Army before he was discharged for getting into a fight. He began performing in comedy clubs and by 1963 was doing stand-up in New York City, modeling his routines after the clean-cut, non-offensive style of such fellow African-American comedians as Bill Cosby. The following year, Pryor made his national TV debut on a variety show hosted by Rudy Vallee. In 1967, he released his first comedy album, Richard Pryor. The funnyman made his big-screen debut that same year with the comedy The Busy Body, featuring Sid Caesar.

During the 1970s, Pryor’s comedy evolved, and he tackled racially sensitive topics in his stand-up routines and bestselling, Grammy Award-winning comedy albums, often using raunchy, politically incorrect language. According to his 2005 obituary in the New York Times: “At the height of his career, in the late 1970’s, Mr. Pryor prowled the stage like a restless cat, dispensing what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded the American public. He was volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky but somehow still diffident and anxious. And he could unleash an astonishing array of dramatic and comic skills to win acceptance and approval for a kind of stark humor.”

Pryor’s movie career took off with the 1976 box-office hit Silver Streak, a comedy-thriller about a murder on a train, co-starring Gene Wilder. Pryor and Wilder went on to collaborate on such films as Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil Hear No Evil (1989) and Another You (1991). During the 1970s, Pryor also appeared in such movies as 1977’s Greased Lightning, in which he plays a race car driver; The Wiz (1978), a version of The Wizard of Oz that featured an entirely African-American cast, with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson joining Pryor (who played the title role); writer Neil Simon’s California Suite (1978), with Alan Alda, Jane Fonda, Walter Matthau, Maggie Smith and Bill Cosby; and The Muppet Movie (1979). In 1979, Pryor also released his first concert film, Richard Pryor, Live in Concert, which according to a 2005 Times article “remains the standard by which other movies of live comedy performances are judged.”

In 1980, Pryor, who battled substance-abuse issues during his life, was severely burned in an explosion caused while he was freebasing cocaine. After spending several months recovering in the hospital, he resumed his career, performing stand-up and appearing in a string of movies, including Bustin’ Loose (1980), in which he plays an ex-con who gets a second chance; Superman III (1983), with Christopher Reeve; Brewster’s Millions (1985), with John Candy; the semi-autobiographical Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling (1986); and Harlem Nights (1989), written, directed by and co-starring Eddie Murphy.

In 1986, Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He made his final film appearance in David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997). Pryor, who was married six times, died at the age of 65 on December 10, 2005, in California after suffering a heart attack.

December 3, 1948
John Michael Ozzy Osbourne is born in Birmingham, England.

The heavy-metal musician and star of the pioneering reality TV program The Osbournes, which originally aired from 2002 to 2005, is born .

Osbourne first gained fame in the 1970s as a founding member and the lead vocalist of the heavy-metal band Black Sabbath. After being fired from the group in the late 1970s, he embarked on a successful solo career. In the mid-1990s, he and his wife Sharon launched Ozzfest, a popular annual tour of heavy-metal and rock acts. As a performer, Osbourne became infamous for biting the heads off a dove and a bat onstage and was also accused of promoting suicide and Satanism through some of his lyrics.

Osbourne’s fame widened beyond the music world with the debut of The Osbournes, a reality TV show featuring the rocker and his family that debuted on MTV on March 5, 2002. The idea for the show reportedly sprang from an episode of MTV’s Cribs, which featured the feisty, frequently foul-mouthed Osbourne clan at home. The Osbournes focused on Ozzy’s relationship with his spunky wife Sharon and the couple’s two teenagers, Kelly and Jack; a third sibling, Aimee, opted not to participate in the show. Filmed largely at the Osbournes’ Beverly Hills, California mansion, the show covered a range of topics, from Ozzy’s battles with a vacuum cleaner to his efforts to stay sober; to Sharon’s fight against colon cancer; to Jack and Kelly’s partying and often-bratty behavior; to the family’s pack of misbehaving pets.

The Osbournes, which aired its last original episode on March 21, 2005, proved to be one of the highest-rated series in MTV’s history and spawned a string of reality TV shows about celebrities on various networks, including MTV’s Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, with pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, which aired from 2003 to 2005, and Hogan Knows Best, which featured pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and his wife and children and debuted in 2005 on Vh1. Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss starred with his family in Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which premiered in 2006 on A&E, while Denise Richards, the actress and former wife of Charlie Sheen, appeared in a show about her professional and domestic life, Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, which debuted in 2008 on E!.

In addition to turning Ozzy Osbourne into a household name and sparking a boom in celebrity-focused reality TV, The Osbournes transformed his wife and longtime manager Sharon into a star in her own right. From 2003 to 2004, she hosted her own TV talk show and later went on to make numerous guest appearances on various TV programs and to serve as a judge on the TV competition America’s Got Talent.

December 5, 1952
The Abbott and Costello Show debuts.

They made only 52 episodes, but the show appeared in reruns for decades.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello teamed up in the early 1930s to form a vaudeville comedy act. The team soon became one of vaudeville's biggest successes. In 1940, they launched their own radio program, which ran until 1949.

They made their first film in 1940, One Night in the Tropics, followed by the hit Buck Privates (1941). The pair made more than 30 films together, including a series of horror-movie spoofs, including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeAbbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955). (1953), and

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

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dynasty Co-creator Richard Shapiro: Next on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Television writer/producer Richard Shapiro will be our special guest on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, premiering Monday, Nov. 29 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with encore presentations Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 11:05pm ET, 8:05pm on Passionate World Radio, Friday, Dec. 3 at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org, plus three times a day on ShokusRadio.com through Sunday, Dec. 5.

Co-creator, along with his wife, Esther, of the long-running ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty, Richard Shapiro has also written and produced such acclaimed TV movies and miniseries as East of Eden, Intimate Strangers, Minstrel Man, and Sarah T: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic. Richard's latest work, Tobacco Brown, is an epic novel about one man's search for meaning that is not only poignant and thought-provoking, but often hysterically funny. We'll talk about
, as well as other aspects of Richard's writing and television career, when he joins us in our second hour.

In our first hour, we'll take a look at the careers of Jon Stewart and Richard Pryor as part of a special expanded edition of This Week in TV History. All this, plus the latest news in television, your email comments, and more.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Tuesdays 11:05pm, 8:05pm PT Passionate World Radio
Fridays 7pm ET and PT Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
Three times a day, every day on Shokus Internet Radio www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner
Find us now on Facebook

Friday, November 26, 2010

Your Black Friday Mental Sorbet: "The Jack Benny Program" Christmas Shopping Show

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

The Jack Benny Program #084: Christmas Shopping (Season 8, Episode 7)
Jack goes Christmas shopping in a large deptartment store and has trouble making up his mind. Dennis Day sings "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". Jack encounters Frank Nelson as the floor manager, Mel Blanc and Barbara Pepper as salespeople, Benny Rubin as a bandit. The Sportsmen Quartet sing the Lucky commercial in the elevator.
First aired: 12/15/1957.

Watch The Jack Benny Program #084: Christmas Shopping (Season 8, Episode 7) in Entertainment View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Your Thanksgiving Mental Sorbet: WKRP in Cincinnati "Turkeys Away"

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



Station manager Arthur Carlson comes up with a big idea for a unique holiday promotion involving live turkeys and a helicopter.



Stay Tuned and Happy Thanksgiving


Tony Figueroa

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TV Confidential Archives Nov. 15, 2010

First hour: Ed welcomes journalist and collaborative writer Kelly James-Enger, author of Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer’s Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books. Also in this hour: Ed takes a look at the premiere of Conan on TBS, while Tony Figueroa remembers the births of Rock Hudson and Goldie Hawn, as well as the 30th anniversary of the highly rated episode of Dallas that, after eight months of hype and speculation, finally answered the question "Who Shot J.R.?"

Second hour: Ed welcomes novelist and collaborative writer Darlene Quinn, author of Webs of Power and Twisted Webs, and the co-author, along with actor Buddy Ebsen, of Sizzling Cold Case: The Legend of Lori London, an original mystery novel featuring private detective Barnaby Jones. The hour also also features highlights from previous conversations with actress Lee Meriwether and television writer Paul Robert Coyle about Barnaby Jones.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This week in Television History: November 2010 PART IV

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 9pm ET, 6pm PT (immediately following STU'S SHOW) on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (9pm ET, 6pm PT)on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at TVConfidential.net. We are also on Share-a-Vision Radio (KSAV.org) Friday at 7pm PT and ET, either before or after the DUSTY RECORDS show, depending on where you live.

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.

November 24, 1978
David Letterman makes his first guest appearance on The Tonight Show.



Letterman became a favorite on the show, serving as guest host more than 50 times. By 1982, Letterman had his own late-night comedy talk show, Late Night with David Letterman, which ran until 1993. When NBC chose Jay Leno instead of Letterman to become the replacement when host Johnny Carson retired, Letterman changed networks and launched Late Show on rival network CBS.

November 26, 1922
Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz is born in St. Paul, Minnesota.


The son of a barber, Schulz showed an early interest in art and took a correspondence course in cartooning. After serving in the army in World War II, Schulz returned to St. Paul and took a job lettering comics for a small magazine. In 1947, Schulz began drawing a comic strip for the St. Paul Pioneer Press called "L'il Folks," featuring Charlie Brown and his gang of friends. In 1950, after several rejections, Schulz sold syndication rights to United Features, which renamed the strip "Peanuts." Schulz drew the comic himself, without assistants, until his retirement in 1999. Peanuts ran in some 2,600 papers, in 75 countries and 21 languages, earning Schulz some $30 million a year. Schulz died in 2000.

November 27, 1980
Bosom Buddies starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari debuted.

An offbeat sitcom about two men disguising themselves as women, the show ran for four years and first brought Hanks to national attention.
Hanks studied acting in high school and played with a Shakespeare festival for three years. He appeared in a horror flick, He Knows You're Alone, in 1980, then Splash in 1984, followed by a huge success with Big in 1988, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. His career took off again with Sleepless in Seattle (1993); he is now considered one of the top box office draws alive. He won the Best Actor Oscar twice, for Philadelphia in 1993 and Forrest Gump in 1994.
Peter Scolari was born September 12, 1955 later workedon Newhart and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.


Nov 27, 1940
Bruce Lee born.


Lee was born while his father, a Chinese opera star, was on tour in America. The Lee family moved back to Hong Kong in 1941. Growing up, Lee was a child actor who appeared in some 20 Chinese films; he also studied dancing and trained in the Wing Chun style of gung fu (also known as kung fu). In 1959, Lee returned to America, where he eventually attended the University of Washington and opened a martial-arts school in Seattle. In 1964, he married Linda Emery, who in 1965 gave birth to Brandon Lee, the first of the couple’s two children. In 1966, the Lees relocated to Los Angeles and Bruce appeared on the television program The Green Hornet (1966-1967), playing the Hornet’s acrobatic sidekick, Kato. Lee also appeared in karate tournaments around the United States and continued to teach martial arts to private clients, including the actor Steve McQueen.
In search of better acting roles than Hollywood was offering, Lee returned to Hong Kong in the early 1970s. He successfully established himself as a star in Asia with the action movies The Big Boss (1971) and The Way of the Dragon (1972), which he wrote, directed and starred in. Lee’s next film, Enter the Dragon, was released in the United States by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers in August 1973. Tragically, Lee had died one month earlier, on July 20, in Hong Kong, after suffering a brain edema believed to be caused by an adverse reaction to a pain medication. Enter the Dragon was a box-office hit, eventually grossing more than $200 million, and Lee posthumously became a movie icon in America.
Lee’s body was returned to Seattle, where he was buried. His sudden death at the young age of 32 led to rumors and speculation about the cause of his demise. One theory held that Lee had been murdered by Chinese gangsters, while another rumor circulated that the actor had been the victim of a curse. The family-curse theory resurfaced when Lee’s 28-year-old son Brandon, who had followed in his father’s footsteps to become an actor, died in an accidental shooting on the set of the movie The Crow on March 31, 1993. The younger Lee was buried next to his father at Seattle’s Lake View Cemetery.

Nov 28, 1962
Talk-show host and comedian Jon Stewart born.


Stewart’s irreverent take on national and world events has been a huge hit with audiences and has even led some viewers to cite The Daily Show as their primary source of news. Raised in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz attended the College of William and Mary and after graduation began performing stand-up comedy at clubs in New York City. In 1991, he became host of Short Attention Span Theater on Comedy Central, which was followed in 1992 by You Wrote It, You Watch It on MTV. In 1993, he hosted a half-hour program, The Jon Stewart Show, also on MTV. A late-night, nationally syndicated version of the program launched the following year but was cancelled in 1995.


In January 1999, Stewart took over hosting duties of The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, who had hosted the show since its 1996 debut on Comedy Central and left to replace Tom Snyder as host of The Late Late Show. With Stewart in the anchor seat, The Daily Show typically opens with a monologue about the day’s news stories, followed by a satirical report from one of the program’s “fake news” correspondents. (Previous correspondents have included Steve Carrell, who was a Daily Show regular from 1999 to 2004 and went on to star in such movies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine and Get Smart and the NBC sitcom The Office. Another Daily Show correspondent, Stephen Colbert, left the program in 2005 to launch his own spin-off, The Colbert Report.) During the final segment of the half-hour Daily Show, Stewart conducts interviews with politicians, authors, Hollywood celebrities or other newsmakers. The Daily Show has won multiple Emmy Awards, and in 2004 Stewart and his writing staff released a best-selling mock-history textbook titled America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction.
In addition to hosting The Daily Show, Stewart served as master of ceremonies for Hollywood’s biggest annual event, the Academy Awards, in 2006 and 2008. His own movie career, which includes appearances in Playing by Heart (1998), The Faculty (1998) and Big Daddy (1999), has yet to win him any Oscars. On The Daily Show, Stewart has mocked his roles in such box-office bombs as 2001’s Death to Smoochy.

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

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

David Bianculli, James Best and The Best of TV CONFIDENTIAL

Catch replays of our conversations with David Bianculli and James Best on a special "Best of" edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, premiering Monday, Nov. 22 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with encore presentations Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 11:05pm ET, 8:05pm on PIV World Radio, Friday, Nov. 26 at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org, plus three times a day on ShokusRadio.com through Sunday, Nov. 28.

The first hour will feature an encore presentation of our May 2010 interview with television critic David Bianculli (Fresh Air) on the legacy of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, its impact on prime time television in the late 1960s and how Tom and Dick's battles with CBS executives over censorship issues led to the abrupt end of the program in April 1969. David is the author of Dangerously Funny, a comprehensive look at the careers of Tom and Dick Smothers and the legacy of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

In our second hour, we'll replay our May 2010 conversation with actor and author James Best (The Dukes of Hazzard), whose book, Best in Hollywood: The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful, is filled with great stories about his work with such motion picture legends as Burt Reynolds, his experience teaching young actors camera technique in Hollywood and at the University of Mississippi, his early days as a contract player at Universal Studios and, of course, his years playing Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Tuesdays 11:05pm, 8:05pm PTPIV World Radio
Fridays 7pm ET and PT Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
Three times a day, every day on Shokus Internet Radio www.tvconfidential.net
blog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner
Find us now on Facebook

Friday, November 19, 2010

Your Mental Sorbet: Mork Meets The Fonz

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

Mork Meets The Fonz again in the pilot of Mork & Mindy

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TV Confidential Archives: Nov. 8, 2010

First hour: Wesley Hyatt, author of Kicking Off the Week: A History of Monday Night Football on ABC Television, joins Ed as they take a look at the current uptick in popularity of NFL football this TV season. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa remembers the 45th anniversary of Days of Our Lives, the 41st anniversary of the premiere of Sesame Street and other events that happened This Week in TV History.

Second hour: Ken Corday, executive producer of Days of Our Lives, joins Ed and guest co-host Tony Figueroa as TV Confidential celebrates the 45th anniversary of the long-running, groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning NBC daytime drama. Ken's book, The Days of Our Lives: The True Story of One Family’s Dream and The Untold History of Days of Our Lives, not only chronicles the history of Days of Our Lives on television, but pays tribute to his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, the creators and original executive producers of the series.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This week in Television History: November 2010 PART III

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 9pm ET, 6pm PT (immediately following STU'S SHOW) on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (9pm ET, 6pm PT)on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at TVConfidential.net. We are also on Share-a-Vision Radio (KSAV.org) Friday at 7pm PT and ET, either before or after the DUSTY RECORDS show, depending on where you live.

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.

November 17, 1925
Roy Harold Scherer-later known as Rock Hudson-is born in Winnetka, Illinois.
As a child, Hudson auditioned for school plays but never landed a role. Later, he worked as a navy mechanic and a truck driver, then pursued an acting career after World War II. After extensive grooming, which included acting, dancing, and fencing lessons, Hudson became a leading actor with Universal. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he frequently starred in action films and melodramas, including The Desert Hawk (1950) and The Iron Man (1951). Later, he shone in comedies like Pillow Talk (1959), the first of his three pictures with Doris Day.

He later worked in television, starring in the series McMillan and Wife from 1971 to 1977 and appearing in Dynasty in 1984 and 1985. Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, at the age of 59.

November 17, 1944
Actor and director Danny DeVito is born in Neptune, New Jersey.
A former hairdresser, DeVito made his stage debut in 1969. He began appearing in small movie roles, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). He spent five years playing cab dispatcher Louie De Palma on the TV sitcom Taxi.

By the mid 1980s, with comedy credits like Romancing the Stone (1984) and Ruthless People (1986), he was in high demand as a comic actor. He began directing in 1987, with Throw Mama from the Train, followed by the hit The War of the Roses (1989). Recent credits include L.A. Confidential (1997) and The Rainmaker (1997). In 1994, he began producing films with great success. His hits as producer have included, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Get Shorty (1995) and Erin Brockovich (2000). Married to actress Rhea Perlman, DeVito owns his own film company, Jersey Films. DeVito currently plays Frank Reynolds on FX's critically acclaimed comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

November 19, 1959
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Premieres Jet Fuel Formula.

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is the collective name for two separate animated series: Rocky and His Friends (1959 – 1961) and The Bullwinkle Show (1961 – 1964). Rocky & Bullwinkle enjoyed great popularity during the 1960s. Much of this success was a result of it being targeted towards both children and adults. The zany characters and absurd plots would draw in children, while the clever usage of puns and topical references appealed to the adult demographic. Furthermore, the strengths of the series helped it overcome the fact that it had choppy, limited animation; in fact, some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.
The show was broadcast for the first time in the fall of 1959 on the ABC television network under the title Rocky and His Friends twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, at 5:30pm(et). In 1961, the series was moved to NBC where it was renamed The Bullwinkle Show, and first appeared on Sundays at 7pm(et), just before Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color; eventually, it was rescheduled on late Sunday afternoons, and early Saturday afternoons in its final season. Subsequently, in 1964, the show returned to ABC, where it was canceled within a year. However, reruns of episodes were still continually aired on ABC's Sunday morning schedule [11am(et)] until 1973, at which time the series went into syndication. In addition, an abbreviated fifteen minute version of the series ran in syndication in the 1960s under the title The Rocky Show. This version was sometimes shown in conjunction with The King and Odie, a fifteen minute version of Total Television's King Leonardo and His Short Subjects. The King and Odie was similar to Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it was sponsored by General Mills and animated by Gamma Productions.

November 21, 1945
Actress Goldie Hawn is born in Washington, D.C.
The daughter of a musician and a dance-studio owner, Hawn began training as an entertainer at age three, when she took her first dance lesson. By age 16, she was acting professionally, playing Juliet with a regional theater company. After studying briefly at American University, she went to New York to become an actress. She found dancing jobs-first as a can-can dancer with the World's Fair in 1964 and later as a go-go dancer-while playing small parts in movies and ill-fated TV shows.

In 1967, Hawn's career picked up thanks to the comedy-variety show Laugh-In, in which she played a ditzy blonde. In 1969, she won her first featured movie role, in Cactus Flower, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She starred in comedies with actor Chevy Chase, including Foul Play (1978) and Seems Like Old Times (1980). She produced the hit comedy Private Benjamin (1980), for which she received an Best Actress Academy Award nomination. Other films include Overboard (1987), Death Becomes Her (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Banger Sisters (2002). Hawn has had a romantic relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1982. Her daughter, Kate Hudson, is also a well-known actress.

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

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Barnaby Jones: The Novel: Next on TV CONFIDENTIAL

Novelist Darlene Quinn and author Kelly James-Enger will be our guests on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, premiering Monday, Nov. 15 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with encore presentations Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 11:05pm ET, 8:05pm on PIV World Radio, Friday, Nov. 19 at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org, plus three times a day on ShokusRadio.com through Sunday, Nov. 21.

An author of character-driven fiction, whose novels Webs of Power and Twisted Webs take readers into the backroom wheelings and dealings in the world of retail department stores, Darlene Quinn also collaborated with actor Buddy Ebsen on two books, including Sizzling Cold Case: The Legend of Lori London, an original mystery novel featuring private detective Barnaby Jones. Darlene will talk about working with Buddy when she joins us in our second hour, which will also feature highlights from previous conversations with actress Lee Meriwether and television writer Paul Robert Coyle about Barnaby Jones.

Our first hour will include an interview with Kelly James-Enger, author of Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer's Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books. According to some estimates, roughly 80 percent of books authored by celebrities, politicians and other high-profile personalities are written with the help of a professional ghostwriter. But it's not just the big names who hire ghostwriters -- the market for book collaborators is not only broad and exciting, but can be very lucrative, even in today's economy. If you're a freelance writer, author or journalist who has ever thought about ghostwriting, Kelly's book is an excellent resource that walks you through the process. All this, plus This Week in TV History with Tony Figueroa, and more.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Tuesdays 11:05pm, 8:05pm PT PIV World Radio
Fridays 7pm ET and PT Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org
Three times a day, every day on Shokus Internet Radio www.tvconfidential.netblog.tvconfidential.net
Also available as a podcast via iTunes and FeedBurner
Find us now on Facebook

Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Mental Sorbet: "The Odd Couple" - Outtakes from TV Series

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

Hilarious outtakes from the classic television series The Odd Couple. Check out the remarkably un-PC 'spit take' towards the end.This video is from the bonus DVD included in Jack Klugman's book Tony and Me, a wonderful tribute to his friend and fellow actor Tony Randall, as well as a bio of his acting career.

And since tomorrow is November 13th...

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

TV Confidential Archives: Nov. 1, 2010

First hour: Donna Allen and Tony Figueroa join Ed for a discussion on the heir apparent, if any, to Oprah Winfrey; how the tone and format of The Jerry Springer Show was considerably different than how we know it to be today; and initial thoughts on The Talk and Parker/Spitzer. Also in this hour: This Week in History remembers the births of Jackie Coogan, Pat Sajak, Jack Benny, Henry Winkler and Roy Rogers.

Second hour: Emmy and Grammy Award-winning composer Charles Fox joins Ed for a discussion of his collaborations with such artists as Roberta Flack, Paul Williams, Norman Gimbel, Barry Manilow, Jim Croce, Lena Horne and Fred Astaire. Charles' book, Killing Me Softly: My Life in Music, not only walks readers through his journey in music and television, but also pays tribute to the teacher who continues to influence him, the great French composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger.

Monday, November 08, 2010

"Days of our Lives" Turns 45




Days of our Lives first aired on November 8, 1965. The series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted Corday and Betty Corday along with Irna Phillips in 1964, and many of the first stories were written by William J. Bell. The original title sequence voiced by MacDonald Carey is still used to this day. The series expanded from 30 minutes to a full hour on April 21, 1975. The co-creator and original executive producer, Ted Corday, was only at the helm for eight months before dying of cancer in 1966. His widow, Betty, was named executive producer upon his death. She continued in that role, with the help of H. Wesley Kenney and Al Rabin as supervising producers, before she semi-retired in 1985. When Mrs. Corday semi-retired in 1985, and later died in 1987, her son, Ken, became executive producer and took over the full-time, day-to-day running of the show, a title he still holds today.


When Days of our Lives debuted the cast consisted of seven main characters (Tom Horton, Alice Horton, Mickey Horton, Marie Horton, Julie Olson, Tony Merritt, and Craig Merritt). The series first focused on its core family, the Hortons. Several other families have been added to the cast, and many of them still appear on the show. Frances Reid the matriarch of the series' Horton family remained with the show from its inception to her death on February 3, 2010.

The Cordays and Bell combined the "hospital soap" idea with the tradition of centering a series on a family, by making the show about a family of doctors, including one who worked in a mental hospital. Storylines in the show follow the lives of middle and upper-class professionals in Salem, a middle-America town, with the usual threads of love, marriage, divorce, and family life, plus the medical storylines and character studies of individuals with psychological problems. Former executive producer Al Rabin took pride in the characters' passion, saying that the characters were not shy about "sharing what's in their gut." Critics originally praised the show for its non-reliance on nostalgia and its portrayal of "real American contemporary families." By the 1970s, critics deemed Days to be the most daring daytime drama, leading the way in using themes other shows of the period would not dare touch, such as artificial insemination and interracial romance. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the first daytime actors to ever appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.

One of the longest-running storylines involved the rape of Mickey Horton's wife Laura by Mickey's brother Bill. Laura confides in her father-in-law Dr. Tom, and the two agree that her husband Mickey should never know. The secret, involving the true parentage of Michael Horton (a product of the rape) and Mickey's subsequent health issues as a result of the revelation, spanned episodes from 1968 to 1975. The storyline was the first to bring the show to prominence, and put it near the top of the Nielsen daytime ratings. Another love triangle, between lounge singer Doug Williams, Tom and Alice's daughter Addie, and Addie's own daughter, Julie, proved to be very popular around the same time. The storyline culminated in the death of Addie in 1974 and the marriage of Doug and Julie in 1976.








In the 1980s, the Brady and DiMera families were introduced, and their rivalry quickly cemented their places as core families in Salem beside the Hortons. Around the same time, with the help of head writers Sheri Anderson, Thom Racina, and Leah Laiman, action/adventure storylines and supercouples such as Bo and Hope, Shane and Kimberly, and Patch and Kayla reinvigorated the show, previously focused primarily on the domestic troubles of the Hortons.

That's when I started watching.

It’s the summer of 1983, I was home from school but Mom was doing some volunteer work in the afternoons, meaning she would be missing Days of our Lives. So she asked me to watch the show for her, then tell her what happened. Remember there were no VCRs. It seemed simple enough. She’d come home and I’d say, " The guy with the beard has the hots for that girl with the big boobs. Everyone is wondering if this guy I think his name is "Cirano?" is really dead even though he was cremated. Soon it became, "Bo (Peter Reckell) expressed his feelings to Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) faked his death by having some John Doe in the morgue cremated in his place". By the time summer was over and Mom was done with her volunteer work, I was hooked on Days of our Lives.




I never felt insecure in my manhood being a Soap Opera fan because Los Angeles Dodger's manager Tommy Lasorta confessed that he hated away games because it caused him to miss Days of our Lives.




In college I bought my first VCR before I bought my first textbook so I wouldn’t miss the show. While working as a Universal Studios Tour guide I met a coworker who had a recurring part on the show as a nurse. I used the show as an icebreaker. Long story short, I married her. It's a mixed marriage, she's an All My Children fan. Every Wednesday I attend a story telling group in Los Angeles called Story Salon. One of the storytellers there is an actress named Marsha Clark, who also plays the no nonsense judge, Karen Fitzpatrick on DAYS. I started to talk to her about the show's serial killer story line where half the town was murdered by Dr. Marlena Evens (Deidre Hall). She must have thought this guy is nuts, don’t make eye contact.

It’s 27 years later, Bo and Hope's marriage is on the rocks, Stefano is alive, well & raising hell and the hourglass has plenty of sand.

To quote Macdonald Carey (Dr. Tom Horton), "Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of our Lives".

To quote Ken Corday's new book (The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives ), "May the sands run for many years to come."

And to quote Tom and Alice's song ALWAYS,
"Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always."

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

This week in Television History: November 2010 PART II

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 9pm ET, 6pm PT (immediately following STU'S SHOW) on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (9pm ET, 6pm PT)on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at TVConfidential.net. We are also on Share-a-Vision Radio (KSAV.org) Friday at 7pm PT and ET, either before or after the DUSTY RECORDS show, depending on where you live.

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.

November 10, 1969

Sesame Street premiered on November 10, 1969, and is the longest running children's program on television. The show is produced by the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), founded by Joan Ganz Cooney and Ralph Rogers.

As a result of its extensive influence, Sesame Street is one of the most highly regarded, and most watched, educational shows for children in the world. The original series has been televised in more than 120 countries, and 25 independent versions have been produced. The show has been called "perhaps the most vigorously researched, vetted, and fretted-over program". As of 2009, the series has received 118 Emmy Awards, more than any other television series. An estimated 77 million Americans watched the series as children.

Sesame Street uses a combination of animation, puppets, and live actors to stimulate young children's minds, improve their letter and word recognition, basic arithmetic, geometric forms, classification, simple problem solving, and socialization by showing children or people in their everyday lives. Since the show's inception, other instructional goals have been basic life skills, such as how to cross the street safely, proper hygiene, healthy eating habits, and social skills; in addition, real-world situations are taught, such as death, divorce, pregnancy and birth, adoption, and even all of the human emotions such as happiness, love, anger, and hatred. Also, recently, the Sesame Street Muppets discussed the late-2000s recession with their latest prime-time special Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times.

Jon Stone was responsible for hiring the first cast of Sesame Street. He did not audition actors until Spring 1969, a few weeks before the five test shows were due to be filmed. He videotaped the auditions, and Ed Palmer took them out into the field to test children's reactions. The actors who received the "most enthusiastic thumbs up" were cast. For example, Loretta Long, was chosen to play Susan when the children who saw her audition stood up and sang along with her rendition of "I'm a Little Teapot". It was Stone's goal to cast white actors in the minority. As Stone said, casting was the only aspect of the show that was "just completely haphazard". Most of the cast and crew found jobs on Sesame Street through personal relationships with Stone and the other producers. Stone also hired Bob McGrath to play Bob, Will Lee to play Mr. Hooper, and Matt Robinson to play Gordon.

Sesame Street's cast became more diverse in the 1970s. The cast members who joined the show during this time were Sonia Manzano (Maria), Northern Calloway (David), Emilio Delgado (Luis), Linda Bove (Linda), and Buffy Saint-Marie (Buffy). Roscoe Orman succeeded Matt Robinson, the original Gordon, and Hal Miller, in 1975.


November 12, 1990

Actress Eve Arden, best known for playing the title role in the radio and TV series Our Miss Brooks, dies at age 78.

Arden was born in Mill Valley, California, and began acting as a teenager. By age 22, she was appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies. She made two films under her birth name-Eunice Quedens-before her first picture as Eve Arden (Oh, Doctor! in 1937). She frequently played the kind-but-sarcastic girlfriend of the lead female role. Her films included No, No, Nanette (1940), Mildred Pierce (1945), and Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Her last film was Grease II (1982). She published an autobiography, The Three Phases of Eve, in 1985.

November 13, 1949

Caryn Johnson, later known as Whoopi Goldberg, is born in New York City.

Goldberg began acting at age eight in children's theater productions. She dropped out of high school during her freshman year, later citing a learning disability that teachers mistook for retardation. She began using drugs but later cleaned up and resumed her interest in acting. She married her substance abuse counselor and had a daughter. She started winning small roles in Broadway shows including Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. Her marriage ended, and she moved with her daughter to California, where she began performing with improv groups in San Diego and San Francisco while earning money as a bank teller, makeup artist, and other odd jobs.

Goldberg launched a comedy act with comedian Don Victor but was soon performing a hit solo act called "Spook Show." She toured the country with her comedy, eventually ending up on Broadway.

In 1985, three days after her 36th birthday, she made her movie debut in The Color Purple, also starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She later appeared in numerous comedies, including Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), and won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as a psychic in Ghost (1990). Her 1993 comedy, Sister Act, was such a phenomenal hit that she earned $8 million for Sister Act II, which made her one of the industry's highest-paid actresses. She briefly had her own talk show and guest-starred regularly on Star Trek: The Next Generation.


On September 4, 2007, Goldberg became the new moderator and co-host of The View, replacing Rosie O'Donnell. O'Donnell stated on her official blog that she wanted Goldberg to be moderator. Goldberg's debut as moderator drew 3.4 million viewers, 1 million fewer than O'Donnell's debut ratings. After two weeks, however, The View was averaging 3.5 million total viewers under Goldberg, a 7% increase from 3.3 million under O'Donnell the previous season.

She has been married several times and has several grandchildren.

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



Stay Tuned





Tony Figueroa

Friday, November 05, 2010

Days of Our Lives executive producer Ken Corday will be our special guest on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL

Days of Our Lives executive producer Ken Corday will be our special guest on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, premiering Monday, Nov. 8 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT on Shokus Internet Radio, with encore presentations Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 11:05pm ET, 8:05pm on PIV World Radio, Friday, Nov. 12 at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org, plus three times a day on ShokusRadio.com through Sunday, Nov. 14.

Created by Ted and Betty Corday, Days of Our Lives premiered on NBC on Nov. 8, 1965. The first daytime drama to be broadcast in color, as well as the first to be produced on the West Coast, it was also one of the first soap operas to address topical issues, such as the Vietnam War and interracial dating, as part of its storylines. But what has made Days of Our Lives endure for 45 years is that it is a show about family. Set into the mythical yet in many ways typical American town of Salem (as opposed to some exotic faraway location), it draws viewers into the lives of the Horton family in ways that many of us can identify.

Days of Our Lives is not only a show about family, but one of the few family-run operations that exist today in television. Less known, however, are some of the obstacles that the Corday family had to overcome behind the scenes, from personal tragedies to the ever-looming threat of cancellation. These stories and more are part of The Days of Our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and The Untold History of Days of Our Lives, a very moving book by Ken Corday, Ted and Betty's youngest son, and the current executive producer of Days of Our Lives since 1986. Ken Corday will be joining us in our second hour.

In our hour, we'll take a look at thABC Televisione current uptick in popularity of NFL football this TV season with Wesley Hyatt, author of Kicking Off the Week: A History of Monday Night Football on . All this, plus This Week in TV History.

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Your Mental Sorbet: The "Double Cheeseburger Reunion"

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

A compilation of McDonald's TV commercials from December 1988. The "Double Cheeseburger Reunion" ad campaign brings back classic TV icons to promote the fast-food chain's new Double Cheeseburger special.Characters include The Beverly Hillbillies' Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen), The Munsters' Grandpa (Al Lewis), Get Smart's Agent 86 (Don Adams), Gilligan's Island's Gilligan (Bob Denver) and, Leave It to Beaver's June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) and Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond).

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa