Monday, September 15, 2014

This Week in Television History: September 2014 PART III

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.

September 15, 1949
The Lone Ranger premiered on ABC. 
Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels was Tonto. The television series aired from 1949 to 1957, withClayton Moore in the starring role. Jay Silverheels, a member of the Mohawk tribe of Canada played The Lone Ranger's Indiancompanion, Tonto.
From 1952 to 1954. due to a contract dispute, John Hart replaced Moore in the title role. The live-action series initially featured Gerald Mohr as the narratorFred Foy was both narrator and announcer of the radio series from 1948 until its ending and then became announcer of the television version, for which narration of the story was dropped. The Lone Ranger was the highest-rated television program on ABC in the early 1950s and its first true "hit".

September 15, 1964
Peyton Place first aired on ABC. 
Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. A total of 514 episodes were broadcast, in black-and-white from 1964 to 1966 and in color from 1966 to 1969. At the show's peak ABC ran three new episodes a week. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television. A number of guest stars appeared in the series for extended periods, among them Dan Duryea, Susan Oliver, Leslie Nielsen, Gena Rowlands, and Lee Grant, who won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama for her role of tough-as-nails Stella Chernak. The series served as the springboard for such performers as Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Chris Connelly, David Canary, Mariette Hartley, and Lana Wood.

September 16, 1949
Edward James Begley, Jr. was born. 

The actor and environmentalist. Begley is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Mark Craig's intern, Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six consecutive Emmy Award nominations. 

He also had a reality show about green living called Living With Ed on with his wife, actress Rachelle CarsonCommenting in 2006 on the appeal of the show, Begley said:

"In the format of the show, everyone who watches—even people who have never thought about living a low-impact, environmentally conscious life—will be able to relate. They’ll come away with a raised awareness, but they’ll also enjoy seeing the differences between the Rachelle and me." 
September 16, 1949
Warner Bros. introduces the Road Runner in the cartoon short Fast and Furry-ous

Like the sounds of countless other Warner Bros. cartoon characters, the Road Runner's cheerful "beep, beep!" was provided by Mel Blanc.

September 16, 1964
Shindig! premiered on ABC. 

The show was hosted by Jimmy O'Neill, a disc jockey in Los Angeles at the time who also created the show along with his wife Sharon Sheeley and production executive Art Stolnitz. The original pilot was rejected by ABC and David Sontag, then Executive Producer of ABC, redeveloped and completely redesigned the show. A new pilot with a new cast of artists was shot starring Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, The Wellingtons, The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Sherman and Alan Sues. That pilot aired as the premiere episode.

September 16, 1984
The first episode of Miami Vice aired on NBC. 
The crime drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and was produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. The series ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989. The USA Network later began airing reruns the next year, in 1990, and actually broadcast an originally unaired episode during its syndication run of the series on January 25, 1990.
Unlike standard police procedurals, the show drew heavily upon 1980s new wave culture and music. The show became noted for its heavy integration of music and visual effects to tell a story. It is recognized as one of the most influential television series of all time. People magazine stated that Miami Vice "was the first show to look really new and different since color TV was invented". Seasons two to five were aired in stereo. Episodes of the show have become popular in syndication since its cancellation both in the U.S. and in several foreign markets, a testament to the show's ongoing appeal.
Michael Mann directed a film adaptation of the television series, which was released on July 28, 2006.

September 17, 1964
Bewitched first aired. 

The fantasy situation comedy originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972. It was created by Sol Saks under executive director Harry Ackerman, and stars Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York (1964–1969), Dick Sargent (1969–1972), Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries an ordinary mortal man and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife. Bewitched enjoyed great popularity, finishing as the number two show in America during its debut season, and becoming the longest-running supernatural-themed sitcom of the 1960s–1970s. The show continues to be seen throughout the world in syndication and on recorded media.

September 18, 1964
The Addams Family first aired. 

Based on the characters in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute series was shot in black-and-white and aired for two seasons on ABC. It is often compared to its CBS rival, The Munsters, which ran for the same two seasons and achieved somewhat higher Nielsen ratings. The show is the first adaptation of the characters to feature The Addams Family Theme.
The Addams Family was originally produced by Filmways, Inc. at General Service Studios in Hollywood, California. Successor company MGM Television (via The Program Exchange for broadcast syndication and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for home video/DVD) now own the rights to the show.

September 19, 1964

Flipper first aired on NBC. 

Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the companion animal of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida, and his two young sons, Sandy and Bud. The show has been dubbed an "aquatic Lassie", and a considerable amount of juvenile merchandise inspired by the show was produced during its first-run.

September 20, 1984
The Cosby Show first aired. 

Bill Cosby starred in the show that focused on the Huxtable family, an upper middle-class African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York, at 10 Stigwood Avenue. The patriarch is Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable, an obstetrician, son of a prominent jazz trombonist. The matriarch is his wife, attorneyClair Huxtable née Hanks. They have five children, four daughters and one son: SondraDeniseTheodore (Theo for short), Vanessa and Rudy. Despite its comedic tone, the show sometimes involves serious subjects, such as Theo's experiences dealing with dyslexia, inspired by Cosby's son Ennis, who was also dyslexic. The show also deals with teenage pregnancy when Denise's friend, Veronica, played by Lela Rochon, becomes pregnant.

The show's theme music, "Kiss Me", was composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby. Seven versions of this theme were used during the run of the series, making it one of the few television series to use multiple versions of the same theme song over the course of a series. For season four, the theme song music was performed by musician Bobby McFerrin

Due to legal complications regarding the background mural, the opening for season seven was replaced with the one from the previous season. The original season seven opening, with slight modifications, was also used in season eight.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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