Monday, March 23, 2015

This Week in Television History: March 2015 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.

March 23, 1940
Truth or Consequences originally aired on NBC radio with its creator, Ralph Edwards, as the Host. A decade later it moved to television on CBS.
Contestants on the show were asked trick questions which they almost always failed to answer correctly. If they answered incorrectly, or failed to come up with any answer in a short time, Beulah the Buzzer went off. The host then told them that since they had failed to tell the truth, they would have to pay the consequences. Consequences consisted of elaborate stunts, some done in the studio and others done outside, some completed on that week's episode and others taking a week or more and requiring the contestant to return when the stunt was completed. Some of the stunts were funny, but more often they were also embarrassing, and occasionally they were sentimental like the reunion with a long-lost relative or a relative/spouse returning from military duty overseas, particularly Vietnam. Sometimes, if that military person was based in California, his or her spouse or parents were flown in for that reunion.

The spa city of "Hot Springs" in Sierra County, New Mexico took the name Truth or Consequences in1950, when host Ralph Edwards announced that he would do the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Ralph Edwards came to the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years.

The original TV version of this series, with Edwards as host, lasted only a single season. When in returned three years later on NBC, Jack Bailey was the host, later replaced by Steve Dunne. NBC aired a daytime version of the show from 1956 to 1965, first with Jack Bailey again as host, succeeded by Bob Barker. Barker remained with the show through the rest of the daytime run and on into the original syndicated run from 1966 to 1974. During Barker's run as host, "Barker's Box" was played. Barker's Box was a box with four drawers in it. A contestant able to pick the drawer with money in it won a bonus prize. Bob Hilton hosted a short-lived syndicated revival from 1977 to1978 and in the fall of 1987, comic Larry Anderson became the host of another short-lived version.

March 23, Beat the Clock premiered on CBS-TV. 
Beat the Clock is a Goodson-Todman game show that aired on American television in several versions since 1950.
The original show, hosted by Bud Collyer, ran on CBS from 1950 to 1958 and ABC from 1958 to 1961. The show was revived in syndication as The New Beat the Clock from 1969 to 1974, with Jack Narz as host until 1972, when he was replaced by the show's announcer, Gene Wood. Another version ran on CBS from 1979 to 1980 (as The All-New Beat the Clock, and later as All-New All-Star Beat the Clock), with former Let's Make a Deal host Monty Hall as host and Narz as announcer. The most recent version aired in 2002 on PAX (now ION) with Gary Kroeger and Julielinh Parker as co-hosts. The series was also featured as the third episode ofGameshow Marathon in 2006. Ricki Lake hosted while Rich Fields announced.
In 2013, the show appeared in TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.

March 24, 1980
The late-night news program Nightline, anchored by Ted Koppel, airs for the first time on ABC. 
The show that would become Nightline first aired during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, during which Iranians seized the U.S. embassy in Iran, taking 66 Americans hostage. To cover the story as it unfolded, ABC debuted a late-night news show called The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage, which was normally anchored by Fred Reynolds. When the crisis ended, the show became a more general news show called Nightline and Koppel, who had already worked for ABC News in various capacities since 1963, became its anchor.

Throughout its tenure on television, Nightline has aired five nights a week at 11:30 p.m., competing with NBC’s The Tonight Show and CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman for viewers during much of that time. Despite some threats of cancellation over the years, Koppel’s professionalism and the show’s unique mix of long-format interviews and investigative journalism kept the show popular with audiences. Nightline remains the only news show of its genre to air every weeknight.

In November 2005, Ted Koppel left Nightline; he was replaced by the three-anchor team of Martin Bashir, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran. The program also introduced a new multi-topic format. In the past, each show had concentrated on a single topic.

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

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa
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