If Yellowstone is more Open Range than Dallas then we could be in for something.
Me-TV made the bold prediction:
So, I took them up on their challenge. They said the following about my age.
The truth of the matter is I’m 59, so close enough. I’m pretty sure my enjoyment of Tom & Jerry and Roadrunner gave my time on this planet.
Hap & Leonard: The Two-Bear Mambo looks to be the best seasons of H&L yet… and that’s saying a lot.
MeTV presents 11 Forgotten TV Detectives and Crime Solvers of the 1970s. Here are three of my favorites (and some comments)…
1. ‘Dan August’ (1970–71)
After putting down his blacksmith’s apron and leaving Gunsmoke, Reynolds turned TV detective, first in the flop Hawk in 1966. Half a decade later, the former football player landed another headline role in Dan August, as a homicide detective in the fictional town of Santa Luisa, California. Though it came from hitmaker Quinn Martin, creator of The Fugitive, Cannon, The F.B.I. and Barnaby Jones, the drama lasted a mere season. Not that it hurt Reynolds, who made the leap to movie star soon afterward. Maybe all he needed was the mustache. (Craig – I was a big Dan August fan. In fact, for a while there, Dan August was the reason I started wearing my hair shorter again.)
2. ‘Longstreet’ (1971–72)
A bomb hidden inside a champagne bottle explodes, killing and woman and leaving her husband blind. He continues his role as an insurance investigator. What sounds like a setup for a Daredevil comic book is the premise of Longstreet, starring James Franciscus (Mr. Novak, Naked City). (Craig – Little known fact: Bruce Lee appeared on the show! Lee trains the newly blind Longstreet! I enjoyed this show as well.)
5. ‘Toma’ (1973–74)
Tony Musante starred in a series based on the case files of David Toma, a real-life detective in Newark, New Jersey. Surprising the network, Musante decided to step away after one season. ABC recast the role with Robert Blake, then opted to completely retool the show from the ground up, turning the production into Baretta. (Craig – I vaguely remember Toma, but I never missed Baretta!)
MeTV presents 7 Darn Tootin’ True Facts about The Beverly Hillbillies. Here are three of my favorites..
1. The Critics Loathed It
If there was ever evidence of the divide between critics and the public, this is it. Few seismic hits have ever received such a drubbing in the press. According to the book Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era, upon the Hillbillies premiere, The New York Times deemed the show “strained and unfunny.” Variety said it was “painful to sit through.” Time decried that “the pone is the lowest form of humor.” The elitist uproar hardly seemed to matter.
2. It was a Ratings Behemoth
The number are truly staggering — like being punched by a kangaroo. A mere six weeks after its debut, The Beverly Hillbillies was the most watched program on television. Between the years 1962 and 1964, the show averaged 57 million viewers. The episodes that aired January 8 and 15 in 1964 rank as the second and fourth most watched television episodes of the entire decade, respectively. The former of those, “The Giant Jackrabbit,” remains one of the most watched half-hours of all time. It ran the same day at LBJ’s first State of the Union address. Bear in mind, this show was luring around 60 million viewers at a time when the U.S. population was approximately 190 million. At some points in its run, 44-percent of all American televisions were tuned to the show.
5. Sharon Tate Appeared in the Biggest Episode
Wearing a brunette wig, blonde bombshell Sharon Tate actually appeared in fifteen episodes as Janet Trego, including “The Giant Jackrabbit.” Her character was a secretary at the bank. Tate, who was close with “Jethro” portrayer Max Baer, Jr., would end up as a tragic victim of the Manson family killings. In Stephen Cox’s book The Beverly Hillbillies, director Joe Depew is quoted as saying, “When we first got her, she couldn’t even walk through the door convincingly.”
Don Kaye and SyfyWire posted Firsts: Gene Roddenberry’s Original Pitch for Star Trek that will be of interest to fans. Here are just a few things I found interesting…
The first captain of what became known as the U.S.S. Enterprise was not Christopher Pike or James Kirk, but Robert April.
Spock was originally conceived as “probably half Martian,” with a reddish complexion, semi-pointed ears, and a “Satanic” look.
Dr. Phillip “Bones” Boyce was the doctor not Leonard McCoy.
A shuttlecraft was used to take folks from the ship to other planet surfaces. There was no transporters… no “Beam me up, Scotty.”
There were no phasers for the crew. They were originally going to carry rifles and pistols that fired either bullets, tranquilizer pellets, or explosive projectiles.
Thanks to Miguel Lopez for the heads-up.
Dorothy Malone, Oscar winner as best supporting actress for her 1956 performance in Written on the Wind has died at age 92. Malone is probably best known for her starring role in the 1960s TV series Peyton Place. Visitors here might remember her for her last role as Sharon Stone’s friend in Basic Instinct.
Dorothy Malone played in over 100 roles on film and tv, but I’ll always best remember her small role with Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. In a scene lasting less than 4 minutes, Malone made a huge impact. I’ll bet Bogart returned to the Acme Bookstore after solving the case. I know I would have. Check out the scene and see if you don’t agree.
Me-TV presents 10 Reasons Jack Lord was Truly the Most Interesting Man on Television. Here are three of my favorites…
4. He was an accomplished painter.
In his youth, Lord also studied at NYU — where he had a football scholarship, no less — and earned a degree in Fine Arts. Yes, he was an artistic athlete. He had at one time hoped to be an art instructor. At the age of 20, he had two of his works accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can spot his paintings through Hawaii Five-O, hanging on the walls, in episodes like “Invitation to Murder,” “How to Steal a Masterpiece,” and “‘V’ for Vashon.”
6. He was offered the role of Captain Kirk before Shatner.
In some alternate universe, Star Trek reruns are airing with Jack Lord and Martin Landau in the roles of Kirk and Spock. (Now that sounds like a Star Trek plot.) After the captain of the original pilot episode, Jeffrey Hunter, was given the boot on the show, Gene Roddenberry offered the new lead role of James Kirk to Lord. However, Lord had rather high salary demands. He reportedly wanted 50% ownership of the series. Shatner was simply cheaper.
7. He holds a notable place in James Bond history.
While he never made it aboard the Enterprise, Lord did take part in another iconic series. In the first James Bond film, Dr. No, Lord portrayed Felix Leiter, the familiar C.I.A. ally of 007. He was the first actor to play the role in the film series. He might have appeared in more — but money was again the issue. For Goldfinger, Lord wanted more screen time and higher billing. Alas, these are Bond movies, not Leiter movies.
In 2007, I wrote about The Terror by Dan Simmons. Here’s what I said then:
The Terror by Dan Simmons is a novelization of the true doomed 1840s Franklin expedition to find a Northwest passage. History tells us there were no survivors and the men died from exposure, starvation and worse. Simmons’ story combines all of the interesting historical details and adds a new menace, a creature which feeds on men. The Terror was a national best seller. Stephen King listed it as one of his favorite books of the year. Who am I to argue with Stephen King?
Then in July of 2016 I posted…
AMC has greenlit 10 hour long episodes to air in 2017 with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker serving as Executive Producers and David Kajganich on board to write and take the reins as showrunner. This is a project worth keeping an eye on.
You can imagine my thrill at seeing this…
Me-TV presents 8 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT ‘THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW’. Here are three of my favorites…
EACH EPISODE WAS TAPED TWICE.
Despite having the feel of a live TV program, each episode was taped twice in front of different studio audiences. That meant that if an actor flubbed a line in both takes, it was still included in the final edited episode.
DICK VAN DYKE WAS A CAST MEMBER.
Although Burnett was the star of the show, she was supported by an incredibly talented cast that included Lawrence, Korman, Waggoner and Conway. When Korman left after the tenth season, Dick Van Dyke replaced him. The lack of chemistry among the cast members and Van Dyke proved to be a disaster, which is why he left after three months.
THE SHOW NEVER RANKED IN THE TOP 10.
The Carol Burnett Show is consistently ranked on critics’ lists as one of the best television programs of all time. However, the series was not a ratings juggernaut when it aired from 1967 to 1978. Although the show peaked at No. 13 in the Nielsen ratings during the 1969-1970 season, it consistently ranked in the 20s for the first nine seasons.
Dave Wachter has another winning hand with his art above. Click on the drawing to get a bigger look at the poker game between Jonah Hex, Django and Brett Maverick. Oh, and let’s not forget The Man with No Name who is making his entrance.
The only way this could have been better is if Cheyenne Bodie and Jim West also made an appearance.