Monday, September 08, 2014

This Week in Television History: September 2014 PART II

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 11, 1974
Little House on the Prairie Pilot movie airs.
Charles (Michael Landon) and Caroline Ingalls (Karen Grassle) move with their three young daughters, Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson), Laura (Melissa Gilbert) and Carrie (Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush) from the big woods of Wisconsin to the open prairies of Kansas. Their closest neighbor, Isaiah Edwards (Victor French), helps them settle on the prairie as they encounter fierce storms, destructive fires, and hostile Native American tribes. Ultimately, the government forces the family off the land in Kansas.
Note: The events in this pilot are based on the true story recorded by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her Little House series of books. The dramatic portrayals by the actors in the dynamics between Charles and Caroline are romanticized and modernized, but the personalities of Laura and Mary are exactly as they were in life, and the line where Mary wanted to save her peppermint candy (brought to her from Santa Claus by Mr. Edwards) while Laura bit into hers right away was directly from Wilder's writing. 

September 11, 1979
The last Wonder Woman episode (The Phantom of the Roller Coaster: Part II) aired on CBS-TV. 

September 13, 1969
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! the first in a series of Scooby-Doo cartoons premiered on CBS. 

The original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, was created for Hanna-Barbera Productions by writers Joe Ruby and Ken SpearsCBS executive Fred Silverman, and character designer Iwao Takamoto. The show centers around four kids, whom were unofficially called "Mystery Inc." whose hobby was mystery solving. The basic premise remained unchanged through the many series of the franchise: criminal activities were covered up as faux supernatural events with red herrings and clues leading up to the eventual undoing. 

The meddlesome kids were Fred Jones is the stocky, straight-laced member; Daphne Blake, beautiful but danger-prone red-head; Velma Dinkley, the pudgy, bespectacled brains of the outfit; Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, the pencil-thin chow hound and the star of the show, the gangly, bow-legged Great Dane Scooby-Doo.
The original voice cast featured veteran voice actor Don Messick as Scooby-Doo, Top 40 radio DJ Casey Kasem as Shaggy, actor Frank Welker as Fred, actress Nicole Jaffe as Velma, and musician Indira Stefanianna Christopherson as Daphne.

September 13, 1974
The first episode of "The Rockford Files" aired on NBC. 
The Rockford Files stared James Garner and aired on NBC between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to the present day. Garner portrays Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford with Noah Beery, Jr., in the supporting role of his father, a retired truck driver nicknamed "Rocky".

The show was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. Huggins created the television show Maverick (1957–1962), which starred Garner, and he wanted to recapture that magic in a "modern day" detective setting. He teamed with Cannell, who had written for Jack Webb productions such as Adam-12 and Chase (1973–1974, NBC), to create The Rockford Files.
The show was credited as "A Public Arts/Roy Huggins Production" along with Universal Studios and in association with Cherokee Productions. Cherokee was owned by Garner, with partners Meta Rosenberg and Juanita Bartlett, who doubled as story editor during most of The Rockford Files run.

The series theme music by composers Mike Post and Pete Carpenter was released as a single and went to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks. and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for 1975. In 2002, The Rockford Files was ranked #39 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

September 13, 1974
The first episode of "Police Woman" aired on NBC. 
Based on an original screenplay by Lincoln C. Hilburn, the show revolves around Sgt. "Pepper" Anderson (Angie Dickinson), an undercover police officer working for the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Sergeant William "Bill" Crowley (Earl Holliman) was her immediate superior, and Pete Royster (Charles Dierkop) and Joe Styles (Ed Bernard) were the other half of the undercover team that investigated everything from murders to rape and drug crimes

In many episodes, Pepper went undercover (as a prostitute, nurse, teacher, flight attendant, prison inmate, dancer, waitress, etc.) in order to get close enough to the suspects to gain valuable information that would lead to their arrest.

September 14, 1984 
The MTV Awards are held for the first time. 
Bette Midler and Dan Ackroyd co-hosted the show honoring the best music videos from May 2, 1983, to May 2, 1984. The show was hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Herbie Hancock was the night's biggest winner, taking home five awards, followed by Michael Jackson, who won three. The night's main award, though, went to The Cars for "You Might Think," making this the first of a very small number of times in which the winner of Video of the Year did not take home any other awards that night.
In terms of nominations, Hancock's "Rockit" and The Police's "Every Breath You Take" were the year's most nominated videos, with each receiving eight nominations apiece. Meanwhile, the most nominated artist of 1984 was Cyndi Lauper, who aside from winning the Best Female Video Moonman received nine nominations that year for two of her videos: six for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and three for "Time After Time."
Other major nominees that night included the aforementioned Michael Jackson and The Cars, both of whom received six nominations for their videos "Thriller" and "You Might Think," respectively; ZZ Top, who also received six nominations between their videos for "Legs," "Sharp Dressed Man," and "Gimme All Your Lovin';" and Billy Idol, who got five nominations for "Dancing with Myself" and "Eyes Without a Face." Lastly, David Bowie had four nominations for his "China Girl" and "Modern Love" videos, and he was also one of the night's honorees for the Video Vanguard award.

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

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