Monday, January 29, 2018

This Week in Television History: January 2017 PART V

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.

January 31, 1988
The first episode of The Wonder Years aired on ABC.
coming-of-age comedy-drama television series created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black. It ran on ABC from 1988 until 1993. The pilot aired on January 31, 1988, following ABC's coverage of Super Bowl XXII. It stars Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, a boy growing up in a middle class family, and takes place from 1968–1973.
The show earned a spot in the Nielsen Top 30 during its first four seasons. TV Guide named it one of the 20 best shows of the 1980s. After six episodes, The Wonder Years won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1988. In addition, at age 13, Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated as Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy Series. The show was also awarded a Peabody Award in 1989 for "pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using new modes of storytelling". In total, the series won 22 awards and was nominated for 54 more. In 1997, "My Father's Office" was ranked #29 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time, and in the 2009 revised list the pilot episode was ranked #43. In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked The Wonder Years #63 on its list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2017, James Charisma of Paste ranked the show's opening sequence #14 on a list of The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time. As of recent years many critics and fans consider The Wonder Years to be a classic and that it has had tremendous impact on the industry over the years and has inspired many other shows and how they are structured.

February 1, 1953
CBS-TV debuted Private Secretary
(also known as Susie) is an American sitcom that aired from February 1, 1953, to September 10, 1957, on CBS, alternating with The Jack Benny Program on Sundays at 7:30pm EST. The series stars Ann Sothern as Susan Camille "Susie" MacNamara, devoted secretary to handsome talent agent Peter Sands, played by Don Porter.

February 2, 1973
NBC-TV debuted Midnight Special hosted by Helen Reddy.
The Midnight Special is an American late-night musical variety series originally broadcast on NBC during the 1970s and early 1980s, created and produced by Burt Sugarman. It premiered as a special on August 19, 1972, then began its run as a regular series on February 2, 1973; its last episode was on May 1, 1981.[2]The 90-minute program followed the Friday night edition of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Like its syndicated late-night cousin Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, the show typically featured guest hosts, except for a period from July 1975 through March 1976 when singer Helen Reddy served as the regular host. Wolfman Jack served as the announcer and frequent guest host. The program's theme song, a traditional folk song called "Midnight Special", was performed by Johnny Rivers.
The Midnight Special was noted for featuring musical acts performing live, which was unusual since most television appearances during the era showed performers lip-synching to prerecorded music. The series also occasionally aired vintage footage of older acts, such as Bill Haley & His Comets. As the program neared the end of its run in the early 1980s, it began to frequently use lip-synched performances rather than live ones.[citation needed] The program also featured occasional performances of comedians such as Richard PryorAndy Kaufman, and George Carlin.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tribute to Rose Marie: Next on TVC

Join us this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL for a special two-hour program honoring actress, singer and comedienne Rose Marie, airing Jan. 26-29 at the following times and venues:

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 1/26
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at
Use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in KSAV
Hear us on the KSAV channel on CX Radio Brazil
Hear us on your cell phone or landline number by dialing 712-432-4235

Indiana Talks
Marion, IN
Saturday 1/27
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 1/28
10am ET, 7am PT
Click on the player at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in Indiana Talks

WON 920 The Apple
Brooklyn, NY
Saturday 1/27
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Streaming at

KSCO AM-1080 and FM-104.1
San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA
KOMY AM-1340
La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA
Sunday 1/28
9am ET, 6am PT
Also streaming at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in KSCO

CROC Radio
Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Sunday 1/28
1pm ET, 10am PT
Streaming at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in CROC

KHMB AM-1710
KHMV-LP 100.9 FM

Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday 1/28
9pm PT
Monday 1/29
Midnight ET
Click on the Listen Live button at
San Francisco, CA
Monday 1/29
10pm ET, 7pm PT
with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT
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Ann Arbor, MI ~ Boston, MA ~ Chicago, IL ~ Melrose, FL ~ Los Angeles, CA
Various times throughout the week
on the Entertainment Channel on
and the PWR channel on TuneIn

This week’s show will be dedicated to the memory to Rose Marie, the legendary singer, actress and comedienne who passed away on Dec. 28, 2017 at the age of ninety-four. Rose Marie’s career not only spanned an amazing nine decades, but in many respects chronicled the history of entertainment in the 20th century.

You might recall that we had a chance to talk to Rose Marie in September 2012 back in 2012 here on TV CONFIDENTIAL. She was in great form that night and we covered many of the highlights of her stage, film, radio and television career, including her start on radio as Baby Rose Marie; her co-starring role opposite Phil Silvers in the Broadway production of Top Banana; her wildly successful musical stage show 4 Girls 4; the pivotal role she played early on in the career of Tim Conway; and the ground she broke while playing Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, We will replay our conversation with Rose Marie in its entirety beginning in our second hour.

Also joining us this week we will be documentary filmmaker Jason Wise. Jason is the director, co-writer and co-producer of Wait for Your Laughthe critically acclaimed feature length motion picture documentaryabout Rose Marie that was released just a few weeks before she died. We’ll ask Jason about the active role that Rose Marie played in the making of Wait for Your Laugh, plus we’ll let you know about a major announcement pertaining to the film. Jason Wise will join us in our first hour.


TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television 
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 6pm ET, 3pm PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
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Friday, January 26, 2018

Your Mental Sorbet: Cocktail Party 1 | Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Gary Owens as the announcer on NBC's “Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In”
Here is another "Mental Sorbet
that we could use to momentarily forget about those
things that leave a bad taste in our mouths
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In first aired 50 years ago.
It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin and featured, at various times, Chelsea Brown,Johnny BrownRuth BuzziJudy CarneRichard DawsonHenry GibsonArte JohnsonGoldie Hawn,Larry HovisJeremy LloydDave MaddenPigmeat MarkhamGary Owens, Pamela Rodgers, Barbara Sharma, Alan SuesLily Tomlin and Jo Anne Worley.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Monday, January 22, 2018

This Week in Television History: January 2017 PART IV

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.

January 22, 1968
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In first aired.

January  23, 1983
The A-Team debuts on NBC. 

A go-getting newspaper reporter Amy Allen (Melinda Culea) seeks the help of a mysterious group of Vietnam-veterans-turned-soldiers-for-hire to find her missing colleague in Mexico. An elite commando unit in Vietnam, the so-called A-Team was wrongly imprisoned by the Army. They escaped and began working as mercenaries, doing whatever needed to be done for their various clients while consistently eluding the fanatic Army officers sent to catch them. The A-Team went on to become a huge hit and make a star of the-then little known actor Mr. T.

January 28, 1973
CBS-TV debuted Barnaby Jones.
Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a father and daughter-in-law who run a private detective firm in Los AngelesCalifornia. The show was introduced as a midseason replacement on the CBS network and broadcast from 1973 to 1980. Halfway through the series run, Mark Shera was added to the cast as the cousin of Ebsen's character, who joins the firm. William Conrad guest-starred as Frank Cannon of Cannon on the first Barnaby Jones episode, "Requiem for a Son", and the 1975 two-part crossover episodes, "The Deadly Conspiracy". The series was produced by QM Productions(with Woodruff Productions in the final two seasons). It had the second longest QM series run (seven and a half seasons) following the nine years of The FBI. The series bore the Quinn Martin trademark where commercial breaks divided each episode into 4 "Acts" concluding with an epilogue. The opening credits were narrated by Hank Simms.

January 28, 1978
Fantasy Island premieres. 

Before it became a television series, Fantasy Island was introduced to viewers in 1977 and 1978 through two made-for-television films. Airing from 1978 to 1984, the original series starred Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, the enigmatic overseer of a mysterious island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, where people from all walks of life could come and live out their fantasies, albeit for a price.

Roarke was known for his white suit and cultured demeanor, and was initially accompanied by an energetic sidekick, Tattoo (played by Hervé Villechaize). Tattoo would run up the main bell tower to ring the bell and shout "De plane! De plane!" to announce the arrival of a new set of guests at the beginning of each episode. This line, shown at the beginning of the series' credits, became an unlikely catchphrase because of Villechaize's spirited delivery and French accent. In later seasons, he would arrive in his personal go-kart, sized for him, and recklessly drive to join Roarke for the visitor reception while the staff scrambled to get out of his way. From 1981 to 1982, Wendy Schaal joined the cast as a beautiful brown-eyed blonde assistant named Julie. The producers dismissed Villechaize from the series before the 1983–1984 season, which ended up being its last, and Tattoo was replaced by a more sedate butler type named Lawrence (played by Christopher Hewett), who pressed an electronic button to ring the bell rather than climb the tower himself.
To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Friday, January 19, 2018

Your Mental Sorbet: Henry Winkler's Berlin Connection on Better Late Than Never

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

Deleted scene: Henry Winkler's story tugs on our heart strings.

Sometimes, tears are just as important as laughs.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa