Thursday, February 28, 2013

TV Confidentia Archives: Week of Feb. 20-26, 2013

Original Airdate: Week of Feb. 20-26, 2013
First hour: Ed welcomes author, journalist and screenwriter Marvin J. Wolf. Marv’s books include Fallen Angels: Chronicles of L.A. Crime and Mystery, a behind-the-scenes look at 39 famous crimes that not only took place in Los Angeles, but reveal an altogether different side of the City of Angels than what you may have seen on television or in the movies. Among the cases discussed in the book: Caryl Chessman, the Red Light Bandit; the precedent-setting rape trial of movie mogul Alexander Pantages; the mysterious death of actor Nick Adams; the tragic murder of actor Sal Mineo; and the gruesome death of Elizabeth Short, the woman known as The Black Dahlia. Marv co-wrote Fallen Angels along with noted criminal defense attorney Katherine Mader; the book was recently re-released both in paperback and as an e-Book. The e-Book edition of Fallen Angels includes links to the various crime scenes detailed in each story, so that readers can travel directly to the locations themselves, virtually via Google Maps and Google Earth. 

Second hour: An encore presentation of our November 2010 conversation with novelist Darlene Quinn, author of Twisted Webs, Webs of Power, Webs of Fate and the forthcoming Unpredictable Webs, and the co-author, along with the late Buddy Ebsen, of Sizzling Cold Case: The Legend of Lori London, an original novel featuring Barnaby Jones. Plus: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen remember the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show, which originally aired This Week in TV History as an episode of Make Room for Daddy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Loretta Young, Naked City, and the Golden Age of Anthologies: Next on TVC

Loretta Young, Naked City, and the Golden Age of Anthologies: Next on TVC

Producers Christopher and Linda Lewis and author Jim Rosin will join us on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Feb. 27-Mar. 5 at the following times and venues:

WROM Radio
Detroit, MI
Wednesday 2/27
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Sunday 3/3
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

Indiana Talks
Marion, IN
Wednesday 2/27
1pm ET, 10am PT
with replays at various times throughout the week
Click on the player at

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 3/1
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

Talktainment Radio
Columbus, OH
Thursday 2/28
2am ET, 11pm PT
Friday 3/1
3am ET, Midnight PT
Noon ET, 9am PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

The Coyote KKYT 93.7 FM
Ridgecrest, CA
Sunday 3/3
9pm PT
Monday 3/4
Midnight ET
Click on the Listen Live button at

The Radio Slot Network
San Francisco, CA
Monday 3/4
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Click on the Talk Slot button at

Passionate World Radio
Ann Arbor, MI
Tuesday 3/5
9:30pm ET, 6:30pm PT
Click on the Listen Now button at

We’ll take you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Television in our first hour as we welcome Christopher and Linda Lewis. Christopher’s mom, Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress Loretta Young, was one of the first major motion picture stars to embrace the medium of television. Loretta Young was also one of the first women to leave her mark on television, which she did as the star and producer of The Loretta Young Show, the long-running NBC drama that remains one of the best anthology series to come out of the Golden Age of Television.

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Loretta Young, as well as the 60th anniversary of the premiere of The Loretta Young Show. Among the events that will celebrate the occasion will be a six-week film festival at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Springs, Maryland (March 8 thru April 18) that will include a wide-ranging retrospective of some of Loretta Young’s best films, including The Bishop’s Wife, The Stranger, Man Castle and The Farmer’s Daughter; the exhibit Loretta Young: Hollywood Legend: 100 Years of Glamour and Grace, on display at the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, CA through the end of April 2013; and the release of approximately 100 episodes of The Loretta Young Show as part of an excellent DVD box set that is now available through Shout! Factory.

And speaking of great anthology series from the Golden Age of Television, James Rosin will join us in our second hour as we go behind the scenes of Naked City, the critically acclaimed drama created by Bert Leonard that was also the first network prime time dramas to be filmed entirely on location in the streets of New York. Jim’s book Naked City: The Television Series not only features interviews with many of the actors, writers, and directors who worked on Naked City, but discusses what made the show unique, from its distinct visual look to the many thought-provoking stories that often touched on the human condition.

Jim Rosin will be appearing at the 17th Annual Williamsburg Film Festival, Wednesday, Mar. 6 thru Sunday, Mar. 9 at the Holiday Inn / Patriot Convention Center, 3032 Richmond Road in Williamsburg, VA. Also scheduled to appear that weekend will be Sherry Jackson, Bo Hopkins, Rosemary Forsyth and Don Collier. For more information, go to

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Wed and Sun 8pm ET, 5pm PT on WROM Radio
Wed 1pm ET, 10am PT on
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio,
Fri Noon ET, 9am PT on Talktainment Radio
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Midnight ET on The Coyote KKYT 93.7 FM (Ridgecrest, Calif.)
Mon 8pm ET, 5pm PT on The Radio Slot Network
Tue 9:30pm ET, 6:30pm PT on Passionate World Radio
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Monday, February 25, 2013

This Week in Television History: February 2012 PART IV

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:
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.

February 27, 2003

Children’s Television Host Fred Rogers succumbs to stomach cancer at 74. 
The talented writer and puppeteer, known to generations of children simply as “Mr. Rogers,” hosted “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” on public television for more than 30 years.
A native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Rogers filmed the famed show in Pittsburgh, 30 miles east of his hometown. He studied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh and, in 1962, was ordained as Presbyterian minister with a mission to work with children and families through television. Beginning in 1954, he worked as a puppeteer on a show called “The Children’s Corner,” before beginning work on his own show, which first aired in 1968. 
Singing his well-known theme song, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Rogers would enter his living-room-like set at the beginning of each episode, changing his shoes and sweater. He would then take his viewers on a magical trolley ride to the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe,” where he introduced them to characters such as King Friday XIII, his wife Queen Sara Saturday, Curious X the Owl, and Henrietta Pussycat. Even in an era of slick packaging and new technology in children’s programming, Rogers found continued success by sticking to his original message—that children should love each other and themselves. He aimed to help children deal with troubling emotions, like fear and anger, as well as everyday problems, like visiting the dentist. 

Rogers composed most of his show’s songs and did much of the puppeteering and voices himself. Despite countless awards and honors, including four Emmys® and a George Foster Peabody Award, Rogers once remarked, “I have never really considered myself a TV star. I always thought I was neighbor who just came in for a visit.” He taped his last show in December 2000, but came out of retirement briefly to film public service announcements helping parents and children deal with the September 11th tragedy. One of Rogers’ trademark red sweaters now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

February 28, 1983
Last episode of M*A*S*H airs. M*A*S*H, the cynical situation comedy about doctors behind the front lines of the Korean War, airs its final episode on this day in 1983, after 11 seasons. The last episode drew 77 percent of the television viewing audience, the largest audience ever to watch a single TV show up to that time.

Set near Seoul, Korea, behind the American front lines during the Korean War, M*A*S*H was based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 film produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Robert Altman. Its title came from the initials for the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, an isolated compound that received wounded soldiers and was staffed by the show’s cast of doctors and nurses. At the heart of M*A*S*H were the surgeons Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) and Dr. “Trapper” John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers); these roles were played in the Altman movie by Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, respectively. Hawkeye and Trapper’s foils on the TV show were Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Senior Nurse Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), who disapproved of the surgeons’ boozing, womanizing and disregard for military authority. Other key characters in the series were the bumbling camp commander, Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) and his clerk and right-hand-man, Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff).

M*A*S*H premiered on the CBS television network in September 1972. Under threat of cancellation during its first season because of low ratings, the show turned things around the following year, landing in the top 10 in the ratings and never dropping out of the top 20 for the rest of its run. While the show began as a thinly veiled critique of the Vietnam War, its focus switched to more character-driven plotlines after that war’s anti-climactic end, allowing the series to continue to hold the public’s attention as it developed. In the middle of the show’s tenure, Alda began to take more and more creative control, co-writing 13 episodes and directing more than 30, including the series finale. Alda became the first person ever to win Emmy Awards for acting, directing and writing for the same show.
Elements such as long-range and tracking camera shots as well as sophisticated editing techniques distinguished M*A*S*H from more traditional TV sitcoms. From the beginning, the influence of Altman’s movie was evident in the cinematic nature of the show’s camera work. In addition, each half-hour episode of M*A*S*H contained a signature mixture of dramatic and comedic plot lines, and its success marked the rise of a new genre of TV show dubbed “dramedy.”

After earning consistently high ratings throughout its 11-year run, M*A*S*H enjoyed enduring popularity in the following decades, as it became one of the world’s most syndicated shows. It also spawned an unsuccessful spin-off, AfterMASH, which CBS aired from 1983 to 1985.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa