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
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