Monday, February 26, 2018

This Week in Television History: February 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.

February 27, 2003

Children’s Television Host Fred Rogers succumbs to stomach cancer at 74. 
The talented writer and puppeteer, known to generations of children simply as “Mr. Rogers,” hosted “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” on public television for more than 30 years. Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the new documentary about the life and work of Mister Fred Rogers from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom). The documentary––a Focus Features presentation of a Tremolo Production, in association with Impact Partners and Independent Lens/PBS––is set to be released on June 8, 2018.  

February 28, 1983
Last episode of M*A*S*H airs. M*A*S*H, the cynical situation comedy about doctors behind the front lines of the Korean War, airs its final episode, after 11 seasons.

The last episode drew 77 percent of the television viewing audience, the largest audience ever to watch a single TV show up to that time.

Set near Seoul, Korea, behind the American front lines during the Korean War, M*A*S*H was based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 film produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Robert Altman. Its title came from the initials for the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, an isolated compound that received wounded soldiers and was staffed by the show’s cast of doctors and nurses. At the heart of M*A*S*H were the surgeons Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) and Dr. “Trapper” John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers); these roles were played in the Altman movie by Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, respectively. Hawkeye and Trapper’s foils on the TV show were Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Senior Nurse Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), who disapproved of the surgeons’ boozing, womanizing and disregard for military authority. Other key characters in the series were the bumbling camp commander, Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) and his clerk and right-hand-man, Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff).

M*A*S*H premiered on the CBS television network in September 1972. Under threat of cancellation during its first season because of low ratings, the show turned things around the following year, landing in the top 10 in the ratings and never dropping out of the top 20 for the rest of its run. While the show began as a thinly veiled critique of the Vietnam War, its focus switched to more character-driven plotlines after that war’s anti-climactic end, allowing the series to continue to hold the public’s attention as it developed. In the middle of the show’s tenure, Alda began to take more and more creative control, co-writing 13 episodes and directing more than 30, including the series finale. Alda became the first person ever to win Emmy Awards for acting, directing and writing for the same show.

Elements such as long-range and tracking camera shots as well as sophisticated editing techniques distinguished M*A*S*H from more traditional TV sitcoms. From the beginning, the influence of Altman’s movie was evident in the cinematic nature of the show’s camera work. In addition, each half-hour episode of M*A*S*H contained a signature mixture of dramatic and comedic plot lines, and its success marked the rise of a new genre of TV show dubbed “dramedy.”

After earning consistently high ratings throughout its 11-year run, M*A*S*H enjoyed enduring popularity in the following decades, as it became one of the world’s most syndicated shows. It also spawned an unsuccessful spin-off, AfterMASH, which CBS aired from 1983 to 1985.

March 4, 1968
The Dick Cavett Show first aired.

The Dick Cavett Show was the title of several talk shows hosted by Dick Cavett on various television networks, including:

  • ABC daytime, (March 4, 1968–January 24, 1969) originally titled This Morning
  • ABC prime time, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays (May 26 – September 19, 1969)
  • ABC late night (December 29, 1969 – January 1, 1975)
  • CBS prime time, Saturdays (August 16 – September 6, 1975; this version was actually more of a variety show)
  • PBS, early evenings, weeknights (October 10, 1977 – October 8, 1982)
  • USA Network prime time (September 30, 1985 – September 23, 1986)
  • ABC late night, Tuesdays & Wednesday nights (September 22 – December 30, 1986)
  • CNBC (April 17, 1989 – January 26, 1996)
  • TCM (2006–2007)
To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Friday, February 23, 2018

Your Mental Sorbet: Salvage 1

This is what I have been watching while on the treadmill at the gym.

Here is another "Mental Sorbet
that we could use to momentarily forget about those
things that leave a bad taste in our mouths
The pilot centers on Harry Broderick (Andy Griffith) who owns the Jettison Scrap and Salvage Co. and is a specialist in reclaiming trash and junk to sell as scrap. His dream is to recover equipment left on the moon during Apollo Program missions. In the shows' opening title narration, Harry states:
I want to build a spaceship, go to the moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back and sell it.
He invites the former astronaut Addison "Skip" Carmichael (Joel Higgins) and NASA fuel expert Melanie "Mel" Slozar (Trish Stewart) to assist him in this effort.
Broderick and his ragtag crew complete their mission and go on to further adventures in the subsequent series.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lou Antonio: Next on TVC

Actor, director, screenwriter and author Lou Antonio will join us this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Feb. 23-26 at the following times and venues:

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 2/23
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 2/24
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 2/25
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 2/24
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 2/25
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 2/25
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 2/25
9pm PT
Monday 2/26
Midnight ET
Click on the Listen Live button at
San Francisco, CA
Monday 2/26
10pm ET, 7pm PT
with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Talk Slot button at

A member of the Truli Media Group
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

As an actorLou Antonio has performed in more than seventy plays, both on and off Broadway, as well as more than sixty films and television shows, including Cool Hand Luke, Splendor in the Grass, America America, The Phynx, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, Gunsmoke, Naked City, The Fugitive, The F.B.I., Route 66, The Monkees, and three series of his own, The Snoop SistersDog and Cat and Makin’ ItAs a director, Lou has helmed more than 200 hours of television, including such acclaimed made-for-TV movies as Something for Joey and Rich Man, Poor Man: Book II, as well as episodes of such popular shows as Boston Legal, Felicity, Picket Fences, Gentle Ben, The Flying Nun, McCloud, C.S.I., The Guardian and The Rockford Files. Along the way he worked with many of the biggest names in stage, film and television, including Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Eli Wallach, Julie Andrews, Julie Harris, Edward Albee, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Carol Burnett, George C. Scott, Michael J. Fox, Dennis Weaver, Jaclyn Smith, Elizabeth Montgomery, Heath Ledger, Louis Gossett Jr., Candice Bergen, Renee Zellweger, Lee Remick, Richard Burton, Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier, David Janssen and James Garner.

Lou is also co-artistic director of the Los Angeles Actors Studio, where he continues to teach acting and directing. His recently released memoir, Cool Hand Lou: My Fifty Years in Hollywood and on Broadway, not only shares some of the wisdom he has attained throughout his career, but provides a window into the ups and downs of an artist’s life. Lou Antonio will join us in our second hour.

Cool Hand Lou is available in softcover and as an eBook through McFarland Books. You can also order it by calling (800) 253-2187. If you’d like an autographed edition of Cool Hand Lou from Lou Antonio himself, you can contact Lou through his website,

The first hour of this week’s show will include a tribute to Fred Rogers as part of an expanded edition of This Week in TV History. 

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 10am ET, 7am 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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Monday, February 19, 2018

This Week in Television History: February 2017 PART III

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.

The first national broadcast of Misterogers' Neighborhood appeared on most NET stations on February 19, 1968. In 1970, when PBS replaced NET, it also inherited this program. Around the same time the show had a slight title change, to the more-familiar Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

February 19, 1978
Project U.F.O. first aired
An anthology television series which ran on NBC from 1978 to 1979. Running for two seasons of 13 episodes each, the show was based loosely on the real-life Project Blue Book. The show was created by Jack Webb, who pored through Air Force files looking for episode ideas.

The show was a production of Mark VII Limited in association with Worldvision Enterprises, now CBS Television Distribution and was Webb's last weekly series produced before his death. It was also one of the rare times that Webb did not produce a series with Universal Television or Warner Bros. Television; Webb partnered with Universal for every series he made following his departure from Warner Bros., who had named him the president of its television division in the 1960s.

February 22, 1963
Pebbles was born at the Bedrock Rockapedic Hospital.
The Flintstones Season 3 Episode 23 The Blessed Event
In 1963, when Hanna Barbera decided to add a baby to the show, their first choice was a boy. When Ideal Toy Company heard this, company executives approached Hanna Barbera with a proposal to change the baby character to a girl for which the toymaker could create a doll, and Hanna Barbera agreed.

February 25, 1928
The Federal Radio Commission issues the first television license.
The license went to the Charles Francis Jenkins Laboratories for a television broadcast station on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. The station later moved to Maryland and operated until 1932.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Friday, February 16, 2018

Your Mental Sorbet: The West Wing Top 10- Jed Bartlet Scenes

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa